Archive for the 'Ads' Category

23
Jan
14

Dove proves you are more beautiful than you think

If someone asked me if I thought I was beautiful, I would say no. After Adweek released the “10 Best Ads of 2013,” (http://bit.ly/1ebFAYG) featuring Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” as their number one ad, I learned I am not alone in my answer.

According to Dove, only 4 percent of women worldwide think they are beautiful – a mere 4 percent (http://bit.ly/1c3lO3j). The viral ad, done by Ogilvy Brazil, created an astonishing perspective on beauty that is hard to ignore, with results even harder to believe.

The ad shows an FBI forensic artist sketching women (sight unseen) as they described themselves, and then as others described them. The differences in the final sketches are heart wrenching, and give “real” women, a reality check about self-perception – how we currently see ourselves, and how we should strive to see ourselves. Watch full ad here or below: (http://bit.ly/1aoEqho)

Image

With the overwhelming results of this social experiment, it is hard not to wonder who is to blame for the low self-esteem of women worldwide? Is it the advertising industry itself, or possibly the media, who constantly shoves photo-shopped, perfect-skinned, bronzed beauties down consumers’ throats? Whoever is to blame for the lack of self-esteem in today’s women, ads like Dove Real Beauty Sketches are impossible to ignore – and it has the “viralability” to prove it.

According to businessinsider.com (http://read.bi/1fXInvA) the ad garnered more than 114 million views total and more than 3 million shares, making it the most viral ad of all time. Dove was able to create content that viewers wanted to see, but more importantly, they wanted to share.

Dove’s “Campaign For Real Beauty” first launched 10 years ago, and has been helping women realize the real meaning behind beauty ever since (http://bit.ly/1bkFcXb). Ads like “Real Curves,” “Evolution,” “Pro Age” and most recently “Selfie,” have brought to light the qualities that make women beautiful other than looks such as confidence, intelligence and happiness. Dove has increased sales by 1.5 billion since Real Beauty’s launch, proving the campaign is aging well.

What do you think about the most watched viral ad of all time? Tell us here and on our Facebook page – and, remember ladies – you are more beautiful than you think.

06
Jan
14

Kmart’s Holiday Ad: Below the Belt or Missed the Boat?

Thanks to Jordan McNamara for contributing this article to The Side Note.

In a 2012 article, Advertising Age discussed Kmart’s shrinking presence in the low-cost retail field (http://bit.ly/1gc3yWF). Annual sales were down, causing Ad Age to suggest the brand had lost relevance with discount shoppers. In the realm of discount stores, Wal-Mart dominates the low-price segment and Target holds the throne for hip, so where does this leave Kmart?

Over the holidays, Kmart and parent company Sears Holdings Corp. (http://www.searsholdings.com) made a big jingle in the viral world with the release of the holiday “Show Your Joe” commercial.

Show Your Joe

Following last year’s “Ship My Pants” spot and “Big Gas Savings,” all created by agency DraftFCB, this indicates a major brand shift for the retail chain. Kmart’s Facebook page received many complaints from angry viewers, calling the ad “disgusting and not fit for family consumption” and “inappropriate for kids!!!” (https://www.facebook.com/kmart). Many customers also accused Kmart of sacrificing family values and decency in exchange for cheap laughs.
Departure from their traditional ‘baby boomer’ demographic in pursuit of younger shoppers may be exactly Kmart’s intention. According to a Forbes article from last February, Kmart is focusing on improving sales within the 18-34 year old group (http://onforb.es/1gc32bp).

However, Time reported humor is not an effective tactic for converting sales (http://ti.me/1cTMyET). Although funny spots succeed at being memorable for consumers, they do not distinguish why the brand is better or what problem the product solves. “Ship my Pants” and “Big Gas Savings” have more than 30 million views combined views on YouTube, but Forbes reported 3rd quarter sales for Kmart were still down (http://onforb.es/1cTN7hT).

The Joe Boxer commercial may be the perfect example of funny, but ineffective. With more than 17 million views on YouTube, the ad has unquestionably garnered attention. However, the spot highlights only one product line available in Kmart stores rather than the Kmart brand as a whole. Plus, it lacks differentiation—what about these specific boxers make them so great? Why are they better than others? Why should I shop at Kmart for underwear? The ad does not answer any of these questions to make the brand or product relatable to the consumer. Both earlier ads by DraftFCB mentioned above do speak to benefits Kmart offers its customers, but the most effective ads connect with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.

