Posts tagged marketing
Posts tagged marketing
I’m giddy over this. When have you ever seen some many brands come together for something like this? Granted, this seems like a massive PR campaign - it doesn’t take away the fact that creatives were really allowed to go all-out and have fun with something, to take part in a joke of sorts that we’re all in on.
When was the last time a TV show directly affected so many different aspects of our lives? Fashion, advertising, beauty….the country – and indeed the world – has gone Mad Men crazy.
The marketing has been controversial at times (the ‘falling man’ advertisement was widely criticized for evoking memories of 911) but you can’t escape the fact that this hugely successful, acclaimed series has captured our hearts and minds.
Even Newsweek has gone a bit Mad this week with an issue completely 1960-fied. In one fine swoop, Newsweek has launched its Mad Men issue and with it has reminded the publishing and the advertising industries about swagger and fun. Every brand advertiser in the issue has produced special adverts fit for the era, giving CMOs a little smile and their agencies creative free-reign to produce something really unique.
It’s turned into a mini Super Bowl, with ABC News, The New York Times and much of the Hollywood, marketing and advertising press like @AdAge writing about it. As well as blogs and Newsweek’s own DailyBeast.com. There’s a real buzz going on. You can vote for the best ads here. And here. And here.
Here is a taste:
by Martin Lindstrom- FastCompany.com
Imagine this: You’re taking the family for a ride in your new Toyota, when you experience something unnerving. As you cruise past the local McDonald’s, the car radio begins playing “Happy Birthday.” There’s more. The lyrics mention your son by name and, eerily, it happens to be his sixth birthday. At the end of the song, McDonald’s offers him a free birthday meal, an offer which will expire in 30 minutes. A notion that was once the province of science fiction has become a reality, at least in Tokyo.
While the latest preoccupation of advertisers is to secure space on smartphones or Facebook, a quieter rush for real estate has begun in the media industry. It’s a type of rush that’s never been seen before; it’s got nothing to do with your online environment, nor does it involve your cell phone. The new battleground is your car.
TV’s lost its grip, with viewers declining and more using DVRs to skip over ads. Newspapers are searching for new revenue models. And as our demand for personal content grows, the space between the doors will become the battleground of the corporate titans. This should come as no surprise given the fact that the average American spends two to three hours a day in their car, making them a captive audience. And with more than 250 million registered passenger cars in the U.S. alone—and a couple of billion cars worldwide—the internal space of our motor car is about to be colonized.
The time is ripe for the next generation of Contextual Branding—the art of sending the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. Japan is unquestionably the leader in this form of advertising. I have a crystal clear memory of my first encounter with it. I was in Tokyo and using a Do-Co-Mo phone when I received a message: “Martin, you have a friend in the area. Would you like to know more?” Naturally, curiosity got the better of me and I responded with a quick “Yes.” Within minutes it got back to me. “Starbucks would like to sponsor your meeting—please accept.” And so I did. A map appeared on my phone directing me to the nearest Starbucks, along with a coupon for a cup of coffee for two. I made my way over and there was a friend who I had not seen in six years. Thanks to Starbucks we reconnected over a cup of coffee, and then another.
Impressive as this story may appear, it’s old news in Japan. They have moved on from messages that rely on coincidences of time and place. They’re working on a future where the media can target potential customers with bull’s-eye accuracy and they’re willing to pay for personal information with hefty discounts.
Let’s revisit the talking Toyota. The story first begins at the point of contact between car dealer and driver. The dealer asked my friend if he would be interested in a substantial discount in exchange for putting some of his personal information on their database. Eager to cut a few thousand yen off the purchase price, he began by giving details of his occupation and income, family size, birthdays of every family member, brand preferences, food preferences, color preferences, and favorite vacation spots. In other words, enough information to address three main data points:
- Personal information about the car’s likely passengers.
- Date, time.
- Car’s position.
This is a powerful cocktail of information. In principle, the car would know when you’re likely to feel hungry as well as what food you’re likely to eat. It will know when you will be buying gifts and at what point you’re most likely to be receptive to commercial messages. And all this will occur during your three hours of driving a day.
