Think Differently!

October 27, 2011

That’s what Steve Jobs did. Even though he revolutionized the digital era, he did not think much of the internet as a branding medium. While everyone was jumping on the digital bandwagon, Jobs effectively remained “old school.”

In 2010, Apple spent an estimated $420 million on advertising. Over 90% of that budget was allocated to network television, newspapers, magazines and billboards. Less than 10% went toward digital initiatives.

And when Apple did spend online, it was usually an extension of a TV campaign like the iconic Mac vs. PC ads.

Jobs also believed in controlling the message which files in the face of the current wisdom that consumers should tell the brand story via Facebook and Twitter. Upon his death, Apple barely had a presence on either platform.

Throughout his brilliant career, Jobs created products for the masses. And he wisely chose mediums that targeted the masses. In advertising, as in product development, he relied heavily on his convictions and intuition. He did not rely on “likes” or “tweets.” He took a much more pragmatic approach: tell the story of how an amazing product can change a consumer’s life in the best environment possible. And then he was smart enough to understand that the best environment – then and now – is still traditional media.


TV Advertising Goes Mobile

June 29, 2011

TV advertising is not going anywhere, just evolving. It’s always been about getting consumers to act, and incorporating the use of today’s smartphone applications is the newest way to bring more
impact to your TV commercials.

According to a study done by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), in 2010, 33% of U.S. households owned a smartphone. With that number estimated to skyrocket to 45% by 2012, advertisers are already starting to adopt the use of mobile applications in their TV campaigns.

Brands like Tide® and Old Navy® have recently integrated the music identification application, Shazam® into current TV commercials. It’s simple too, no typing in long URLs or performing lengthy Google searches. The commercials feature songs, so all the consumer has to do is open up the Shazam® application and let it identify the song playing in the ad. From there they will have options to go straight to that brand’s website, purchase product, etc. With the Old Navy® ad you even have the option to buy the outfit the person is wearing in the ad!

This new trend will not only make TV ads more interactive for consumers, but allow advertisers to more accurately measure the performance of the ads while tracking TV conversions.

Integrating mobile apps into your TV advertisements works well all around – the consumer gets to interact with the ad while the advertisers are able to more easily direct traffic to brands’ websites. Shazam® is just the beginning; as this advertising tactic grows, the variety of applications available for integration will most likely grow as well.


Consumers More Receptive to Online Ads after Seeing Them First on TV

June 24, 2011

A new study from Innerscope Research and Fox Broadcasting Company has concluded that TV is powerful when it comes to making consumers receptive to brand messages – and it even makes online advertising more memorable.

As most of us know, TV is great for its emotional appeal and its immersive environment allows audiences to be completely drawn into what they are watching. That engagement carries over to advertisements, and allows consumers to create the personal significance required for brand building and equity.

This doesn’t mean that online advertising isn’t effective, but online ads are more effective once the consumer has seen them on TV first. The study determined that television ads across the spectrum of familiarity evoked 38x more emotional engagement than the same brands seen online. Even when the online ad was placed in a relevant environment, for example, an automotive ad placed on an automotive page, engagement was still 30x higher with TV.

However, brand resonance of online ads almost tripled after a brand was viewed on TV first, as opposed to an online ad never associated with a TV ad.

The two media have incredible power when used together: TV for establishing the brand message, and internet for reinforcing that message.


3D Technology: Should You Be Using It In Your TV Ads?

May 20, 2011

 Over the past couple of years 3D technology has begun to make its way into American homes. With an increasing number of 3D movies and games becoming available, advertisers might want to consider 3D television ads within the next few years.

 According to Chief Marketing Officer and General Management executive, Randall Beard and a late 2010 study conducted by Nielsen/ Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Research Study, 48% of consumers said they were more engaged by watching 3D programming. It would seem only reasonable to expect that this heightened level of engagement will carry over to commercials produced in 3D.

 Beard states that 3D ads have the potential to have more of an impact on your audience than 2D for a variety of reasons:

 1. 3D is automatically more immersive, making it probable that ads will be more effective.

2. 3D’s current technology requires the use of special glasses, which means if a person is watching TV in 3D they are invested in what they are watching, making them less prone to distractions and more apt to retain the messages in your ad.

