Tag Archives: advertising

Where Did I Go?

Yes, it’s been a while since I last wrote a post – 11 days to be exact – and that, for me, is too long. I apologize if I have left you in the dark, but I promise the news is really exciting…

You are now looking at reading the material of the new Social Media Planning Intern at Leo Burnett! It was one (among many) of the nicest calls I received on my birthday and I started last week!

Although it’s only been precisely four days I’ve worked at Leo, I am really pumped to learn and contribute to one of the best (ok ok, the best, am I right?) advertising agencies in the world. Can you tell I’m beaming?

For this reason, I unfortunately will not be able to write as frequently as I was able to for the last four months. *Sigh*

BUT. I do hope to write once a week. And to clarify, all material expressed will continue to be of my own. HOLLA!

Photo credit: http://www.leoburnett.com.my

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My Favourite Super Bowl XLVI Ads Of 2012

It’s that moment we’ve all advertisers have been waiting for: a brief 5-minute break from the football game where advertisers pay a high price to get that hot spot they know millions will be watching.

Although I do not reside in the U.S. and was not one of those millions of live viewers to glimpse those short sunshine-bursts of creativity in between plays, but I did take the time to carefully analyze the ads online (thanks be to the Internet!).

I witnessed, as many of you, the return of Darth Vader, Bueller’s 2nd day off, the M&M strip show and many others, but only a select number have made the cut to the top.

Thus I present to you my list of top 10 Superbowl XLVI ads of 2012:

10. Doritos Sling Baby Super Bowl Commercial 2012

It seems that every year we all wait to see what Doritos has up their sleeves this time around, and they never fail to deliver… especially when really cute babies are involved.

YouTube Hits: 337,454

9. “Think Fast” — Official Big Game Ad for Hyundai Genesis Coupe Super Commercial

Hyundai gives you another reason to get your pulse going… even when it’s not.

YouTube Hits: 2,786,551

8. Official 2012 Honda CR-V Game Day Commercial – “Matthew’s Day Off” Extended Version

Pretty clever, Bueller. Pretty clever.

YouTube Hits: 12,730,966

7. “Transactions” Extended Version – 2012 Acura NSX Big Game Ad #JerrysNSX

Leno may steal the car, but Seinfield steals the show.

YouTube Hits: 15,844,496

6. Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Super Bowl 2012 Commercial – “The Tease”

Whoa – did not expect her to head-butt John Stamos (especially for a yogurt commercial). But it’s still pretty funny.

YouTube Hits: 932,104

5. Free to Pee EXTENDED – TaxACT Super Commercial 

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

YouTube Hits: 94,886

4. Flash Fans: 2012 Budweiser Official Big Game Commercial

It was brought to my attention that this flash mob strategy for an ad was created by Improv Everywhere in 2008 for a little league baseball time. However, I love the idea of capturing real-time emotions from a group of regular guys playing hockey caught completely by surprise.

This one left me grinning from cheek to cheek.

YouTube Hits: 2,236,401

3. M&M’s “Sexy and I Know it”

M&M commercials never cease to deliver, whether it’s for entertainment or to showcase their scrumptious (and now sexy) flavours. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a candy strip before, but it looks like it might give you a better time!

YouTube Hits: 1,080,721

2. FIAT 500 Abarth – 2012 Super Bowl Commercial – Seduction

“What are you looking at? Uh!? What are you looking at?! (slap) Are you undressing me with your eyes? Poor guy… you can’t help it? Is your heart beating? Is your head spinning? Do you feel lost thinking that I could be yours forever?”

I absolutely love the metaphor here – even though it’s not the best looking-car – but the guy’s reaction is priceless.

YouTube Hits: 3,673,990

1. The Dog Strikes Back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial

This commercial made me smile not just because I’m an animal lover, but I love the determination and discipline in the dog’s character to transform to a new and improved player in the game (also note the metaphor to the new Volkswagen 2012).

