Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

What is an idea?

This is the question that framed the first few weeks of the Integrated Communications Campaigns class I am in right now. We laughed as we discovered the power of the silly idea and we pondered the theory of idea generation.

In an advertising campaign that “big idea” is the seed that is planted that starts the campaign. It’s the insights about people and society that lead you to a creative way to get your message to the masses. It is what drives the engagement, the communication, and the response.

Tell its story.

Recently, we were given a task that asked us to look at an existing advertising campaign and tell the story of the idea. There really weren’t any other parameters to the assignment, and we were free to choose any campaign we wished (which isn’t as easy as it sounds!).

My group? We chose Mayhem for Allstate. From there we read and we learned; we researched. In the end, we delivered a presentation that told the Mayhem story full circle – from the consumer insights, to the competitive edge, to the humor, to the new target. But everything we said tied back into the same big idea: “Dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from Mayhem like Allstate.”

Planning for and executing this presentation really hit home for me — it showed me that an idea in a media world doesn’t mean anything unless it is driven by research and insight. And that telling the whole story of an idea is the perfect way to sell it, to not only who you are presenting to, but to the masses when the campaign takes off.

Watch it grow.

Over the past 18 hours, we have all watched a viral phenomenon take over the internet. It is called “Kony 2012.” While the video has quite literally gone viral, garnering over 6 million views on YouTube in the past 12 hours, the idea has spread even further, latching onto people’s hearts and inspiring them to do more to help the world. It is a video that starts off with a single statement: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

And while, yes, the Kony 2012 campaign has its criticizers, and while we can’t be 100% certain that its makers’ intentions are pure, the idea has planted its seed and the story is being told around the world. And the execution is just about flawless. Facebook newsfeeds are cluttered, #stopkony is the number 1 trending topic on Twitter around the world, and the hits on YouTube just keep getting higher. I find this to be a great example of how the story of an idea is being told to effectively market something, whether you feel it be to market the personal bank account of the Invisible Children or to market the cause they are trying to raise awareness for.

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I think it’s safe to say that myself along with millions of other people across the country cannot wait for the release of the first movie in The Hunger Games trilogy.

I already have my midnight premiere movie ticket bought (hence the inspiration for this post), and I am probably going to have to reread the book again before the movie comes out.

Over the past months, buzz has gradually been building about this movie online. Trailers have been released one by one which are slowly giving fans a sneak peak into the movie. We are all expecting an action packed movie that is as unique as the book.

The way the movie is being marketed is quite interesting and unique as well. A new set of digital advertisements caught my eye today where characters from the book are featured in advertisements for fictional beauty products. Here is a screen shot of one, but click the link here to see the full fledged ads that have some very cool digital effects! They even automatically have options to share the ads to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts.

The ads all link back to the CapitolCouture.pn website, one of the many used to market the movie; this one in particular offers exclusive content to fans. The original microsite, thecapitol.pn, is more interactive and assigns users to one of the twelve districts and simulates an experience to keep them engaged and excited about the coming film. It then sends out blasts via twitter and using hashtags to spread the buzz even further.

What other different tactics has Lionsgate Entertainment used to market this new film trilogy? Will you be there when the movie premieres?

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Like many other college-aged women, I cannot get enough of the Bachelor/-ette/Pad franchise. Between the attractive men, catty girl drama, and “true” love, once you start watching, you can’t take your eyes away from the screen. I am also an avid reader of the Reality Steve blog, where season after season, the show is recounted and spoiled in a very hilarious manner. It was last week, though, that a particular piece of information about product placement in a recent episode really caught my eye.

In last week’s episode, Ben and his girls took a trip to San Francisco. A group date card arrived that read “Let’s check something off our leap list” or something to that degree, and then they all piled into very visible Honda CRVs and rode off to ski down the streets of San Fran.

Now, if you’re like me, you are wondering what the heck a leap list is. Ben and a few of the girls are doing ITMs explaining it but acting like its a common term thrown around often in everyday conversation. Upon doing further research, I found a New York Times article describing this year’s Honda superbowl advertising strategy.

AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR is leaping back into the Super Bowlwith a commercial for its redesigned CR-V compact crossover, part of an extensive campaign that began this month and is centered on the “leap lists” of ambitious life goals compiled by twenty- and thirtysomethings.

