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What Marketers Can Learn from the Oscars’ Best Advertising
Mar06

What Marketers Can Learn from the Oscars’ Best Advertising

Stars were in the spotlight this past Sunday at the Oscars celebration, but they weren’t the only ones who walked away with attention. Brands played a significant role during the evening’s festivities – not only to those seated in the Kodak Theatre, but to the viewers at home, all 43.7 million of them. The interactive show included scratch-off lottery tickets, pizza deliveries, and selfies – lots of selfies. Major advertising campaigns from Samsung and Pepsi hoped to earn significant recognition during the broadcast. One thing is certain: The efforts generated an onslaught of social media chatter. Post-show, Samsung has been by far the most talked about advertiser – but not for all the right reasons. The company paid for product placements throughout the duration of the show and gave ABC its smartphones to incorporate into the broadcast. Product placement has been used in broadcasting and film for years, but host Ellen DeGeneres and social media savvy viewers took things to the next level. Using a Samsung Galaxy s5, DeGeneres and friends managed to shut down Twitter by orchestrating a remarkable group selfie. The tweet took Twitter down and broke a record for retweets, currently totaling more than 3.3 million. “Samsung Galaxy” was one of the top tweeted phrases throughout the evening and afterward, even without a mention in the original upload. But this is a case where going by the numbers alone could be deceiving. Much of the focus on Samsung was for the fact that, after the paid selfie had gone out, host DeGeneres immediately returned to tweeting backstage from her iPhone. Samsung was subjected to a wave of ridicule, not just on Twitter and blogs, but from major media outlets as well. This attention did not necessarily build brand affinity or increase consumers’ likelihood to purchase the product. Meanwhile, Pepsi created a “Mini Hollywood” ad to introduce its new product, the Mini Pepsi. Our research of Super Bowl advertising has revealed that new product launches can garner a lot of attention during a live broadcasted event, if executed correctly.  Pepsi’s ad peaked at 1,200 tweet mentions per minute at one point during the evening, the highest total of the night The Oscars proved to be an excellent venue to drive social chatter and as our research has shown, engaging consumers in social conversations can be effective at building brand affinity and generating actual purchasing – when it is consistent with brand truths. Striking that balance of captivating audiences while also conveying the right message about your brand is key to maximizing ROI on advertising – whether for live events or any other...

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Will Olympic Advertisers Ski Home with the Gold?
Feb13

Will Olympic Advertisers Ski Home with the Gold?

We know that only about one in five advertisers accomplish brand objectives on the basis of a Super Bowl media buy. But what about an Olympics ad buy? Are the former Super Bowl advertisers who opted out of the Big Game to invest in the Olympics facing better odds? The smart money answer is yes. While buying on the Olympics is no more a guarantee of success than the Super Bowl is a guarantee of failure, an investment in the Olympics is far more likely to pay out in terms of increased purchasing and purchasing intentions. Why is this the case? 1.   The media exposure opportunity is quite different Start with the audience’s frame of mind. The Super Bowl is a divisive, partisan, and aggressive event that pits two American teams against each other. In contrast, the Olympics are inclusive, bringing Americans together to root for American athletes. Also, the event is not limited to an evening, but instead unfolds over many days. This enables Olympics advertisers to develop their brand stories through multiple exposures, often as a series of commercial executions. It is rare for consumers to be persuaded to change their attitudes and behaviors on the basis of a single commercial exposure – a limitation of Super Bowl buys. While it can help to expose consumers multiple times to the same commercial, the best way to change minds is through exposure to a series of two or more executions built off of a common campaign theme. The Olympics enable advertisers to take advantage of this dynamic, as very few advertisers buy multiple Super Bowl spots. 2. The ads that brands produce for the Olympics tend to be quite different than the commercials produced for the Super Bowl The party atmosphere of the Super Bowl seems to lead advertisers to use more over the top humor while the patriotic theme of the Olympics calls out for more inspirational stories. According to Ameritest, which has conducted extensive research on both Super Bowl and Olympics commercials, executions that are produced for the Olympics – as with Super Bowl ads – tend to be highly engaging and likeable. Additionally, Olympics ads can get so caught up in ‘soft-sell’ storytelling that the brand gets lost. However, as a campaign theme is developed across multiple executions, brand linkage often builds. By the end of the Olympics, the brand name – and thus the persuasive potential of the campaign – is often strengthened. A relatively small percentage of Super Bowl advertisers use their buy to launch a new campaign or to produce a spot that continues an existing campaign theme. In contrast, many Olympics...