You also can’t forget about the return of Darth Vader, who makes a cameo, so to speak, as a flashback to Volkswagen’s famous Super Bowl 2011 commercial (remember the little kid dressed up as Darth Vader who believed her had super powers?). That commercial has earned 50,484,398 hits on YouTube so far and was probably ranked one of the best ads of the Super Bowl last year as well, and it looks like Volkswagen may have done it again this year.

And doesn’t James Brown make you want to get up offa that thang too?

YouTube Hits: 6,086,723

… And I loved the teaser for the commercial too:

YouTube Hits: 12,820,594

Honourable Mentions

Although the following ads didn’t make my top 10 list for SuperBowl 2012, they still deserve some recognition for great effort:

Camry Effect: “Connections” :60 Big Game Commercial

Camry plays on your emotions to get you feeling a little bit closer to the things that matter in life. Did this one tug at your heart strings a little?

NEW E*TRADE Baby Game Day Commercial – Fatherhood

“Bobby! What are ya doin’ man?”

“I’m speed-dating!”

Hilarious.

OK Go & Chevy Sonic- “Needing/Getting” Full Length Music Video (Super Bowl XLVI Commercial)

Not sure how OK Go did, but DAMN.

OFFICIAL David Beckham Bodywear for H&M Super Bowl Ad

David Beckham. ‘Nuff said.

“It’s Halftime in America” – Official Chrysler Commercial from 2012 NFL Championship Game

“People are out of work and they’re wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback, and we’re all scared because this isn’t a game…”

Although sounding timeless and reverent to signify not only the game of football but the reality of life, this commercial has fuelled quite the controversy. Republicans are claiming the ad was a nod to Obama’s attempt to bailout the auto industry during the recession. Moreover, people have started the rumour that Clint Eastwood‘s placement in the Chrysler ad was a promo for Obama‘s re-election campaign, but it is in fact just a rumour.

And even more unnerving? It wasn’t in filmed in Detroit – it was shot in New Orleans and L.A… Awkward.

What were your favourite Super Bowl ads of 2012? I’d love to hear them!

 Photo credit: http://www.pagesdigital.com
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AdWeek 2012: STAY TUNED

AdWeek 2012, Canada’s biggest industry gathering, will be hosted by the nation’s party city capital, Toronto (ok, maybe second to Montreal). Next week will follow event after event with presentations and speakers ranging from Facebook, AOL, Google, Yahoo! and more. Who’s excited? I am, obviously!

Here is my schedule of the events I will be attending and reporting on:

MONDAY, JANUARY 23RD, 12PM-1PM

Facebook Opening Launch: Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook Canada will be giving a keynote address.

“The Democratization of Influence: Today, the Web is built around people and in this socially driven and connected world, the democratization of influence means that friends influencing their friends is becoming the most valuable measure of a successful online presence.

Facebook fundamentally believes businesses are better off in an open and connected world that allows people to share the things they care about with their Social Graph. As consumer expectations continue to evolve to having what they want, where and when they want it, the only way to fully deliver on that expectation is through a smart and integrated digital strategy that puts people at the centre of everything that you do.

Jordan Banks will dig deep into how Brands can realize the power of the Social Web and inspire Canadians to influence their friends by connecting the +18 million Canadians to the brands and things they care about most.”

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24TH, 2PM-1PM

Ipsos Presentation: Influence Index presented by Steve Levy, President, IPSOS REID Marketing and Loyalty

Google, Apple, Tim Horton’s or Canadian Tire: What do you think is the most influential brand in Canada? We know!

Join this session where Ipsos Reid will share results from the first ever Canadian Brand influence Study. This session will unveil the most influential brands in Canada. What brand is on top? Who leads in the key business categories? More than this, we will share the “secret sauce” of brand influence. Why are some brands more influential than others?”

