"Follow Fage" Twitter Ad
Applauding the effort— new media and Greek yogurt are not necessarily bosom buddies. Let’s discuss:
Targeting. I have not, that I recall, done anything on Twitter to self-identify as a yogurtist. I follow some food-centric accounts, but not sure how Fage zeroed in on me as someone likely to be into not just yogurt, but recipes featuring yogurt. Perhaps because I work for a food/recipe company? Seems like a fit. A-
Call to Action. Clear indication that following @FageUSA will result in new recipes, which is apparently an interest of mine. Promise made, benefit communicated. A+
Platform. Twitter is all about recency, urgency, and what’s happening right this moment. Just like this John Stamos-endorsed yogurt. Wait, what? Not so much. Essentially, this ad won’t do much outside of bolstering follower count— does it translate to sales? Maybe through some tweets > recipes > in-store purchase voodoo metrics, but I’m not really sold on it. Props for testing out a new channel, though. C+
Impact on Experience. Short, to the point, fairly unobtrusive. If taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society, ads like this are the price we pay for fun channels like Twitter. I’m fine with this. A
Like I said— interesting to see bigger brands feeling their digital oats on newer ad channels like this. It’ll take some time to figure out exactly which channels are best to drive which types of behavior, but experimenting is the only way to find out. Fage on, Fage.

"Follow Fage" Twitter Ad

Applauding the effort— new media and Greek yogurt are not necessarily bosom buddies. Let’s discuss:

Targeting. I have not, that I recall, done anything on Twitter to self-identify as a yogurtist. I follow some food-centric accounts, but not sure how Fage zeroed in on me as someone likely to be into not just yogurt, but recipes featuring yogurt. Perhaps because I work for a food/recipe company? Seems like a fit. A-

Call to Action. Clear indication that following @FageUSA will result in new recipes, which is apparently an interest of mine. Promise made, benefit communicated. A+

Platform. Twitter is all about recency, urgency, and what’s happening right this moment. Just like this John Stamos-endorsed yogurt. Wait, what? Not so much. Essentially, this ad won’t do much outside of bolstering follower count— does it translate to sales? Maybe through some tweets > recipes > in-store purchase voodoo metrics, but I’m not really sold on it. Props for testing out a new channel, though. C+

Impact on Experience. Short, to the point, fairly unobtrusive. If taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society, ads like this are the price we pay for fun channels like Twitter. I’m fine with this. A

Like I said— interesting to see bigger brands feeling their digital oats on newer ad channels like this. It’ll take some time to figure out exactly which channels are best to drive which types of behavior, but experimenting is the only way to find out. Fage on, Fage.

Caption: “The Illusion of Choice.”
For anyone moderately familiar with marketing, advertising, or even general business, it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that basically 90% of the brands you seen on store shelves are produced by one of these 8-10 “mega-brands.”
This image has been making the rounds online alongside the aforementioned caption, implying that while consumers may think they have the right to freedom of dish detergent, they’re pretty much supporting P&G or Unilever one way or another. Therefore, we are powerless against the corporate machine.
But in any industry, be it consumer goods or wireless service or automobiles, consolidation is the trend. A new market is identified or created, deemed to be ripe with customers and cash, and lots of tiny brands begin to sprout up, all competing for this desirable new target. To better compete (through increased capital, better distribution, proprietary information, etc), the brands begin partnering or acquiring one another, creating brand portfolios and parent companies. Consumers are then left with a choice between Conglomo-A and Conglomo-B.
It’s a little depressing to think we’re confined to forever support one of two or three corporate overlords. But fret not… this is when the opportunity for innovation is best! True, these big companies have money, and supply chains, and R&D. But the one thing they can’t do that startup brands can is move. Little brands can dodge and weave and change direction in order to meet demand, like speedboats. P&G and Nestle are like cruise liners, or even aircraft carriers. Huge behemoths that are slow and difficult to turn around.
Media companies have glommed together over the past 50 years, bringing us the 42-minute TV “hour” and lowest-common-denominator programming. Huge companies need to appeal to the widest demographic possible. But now, through innovation and technology, we’re seeing brands begin to challenge those big boys. Netflix and Hulu posit that maybe video entertainment doesn’t *need* to capture 10 million viewers or rely totally on advertising revenue. YouTube has shown us that amateur videos of people’s real lives can be just as entertaining as scripted network comedies. The market is changing, and the behemoths are being tested.
This can happen with the consumer brands in this infographic, and already is in many ways! Increasing demands for sustainable and natural goods have given rise to small, challenger brands like Method (good-for-the-earth cleaning products) and Trader Joe’s (all-original, often-natural groceries and packaged goods). These are the challengers that will begin to break apart the massive, monopolistic brand map you see above.
There’s no “illusion of choice.” The real choices are just a little hard to see right now beyond the all-caps, screaming billboard of the big brands. But just wait— they’re on their way. That’s the natural flow of the marketplace.

