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Seinfeld back with the Mac – Sorry Microsoft

29 Oct

I guess Bill Gates didn’t make too much of an impression on him during their short-lived advertising campaign.


Want Teens to Notice Your Product Placement? Use the Web

20 Oct

For many marketers product placement remains a viable way to create brand awareness among young people–but with this generation having been marketed to on multiple screens pretty much since birth, does product placement even work?

The answer is yes, but not in the way marketers are hoping. We found that 72% of teens and 77% of college students notice product placement, and the top three products they notice on television shows are beverages, cell phones, and cars. But only one in seven report that those product placements have any effect on their perception of the brands.

But it turns out there is one “product” teens and college students say they not only notice but actively pursue: Web sites. 38% of teens and 26% of college students noticed Web sites in a TV show or movie. And 53% of them reported going online to check the site out.

Web sites

So while we don’t have tangible evidence that the products youth notice most are having much of an impact, we do know that getting your Web site featured on a popular TV show or in a film is a great way to drive youth awareness, not to mention traffic. Maybe we’ll start seeing fewer soda cans on TV, and more characters playing a game on the soda maker’s Web site.

So the new product placement is (drum-roll please): A Vanity URL website! What does this mean? Instead of putting your product in the show/movie/etc. put your vanity URL (e.g. and the kids will check it out.

The key here is to make sure that your website that you are sending the kids to delivers. Does it have good call to actions? Is it branded properly? What do expect people to do once they are there?

Everything’s Local in Mobile Search

18 Sep

Looking for local online advertising? Consider mobile advertising. In a short period of time mobile advertising has gone from an experimental media to a proven one. According to comScore, Inc. the number of local searches on a mobile device grew 51% from March 2008 to March 2009, and the preferred method of search is by using a mobile browser.

Due to the increase in browsing patterns, more and more online advertising is moving to wireless devices such as the Blackberry, the iPhone, or the Palm Pre. In 2006, U.S. advertisers spent $4.8 billion, or about 3 percent of total ad spending, on mobile ads. That’s expected to increase to 12 percent by 2011, according to eMarketer.

 Mobile local search is still in the development stages, but it is catching up quickly in many business categories and it will very soon be an essential channel for companies looking to get business from local searches.

According to CTIA, over 70 percent of the US population has a mobile phone. In general, there are two choices for local searches using a mobile device: SMS or browser based searches. Each is great at serving a different kind of search need.

SMS & Mobile Browsers: Tools Tailored to Search Requirements

SMS ads have hit the mainstream, with about 15 percent of mobile phones receiving at least one SMS ad according to M-Metrics.  SMS are great at fulfilling a quick information need, such as a sports scores, weather, or stock quotes.

On the other hand, consumers typically perform mobile browser searches when they want more subjective information. For example, a mobile browser based search can help find a restaurant with reviews at Yahoo or Google.

Local Marketing Choices

Where should you look to make take advantage of this rapidly growing trend of mobile local search? On the one hand, SMS has some advantages over Web-based browser searches.  But, users have to opt in to receive sponsored SMS messages. Mobile Search Browsing on the other hand is as simple as putting a PPC ad on a search engine.  However, instead of seeing them on a monitor, customers are seeing them on the screen of their mobile device.  This has many advantages including the possibility of prompting consumers to call a certain number or map a route to your location.

Pizza is already onboard – Others are catching on (quickly)

A large percentage of mobile searches are for local businesses. A majority of those are for restaurants and pizza places in particular. Next in popularity is a group that includes taxis, banks, and searches for specific brands, such as Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Target, Blockbuster, Costco, etc.

Online directories, with an increase of 73%, have seen the largest increase during the past year among the various local content categories, followed by restaurants (70%), maps (63%), and movies (60%).

Other categories are quickly becoming more widespread as two things start to occur: consumers become more aware of the capability and the companies that compile listings for local merchants expand their databases of dentists, doctors, florists, and other businesses.

Some businesses can generate a return more quickly from mobile local search. If your business is in a category that benefits heavily from impulse buying, you are trying to expand your company’s footprint, or you want to take your brand to where consumers are going, mobile is a great fit.

From a branding perspective mobile advertising can be invaluable. But it’s important to remember that people won’t make large purchases based on mobile searches, but it will help with your company’s branding and can help develop a sale down the road. Keep in mind that the majority uses their mobile devices to find the nearest oil-change center, gas station, florist, ATM, or particular restaurant.

What’s Next?

