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The Super Bowl has long been the sporting event of the year.  Over time, it has also become the biggest advertising event of the year.  Numerous major brands launch campaigns during Super Bowl, catapulting the price of a 30-second spot to around $3 million.

Social media, however, is starting to challenge the nature of Super Bowl advertising.  According to a recent survey from Lightspeed Research, a unit of WPP’s Kantar, 18% of people will look up ads online with smartphones on Super Bowl Sunday.  So, the internet has definitely became an integral part of Super Bowl advertising, and smart brands are learning how to leverage social media to make their ad campaigns work that much harder.

The shout out for the “smartest” brand in this area must go to Old Spice.  It’s an old brand that has been revitalized and reborn from the Super Bowl campaign Old Spice ran last year.  In an effort to improve sales, Old Spice launched The Old Spice Guy campaign that targeted men and “their ladies.”  (After all, the ladies are the ones shopping the aisle.)  The campaign launched with traditional tactics such as television commercials and print ads, plus online display banner ads.  On top of it all, there were Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube components. These tactics were designed to work together and reinforce each other.  This is what nirvana looks like for an integrated marketing campaign with both traditional and new media:  The Old Spice Guy from TV replies to tweets via YouTube videos!

The results say it all:

  • The campaign achieved 1.4 billion impressions.
  • Video views were 40 million per week.
  • Sales increased double digits.
  • Market share grew, challenging for segment leadership.

I haven’t even got to the smartest part of this whole campaign – this Super Bowl campaign DIDN’T INCLUDE a $3 million Super Bowl ad! The television commercial was released around the Super Bowl.  Then, the marketers bought key search terms.  So, when the 18% of people looked up “Super Bowl ads” online, they found have the Old Spice Guy!

It was genius!

And it called for a second act from the Old Spice Guy.

This year, all the forums for the Old Spice Guy to engage with fans have already been set up from the prior year.  Old Spice Guy is already posting on Facebook.  Tweets are flying.  Teasers are on YouTube.  It’s reported that a fan will have his/her own ad, and it will debut on Super Bowl Sunday.  The new Old Spice Guy TV commercial will start running on February 7, the day after Super Bowl Sunday, though I have no doubt that if you search for “Super Bowl Ads”, you will find the Old Spice Guy. – Jeannie Chan

This guest post was written by #BZBowl participant, Jeannie Chan. Jeannie is a passionate brand manager, who’s fueled by intellectual curiosity and caffeine.  While Jeannie has been a marketer for nearly a decade, each day still brings her new challenges.  She keeps tracks of it all on her blog CuriousMarketeer.com.

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Super Bowl ad “best of” lists tend to rely on one of three perspectives:

While these lists are often entertaining and the comments potentially insightful, they generally lack any objective criteria that allow you to apply the success or failures of Super Bowl ads to your own situation.

In an attempt to provide criteria, last year #BZBowl, sponsored by The Brainzooming Group, used ratings from the SUCCES (Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotional, Stories) model the Heath Brothers explained in their book on effective communication, Made to Stick.  While this raised the Super Bowl ad analysis above “I liked it ‘cause I thought it was funny,” I’m not sure that an ad that hit on multiple parts of the SUCCES criteria is any better than one that hit really well on only one criteria.

In their book, however, the Heaths cite research on advertising creativity from a group of Israeli social scientists. That research showed award winning ads nearly always make use of a rather short list of tools. The researchers’ subsequent book, Cracking the Ad Code, describes the eight tools and two complementary principles present in nearly every ad professionals judge as award winning and audiences describe as “creative.”

Briefly, the eight tools are:

  • Unification – using an element of the medium or in its vicinity to deliver the message.
  • Activation – using the viewer as a resource to reveal the message.
  • Metaphor – exploiting symbols or cognitive frameworks that already exist in the mind of the viewer to deliver the message.
  • Subtraction – excluding an element of the medium considered to be indispensible.
  • Extreme Consequence – presenting an extreme—sometimes negative—situation that happens as a result of using the product.
  • Extreme Effort – depicting the absurd lengths a consumer will go to obtain a product or the extreme lengths a company will go to in order to please a consumer.
  • Absurd Alternative – showing a possible, though highly outlandish and impractical, alternative to the product being offered.
  • Inversion – suggests how horrible the world would be without the advertised product.

The two complementary principles are Fusion and Closed World:

  • Fusion involves melding the symbol for something, its story, and the product or brand you are advertising. If your story is connection and your product is a telecommunications, the fusion is your logo becomes the world, i.e. ATT.
  • Closed World uses symbols or ideas from the actual world of the product. E.g. detergents would use clothes, stains, washing machines, not flowers, sunshine and mountaintops.

Ads employing Fusion and Closed World are judged more creative.

So for this year’s #BZBowl, The Brainzooming Group will track Super Bowl ads to see which ads employ  these tools and principles. We will also look at a sampling of “best of” lists to see if use of those tools match up with the ads on those lists. Look for our #BZBowl analysis recap mid-week following the Super Bowl.