Caption: “The Illusion of Choice.”

For anyone moderately familiar with marketing, advertising, or even general business, it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that basically 90% of the brands you seen on store shelves are produced by one of these 8-10 “mega-brands.”

This image has been making the rounds online alongside the aforementioned caption, implying that while consumers may think they have the right to freedom of dish detergent, they’re pretty much supporting P&G or Unilever one way or another. Therefore, we are powerless against the corporate machine.

But in any industry, be it consumer goods or wireless service or automobiles, consolidation is the trend. A new market is identified or created, deemed to be ripe with customers and cash, and lots of tiny brands begin to sprout up, all competing for this desirable new target. To better compete (through increased capital, better distribution, proprietary information, etc), the brands begin partnering or acquiring one another, creating brand portfolios and parent companies. Consumers are then left with a choice between Conglomo-A and Conglomo-B.

It’s a little depressing to think we’re confined to forever support one of two or three corporate overlords. But fret not… this is when the opportunity for innovation is best! True, these big companies have money, and supply chains, and R&D. But the one thing they can’t do that startup brands can is move. Little brands can dodge and weave and change direction in order to meet demand, like speedboats. P&G and Nestle are like cruise liners, or even aircraft carriers. Huge behemoths that are slow and difficult to turn around.

Media companies have glommed together over the past 50 years, bringing us the 42-minute TV “hour” and lowest-common-denominator programming. Huge companies need to appeal to the widest demographic possible. But now, through innovation and technology, we’re seeing brands begin to challenge those big boys. Netflix and Hulu posit that maybe video entertainment doesn’t *need* to capture 10 million viewers or rely totally on advertising revenue. YouTube has shown us that amateur videos of people’s real lives can be just as entertaining as scripted network comedies. The market is changing, and the behemoths are being tested.

This can happen with the consumer brands in this infographic, and already is in many ways! Increasing demands for sustainable and natural goods have given rise to small, challenger brands like Method (good-for-the-earth cleaning products) and Trader Joe’s (all-original, often-natural groceries and packaged goods). These are the challengers that will begin to break apart the massive, monopolistic brand map you see above.

There’s no “illusion of choice.” The real choices are just a little hard to see right now beyond the all-caps, screaming billboard of the big brands. But just wait— they’re on their way. That’s the natural flow of the marketplace.

Poster ads for the latest season of AMC’s Mad Men (which has been some year and a half in the making) have been appearing all over New York City. And like any large, white space in the city, the posters have been promptly covered in tags and graffiti. But as you can see in the pictures, many of the street art additions have actually improved the ads.

I find it hard to believe that AMC execs purposely left the ads big and blank as an invitation for would-be Sterling Cooper Draper Price creatives, but I also think they had to know that people wouldn’t be able resist leaving a mark. Whether intentional or not, this ad campaign for a show about advertising has in itself become a commentary about the nature and effectiveness of advertising.