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25TH, 4PM-5PM

Google Speaker Series: I don’t have a description for this event yet, but you can only imagine what Google will bring to the table…

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26TH, 2:30pm-3:30pm

Extending Your Brand Message: “This not-to-be-missed panel will bring together industry leaders to debate the value of branded content and how brands can use it to extend their message.

As marketers strive to create campaigns that not only deliver their brand message but that suit the medium in which it is delivered (online, mobile, video, etc.), the need to extend rather than adapt campaigns becomes more real.”

Mitch Joel, Graham Moysey, Peter Vaz and others will discuss how brands can create credible content to support their campaign messages; how they can drive audiences to these branded content areas; and what role branded content plays in their overall marketing strategy

FRIDAY, JANUARY 26TH, 9AM-10AM

An Ad is Not Just an Ad: Sponsored by Yahoo!

“Ads are a key source for connecting consumers to new products and brands. However, not all ads are equal or have the same effectiveness. So how do you make sure yours is remembered and reaches its target?

Yahoo!’s Nick Drew and Tony Marlow along with Bryan Segal from Comscore, will discuss how choosing the right ad format and environment will have the highest impact on ad performance. Expect thought provoking ideas and insights on how to creatively convey your brand’s marketing messages to the right audience.”

Eek – I’m excited!

These are just some of the events that AdWeek 2012 in Toronto will be showcasing (heck, there’s even a Ad ball on Thursday night!). So if you’re interested in going to these events or are looking for another something else to attend, you can register at AdWeek.ca. And if you’re a student or a recent graduate, you get the bonus of a wonderful discount.

Hope you to see you there!

Photo credit: http://www.advertisingweek.ca

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How To Get Your Personal Brand On

That’s right. Today, it’s all about YOU. It’s about empowering yourself as a brand through social media. And hopefully by the time you read the last sentence of this post, you will feel empowered, throw your fist in the air and say, “Let’s get this party started!”

The importance of creating a personal brand helps people recognize who you are. Once you develop a strong online reputation and brand presence, you become the “go-to-guy/girl” in your field. People will start asking, “Have you heard of Lisa Byers?” And they will enthusiastically reply, “Heck yes!”

And so without further ado, I present to you the things I’ve learned about creating a personal brand:

Step #1: Establish Your Goals

This is the first and most important rule to nail down, because this is what provides guidance and what inevitably drives you to success. Having an objective is what gets this whole process started! Thus in creating your personal brand, some questions you might want to ask yourself are:

Who am I? What do I stand for? What are my strengths?  What do I love and enjoy doing? What motivates me? Why do I want to do this? How can I make a meaningful contribution? How and when do I achieve my objective? Where do I want to be a year from now? Who can I thank those who help me along the way?

All of these questions should provide proper direction into determining what you love to do and why. If you need a little bit more direction, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Napoleon Hill‘s “Think and Grow Rich” – a great life diary for anyone.

Step #2: Network

Getting your face out there and building connections and relationships with those in your field is crucial. Hill mentions the “Master Mind” in his book, where one borrows and uses the education, the experience, the influence and the knowledge of those you meet to carry out your plans.

Not only will you start to understand more about the business you are pursuing, but you will also be putting a face to your own name. Oh, and make sure to thank the people who help you along the way – who knows if you will be where you are right now without them.

Step #3: Create Quality Content

The best way of doing this is to start your own blog. When I was fresh off the graduate boat and started looking for jobs in September, I sat down with Karen Geier, the Director of Social Media at OgilvyOne Toronto (part of my Master Mind group, you see?). She advised that I start a blog and get to writing about my passion.

This has been of great advantage to me, since not only am I writing about the stuff I love, but it has sharpened my writing skills and knowledge, as well as made me more curious and inquisitive about the business.

The more you publicize your ideas, the better you can position yourself to capitalize on them. – Richard Branson

Creating quality content (i.e. content that is appropriate and personally relevant to myself and my audience), helps build a loyal fan base. And it sure is a lot easier creating quality content two or three times a week when you are passionate about something (see Step #1).

