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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TV Advertising – Stronger Than Ever

February 25, 2010

Everyone is selling something.  As soon as you realize this simple fact, the sooner you’ll be able to see through the “TV is Dead” smoke screen perpetrated by those who are, yes “selling” digital services.

Most new media folks are like the partisan politician who is unwavering in his position even when the facts prove otherwise. It’s the classic “if I say it long enough … it must be true” approach.

 Well, they can stick to their “TV is so yesterday” talking points, but the facts just don’t add up. 

TV is stronger than ever. This, according to the largest privately-owned, full-service direct response media agency in the country. And TV is not losing its luster.

The Senior Director, Research & Analytics at Mercury Media, Michael Goodman says, “Rather than cannibalize traditional television, emerging video platforms, like Hulu, cable VOD and FLO TV, are supplementing viewership and creating new revenue streams for programmers.”

“Television advertising is not dying,” said Goodman.

Rather than fragmenting the marketplace, emerging video platforms like broadband and mobile TV are acting as audience multipliers.” Goodman points to innovations like Addressable TV, TV Everywhere and Interactive TV as leading the evolution toward “a harmonious video delivery ecosystem.”

Among Goodman’s top findings are: TV is still the #1 screen. Television viewership remains at hundreds of hours per month, while viewership of broadband and mobile video remains in the low single digits.

“It is reckless to proclaim that any great revolution is taking place”, says Mercury.

In 2Q 2009, watching TV in the home accounted for 77% of screen time among consumers age 2+, up 1.5% year-over-year.

So there you have it. Yet more information that dispels what the new media folks would have you to believe on the state of television.  But it won’t stop them though … they’re armed with one heck of a sales pitch, just not the facts.

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Four Favorite 2009 Holiday TV Commercials

January 8, 2010

The 2009 holiday season didn’t  produce many good or effective TV commercials.  But, there were a few standouts. 

Below are 4 of my favorites (other than my clients, of course):

Target/Marshalls

iPhone

Hersey’s Kisses

(one of the few recycled commercials that is memorable)

Dell

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The Five Worst Local TV Commercials!

December 29, 2009

This is not my list, but I’m not sure I could do a much better job picking out such horrendous commercials. Sit back and enjoy … I mean cringe.

 

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Americans Spending Even More Time with TV

December 16, 2009

TV Remains “Most Influential Ad Medium for 2009”

A year dramatically impacted by the economic recession has influenced consumers to return to watching television over other types of entertainment. Deloitte’s 2009 “State of the Media Democracy” survey reveals a 26% increase in the number of Americans choosing the TV as their favorite type of media as compared to the previous year.

More than 70% of survey respondents rank TV their top three favorite media activities. Additionally, when ranked alongside other activities like surfing the Web, listening to music or reading, 34% of consumers still place TV at the top. This is a substantial increase from last year and more than double the percent of the number two choice, which is the Internet that came in at 14%.

When watching their favorite TV programming, 86% of survey respondents prefer watching on their television set, enjoying the programming either live, via a DVR/TiVo or using an “On Demand” feature. While less than 10% of Americans say they prefer watching the same content online, it is a growing trend.

Hours Spent with TV:

  • Nearly 18 hours of television programming is spent on TV in a typical seven day week – up notably from less than 16 hours last year.
  • Millennials (ages 14-26) had the largest increase, to almost 15 hours from 10.5 hours.
  • 72% of Americans say they have been forced to reduce their purchases of other entertainment products including movies, concerts, sporting events, DVDs, CDs and videogames.

Besides TV viewing, the survey supports the culmination of the game console as a stand-alone media platform and the mobile phone’s rapid decoupling of the Internet from the desktop and the rise of tribal marketing.

But, nevertheless, television continues to reign as the most influential advertising medium, with 83% of consumers identifying TV advertising as one of the top three media with the most impact on their buying decisions. Online advertising ranks much lower in impact than television.

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