Before you can participate in this brave new world it’s important to ask yourself a few questions: Do you have a website that shows up correctly on mobile browsers? Are you tapping into the local searches coming from mobile devices? Is your Google Map Listing Correct? Let Bayshore help you assess our mobile strategy and develop mobile tactics with you.


What is up with Mobile Advertising?

16 Sep

I’ve been intrigued by the potential of Mobile Advertising since 1999. Back then grand articles were written on websites, in books, and magazines of how a grand revolution in advertising is upon us and that it will shake the very foundation that makes up marketing. Well, here we are 10 years later and not too much has changed. Do we receive coupons from Dunkin’ donuts as we walk by them on our phones? No. Do we get special offers from Target when we enter the store on our cell phones? No.

Then, where are we?

A story that I read today got me thinking. According to this story on from September 15th, the mobile apps which constitute the majority of the mobile marketing channel are “just an appetizer.” As the author puts is: “In grand historical terms, this whole mobile app thing is only now climbing out of the primordial ooze.” Well, Mr. Kevin Maney I hate to tell you but we’ve been in this state of climbing out of the ooze for at least a decade now. When will we finally move on to the next step?

I know some people will say that text message advertising is doing well, but I must point out that it is nowhere near its potential and I’m sure that it never will reach it as far as advertising goes.

While the iPhone, and in particular the app store, have moved us ahead by leaps and bounds in terms of branded communications and marketing on mobile devices, everything is still all over the place. Where would Video tapes be if both VHS and BETA survived until now? Or for that matter next gen DVD if the battle between BluRay and HD-DVD was still going on?

While competition does drive innovation, standardization can create a more focused effort with ultimately greater results. As much as people here in America lament the “big brother” approach of European or Asian economies, being light-years ahead in terms of cell phones, cell phone service, and technology in general does paint a picture.

Now back to the point by the AdAge article that we are clawing our way out of the “primordial ooze” in terms of mobile apps. Are these mobile apps he future of marketing communications to consumers on cell phones?  Apple showed a picture at its most recent iPod event that showed the superiority of its iPod touch – essentially a mobile phone without cell service – over current tablets or net books on the market.

So, does the future of mobile, mobile apps, and ergo mobile advertising in essence lie with smaller computer that happen to be phones as well (e.g. the iPhone)? That is something that only time will tell, because as Master Yoda says “The future, always in motion it is.” But, if I had to put my money on it right now, I’d say that smart phones will become more and more like small computers. And the billion dollar question will be to find out how to spam people with ads on there, just like advertisers have on any other channel known to man, is the future.

One final thought: Is the reason that mobile advertising is not catching on that a moblie phone is seen as the last “sacred” advertising-free sanctity by people?

What a Joke: Food Industry introduces new “Smart Choices” Labeling Campaign

11 Sep

G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times

When I first heard about the “Smart Choices” Food Labeling campaign backed by most of the nation’s largest food manufacturers, I thought it was a great idea. Read the article in the NY Times here.  But, now after reading more about it and seeing that the nothing but sugar and artificial flavor ridden Coca Krispies and Froot Loops are included in this campaign, I’m not so sure anymore.

This looks like great idea from a marketing and branding standpoint as big name brands are loosing huge chunks of market share to store brands, local brands, and natural or organic choices. However, isn’t this really just another marketing gimmick that is attempting to fix the Fourth P of Product from the Marketing Mix developed by Professor Borden in the 1960s? What’s worse is that just like the American car industry, instead of actually fixing the PRODUCT they are trying to pull the wool over the consumers eyes with new and fancy packaging. Just like the American car industry – where if they had kept up with the competition and innovated instead of resting comfortably and EXPECTING demand to continuously increase- the food manufactures wouldn’t be in a bind if they offered less expensive and innovate (organic/natural/green/local/etc) product.

This is the label that is starting to show up on products

I can honestly say that the inclusion of  Coca Krispies and Froot Loops prove that this new “Smart Choices” labeling is nothing but a farce by the industry to try and artificially create a spike in demand for the food that once consumers see the truth will backfire and end up hurting them.

Hey US Food Industry: Fix the product, do actual branding! Don’t just slap a new “made up” label that deceives consumers on you products!

Smart Choices official site

Tampa Bay Lightning marketing campaign to hit the streets of Tampa

9 Sep

Yellow Cab in Tampa will be sporting these new Lightning ads. Innovative? sort of. New? sort of. New and innovative to Tampa? Most definitely!

