Category Archives: Branding

Super Bowl Advertising – It’s Halftime in America, Do You Feel Lucky?

Who won the Brand Bowl for you?

Ever since Apple’s “1984” commercial launched the Macintosh, the Super Bowl has been as much about commercials as football. And at an average cost of $3.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, the price reflects the great expectations of both the audience and advertisers.

The Nielsen Co. reported a record 111.3 million viewers watched the 2012 game, narrowly topping last year’s Super Bowl TV audience of 111 million.

Four major product categories dominate the big spenders, according to Daily Finance: “automotive, film, food, including snacks and fast food, and beverages. Four of the top 10 Super Bowl advertisers are auto companies. Another four are food and beverage manufacturers. Three movie studios are in the top 25.”

One of the most talked and tweeted about commercials of the 2012 Super Bowl of Advertising was the automotive spot narrated by Clint Eastwood.

 

Unlike other advertisers who released previews on YouTube, Chrysler played it close to the vest, airing their spot only after Madonna’s unpaid halftime commercial (let’s be honest: she’s promoting a new single, album, tour and a movie).

Immediately after the spot aired, the Twitterverse was all… a-twitter. Some people got a lump in their throat. Others got heartburn.

Ostensibly promoting GM brands (Ram/Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler), it ended with the tag line “Imported from Detroit” just like last year’s commercial, which featured rapper Eminem, a native of the Motor City.

But people seem to differ on the whole point of it. Was the actor trying to promote American-made cars, give the country a pep talk, or re-elect President Obama? Or perhaps all of the above? Continue reading

You Have 9 Seconds To Fascinate A Client – Spend 1 Hour With Sally Hogshead First

Sally Hogshead had to unlearn how to be boring.

Thanks to web browsing, the average attention span is now approximately nine seconds, according to a BBC report. That happens to be the same attention span as a goldfish.

Why is this important for marketers and advertisers? It means you’d better make a good first impression, and fast.

Look: a squirrel!

Still with me?

Whether you’re a brand, or a bachelor trying to find your soul mate on Match.com, you have only nine seconds to make an introduction, to make a connection. If you fail, you may never get another chance.

So how do you make the most of micro-attention spans? Sally Hogshead has the answer: Fascinate.

As the author of “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation,” Sally has to be at her most fascinating every time she speaks. And she certainly didn’t disappoint during her keynote presentation at a recent Linked Orange County gathering. Continue reading

12 Simple Yet Powerful Relationship Marketing Tips from Mari Smith

 

Mari Smith at Linked Orange County with her new BFF Mitch Devine.

Mari Smith sure has a lot of friends. Just check out her 50,288 Facebook fan-friends or 119,468 Twitter followers. But she’s really not looking for more BFFs. Her goal is quality, not quantity.

Mari wants to have more meaningful relationships.

Mari (as in “Ferrari”) is in business to be of service and build relationships. Why are relationships so important? “The longer relationships are sustained, the more profitable your company,” she explains.

The topic of Mari’s recent presentation at Linked Orange County, “The New Relationship Marketing,” also happens to be the title of her new book.

Mari has called herself a “relationship marketing specialist” for 10 years, long before social media became a buzzword. Known as the “Pied Piper of Facebook,” she’s the co-author of “Facebook Marketing: One-Hour a Day”.

To dispel the notion that her subject was limited to social media, she addressed her audience saying “There is no amount of sophisticated technology that will ever, ever, ever take the place of this: in-person, face-to-face.”

Relationships Transcend Social Media

According to Mari, “Relationship marketing encompasses not only social media, but also email marketing, direct mail, some television and magzine ads—basically anything in which you make the person you’re connecting with feel they’re important to you.”

Starbucks was cited as one of the best examples of companies that listen well and connect with customers. The coffeehouse chain consistently ranks at the top for customer engagement. Based on the results of its own survey, Starbucks acted in response to customers’ feedback on how they could improve. The number-one suggestion? Free wi-fi.

Tactical Marketing Tips

Mari’s goal with her presentation, besides talking about her new book, was to deliver tactical tips to her audience. I’ve compiled some of my personal favorites that apply to business in general as well as social media marketing. I’ve listed a dozen below, plus a few extra nuggets as well. Continue reading

Advertising Tributes to 9-11

American Airlines ran this ad following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, advertisers struggled to find the right tone in their communications. It didn’t seem appropriate to try to be funny following the devastating terrorist attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives. But it was also difficult to appear serious and sincere while promoting a commercial venture.

Sympathy Ads

The vast majority of print advertising that ran in the immediate aftermath offered sympathy and condolences. Businesses that had been located in the World Trade Center expressed remorse over the loss of their employees and vowed to continue.

I was amazed to see the variety of condolence ads that came from countries all over the world, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the majority of hijackers were originally from. For a while I saved a file with many of these ads, but it got to be overwhelming. I now wish I had some of them to post a few images for you.