3. Neural research shows that TV is #1 when it comes to communicating emotions, when compared to PC or Mobile platforms. The 3D feature would only amplify any emotion or action driven ad.

 With only a couple of 3D ads produced so far, the attention grabbing novelty is still ripe for advertisers. However, like every new technology, it will take 3D some time to completely penetrate the market. So don’t rush off to buy your 3D glasses just yet, but sure keep it in mind. It just might be the next big thing.


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Most Celebrity TV Endorsements: A Waste of Money

January 13, 2011

One would expect TV ads featuring celebrity endorsements to deliver better results than commercials without them. Everyone knows that the tried-and-true celebrity endorsement is the simplest way to maximize advertising effectiveness, right?

WRONG.

Ace Metrix, a national company that tracks effectiveness of TV advertising, paints a much different picture. “We studied every nationally televised ad for the first 11 months in 2010 and found that celebrity ads performed either below average or merely equaled it,” said Ace Metrix CEO, Peter Daboll. “We found with rare exception, celebrity endorsements were largely ineffective and failed to yield the benefits popular wisdom promises.

So why are today’s consumers not as easily impressed by celebrity hucksters as they once were? The study conducted by Ace Metrix reports that today’s consumer is informed, time-compressed, difficult to impress, and is only influenced by ads that provide relevant information. They are more likely to be influenced by someone in their social network than a contrived celebrity connection. Simply put, they don’t want products pushed at them, even from a celebrity.

The study also points out that most celebrity ads lack the two key ingredients that consumers want most: relevance and information.

It’s also important to note that consumers polled in this study overwhelmingly cited being “confused” about what product the celebrity was endorsing as a reason for celebrity TV commercial ineffectiveness.

It appears consumers prefer commercials that clearly extol product benefits which could have a relevant connection to their lives; opposed to commercials from insincere celebrities that do little more than insult their intelligence with convoluted messages.

Imagine that, going back to where we were so many years ago, when TV advertising actually did more than amuse and entertain.

Celebrities or not, the new era of TV advertising, may not be that new after all.

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GM Marketing Chief Says TV is Not Dead

October 11, 2010

Television Remains Mainstay for GM

In an industry that’s driving money into social media and other communication platforms Joel Ewanick, the head of marketing for General Motors, believes some of the best campaigns still begin with Television.

“I love television,” he said. “(Some) people say television is dead, it is not dead. It drives a lot of traffic.”

In July, approximately two months after Ewanick joined GM, the company aired its first Chevy Corvette TV commercial in five years. The spot, titled “Still Building Rockets,” contrasts NASA scientists developing and launching space rockets with a Corvette being built and burning rubber on a test track.

According to Ewanick, Chevrolet will unveil a Silverado pickup TV campaign in October, which features the good-natured teasing that occurs when Silverado owners visit with owners of other brands. Additionally, GM will be returning to run Super Bowl advertising in February.

Ewanick believes TV remains a key medium for selling and driving traffic to dealer websites. According to Automotive News, Ewanick – who spent about the past three years as Hyundai Motor America’s marketing chief – said he likes the current Hyundai “Uncensored” campaign. In it, Hyundai test drivers give straightforward opinions about how they feel behind the wheel of the vehicles.

“That campaign began on TV then moved to Facebook and other social media sites to continue a lively dialogue for Hyundai owners and others,” Ewanick said.

That’s a good model for how a campaign can launch on TV and expand into other media, he added.

 

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1 Out of 5 People Find TV Commercials Confusing

October 1, 2010

It’s important to remember that commercials should be written by copywriters, not mystery writers. Yes, they can be clever and artsy, but a commercial’s main objective is to sell a product or service.

A recent Adweek Media/Harris Poll of 2,163 adults found that 21% often found TV commercials confusing with just 14% reporting that they never find commercials confusing.

Boring, mundane … I can accept, but confusing?? In this new economy where every dollar must work harder than ever, advertisers can little afford to leave 21% of the audience in the dark on what they hope to be selling them.

If consumers watching these commercials are unsure of the main focus of the message, do you think that might be a problem?

TV commercials need to be entertaining and informative. Unfortunately, as this survey proves, there are too many agency creatives who apparently would rather be writing an episode for Lost then selling the products that pay their salaries.