Writing for the sake of writing will get you nowhere. But writing – with your objective in mind – to illustrate to your readers that you want to share invaluable information with them and not just get eyeballs, will develop a more honest, dignified, fulfilling, trusting and lasting relationship (and one helluva reputation).

Side note: WordPress.com is a great place to start writing a blog. Later, if you wish to buy your own URL address, the account can be moved to a dot com address.

Step #4: Spread Your Personality

You should now be prepared to start spreading your web personalities across multiple social media platforms. This includes signing up for a Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress.com, About.me and YouTube account, or any other tool you find is appropriate or relevant to what you wish to accomplish.

The best CEOs are able to leverage their personalities to increase awareness and draw attention to a company brand. – Dan Schawbel

For example, I have an account in all of those I just mentioned and try to use them on a regular basis. However, I do not have a Tumblr or Flickr account, as I do not see it pertaining to my objectives at the moment.

This last point is important in realizing that you should not just hop on the bandwagon and sign up for a bunch of different accounts that you will never use. Remember your objective and the tools you require to accomplish it. Otherwise, you have a crap load of social media bulk sitting in a virtual space – and for nothing.

Side note: Klout is a platform that measures online influence through social media networks you belong to, providing both a score and a label. However, it has been getting a lot of flack lately about inaccuracy claims. For example, I have a Klout score of 54 and am labeled a Specialist… who is influential about Advertising (which is legit), Travel (ok), and Kim Kardashian… wait what?

Step #5: Be Social

I’m surprised at how many people laugh at this and say “Well DUH Lisa, I’m all over the social web, of COURSE I talk to people.” EXACTLY. Key words here are “talk to” instead of listening and genuinely responding to.

Social media is called social for a reason. Make sure to follow back when people follow you on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever social media platform you are on. Make sure you reply to followers with a genuine and personal response, not some robotic and fixed answer.

Side note: When dealing with Twitter, a good rule to live by is to follow select people you are interested in learning more about or helping. If those you have chosen to follow do not follow back within 48 hours, you can log into Twitter Karma and unfollow them.

Last piece of advice: This takes time! Although technology has socialized us into becoming instantly gratified beings, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Building an online presence and personal brand takes time and is something you are just going to have to be patient about.

Oh, and don’t forget to edit!

If you have any other suggestions as to how you can create a strong personal brand, I’d love to hear about it!

Photo credit: http://www.forbes.com

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Social Media Predictions For 2012

Social Book Review: “Tribes” by Seth Godin

The [Network] is the Message

Snoop Dogg on Social Media

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Social Media Predictions For 2012

Well ladies and gents, it’s been a good run – especially for social media marketing. Social media has made leaps and bounds in respect to shaping the way we communicate, and you might even call it revolutionary.

Here are some expected changes for social media in the new year from both the perspective of myself and Awareness’s 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions:

Real-Time Campaigning

Social media has given web users the ability to communicate instantly with each other. Now, it is up to marketers to keep up with the social conversations.

Micro-blogging, as already seen with Twitter, is going to soar with the help of real-time campaigning. Newly introduced micro-blogging sites, such as Tout and Keek, are paving an easier and faster way for more occurrences of real-time campaigning.

Take the Occupy Wall St. movement, for example. This movement began with a simple Tweet and a blog post. The result? A revolutionary spark in real-time social communication. Marketers are going to have to find ways of leveraging real-time conversations and incorporating them into their own campaigns for a more compelling message and branding scheme.

Crowd Sourcing and Earned Media

Similar to real-time campaigning, brands and marketers will benefit largely from working with their audience as opposed to simply buying their attention. Awareness labels this as a bi-directional approach in which increased activity toward crowd funding and crowd sourcing of ideas converge with the ideas of marketers.