Genius. Meta. A little bit pretentious. Just like the show.

jaymug:

Can you imagine logos telling the truth? The latest of the ‘Honest Logos’ series by Viktor Hertz

These are great. Give us some more!

(via maxketer-deactivated20120716)

From “Social Media Explained,” via the Forbes Marketshare blog:

SOCIAL MEDIA EXPLAINED:
Twitter: I am eating a #hotdog
Facebook: I like hotdogs
Foursquare: Here is where I eat hotdogs
Hipstamatic: Here’s a vintage pic of my hotdog
YouTube: Here, I am eating a hotdog!
Linkedin: My skills include eating hotdogs
Spotify: Listening to Hotdog
Google+: I work at Google and eat hotdogs

I’ve been seeing this joke make the rounds for the past couple of weeks now, each time with a different main activity (“eating donuts,” “taking a pee,” etc.), but the idea still rings true. It’s a neat little package to help define and describe the “point” of social media that still somehow manages to elude so many. Plus, it good-naturedly mocks the inherent narcissism and self-promotion that goes along with so many of our digital portals… he said on his blog that was named after him.
But— I think we need to also take a look at how other, non-social forms of media might convey this same hot dog-eating idea:
TV: BUY THESE HOT DOGS! Attractive people eat them! HOT DOGS!
Radio: For your FREE hot dog, call 1-866-HOT-DOG. That’s 1-866-HOT-DOG. That number again is 1-866-HOT-DOG. Again, 1-866-HOT-DOG. Call now!
Yellow Pages: AAAA-Brand Hot Dog Sellers! “Look for the quintuple A!”
Spam: Incre@$e Y0ur H0+ D0g $ize in tw0 week$ FREE!
Telemarketer: Are you currently satisfied with your hot dog provider?
Billboard: Hot dogs.
See? These are a lot more annoying. That’s why I’ll take Instagram’s vintage hot dogs pics any day.

From “Social Media Explained,” via the Forbes Marketshare blog:

SOCIAL MEDIA EXPLAINED:

Twitter: I am eating a #hotdog

Facebook: I like hotdogs

Foursquare: Here is where I eat hotdogs

Hipstamatic: Here’s a vintage pic of my hotdog

YouTube: Here, I am eating a hotdog!

Linkedin: My skills include eating hotdogs

Spotify: Listening to Hotdog

Google+: I work at Google and eat hotdogs

I’ve been seeing this joke make the rounds for the past couple of weeks now, each time with a different main activity (“eating donuts,” “taking a pee,” etc.), but the idea still rings true. It’s a neat little package to help define and describe the “point” of social media that still somehow manages to elude so many. Plus, it good-naturedly mocks the inherent narcissism and self-promotion that goes along with so many of our digital portals… he said on his blog that was named after him.

But— I think we need to also take a look at how other, non-social forms of media might convey this same hot dog-eating idea:

TV: BUY THESE HOT DOGS! Attractive people eat them! HOT DOGS!

Radio: For your FREE hot dog, call 1-866-HOT-DOG. That’s 1-866-HOT-DOG. That number again is 1-866-HOT-DOG. Again, 1-866-HOT-DOG. Call now!

Yellow Pages: AAAA-Brand Hot Dog Sellers! “Look for the quintuple A!”

Spam: Incre@$e Y0ur H0+ D0g $ize in tw0 week$ FREE!

Telemarketer: Are you currently satisfied with your hot dog provider?

Billboard: Hot dogs.

See? These are a lot more annoying. That’s why I’ll take Instagram’s vintage hot dogs pics any day.

How to Report the News in 2.5 Minutes


Not only this completely nail the various camera shots and visual illustrations (one cannot overstate the use of “fat people from the neck down” footage), but Charlie Booker delivers the entire thing in a pitch-perfect recreation of that newscaster tone.

Anyone else ever try to emulate that “up, then down” intonation that they always end with?

Does a 5-year-old understand your brandmark?