So if you’re one of those die-hard Bachelor fans who thinks that the show is 100% real… Note that if they can get girls to talk about these things called “Leap Lists” like they’ve been familiar with them their whole life, they can get these girls to do a lot more. Product placement, when done right in scripted TV, can be very effective, but this example was so obviously staged in something that is “supposed” to be 100% real, that both the brand and the show lost a little bit of credibility.

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The QR code is no longer a term that makes the majority of people go, “Say what?”

Now it’s the term that makes people go “You  mean those little barcode thingys… right?”

As a growing digital trend, it’s growth has been much slower than others and has yet to really catch on at a societal level. Brands have yet to realize its potential from an engagement and advertising standpoint.

But the other day, I ran across an ad campaign for different iPhone apps. The blog I found them on dubbed themphygital,” which later research explained as physical to digital engagment. The ads are simple print ads, but they creatively inspire you to pull out your phone, scan the very nontraditional QR code, and download the app.

Ever since the QR code started to become a more well-known tech term in society, I’ve wondered when the concept of using it for advertising was really going to catch on. No one seems to have really mastered it yet, but when someone does, I can only imagine the effects it is going to have on mobile engagement with brands. It will be interesting to see where this idea of “phygital” advertising can take it.


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Interactive doesn’t mean it’s digital, digital media is just a good way to make it interactive.

I recently read an e-book that had a short section entitled “Interactive doesn’t mean it’s digital,” and I found it to be very insightful and make some great points. (You can find the free download of the e-book entitled “Oh My God, What Happened and What Should I Do?” here)

A common misconception about interactive advertising is that is has to be online and that is has to involve some kind of digital interaction, like a click. But quite simply, an interactive ad is something that your target audience interacts with (duh). How do you get your audience to interact with your TV spot or video? How do you get your audience to head to your website after viewing your print ad? How do you execute a gorilla marketing campaign to get your audience involved with the brand? Interaction can be achieved in many ways other than digital.

After reading this section, I immediately thought of a viral ad for Skittles that I was exposed to this past summer while I was working for Proximity Worldwide.

This ad is a perfect example of how to make your ad simple and interactive without requiring the user to click anything or go anywhere. The ad is somewhat creepy, yet so intriguing you will not be able to take your finger off of the screen or stop it. With almost 5 million hits, I think Skittles and Proximity Canada would call this a definite success.

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Yesterday a full page ad ran in the Sunday edition of the Austin American Statesman. The headline read:

“An Open Letter from Business Leaders Concerning the Big 12”

The headline was followed with copy that explained how the writers valued the tradition of the Big 12 and how we as a conference need to unite in order to keep our conference alive. It was signed by Red McCombs, Drayton McLane, Past Gov Mark White, and the Past Mayor of San Antonio Phil Hardberger. You can head here to download a PDF of the ad (not very good quality). If I can find a good quality image, I’ll post it later.

This ad was brought to class by a professor of mine today and sparked quite the discussion.

Who is this ad talking to? They are running it in a dying medium… It’s obviously not the students– we don’t really read newspapers — so possibly the alumni. Is it worth what they paid for? From the little information I’ve found online, this ad also ran in the Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, and the Oklahoman. It could have even run on the West Coast to show the Pac-12 that we aren’t 100% sold just yet. And if they’re smart, they’ll run it again — because frequency is the key to a medium as cluttered with advertisements as the newspaper.

This sounds expensive, though. They can only hope that their ad with their letter creates enough buzz about the topic to be picked up by different publications to create enough sentiment about the issue to influence the real decision maker at UT… Bill Powers. As of right now, it’s gotten a few mentions, one on the Dallas Morning News website and one on ESPN. The only other place I’ve found it mentioned online is a few Aggie forums… needless to say, they are whining about “Texas whining” and ready to throw away a 100 year old rivalry in favor of the SEC. (Guess its time to change your fight song and the fact that you use the defaced version of our logo on A&M merchandise more than your own)

Personally, I’d love to see the Big 12 stay in tact with the addition of a few new teams. I love the rivalries we have with Oklahoma and A&M — it makes football season that much more fun. I love the tradition of it all. Here’s to hoping.

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