Marketers will no longer rely on media to create audiences for them, but instead play upon their interests. Seth Godin writes of a similar notion in Tribes, where marketers will be locating audiences on the Web, listening and understanding their desires, and both guiding and delivering them to an avenue in which they can attain whatever it is that they need.

Quality Content is King

The old saying “Content is King” is, well, old. The focus is no longer on creating a lot of content for the sake of gaining more readers, but creating appropriate and personally relevant content that actually means something to their audience.

Marketers must begin catering better (and by better I mean more specifically), to their audience with keyword precision. Because the focus is now on niche marketing and segmentation, likes and dislikes are being narrowed down to more specific tastes. Marketing is no longer about how much content you can put out to attract your audience, but what tools and keywords are being used.

Improved Search Engine Optimization 

This one goes hand in hand with “quality content is king.” Content will be enhanced with better keyword research, thus increasing a marketer’s chances of locating and reaching their relevant target audience.

Improving SEO strategies will increase trust between among social media marketers. Although user’s information will remain exposed to not only their friends but as well as advertisers, this information can help marketers better understand their audience and thus provide them with more precise deliverables that address their specific needs. This can be achieved by creating quality content.

Better Customer Relationship Management

Better CRM can lead to four vital stages in the marketing plan: hitting the relevant audience with the relevant message at the relevant time and at the relevant place (notice how many times the word relevant is used!).

Locating the appropriate audience may provide a bit of a challenge, considering there are numerous venues (i.e. social networks and websites) where individuals are participating in. Marketers will have to keep a close eye on customer movement online and the types of media they are using to communicate in order to cater to them more effectively.

Metrics and Return on Investment

Whether you are using Radian6, HootSuite, Spredfast or any other time of social media content management system, there remains a multitude of CMS for capturing your campaign’s metrics. Although information is being aggregated through a variety of systems, they are all fragmented.

In the upcoming year, marketers will need to manage their metrics into one solution in order to collect, analyze and identify the appropriate metrics to direct them into making thorough and well-thought decisions.

Integration of Traditional and Non-Traditional Advertising Tactics

A stronger campaign incorporates both traditional and non-traditional marketing strategies. The challenge thus for both forms is creating an integrated and cohesive marketing plan.

Due to a greater demand for consistency among both avenues, a campaign will inevitably require a larger social media marketing team. Social media campaigning may thus become more complicated, but not if you have a set of diligent (and multi-tasking) individuals to lead a meticulous strategy.

Online Recommendation Culture

And with the advancement of all that has been mentioned, more first-person perspectives are sure to soar in the upcoming year. Although brand advocacy and word-of-mouth have already made their marks among advertising agencies and marketers, a more trustworthy recommendation community will be instilled among social networks.

As you can see, social media is moving in a direction that could develop and transform into a revolutionary trend, more so than it already has. Although these are merely a few predictions for the upcoming year, we may also witness and be surprised by something that was never thought of before (Occupy Wall St. anyone?).

If I failed to mention an important social media prediction for 2012, I’d love to hear your thoughts on where social media marketing is headed.

See you in the new year!

Photo credit: socialbulletsblog.wordpress.com

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Social Book Review: “Tribes” By Seth Godin

This submission is based on a book review that was required in a Theories of Advertising course I took at Texas. The objective was to choose a book with some sort of theoretical background and write a review on how it related to class concepts and other related Advertising theories.

The following are questions that required thoughtful, concise and well-structured answers in order to receive a really good mark:

1. How does the book make a contribution to the science and practice of persuasive communication/consumer decision making?  What type of evidence does it offer as support (e.g., anecdotes, empirical research, etc.)