Due to holiday shopping, fourth quarter sales can account for as much as 40 percent of annual sales for retailers (http://bit.ly/1hrxzFG). With that in mind, Kmart needed a stellar season to climb out of the hole after six years of continually declining sales (http://aol.it/19XT3oU). Numbers for 2013’s fourth quarter have not been released yet, but if third quarter sales are any indication, this ad will not be enough to sway shoppers away from other discount stores.

Kmart may have some big…er, bells, but that might not have been enough to fulfill this retailer’s Christmas wishes.

Do you shop at Kmart? Tell us what you think of the Joe Boxer ad here. Is your brand in need of an overhaul? The Weise team can identify problem areas and create a strategy to give your brand a boost in our Navigator session. Contact us. 

30
Oct
13

Consumer Marketing: Zombie Apocalypse is Here

When did pop culture become so scary? I don’t mean Lady Gaga dressed in steak scary, but literally “BOO!” scary. Marketing campaigns have a relentless need to hold consumers’ attention, and “what’s hot” is often the magic ingredient. Marketing and pop culture are undeniably intertwined, and as this year’s bewitching hour falls upon us, it’s impossibly to ignore the fact that monsters are just that- HOT. Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 9.48.29 AM

Shows such as True Blood, Vampire Diaries and the Twilight saga started this ‘scary’ trend, pushing vampires and werewolves into the limelight. Since the success of the AMC drama The Walking Dead, however, vampires have given way to zombies as the pop culture monster du jour. Major brands such as BMW, Honda, Skittles, Doritos and FedEx, have all featured the undead in commercials. Primarily playing on the cliche ‘escape for your life before they bite you’ storyline, these ads are redundant and easily forgettable.

Recently, however, Sprint’s “Unlimited My Way” spot has proven the zombie fad can be capitalized to exceed the scream in the night stereotype. In this 30-second spot, a zombie inquires about Sprint’s unlimited for life guarantee, simultaneously evoking humor and compassion for the undead protagonist. Watch the full ad here:

The success of this commercial doesn’t come solely from using a popular cultural reference, but rather from the irreverence with which it’s used. The zombie, confessing to his decomposing state just as a child would with his hand caught in the cookie jar, accomplishes two feats: first, it captures the viewers’ attention and second, makes it funny enough for the viewer to remember. In an age when DVRs and OnDemand make skipping commercials easier than ever, humor is one of the most powerful ways to make people watch, share, and ultimately reinforce brand awareness. Humor integrates Sprint’s brand message and leaves viewers with a positive association.

Furthermore, the zombie’s purely human need for a phone plan makes him relatable to the audience. The commercial exposes the awkwardness many people feel when approaching a sales clerk; this is exaggerated as his ear falls off, stirring feeling of compassion and sympathy in viewers. Again, these positive feelings become subconsciously linked to Sprint’s brand image, creating a powerful emotional connection.

Ultimately, of course, commercials are intended to drive sales and influence customer behaviors. Does this commercial have the ‘oomph’ to accomplish that goal? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page at Weise Communications. As always, learn more about how we can help your consumer marketing by visiting our website at www.WeiseIdeas.com.

19
Aug
13

Branding A Business: The Lessons We Learned From JCP’s Failed Rebranding Effort

In less than shocking news, Ron Johnson was recently ousted as CEO of J.C. Penney after a continued decline in recent sales.  Johnson came into JCP during one of the worst times for the company.  He had hoped to rebrand the retail chain in order to have it come back as a successful store, but his tactics failed to cause a turnaround in profits.

ronjohnsonLast year, when Johnson rolled out his first series of changes, we recorded our opinions and predictions.  Now that Johnson has been let go by JCP, we have noted a few things that are crucial for rebranding initiatives that Johnson seemed to leave out.