Ads integrated into content are the most effective for branding

1 Sep

This is for all the research and number geeks like me out there.

According to a new study conducted byDynamic Logic and published by media post, “ads integrated into the content of the page are the most effective in driving online ad awareness and purchase intent”. So, according to this new study, banners and skyscrapers are actually LESS effective in advertising terms than rectangular ads that sit in the copy!

Ken Mallon, Dynamic Logic’s SVP of Custom Solutions, puts it best when he says: “…creative quality is the most important factor driving the success of online advertising… (but) bigger doesn’t always mean better…”

In addition, the research revealed that advertising campaigns utilizing Rich Media with Video created the strongest brand impact (across most branding goals, including aided brand awareness, online ad awareness, brand favorability, and purchase intent) compared to campaigns using Simple Flash and Rich Media without Video formats. Very insightful, is that the worst performer was Simple Flash, the format used most often by agencies and advertisers.

And in conclusion here hare some great takeaways from the study:

  • Try delivering a Rich Media with Video ad as the first ad exposure to addressable online audience.
  • On a tight budget, select less expensive formats and consider frequency capping to extend reach.
  • Factor media fees and rich media fees in together and optimize most effective formats
  • For message association goals, consider adding the message to every frame of the ad for best results.
  • For every branding goal studied, a different rich media format was better than Simple Flash at getting results.

Source: Media Post Research Brief (September 1, 2009)

Using Online Communities to Grow Your Brand

24 Jul

A Looser Form of Brand Control
In order for a brand to succeed on the Internet a looser form of brand control is necessary. The inevitable active participation of consumers needs to be actively encouraged. One way of achieving this is by providing an unmoderated discussion forum, such as a Facebook fanpage or being present on Twitter. This ensures that a brand becomes part of a community. To an extent this is making a virtue out of modern necessity. Power has shifted from businesses to customers.

An example is AT&T which was able to react to customers outcries on twitter over the pricing of the new iPhone. They were able to act based on this feedback and thus squash any negative word of mouth spreading online like a wildfire.

The benefits to a company that has flexible design and production processes are great; flaws can be picked up and failure patterns can be identified sooner than they might have been. Design changes can then be made sooner, resulting in a better product, happier customers, and improved brand equity.

For example, customers on twitter complained about the arrow keys on the series 9 Dell Laptops being too small. In direct response to this Dell made sure that the arrow keys on the new series 10 Laptops are big enough.

There is a misguided perception that such collaborations between businesses and their customers can be potentially damaging as user comments can be unhelpful in the short term. But by encouraging unmoderated discussions, not only do new brand identities emerge, but also the distinction between the brand owner and its consumers disappears, thus increasing consumer identification and loyalty with the brand.

The Demise of the Brand?
Many experts are predicting the demise of marketing and branding on the Internet. We would argue that a closer understanding of the nature of branding on-line indicates a strengthening, not a weakening, of the importance of branding. By developing enhancements suggested or approved by the customers themselves, brands are responding to the marketplace in a way that protects them from a downward pressure on price and volume of sales.

The future of communication is online, the future of branding is personal.

CP+B Wins a Grand Effie for “Whopper Freakout” with a stolen idea

4 Jun
The more I think about the “Whopper Freakout” campaign from 2007 by Crispin, Porter and Borgusky, the more I feel like the idea sounds very familiar.

Then I remember John Steele’s “Truth, Lies and Advertising.” Especially the case study on the “Got Milk” campaign. The essence of the campaign came from the idea of ‘deprivation.’ Focus Group participants were asked to go a certain amount of time without Milk, and as a result it became obvious that Milk Advertising in the past had gotten it all wrong: no one cares about how healthy milk is. People care about milk when they don’t have it!

Along the lines of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,’ people realized that Milk is essential for the full enjoyment of cereal, or to have with cookies, etc.

Did CP+B ‘borrow’ from this idea of deprivation? Without a doubt they did, but is that wrong? Let me answer that question with a simple statement: Everything is borrowed from somewhere or has been done before.

Star Wars? Great story, but stolen from numerous places including Greek mythology. So, then where did the Greeks steal from? Good question to which I do not know the answer, but I know that it has to be from somewhere.

In summary, CP+B stole the Whopper Freakout idea from the Got Milk campaign, but gave it a unique twist that only CP+B could have given it. In addition, it actually helped BK sell a lot of additional burgers.

Am I jealous of what they did? Of course. Who wouldn’t be? They are CP+ freaking B.

Source: AdRants
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