Godin contends that to become an influential leader, one must create movements that empower communication within a ‘tribe’, the concept that describes a group of like-minded individuals connected to a leader and a shared interest. Leaders create a culture around a tribe’s goal and establish a foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to forcing the tribe to follow them. This form of persuasion is not forceful on the individual but more so guiding. CrossFit.com, Godin exemplifies, is an online tribe of fitness fanatics that compete in timed events against people around the world and record their times on the website. CrossFit.com members share news and ideas and grow as a fellowship through viral marketing as individuals recruit other members and set their own standards while their leader and founder, Greg Glassman, helps them to do so.

2. How might it advance theory and research in the area?  Be specific. (Consider theories discussed in the course and/or unique ways of approaching issues of persuasion.)

One common theme that surfaces in Tribes is the Internet as a vehicle that enhances and facilitates communication between brand communities. Online tribes are thus an integral part of interactivity, as the Internet spawns an explosion of social media that encourages individuals to communicate and spread the word to other tribes. Social media attempts to bolster the relationships within tribes as ideas are shared and decisions are made quickly among individuals.

Leaders, Godin argues, find groups that have a sense of solidarity and a shared sensed of consciousness who seek leadership and lead them to where they want to go. Exclusion is also an important aspect to consider that enforces loyalty and attention; the individuals who are not apart of a movement matter just as much as those who are. As members attempt to influence one another through communication, they sustain an equilibrium within the tribe. Moreover, a leader’s attitudes must balance those of the individuals within the tribe to establish a consistency and a shared understanding of the goal to be accomplished within the tribe.

An important aspect of a leader to consider is credibility. Godin argues that leaders must use charisma in a variety of ways if he/she wishes to attract and motivate followers. Leaders must also be transparent, since tribes must understand and be aware of a leader’s intentions in order to deem them credible and thus trustworthy. Tribes will thus eagerly await the command of a leader when they want something done. It is about seeking these vibrant and passionate tribes who want to be guided towards their goal, which allow leaders to become more powerful and thus more influential as more and more people continue to join one’s movement.

3. What are the major strengths and limitations of the book and/or the perspective presented (be sure to identify the major thesis of the book) impacting its usefulness to advertising practice?  To advertising graduate students?

A strength of Tribes is the idea that every tribe communicates differently and in a unique way. This is important to the advertising practice as it teaches researchers in the industry to fully understand their audience in order to serve them better in the future. Godin insists that leaders should “help their tribe sing, whatever form that song takes” (Godin, 2008). Moreover, he argues that Internet marketing amplifies connectivity, engagement and word of mouth that spreads at a faster rate than traditional advertising. It is up to the leader to help guide their tribe where they want to go and help them to voice their opinions in order to accomplish their goals.

A limitation to Godin’s book is that becoming a leader requires practice and is not something immediate. Godin ignores the idea of the time, effort and practice that is required to become a leader. To gain a tribe’s trust, one must build a credible reputation by demonstrating one’s competence and honesty. However, this requires time in order to foster a meaningful relationship between individuals. Moreover, multi-billion dollar companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, are gathering information of individuals for at the expense of their privacy. This in turn can harm the image of leaders who want to demonstrate credibility to their tribes but instead illustrate hidden agendas.

4. For what types of practical advertising/pr/persuasive communication problems do you think this book offers useful advice?  How so?  (Be specific).

Marketers often concentrate on treating consumers like numbers rather than personal customers. Many people on Twitter, for example, look at the number of followers as opposed to true fans. Godin states that leaders only need as much as a thousand true fans in their tribe. These true fans will bring enough attention and support to your movement by spreading the word and opening the community to other fans who are being influenced by your followers. Social media writer Jonah Bloom concurs; “Consumers are running the biggest recommendation service in the world… they define the brand…” (Bloom, 2009). Power is thus seen as residing in the hands of the tribe that a leader chooses to follow.

Another issue that Godin addresses is stability. Godin observes that in today’s market, wants and needs are constantly changing. People still believe that society is stable (as incessant advertisements teach us so), yet society has become the opposite. The market is bombared with products and services that are nothing but average gadgets for average people. Godin thus argues that stability is a big opportunity for leaders to capitalize on. It is up to leaders to choose a tribe and guide them into a more stable and consistent community and help them flourish their own movement.