1. Research, Research, Research

The key to a successful branding is complete research.  This means analyzing the company, the consumers, the competition, and the market.  After collecting all there is to know, a company can decide on the most successful strategies to be implemented.  Most of JCP’s rebranding woes could have possibly been predicted according to their current consumer trends.  JCP severely underestimated the backlash of ditching their coupons for the value pricing system.  The company learned almost immediately how important the promotions were to current customers, which is something sales records could have demonstrated.  When in a crisis, companies should always evaluate what is working for their company versus what isn’t.  The backlash on the pricing policy change has lead us to question the validity of the research that was completed.

2. Consumer Testing Is Key

Customer is king.  If the customer does not like the strategies you are using, it will bleed through into your sales.  Consumer testing helps a company try out some of their newest tactics and get some feedback before rolling out anything to the wider market.  Judging from consumer reactions, Johnson skipped this step.  Customers were immediately annoyed by the new television commercials, and posted their negative almost immediately. jcplogo

3. Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

According to various reports, Johnson was always very mum on changes to come.  Only a few select people would know what was next for the retailer.  However, branding, by definition, is about sharing with the public the culture that is alive inside the company.  That means that every employee has to be on the same page, providing a united front in what the brand stands for.  But, with Johnson keeping everyone in the dark, workers did not know what their next attitude change had to be.

Where else did Johnson fail in his rebranding?  Or what were some of his successes?  Tell us your takeaway in the comments, and on our Facebook & Twitter!

 

27
Jan
12

Super Bowl Advertising Preview

The average cost of a commercial for the Super Bowl is around $3.5 million this year, and NBC pretty much sold out its ad inventory by Labor Day. With the DVR changing how we watch TV and creating commercial skipping, television advertising seems like a dying media. So, why do advertisers mortgage the farm to get an ad for the Super Bowl?

Fewer events are more hyped, create as much fanfare, attract more interest from celebrities, politicians and average Americans than the Super Bowl. And live is still how viewers like to watch sports with the NFL leading the sports pack in fan base size. Last year’s Super Bowl had an astonishing 110 million viewers – definitely worth mortgaging the farm.

Therefore, we wanted to preview some of the spots that we think will be real highlights this year.

Volkswagen

One of the highlights last year came courtesy of Volkswagen as they unveiled their commercial, “The Force,” which featured a young Darth Vader and a new 2012 Passat.

Volkswagen may have replicated its 2011 success with a memorable ad for the  Super Bowl XLVI. They have a teaser (yes – an ad of an ad) for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, which includes dogs barking the Star Wars theme and is named “The Bark Side.”

As a dog lover, and Vizsla owner (top row-center), I for one am excited to see this ad.

Sketchers
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will be guest starring in Sketchers third-consecutive Super Bowl ad. With expectations lowered after last year Kim Kardashian commercial, Sketchers can only improve, right?

It turns out that this particular ad features racing greyhounds that lose to a tiny dog wearing Sketchers.

Doritos
In my opinion, Doritos has been throwing multiple game winning touch downs with its “Crash the Super Bowl Contest” for the last couple of years, and this year looks to be no different. Here are some of the top contenders.

Sling Baby
What do you get when you mix a baby in a swing, a mean grandmother and a bratty kid taunting them both? A great commercial.

Man’s Best Friend
Dog-themed entries always grab my attention. This entry features a dog trying to cover its tracks and a human that can apparently be bought off for just a sack of Doritos.

The Voice
A promo for “The Voice” that will be aired during the Super Bowl, for a series that premieres directly after the Super Bowl, will at least create some conversation at the water cooler on Monday. The spot is titled “Vokal Kombat,” so I can only assume that it features Christina Aguilera ripping Adam Levine’s head off, vocally that is.

So, we are interested to know, what commercials are you most excited to see and , more importantly, do stellar commercials make up for a Super Bowl that is heavy on defense or one-sided? Let us know here on The Side Note, or on Facebook (Facebook.com/WeiseCommunications) or on Twitter (@Weise_Ideas).

23
Jun
11

Creating Relationships with Consumers

What does Coca-Cola mean to you? It is not just a big brand, Coca-Cola understands  how to connect with the heart of buyers. Their marketing campaigns WOW. They spend marketing dollars by giving back to customers and create a strong relationship with their audience with various unconventional marketing efforts.