This made the rounds on the intertubes a few days ago, but it was too great not to post here. I love any kind of feedback from little kids regarding marketing and advertising, because they aren’t susceptible to the same traps of bizspeak and buzzwords that we are. Some notable moments:

  • How deeply-ingrained is Starbucks in our culture that even a 5-year-old can identify their logo as “the coffee place”? I literally couldn’t articulate what coffee even was at that age, let alone tell you where to get some. The fact that this little girl both knows what Starbucks is and what they sell speaks volumes about its ubiquity in our lives.
  • Even more impressive: correctly identifying the pretty-abstract BP logo. Wonder if the Gulf Coast spill coverage actually cemented BP into the minds of America’s youth, setting the stage for massive growth once they all start driving?
  • The Bank of America logo “looks like a flag.” Mission accomplished, gentlemen.
  • The McDonald’s logo looks like it’s made of french fries. This blew my mind. Have I been missing this connection the entire time? Again— the mind of a child providing clarity and connecting visuals in a way I never thought of myself.
  • All of those large cat logos really need to start differentiating themselves better.

I loved this, and would love to see more. Marketing folks with kids: can we make these videos the new “Shit ____ People Say”?

Samsung burns Apple & iPhone fanboys in a new ad for the Galaxy S II.

"I could never get a Samsung, I’m creative."

Well done, Samsung.

via.

New Old Spice ad - “Motorcycle”

This is just a really entertaining ad, the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of hits for Old Spice (fresh-scented kudos to their agency of record Wieden + Kennedy). That bear is incredible.

I see these Old Spice ads as the burritos of the advertising world. Burritos are consistently delicious, not insanely earth-shattering, and still outside the food box enough to make you say, “Oh yeah, I forgot about burritos!” when deciding what to eat.

That being said, I can personally attest that Old Spice’s recent advertising resurgence has absolutely turned me into a proud customer. What can I say? I want to be the man your man could smell like.

"It’s a known fact in advertising circles that only idiots click on ads — and yet advertisers still think that click-through rates mean something, and that a higher click-through rate means a better ad."
- Wired’s Felix Salmon, "The Future of Online Advertising"
That picture above is how I’ve trained myself to see Google search results over the years, and I know I’m not alone. My selective visual filter carries over to most websites, too. The upper edges and right-side columns of content-heavy sites are almost always just piles of useless ads, moving or dancing or automatically playing audio meant to distract me from the real reason I’m on the site in the first place.
Classic paid online ads are at best unengaging and easily-ignored. They are at worst severely irritating and intrusive on my reading experience (you know those ones that start out normal sized then unexpectedly grow to engulf the entire page? Great strategy, guys). But as Felix Salmon’s excellent article above points out, they’re still the most-frequently used gadget in the online advertising toolbox. Why?
Okay, it’s true. They’re fast, easy, relatively cheap, and easily measured. Paid online ads are a great way for a brand to feel like its doing “something” online, without having to commit too much time or too many resources to the endeavor. But you reap what you sow. Like I mentioned before, consumers have trained their online eyes to ignore what they know to be of no use to them, and they’ve gotten really good at it. So what do brands do online now that paid ads are losing their luster? Simple.
Social media. Yes, the go-to. But there’s a reason for that. It’s not costly, it’s a direct pipeline to consumer feedback, and it’s still new enough that it can provide a real edge when done right. For more information on the uses of social media in marketing, see every blog online anywhere.
Third party content. In his article, Salmon mentions the ad he places for his site Counterparties. It’s not a moving picture, antiquated call to action, or dancing alien. It’s a simple widget that provides links to related content on other sites. He provides a useful service to the reader, manages to not annoy him or her, and still gets to make a good impression and track click-throughs for measurement. Example: You’re reading an article about some new feature in Photoshop. There’s a box with a Counterparties logo in the column, but it’s just displaying links to relevant creativity/software/photo-editing content elsewhere online.
Micropayments. Early in the internet’s existence, it was determined that most content would be free to access, but revenues would be derived from ads where possible. Hence the rise of the paid online ad. But we’ve since seen a different system of content support that could work: paying for good stuff in small, bite-size chunks. Look at the relatively new world off apps. It’s been proven that people are willing to pay a few dollars for something useful or fun, or download something for free and then pay to improve it (just ask Zynga). This method is beginning to leak onto the internet as a whole, with Hulu Plus and Netflix and periodical paywalls like that of the New York Times’. I think we’ll be seeing more of this in the future, as traditional online ads continue to lose effectiveness.
Online is still fairly new as an advertising medium, especially when compared to TV or print. But just as those channels have changed and evolved significantly over the years, the internet will evolve and grow and require new approaches. There’s no permanent, silver bullet, eternal solution to effective advertising. This is why branders and marketers need to constantly be driving, experimenting with, and exploring the latest innovations.
Wait, I remembered one silver bullet marketing solution: be damn good, all the time.