5. In thinking about strategic communication decisions from the perspective of SCREM [Source, Channel, Recipient, Environment, Message], in what areas does this book offer the strongest application?  Why?

Godin argues that tribes have become the most effective media channel to date as they are longer-lasting and more effective. This is the key reason why leaders must join a tribe, since it is proving to be one of the most powerful and successful marketing investments. Buzz and viral marketing is also reinforced through the existence of tribes as it identifies leaders within their communities and spread the word about a new product or service. Marketers must listen and cater to customers because they are the true leaders of brands and companies today.

Additionally, social networks such as Facebook and Ning allow individuals to form their own online communities and build relationships without geographical boundaries and interference of monolithic media conglomerates. Thompson contends that “We are tied not just to those around us, but to others in a web that stretches farther than we know” (Thompson, 2009). The Internet amplifies connectivity and engagement that spreads at a faster rate than traditional advertising. Social media is thus the most effective channel for marketers to utilize in order to better understand and cater to audiences.

6. Would you recommend this book as an addition to the course reading list?  Required or Optional?  Justify and support your response.

I would not recommend this book as a required read but as an option on the course list. The book does not delve into the deeper understandings of persuasion within tribes and between leaders and their followers. It briefly brushes upon theories of persuasion as it mentions functions of group and communities on and off the Internet, but only grasps the surface of these issues. The topic is more about leadership and motivating its readers to become one, not so much as the theories and psychology that support it.

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Teachings From The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Remember the Old Spice GuyIsaiah Mustafa? Of course you do. The man your man could smell like. He was sitting on a white horse. But where is he sitting now?

I love me some smart and humorous campaigns – I really do. I think most of us do. But what happens when they disappear? I’m sure some of us are still smirking about that perfectly chiselled, half-naked man next to the shower with those witty remarks a few weeks later, but how often? Will we be remembering and smiling about it a year from now?

One aspect about campaigns is that they act as great vehicles to increasing awareness, reach and recall, which can cause spikes to fluctuate in the advertising metrics. They may even increase sales, but if you’re in the business, you should know that there is no direct correlation between advertising and sales (although it does sound like a nice payoff!).

But once the campaign reaches its peak and slowly starts to wind down, people start to forget about the hype. What was once a hit campaign is now under the category of “Oh yeah, remember that guy in that commercial? Whatever happened to him?” You know you are in a pickle when you’re known as that guy (or in advertising’s case, that ad). *Shutters at anonymity*.

Unfortunately, that is the fate for most campaigns. When a campaign is blazing hot for a certain amount of time, the fire slowly starts to calm down and settle; it is later forgotten and inevitably bound to a grave buried underneath the ashes (you follow the metaphor?). Although they act as great attention-grabbers and reminders for a particular issue, product or service, there needs to be a coherent strategy that melts into other aspects of the campaign to maintain a strong presence within the market (and bonus points for being cost-efficient).

On the other hand, depending on how an advertiser’s strategies are implemented, too much in-your-face-ness could cause an overwhelming amount of attention that could make your audience feel downright annoyed.

So, what can marketers and advertisers do (I bet that was your next question, wasn’t it)? They can include both traditional and non-traditional elements (television, magazines, social networks, etc.) that act on a frequent basis, so the mission and call-to-action are always lingering in the back of the audiences’ minds and at appropriate intervals. All channels should carry a coherent message across each of them with a consistent theme.

The use of social media can be an especially effective way (and not just in cost) for campaigns. Let’s go back to Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign. After the famous launch of the legendary Old Spice guy just over a year ago, the campaign has earned more than 30,000,000 million views on YouTube. To keep the momentum going, Wieden + Kennedy created an additional Old Spice Responses campaign, where fans, bloggers, writers, advertisers and celebrities could ask a question to Mr. Mustafa and get a reply.