It’s a fact, in these trying economic times; people are cutting back on purchases. Advertisers (and the agencies that work for them) need to do everything possible to convince consumers that their product is worthy of consideration.

If not, maybe it’s time to consider a new agency?

Source: Harris Poll, August 26, 2010

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Don’t Be Afraid to Show Some Emotion

July 20, 2010

According to a recent study, the emotional brain reacts immediately to input and is much faster when making decisions than the rational brain. 

That’s why when someone says to you, “you’re allowing your emotions to cloud your judgment,” they could be on to something…

Dr. Robert Heath, from the University of Bath’s School of Management, found that television ads with high levels of emotional content enhanced how people felt about brands, even when those ads were lacking product information. On the other hand, ads which were low on emotional content had no effect on how favorable the public felt towards brands, even if the ads were high in news and information.

Emotional warmth or lack of it determines a brand perception. If consumers are “warm” to your brand, it is much easier to get their attention, as they are more open to listening, seeing and absorbing new information. If they are neutral or distant about your brand, it’s more difficult to influence them and the advertising needs to work harder.

So the next time you’re tempted to add just one more copy point into your 30-second commercial, remember it’s not what you say, but the way you say it, that gets results. 

Source:  Thinkbox, 2010

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The Precision of Sharp’s TV Campaign

July 15, 2010

Does the old-school formula of traditional TV advertising still work in this day of digital overload? I guess it depends on who you ask. But from my perspective, it’s still a vital component when bringing new products and services to market.  It’s definitely not the only thing necessary for customer conversion, but it remains – in many cases – the launching pad for a brand’s success.

Let me provide you with a recent, real life situation that illustrates this point.  

In the market for a new LCD television, I got in the car the other day and headed to my local Best Buy. As I do with most big purchases, my objective was not to purchase a new television at this time, but to check them out first and then go home to conduct my research online before making a final decision. The brands in consideration:  Samsung, Panasonic and a brand I never considered before – Sharp. 

Why consider Sharp, a brand never before on my radar? For starters, their new TV commercials featuring George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek fame) are superbly done. The campaign does a great job differentiating the Sharp Aquos LCD Television from every other TV out in the market today. Whether Sharp’s “Quad Pixel Technology” produces a better picture than the competitions is up for debate.  What’s not debatable is how these commercials convinced me to consider a brand never before on my consideration set. 

The commercials are smart. They clearly outline a strong USP. And they hammer it home in a way that’s persuasive and believable.  After being exposed to these messages for a few weeks, how could I not check out the Sharp Aquos? 

So here I am in Best Buy. And when I mentioned to the sales associate that I want to see the Sharp Aquos, he’s not surprised.  It appears a lot of other folks have also been moved into action by the same TV campaign with its clever positioning statement, “You have to see it, to see it.”

I don’t know if I’ll settle on the Sharp Aquos. What I do know is that I’m considering one because of the power of a few well-concepted, well-executed and well-placed TV commercials that grabbed my attention and piqued my interest.

So at the end of the day, whether traditional TV advertising is now considered old-school, or not, is really irrelevant to me. What’s relevant to me (and should be to you) is that it still gets results. 

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Is Your TV Commercial Falling on Deaf Ears?

June 21, 2010

Even while new devices like the iPad continue to drive simultaneous usage (people watching TV while they are online) there appears to be very little difference between people’s online usage habits when they’re watching TV and when they are not. 

According to a new J.D. Power Study, people who use their computers while they watch TV tend to be doing the same things online as people who are not watching TV at the same time:  email, chatting, shopping, etc.

Simultaneous use is a growing phenomenon:  Nearly 40% of people use TV and the web simultaneously each week.

This means that your TV commercials have to work harder than ever before. For the first time, sound may take precedence over sight when engaging the consumer and ultimately determining a campaign’s success or failure.   

Web-tasking consumers are simply ignoring commercials that don’t possess an audio hook.  Do your company’s TV commercials have what it takes to get this ever growing segment to look up from their iPads and laptops?  Or do your commercials sound like every other commercial in the break? How is your ad agency addressing this issue?   

The time where visuals alone could carry the day is gone forever. Without the right audio strategy, your message could be falling on deaf ears.

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