"It’s a known fact in advertising circles that only idiots click on ads — and yet advertisers still think that click-through rates mean something, and that a higher click-through rate means a better ad."

- Wired’s Felix Salmon, "The Future of Online Advertising"

That picture above is how I’ve trained myself to see Google search results over the years, and I know I’m not alone. My selective visual filter carries over to most websites, too. The upper edges and right-side columns of content-heavy sites are almost always just piles of useless ads, moving or dancing or automatically playing audio meant to distract me from the real reason I’m on the site in the first place.

Classic paid online ads are at best unengaging and easily-ignored. They are at worst severely irritating and intrusive on my reading experience (you know those ones that start out normal sized then unexpectedly grow to engulf the entire page? Great strategy, guys). But as Felix Salmon’s excellent article above points out, they’re still the most-frequently used gadget in the online advertising toolbox. Why?

Okay, it’s true. They’re fast, easy, relatively cheap, and easily measured. Paid online ads are a great way for a brand to feel like its doing “something” online, without having to commit too much time or too many resources to the endeavor. But you reap what you sow. Like I mentioned before, consumers have trained their online eyes to ignore what they know to be of no use to them, and they’ve gotten really good at it. So what do brands do online now that paid ads are losing their luster? Simple.

Social media. Yes, the go-to. But there’s a reason for that. It’s not costly, it’s a direct pipeline to consumer feedback, and it’s still new enough that it can provide a real edge when done right. For more information on the uses of social media in marketing, see every blog online anywhere.

Third party content. In his article, Salmon mentions the ad he places for his site Counterparties. It’s not a moving picture, antiquated call to action, or dancing alien. It’s a simple widget that provides links to related content on other sites. He provides a useful service to the reader, manages to not annoy him or her, and still gets to make a good impression and track click-throughs for measurement. Example: You’re reading an article about some new feature in Photoshop. There’s a box with a Counterparties logo in the column, but it’s just displaying links to relevant creativity/software/photo-editing content elsewhere online.

Micropayments. Early in the internet’s existence, it was determined that most content would be free to access, but revenues would be derived from ads where possible. Hence the rise of the paid online ad. But we’ve since seen a different system of content support that could work: paying for good stuff in small, bite-size chunks. Look at the relatively new world off apps. It’s been proven that people are willing to pay a few dollars for something useful or fun, or download something for free and then pay to improve it (just ask Zynga). This method is beginning to leak onto the internet as a whole, with Hulu Plus and Netflix and periodical paywalls like that of the New York Times’. I think we’ll be seeing more of this in the future, as traditional online ads continue to lose effectiveness.

Online is still fairly new as an advertising medium, especially when compared to TV or print. But just as those channels have changed and evolved significantly over the years, the internet will evolve and grow and require new approaches. There’s no permanent, silver bullet, eternal solution to effective advertising. This is why branders and marketers need to constantly be driving, experimenting with, and exploring the latest innovations.

Wait, I remembered one silver bullet marketing solution: be damn good, all the time.