The car space is theoretically a virgin space. Almost all the information you receive is passive, no matter where you are, who you are, or what rocks your particular boat. This is a space that industries will fight to gain ownership of in order to convert it into a contextual space. One can only wonder who will win the race: the media industry, the online search industry, or perhaps the telecommunication industry. Toyota, Google, News Limited, or Apple? Will the car industry have the foresight to team up with its competitors to create a propriety navigation system for the vehicles they manufacture? Will Google end up dominating the vacant car space by using its Street View and positioning systems? Will News Limited be able to convince us that news is king, particularly when it’s customized to suit your particular taste? Or are we so attached to our Apple products that we can’t imagine using anything less than its propriety Apple navigation format?
As of now, no one can lay any clear claim on this highly attractive market space. GPS navigation systems are already featuring logos for gas stations, fast food restaurants, and banks. It has only just begun. But as we continue to spend hours a day stuck in a car, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it, but receive commercial messages.
Thought this was such an interesting article. Starbucks would like to sponsor your meeting?? What?
I was reading on the rebranding blog Brand New about the rebranding of Cheer Laundry Detergent, and when I got to the comments section it struck me that, aside from comic sans and 1990’s AOL-internet color, designers will never agree on anything. In some ways that’s relieving, and in some ways that’s terrifying. I could design something really mundane and there might still be designers that like it. I could design something that I think is creative and awesome and people will rip it apart.
I know this is a rather obvious revelation. It just came to me when I started realizing that I didn’t really know what to think of the rebranding..and that, after reading everyone else’s opinions my mind still wasn’t changed one way or the other. I mean- the super-saturated colors are cool. But laundry detergent in a black bottle? Ew.
Facebook has begun testing a slew of changes to the News Feed, including friend list filters and Smart Lists that automatically categorize your friends. The changes seem to be aimed at making the content within the News Feed more relevant. These changes, as far as we can ascertain from screens…
This totally confuses me because I swear, about a year ago, I had a made a list of friends (pretty much the people I was interested in hearing about- approx 20 people-sorry everyone else) and then one day it just disappeared. And I was so pissed! I’ve resorted to hiding news stories about people I haven’t talked to in forever. Did I hallucinate this list-making ability? I swear I didn’t…
I found the most interesting article today when I decided to do a little research into Anthropologie and their design department. I’ve always been a fan and it’s a dream of mine to go work for them some day- not in the way of fashion design, but in everything else. I keep screen shots of all the amazingly designed email blasts they send everyday. Everything is JUST SO BEAUTIFUL!
Though the article came out in 2002, I don’t think that much has changed. What an interesting place to work.
Some highlights from the article…
Hayne enlisted architect Ron Pompei, who has led the creative direction of every Urban and Anthropologie space, to help envision an experience for the post-Urban generation. Hayne’s training as an anthropologist informed the process. The two spent nearly two years on a “cultural odyssey” — traveling, reading, visiting museums and exhibitions, attending cultural events, and scouring outdoor markets. What surfaced in the course of this amateur anthropological dig, says Pompei, “was a return to an earthier sensibility. We saw things that were tactile and visceral. Things that engaged the whole body. Texture was very important. Storytelling was central…
…Anthropologie’s approach to its stores flips many of the conventions of retail on their head. For instance: selling things. Glen Senk is quick to say, “Our customers are our friends, and what we do is never, ever, ever about selling to them.” Advertising and merchandising in most chains is about selling the Thing of the Moment (stretch denim!) to the largest number of people. Anthropologie doesn’t advertise, and the merchandising does not highlight product so much as set a mood and create context…
…Every customer discovery in an Anthropologie store starts with discoveries by buyers in the field. Keith Johnson, de facto chief product anthropologist, spends half of his time (down from nearly three-quarters a few years ago) traveling the globe to scour antique fairs, flea markets, obscure emporiums, tiny shops, museums, and factories for inspiration and artifacts. For eight years, his job has been literally to shop the world — and he has the passport (reinforced with 72 extra pages crowded with stamps and visas) to prove it…
…Beyond smart merchandising, the critical factor in keeping the mix fresh is maintaining fresh eyes. At Anthropologie headquarters in Philadelphia, everyone travels. Everyone visits markets, museums, and cultural events. In fact, “cultural events” (from movies to art exhibits to sporting events) are a critical item on the agenda of the Monday-morning meeting attended by all 60 staffers in the home office. “The Anthropologie gift,” says Ron Pompei, “is that they can look at the creative edge of a culture and see how it relates to a more mainstream experience. They’re always trying to find the common language, materials, textures, and patterns that reach people.”