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AMA Marketing Insights: Behind the Screens
Feb11

AMA Marketing Insights: Behind the Screens

Live broadcasting is a major draw for advertisers. It’s not just the Super Bowl, Olympics, and Awards ceremonies that garner millions of fans…but shows like The Voice, American Idol, and other “of-the-moment” telecasts are extraordinarily popular for TV audiences. And the bigger the audiences, the bigger the interest for advertisers. The advent of On Demand, DVR, and Netflix has eliminate a lot of the hype of live broadcasts. As more viewers watch commercial-less shows, this creates a problem for advertisers and networks. In order to solve the problem and generate more profits for both parties, live broadcast has become the optimum investment. Networks spend fortunes securing rights for the big live events, and advertisers spend just as much ramping up their advertising campaigns for the telecast. Additionally, the social media platforms that generate extensive chatter about the shows is especially enticing to build audiences and fans, both for shows and brands. There seems to be a formula that works, but a very small window of opportunity. NBC attempted to make this phenomenon more successful, by hosting a live broadcast of The Sound of Music. This generated an audience of 18.6 million viewers and NBC has plans for more live broadcasts in 2014. How successful is this pursuit? CEO, Jeri Smith writes for American Marketing Association’s bimonthly publication, Marketing Insights, on the new phenomenon and what advertisers can expect. Read more...

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Easier Said Than Done: Real-time Marketing
Jan31

Easier Said Than Done: Real-time Marketing

Real-time marketing is all the rage, and definitely can produce a positive impact on brands. Advertising Age addresses the phenomenon this week, defining the marketing strategy as “one of the most powerful methods of story telling for brands.” That can certainly be true – if brands are sharing the right story. We shared our insights on the social media content marketing trend and agree that it can be great when done correctly but it requires a strategic and controlled execution. Advertisers that spend too much time focused on the immediacy of real-time marketing are at risk of losing sight of their brand’s identity. We’ve seen brands lose differentiation in recent years – in part due to social media growth. The subtle qualities that identify and make each brand unique are slipping away from marketers’ focus. When the brand ‘voice’ becomes too conversational and reactive – as is the nature of social media creative – brands begin to blur together. Maintaining and improving upon the unique position a brand occupies in the mind of the consumer is critical – and too often neglected in a social media world. Brands that are able to convey their uniqueness and specialty via social media communications and real-time marketing will see far superior returns than the...

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How Social Media Can Eat Brand Value – and Profits
Jan28

How Social Media Can Eat Brand Value – and Profits

The long-term health of brands is in decline. Over the past decade, fewer consumers recognize meaningful differences between brands. Both the rise in generics from recession-squeezed budgets and the easy access of social media have contributed to a reduction in perceived brand differentiation that will accelerate dramatically in the coming years. With brands becoming more active in social media and expanding their real-time marketing conversations with consumers, the focus on what’s distinct and memorable about a particular brand will get lost. Brands are increasingly hiring based on desire to be nimble and execute quick, pithy responses to events and consumer conversation. This will lead to a diminished sense of how a particular brand is different and the unique space it occupies. Here are some tweets that don’t necessarily reinforce the brand position: Glade air fresheners: ‘Nothing but time, your best friends beside you and a field of opportunity inspires true #joy #bestfeelings’ Urban Outfitters: ‘OMG. It’s National Cat Day. #Catober forever’. These tweets are not consistent with the brand’s truths and likely do little to influence consumers’ purchase intentions. Another opportunity is for brands to use live broadcasts to attempt real-time marketing, To their detriment, some brands allow the topic of the broadcast to overshadow their message. For example: New York Life: ‘From the Potters to the Skywalkers, who’s your favorite movie family? #Oscars’  Special K: ‘Did you dream a dream about the Best Picture winner? RT if you think this film will triumph tonight! #RedCarpetReady’  Bing: ‘#Oscar noms get $45,000 swag bags. People preferred Bing over Google for the web’s top searches. #BelieveItbinged.it/Yq3ZU9’. These tweets succeed in capturing the buzzwords of the broadcast but have little to do with the brand itself. This is one trend that is contributing significantly to ill-advised, wasted efforts at brand building. It’s great to be nimble and responsive, but without strong and disciplined leadership by a brand steward empowered to control all the brand messages, we will continue to see an erosion of brand differentiation. The ultimate result: Once-meaningful brands will realize – after they have abandoned cohesive campaigns that foster brand differentiation and value – that their sales are only boosted by profit-eroding...

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