Imagine a college student wants to get a coke from the vending machine but ending up getting more than she bargained for. In Coke’s most recent campaign, students get flowers, pizza, and even a huge sandwich from the vending machine. The Coke machine dispenses more than Coke product, it dispenses good will and happiness.

The viral nature of the happiness machine encourages consumers to create a true relationship with Coke. By establishing good will with consumers, especially in emerging markets, consumers will choose Coke because they like the brand – not to mention the taste.

Check out the rest of of the campaign’s viral videos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqT_dPApj9U

What do you think about Guerilla marketing? How would it help your business get more attention? Tell us what was your favorite unconventional guerilla or viral marketing campaign was and share with us on Facebook at Weise Communications, follow us on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.

Thanks to Duysal Ekinci for her help with this blog entry.

22
Jun
11

Brand Advocates make the Best Endorsers

Are you in love with your car? How about customizing it? Considered color-matched exterior mirrors with your headphones? You are not the only one who loves their car with passion. One of my favorite brands, MINI, ran an outdoor campaign last month in Berlin that brought to life an unconventional marketing idea. MINI is a unique brand which truly allows buyer to express their unique personality.

KLLD global lead agency for BMW group has developed a new campaign for MINI, inviting millions of fans of the car from around the world to become part of the MINI family. This is a brilliant campaign because ir creates a personal experience for buyers, like the tagline says, “It’s Personal. Be MINI.”

In this campaign, brand users got the chance to be in a MINI ad campaigns. Participants were invited to enter MINI Photo Box, clamp on a pair of vibrantly colored headphones and select their favorite model from the MINI family with color-matched exterior mirrors. There were four colors and four models to choose from: the MINI Hatch, MINI Convertible, MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman.

Next, participants appeared in real-time on a video screen together with their photo and personalized MINI model. The MINI campaign was set up overnight on May 16 and continued until May 29 at the intersection of Kurfürstendamm and Joachimstaler Straße in Berlin. The campaign also ran simultaneously with a Facebook launch. (LINK TO:)

“With our ‘It’s personal’ campaign, MINI fans interact individually and authentically in an urban environment,” says Julia Hartmann, MINI Brand Management. “Through the personal configuration of the model, along with their choice of colors, we encourage them to express their personality – in front of friends and a global audience.” This unconventional guerilla marketing campaign was set to reach more than two million people on location and over 1.8 million MINI Facebook fans.

What do you think about making brand users into stars of an advertising campaign? How would it help your business get more attention? Share with us on Facebook at Weise Communications, follow us on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.

Thanks to Duysal Ekinci for her help in this blog post.

19
May
11

When Redesign is Bad for Business

Since the launch of Starbucks in 1971, the brand has often been imitated. Marketing strategies, packaging, and even logo design and layout have been mimicked to compete with the swanky franchise and entice customers. McDonald’s is taking this imitation to the next level with a new store design that has been fashioned after the sleek and stylish Starbucks store model. In redesigning the look and feel of McDonald’s stores, the hope is that more high-end customers will be attracted to dine-in, linger and perhaps spend a few extra bucks. Although the McDonald’s redesign is to increase competitive edge, the renovations may prove to be counterproductive.

In an interview by USA Today, Max Carmona, McDonald’s senior director of U.S. restaurant design states, “we want restaurants to reflect our brand personality, which is one of being playful, energetic and optimistic.” However, as McDonald’s moves to make its design more contemporary and modern, one cannot help but recognize the immense similarities it has to the Starbucks model and how these changes are morphing drastically from the traditional McDonald’s image and brand personality.

Traditionally, McDonald’s stores have been known for their bright signature colors of cherry red and golden yellow, Ronald McDonald (the cartoon clown mascot), large golden arches and a child friendly environment equipped with playgrounds. The people drawn to eat in the stores are most often parents with children who enjoy the playful environment. Replacing these bright colors, toys and playground equipment with padded recliners, posh wooden tables and warm painted interiors will contradict the image they have in place. It will attract an adult customer base, but it will also derail families with younger children from visiting.

A January Ad Age report estimated Happy Meals account for about 10 percent of total McDonald’s sales. “If the newly remodeled McDonalds become too popular with leisurely adults seeking a relaxing atmosphere, McDonalds could alienate a customer base that has been the cornerstone of their growth for decades,” states Cynthia Wilson, consumer writer for Investor Place.