The Old Spice Response portion of the campaign helped maintain the brand’s presence and personality. After initially fostering a sense of curiosity and amusement on your television (and afterwards, word-of-mouth), an explosion of chatter erupted across all social network channels. Both YouTube and Twitter accounts were sending out responses, giving the Old Spice message a personal feel by handing over the creative wand to audience to create their own story of the brand.

A few public figures, including actress Rose McGowancontributed her own response to the Old Spice brand, embracing a similar character to that of Mustafa and keeping in tune with the brand’s image and personality. Thus not only did the brand attempt to create an extension of itself through a parody, but fans were lending their own efforts in becoming the brand themselves. Talk about advertising influence!

And because of the brand’s popularity and fame, other personalities in the pop culture realm are hopping on the Old Spice bandwagon. Remember Puss ‘n Boots from Shrek? Well, he’s coming out with his own movie and has taken on the bold, strong and confident character of Mustafa himself in his The Cat Haz Swagger advertisement:

The Old Spice campaign was no doubt a brilliant effort in raising awareness to a particular audience about the product and the brand to newcomers (so much so that Mustafa is now known as The Old Spice Guy), increasing brand recall and maintaining a fun and engaging relationship with brand loyalists and supporters.

Unfortunately, Mr. Mustafa is no longer playing the part for the brand, and the campaign’s efforts have died down a little (probably due to the insurmountable response from viewers, and perhaps cost), as what is expected of campaigns and advertisements. Yet something seems to be resonating with this particular brand due to the efforts mentioned here (and perhaps more).

But perhaps that is what we need to accept about campaigns. We do not want to be bombarded with so many messages that it becomes something like hearing nails on a chalkboard every time we see an particular ad. However, there does need to be a follow-up with the message, otherwise you are just leaving your audience hanging, in the dark, and with no one to save them. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call poor brand management. Take it from Mustafa…

Now take it from me.

Now back to Mustafa.

Now back to me. I’m on a horse.

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Apple’s Next [Dance] Move?

I saw this video from a Tweet that read “This Kid is Amazing.” So, me thinking of the next singer to potentially show up on the Ellen Degeneres show (and me being a big fan of Ellen in general), I followed the link on YouTube. The video titled “Apple Store Dance to Super Bass!!” pops up and this kid is boldly shaking his thang to Nicki Minaj‘s “SuperBass” in an Apple store. My first reaction went something like this: “DAMN this kid Trevor has guts! I want a music video in an Apple store!

Sure enough, I looked at the sidebar to see other people have done the same. Random Apple store visitors are entering the store, setting up the video on the in-store Mac computers and recording a dance routine, smack dab in the middle of an unsuspecting crowd… and having a good time. The videos are uploaded onto YouTube for all to see and give viewers a live entertainment from Apple. And let me tell you, it’s quite the dance party and lip-sync.

If Apple is going to be smart about this, they need to get on this in-store live-dancing trend and turn it into a campaign. I think we’ve been hit over the head enough with the idea that the customer is in control of the brand and its message. Creating a campaign based on live videos from customers will help to enhance the Apple brand through a grass roots movement with the love that is being shared in their stores.

It is definitely a move from the classic  television ads with dark silhouettes dancing to up-beat music against bright-colored backgrounds. This time the movement is coming from the customer’s creative noggin, not the advertiser’s. This viral video and WOM distribution through Apple fans is something they can capitalize on, as long as the store employees don’t kick out any of their performers… including this poor kid.

The more marketers and advertisers realize that fans control the brand and that growth comes from the love and appreciation being shared from person to person, the less work it is for them to concoct ideas that may not necessarily work for their audience. It’s not just about catering to the people and embracing user-generated content; it’s about celebrating freedom of speech and emotion through a fun-loving, carefree way through the media, not maintaining control. We need to be heard, you hear me!?

And now, for one of my personal favourites…

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