Here at Echo Factory, if we were asked to provide insight as to how one successfully markets a business or product, we would say first and foremost, “know your audience and know your industry.” (more…)
If you missed Friday’s blog post, I talked about how money can’t save an ad if it doesn’t have a sound strategy. Last night’s Super Bowl ads are further proof that money doesn’t make a good ad. Here’s the best and worst Super Bowl ads as well as a few that fall somewhere in between.
M&M “Sexy and I Know It” – Laughed out loud at this ad. Kudos to Vanessa L. Williams as the sassy brown m&m.
Volkswagen “The Dog Strikes Back” – Though not as good as last year’s “The Force” spot by VW, this ad is by far one of the best ads this year.
Toyota “Connections” – I love getting to see all the different Camry owners and their stories. Not necessarily a new idea, but a good one nonetheless.
Chrysler “Halftime” – With this ad, Chrysler reminds us that it’s as American as we are, and like all good Americans, it will survive.
Chevy “Happy Grad” – This ad was hilarious. Plus, it puts focus on the car without screaming ‘I’m a car commercial.’ Just a great ad all the way around.
Bud Light “No Pants” – While the situation is funny, it was more of an ad for LMFAO’s halftime show than for Bud Light.
Kia Optima – This ad is way more of a nightmare than a dream. The only reason it’s not in the ugly section is due to the tiny sandman.
H&M “David Beckham” – David Beckham’s hot, so what else is new? Next time show some creativity, H&M.
Go Daddy – Congratulations, Go Daddy, this ad is terrible. You’ve officially hit an all-time low in advertising.
Samsung – I applaud your effort to challenge the iPhone. Unfortunately, you failed. Now you’ve proven Apple has a better product and better advertising.
Honda CR-V “Matthew’s Day Off” – Ferris Bueller, funny in 1986, not so funny in a 2012 Honda commercial.
Have an opinion about the Super Bowl ads? Vote for your favorites on USA Today’s Super Bowl admeter.
Every year, I look forward to Super Bowl Sunday. Not because of the game, but because of the ads. If you’ve ever watched a Super Bowl ad, you know why. They’re supposed to be the best advertising of the year – pure entertainment, very little sell, and plenty of money poured into production. It’s no secret that companies spend a ton of money creating a Super Bowl ad and that’s before they pay the media cost – up to $3.5 million for a 30 second spot this year.
But, does lots of money really make for a better commercial? Ideally, it should – more money should get you better writing, acting, editing and so on.
For instance, money definitely came in handy with Volkswagen’s “The Force” commercial which featured a tiny Darth Vader and Star Wars music. In addition to the estimated 111 million Super Bowl viewers, the ad received millions of extra views online before the game. And, people kept watching after the game too – the YouTube count is now at almost 50 million views. The ad’s success is undoubtably the reason Volkswagen chose to mention it again in this year’s Super Bowl ad.
However, more money doesn’t always guarantee a great ad. An example of this is the new Acura NXS spot that’s airing Sunday. The commercial features Jerry Seinfeld, one of the funniest men on the planet, and yet the ad falls flat. Sure, there are a few parts that make you laugh but that’s due to Jerry, not the script. The spot uses a cliché scenario – the old ‘I’ll trade you awesome things if you’ll just let me have the sponsor’s product,” and goes on too long. After 20 seconds, I found myself asking, “why isn’t this over yet?”
In the end, Acura spent a ton trying to create something really brilliant and all they got was a mediocre commercial.
The truth is, when it comes to advertising, strategy matters more than budget. A good strategy can shine on a shoestring budget just as a poor strategy can cripple a multi-million dollar campaign. A good ad agency should be able to think creatively whether they’re given $50,000 or $50 million.
Enjoy the game and the ads. If you’re like me and can’t wait until Sunday, you can watch the ads now.
Halloween is just another excuse to eat lots of sugar, play pranks and dress up like Rambo or sexy nurse #3. But, the holiday actually gives us some good insight into marketing.
#1 Go for Variety.
As a kid, it wasn’t a successful Halloween unless I had a huge variety of candy at the end of the night. The same goes for marketing. The best ad campaigns use multiple media to reach a target audience. Each medium presents the same message, thereby reinforcing the campaign’s other media vehicles.
#2 Don’t Chintz on Treats.
Back when I used to trick-or-treat, I hated the houses where people would pass out apples or dental floss instead of candy. On Halloween, kids want candy. Give them anything else and they’re disappointed. While you may think you’re doing customers a favor by giving them what they need, adage.com says successful brands try to give customers what they want.
#3 Team Up.
At Halloween, it’s unusual to see single trick-or-treaters. That’s because it’s more fun to travel in packs. In marketing, being part of a team is just as important. You get better results when you work with an ad agency that understands your brand and has the resources – creative, media, research – to help your brand grow.
#4 Don’t Play Tricks.
We all know most practical jokes don’t stop after just one prank. The person you pranked has to prank you back and then you have to prank them again and it never ends. Similarly, if your company makes false claims, i.e. you said you were a green company then you’re seen dumping toxic waste into the river, it can cause irrevocable damage to your brand. Transparency is key. Without it, even the best marketing falls flat.
#5 Check for Razorblades.
It just makes sense to skip unwrapped candy or that brownie from the weird guy down the street. For companies, not every medium will be right for the message you’re trying to send. Using the wrong media can dilute your message. For example, using a 30 second TV commercial to tell people about that extremely complex technology you’ve just developed will only serve to confuse your target audience. If you’re unsure about which media to use, find an agency that understands media (cough Echo-Factory cough).
Happy Halloween, kids. Hope it’s filled with plenty of sweet stuff.
A good public relations strategy doesn’t just involve sending out media releases. In fact, media releases are just a small part of an effective pr campaign. According to Brian Solis, author of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, public relations is about engaging and relating to your target audience. Simply put, to get good pr, you have to focus on building and maintaining relationships with current and potential customers.
This is where Facebook comes in. Facebook encourages open communication between you and your target audience. By participating in the social network, you allow consumers to think of you as a friend and less as a cold, faceless corporation. But, to keep this friend status takes work.
You have to come up with relevant content. Small Biz Trend Blogger Lisa Barone writes that a company’s success on Facebook is directly tied to “creating new content designed to get a reaction.” The best status updates are those that get people to comment. To get comments, Barone suggests you: Ask questions. Make a statement and ask people to “like” it if they agree. Or, create a poll so people can click their preference.
Use Contests. People like winning stuff. So do their friends. Hold a contest and automatically you’ve got more people checking out your company’s page and what you’re all about. Contests can also get you extra media attention. In August, one of our clients, Altura Credit Union, ran a Facebook contest via status update. The winner posted on Altura’s wall, thanking Altura and saying he had given his prize (two tickets to a Taylor Swift concert) to his sister, who had supported him when he was going through a particularly bad time. This month, an article about the winner and Altura was featured in Credit Union National Association. It’s great pr for Altura and all they had to do was create a Facebook contest. Act like a real Facebook friend. People won’t trust you unless you interact with them and allow them to interact with you. Part of that interaction means accepting criticism. You can’t delete every negative post or make it so people can’t post on your wall. You have to be willing to share the negative as well as the positive. And, as long as you respond quickly to negative feedback, you’ll be able to diffuse the comment before any real damage is done. Finally, Make time for Facebook. Using Facebook as a pr tool is pointless if you don’t update content regularly. People will cease to care you exist if you’re not constantly creating new content and reacting to feedback. If you don’t have time to update, hire someone to do it for you. The next time you’re developing a public relations strategy, don’t forget to throw Facebook into the mix. Oh, and friend Echo-Factory. We’re building relationships too.