Reinventing the look and feel of a store can greatly enhance competitive edge. However, staying inline with the current image may prove more effective for the McDonalds. The Golden Arches better be sure the push towards laptop-toting professionals doesn’t alienate this important customer base, or else it will find its renovations not just costly but counterproductive.

Share your predictions and comments with us concerning McDonald’s redesign. Share with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter

16
May
11

The New Marketing Reality: A Real World Matrix A look at Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a revolutionary technology transforming how users and advertisers interact and engage with the surrounding environment. According to John Havens, EVP of social media at Porter Novelli, “AR is the GPS of your life,” that could possibly turn every landscape into a screen of information, promotions, and advertising. Augmented reality has the potential to greatly impact the lives of users and the marketing capabilities of advertisers.

Augmented reality is the combination of real world and computer generated data that functions to enhance current perceptions of reality. Virtual reality uses technology to transform real world surroundings into a simulated environment that is bursting with information. The technology allows the surrounding real world to be digitally manipulated and enhanced.

For example, Valpak  recently announced its new augmented reality coupons. With a phone application called Junaio, users are able to interact and view the world around them in a new way. By simply typing in a key word, entering a distance parameter or holding up an enabled smartphone, users are presented with virtual information and coupons redeemable at surrounding establishments.  The information presented is in real time and allows users to intermingle and examine the world around them. Although the Valpak application only offers information pertaining to businesses with relevant specials or coupons, the future of augmented reality is immense.

The life changing technology offered by augmented reality will continue to evolve the way users and advertisers interact with consumers. With facial and object recognition, AR allows users to screen their surroundings with more than just the naked eye. Imagine a world where users can hold up smartphones and suddenly know the names or marital status of every stranger surrounding them on the street or the detailed information pertaining to logos and storefronts within the vicinity. This application will act as an advanced screening tool that will transform not only how users perceive their surroundings but also how they make decisions based on information provided.

As LG and Wikitude prepare for the release of the new Wikitude 3D Augmented Reality Browser (which will be available later this summer), advertisers should be prepared to interact with potential customers in a whole new light.

With this technology, every terrain presents a new possibility of connecting with users. For example with object recognition, a logo is now much more than just a symbol to promote a brand. Logos will be virtually screened and will allow users to know pertinent information pertaining to specials or close-by locations.  Augmented reality has the possibility to turn every street, building, sign, vehicle and environment into sources for information, promotions and advertisements. The possibilities will be endless.

How do you feel augmented reality will impact the lives of users and/or advertisers? Share with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

25
Apr
11

Should Advertisers Have a Moral Responsibility?

Mobile advertising is everywhere. When we leave our homes we come into contact with billboards, branded trucks and busses covered with ads. In 1990, Colorado became the first state to allow school bus advertisements. Since that time, the practice of school bus advertising has spread to a number of states. Some states already allow advertising inside of school busses as well. As the popularity continues to spreads the controversy surrounding the practice does as well. Critics say that exposing impressionable young children to ads that appear to be endorsed by their educators is problematic.

According to a study by Alpha Media, a Dallas based company that manages ads on 3,000 school buses in Texas and Arizona, districts with 250 buses can expect to generate about $1 million in four years from selling exterior bus space to advertisers. Although ads displaying profanity, alcohol, tobacco and adult content are prohibited, there are still ads being presented that are unfavorable to impressionable youth.

School aged children are young and impressionable, and school bus ads present exposure to advertising that may not be appropriate for children. Although the amount of exposure and residual monetary gain is clear, these advertisements have clear influence over the children who come into contact with them each day. The two main issues being raised in opposition to school bus ads are the potential safety risk the ads could present by distracting drivers as well as the chance that children will interpret ads as an extension of their education systems.

Although many school districts incorporate healthier nutrition and lunch programs, junk food ads are on the side of school busses. Such contradictions confuse youth. Thus we must consider if school bus ads have the potential to do more harm than good.

Have advertisers and state governments gone too far in moving forward with school bus ad campaigns or should this practice be seen as simply another avenue to expand marketing efforts, increase visibility and maximize revenue?

To share with us your thoughts or learn more about different modes of advertising and reaching your target market, contact us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.




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