Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

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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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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Jersey Shore quickly rose to the top of pop culture buzz shortly after it’s season 1 premiere in December of 2009. Teens and young adults, including myself, watched each week, captivated by the stupidity and drama of the cast members. I remember returning to school from that winter break and the line up of Jersey Shore rush parties that were taking place at fraternity houses all over my college neighborhood.

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is obviously the most notorious, mostly for the fact that he is now over 30 and still flashing his abs and partying like a college kid. Teens noticed him. Then parents started noticing him. And now brands are noticing. And they are not too thrilled about what a correlation between this reality star and their brand could do to their sales.

The Ultimate Brand “Situation”

I first read about this in a Wall Street Journal blog post. Abercrombie and Fitch executives were not too pleased when they found out the reality star was donning a pair of A&F sweatpants in the second episode of the show’s fourth season.

Their question: how do they get him to stop? Because they obviously don’t like this type of brand exposure. Their solution? “Pay to not play.” As in, they are going to pay Mr. Sorrentino to not wear their clothes. It’s a win-win situation for him. When brands love him — he gets paid to endorse the product. When brands hate him — he gets paid to not wear their clothes.

My question: how different is this character really from their typical advertising?

Mike is more of an icon because of his need to show off his abs to every girl he sees and the fact that he brings home a good majority of them to his bedroom, not as much for the partying that Snooki and JWoww may be known for. What does typical A&F advertising show? Half naked models in sexual poses.



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I’ve developed such a strong interest in the new forms of media that are emerging every day, and I have a strong passion to learn as much about it as I can. Take that passion to learn and mix it with my love for creative problem solving and determination to be the best in my field, and you will find a student that is dedicated and will take the lead in completing whatever project is thrown her way.

[Note: to find preface for this post, please watch the video here.]

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