Life—and even advertising—had to go on. Continue reading

How I Became a Virtual Millionaire on Empire Ave

Invest in (e)DEVINELINES on EmpireAvenue.com - the Social Stock Market

If I had a dollar for every “eave,” I’d be a millionaire twice over. But as it is, I’m not even rich on paper. Only in cyberspace, and with a virtual currency.

What am I rambling on about?

Allow me to explain. A few months ago, my tech-savvy friend Oscar invited me to join EmpireAvenue.com, the social stock market. I had heard a little about it, but I wasn’t particularly interested in playing an online game. Especially not a play version of eTrade.

Not Another Game!
I’m really not a gamer. I don’t play Xbox, Wii or any video games. I’ve never played Farmville, Mafia Wars, Second Life or Angry Birds. About the closest I’ve gotten to playing any type of game is “checking in” on FourSquare. But I rationalized that this smart-phone app also had marketing applications. And FourSquare could occasionally get me a free appetizer or dessert at restaurants.

So I resisted initially. I needed another social time-sink like I needed a… well, like a hole in the wallet. Yes, Empire Avenue was a game, but it turned out to be more than that.  Continue reading

Truth In Advertising, What a Concept

Terribles

Yes, this is a terrible business name. (Sorry.) But then again, lowering the bar is a sure-fire way to avoid over-promising. After all, what do you expect from a truck stop/convenience store, anyway? If you’ve at least got a clean restroom, you’re already ahead of most of the competition. And this place was hopping. Go figure. (Found in Kingman, AZ)

 

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A Toast to Guinness Advertising

Guinness produces brilliant advertising. Oh, and their stout is not too shabby either.

For creative types, beer is the Holy Grail of advertising accounts, because almost anything goes. It’s a chance to do outrageous gags with big budgets. But the problem with most beer commercials is that they usually end up being generic and formulaic. Funny set-up, add logo, insert tag line as punch line at the end. Done.

Guinness has always been different. Sure, it’s had plenty of big budget TV spots, but they’ve always been based on the brand’s “unique differentiators” (as they say in marketing-speak): the Irish heritage and the slow pour that a good stout requires. Guinness commercials wouldn’t work for any other brewer.

A Guinness Facebook post recently asked fans to list their favorite tag line from the brand. The responses were many and varied: “Brilliant.” “Good things come to those who wait.” “It’s good for you.” “Guinness for strength.” “It’s alive inside.” “My goodness, my Guinness!” Continue reading

The Exclusive Return of the Most Interesting Man in the World

Are you thirsty, my friends?

Here for your viewing and imbibing pleasure, announced as an exclusive “event” on Facebook with a link to this “unlisted” video, is the return of The Most Interesting Man in the World.

His long-awaited reappearance was announced with the following invitation:

There’s nothing interesting about being the second person to do something. RSVP to be one of the first to see the new Dos Equis television spot. Without further ado…

Has His Most Interestingness equaled his previous exploits? Can he beat Chuck Norris and The Old Spice Guy blindfolded? Will you buy Dos Equis? THAT is the question!

UPDATE: The YouTube link has been changed from “unlisted” to “private” so it’s no longer available for viewing. Sorry! It was fun while it lasted.

Pop Culture Snack

Sometimes a good headline is all it takes. Loved this one for Pop Chips.

Nice headline on the car. I’d never heard of Pop Chips before but the line on the side of this passing car was enough to make me want to try the chips. (Don’t worry, my passenger shot the photo.)

According to the website description, Pop Chips (excuse me: popchips™) are not fried or baked, because that would be unhealthy or un-tasty. They’re popped. Heated up like popcorn apparently. (Nuked?) S’posed to be healthy or at least organic.

popchips™ are also uncapitalized. So what is it with art directors or brand managers and the aversion to capitalization? Just a style thing, I guess.

Have you tried them yet? Pop on over to popchips.com to find out where to find them. Now I’m getting hungry.

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This Year Goes To 11

Take it to 11 at NAMM. That's one louder.

The 2011 NAMM Show (shorthand for what used to be known as the National Association of Music Merchants) has taken its thematic inspiration from the Rob Reiner rockumentary satire film, This Is Spinal Tap, in which Nigel Tufnel explains the advantages of having an amp that goes all the way to 11. It’s a perfect reference for their audience.

NAMM is where musicians, instrument makers and related music companies come to do business and show their latest gear. It’s like a Guitar Center on steroids that’s as big as the Anaheim Convention Center (bigger, actually). The place is so thick with rock stars, you practically trip over ‘em every time you turn around.

Here’s how the NAMMsters describe this year’s show on the website: ”On a scale of 1 to 10, we’re taking it to 11 and so can you! The 2011 NAMM Show has everything you need to turn it up a notch in your business, from the hottest new music products offered by 1500+ exhibitors to free business-building training customized to the challenges of today’s industry professionals.” Continue reading