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Why ‘Popularity’ Doesn’t Equal Success in the Ad World
Nov20

Why ‘Popularity’ Doesn’t Equal Success in the Ad World

Taking inspiration from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s series where celebrities read mean tweets others posted about them, DDB Worldwide Communications Group recently compiled a video of their employees reading mean tweets about recent creative projects they managed. Examples included a Netflix campaign; “Remember that funny Netflix ad where something funny happened? Me neither…” and a Crime Stopper ad, “Here’s an anonymous tip: this campaign sucks.” While the tweets ranged from being humorous, inappropriate, and just plain mean – does it really matter if you have the support of the “Twitter-verse?” Will you still be okay if your advertising campaign didn’t make the most entertaining or most humorous list? Humor or high entertainment value is one strategy to engage consumers (and prompt social media engagement), but it isn’t advertisers’ only option – or even one that will guarantee success. Communicus finds that ads consumers like have a better chance of engaging their attention than do ads they don’t like. However, the ad doesn’t need to be the best to be noticed – ads that are reasonably likeable are just as apt to engage as are the most likeable ads. In other words, this is one performance measure for which average is definitely good enough. The dynamics are a little more complex when it comes to the relationship between liking an ad or a campaign and the advertising’s ability to change perceptions and behaviors. Typically, there is a relationship between ad liking and impact on brand perceptions. As liking increases, so can the campaign’s ability to change how consumers think about a brand. However, if ads do not have a compelling message and benefit proposition, then no amount of ad liking will help change perceptions. On the behavioral side, some of the most well liked campaigns and executions are actually less successful in changing behaviors than those that have more average liking. These campaigns often go straight for the laugh or other positive emotion, and in the process don’t focus on communicating a message about the brand that will motivate behavioral change. What they may gain in engagement, they end up losing in persuasion. As with most ‘rules’ in advertising, there are always exceptions. Content that is created with the intent to go viral is more dependent on generating viewer liking to achieve the desired objective than are ads intended to run in traditional paid media venues. Conversely, campaigns with a highly rational message don’t always display the same relationships between liking and engagement, branding and persuasion. So, what is an advertiser to do? When developing creative, it is more important to produce ads in which the brand message is conveyed...

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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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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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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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