Remember, if you want to tweet your thoughts live on which Super Bowl ads are good, better, best (or even crappy), include the #BZBowl hashtag in your tweets and join us for the smart, intimate, and conversational Super Bowl ad chat before, during, and after the Super Bowl this Sunday, February 6, 2011!Barrett Sydnor

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming at gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Southwest Airlines Communication Specialist Laurel Moffat spoke on the airline’s successful social media strategy at a January 25 Kansas City American Marketing Association lunch event. While the presentation was overly heavy on how many fans and followers Southwest Airlines has, underneath, there were many beneficial insights and lessons only a brand experienced in social media can provide. The great thing was Laurel’s social media lessons apply to smaller organizations as well:

Big or Small, “Listen and Personalize” Is Fundamental

Laurel’s recommendation was “listen first,” which is a fundamental lesson for any organization. Listening provides an understanding of content that’s meaningful and appropriate for your audiences. Once you get active, it’s important to personalize audience experiences. Some ways Southwest does this:

  • Team members handling Facebook duties sign their names to their responses.
  • Southwest tries to share “real” content on topics customers are thinking about relative to flying.
  • It encourages localization, with 20 local station Facebook pages covering specific Southwest airport operations groups.

Social Media Takes People, but Not as Many as You Think

Southwest Airlines is HUGE online:

  • 12 million monthly visits to its website
  • 1 million Twitter followers
  • 1.3 million Facebook likers
  • 29,000 reviewers on its Travel Guide

So how many people does it take to handle that volume of activity?

Try 5.

Yup, 5 people are in the Southwest Airlines emerging media group. The Southwest Airlines presence is monitored 24/7, including hourly check-ins during normal sleeping hours, with 2 people typically trading off responsibilities on major outposts.

So yes, it takes people to keep a social media effort going. If 5 people can monitor and manage it for a multi-billion corporation though, your much smaller organization doesn’t need an army to accomplish its objectives.

There Are Huge Opportunities in a Collaborative Social Media Strategy

With all the content Southwest Airlines creates to keep its presence fresh, a collaborative approach is vital.  Some collaborative examples that serve as lessons for everyone else:

  • There’s internal collaboration: marketing creates the feel for its social media channels, and the communications team (through its emerging media group) drives content. The legal and investor relations departments are also closely involved.
  • All emerging media team employees complete customer service training to ensure they are well-prepared to address customer questions and issues directly and expeditiously.
  • Southwest Airlines works with outside partners as well, including Kansas City-based VML and Buddy Media.
  • Southwest reaches out specifically to influencers: travel bloggers, brand fanatics, avid travelers, and importantly, employees all contribute content.
  • To increase broader employee involvement, Southwest organized an internal social media conference (BlogCon) in January 2011 to bring employee contributors into Dallas for overviews and training on social media and content creation (plus receiving Southwest Airlines-logoed Flip cameras). This is in addition to sponsoring a social media club within the company.

Oh, and About that Kevin Smith Deal

Without a doubt, the customer service and social media teams have to be linked. It can be very formal, but at a minimum, the communication channels and protocols need to be set. If nothing else, the Kevin Smith meltdown emphasized that important lesson. Laurel talked about the February 2010 situation in her presentation.

During Q&A, I asked about the degree of direct interaction between people monitoring social media channels and gate agents. In the Kevin Smith case, it seemed Smith was allowed to cool his heels for some time while tweeting with increasing fervor (and furor). Laurel said gate agents do get social media training and are taught that any customer incident can blow up dramatically through social media channels.

Even Veteran Players Don’t Know What Will Get Attention

Undisputed facts:

  • Southwest Airlines has been in social media since 2006 when it launched its blog.
  • It stepped up into Twitter and Facebook in 2007.
  • Southwest Airlines has an award-winning, significant presence.

All true, but you want to know my favorite comment of the day from Laurel?

Southwest Airlines is surprised by what videos on its YouTube site get the most views. One example? Its engine cleaning video is right near the top. For anyone continually baffled by what social media content gets viewed and shared, it’s comforting to know even the big guys can be left guessing!

Social Media Doesn’t Fix Bad Brands, but It Sure Benefits Already Great Ones

More undisputed facts:

  • Southwest Airlines is a strong brand.
  • It got into social media before it had everything figured out (it didn’t have a formal policy until the past year).
  • It’s had a few stumbles along the way, but it sees clear positives and high regard for its effort.

If not for Southwest being a strong brand already, getting into social media and having some stumbles could have been disastrous.

Lesson for everybody else: Fix your brand first, and then worry about fixing any inadequacies in your social media strategy.

Wrap-Up

If you were in Kansas City and didn’t make it out to this event, you should be kicking yourself. Thanks to Laurel and the Kansas City American Marketing Association for making this informative presentation happen!  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Model/Actress Brooklyn Decker’s photo is on the cover of this month’s Esquire, in case you hadn’t noticed. I didn’t didn’t notice it right away, since the arrival of the February Esquire with its rather sexually provocative cover was strategically obscured. Someone other than me (and there’s only me and my wife in the house) placed it under the current Bloomberg Business Week with its rather textually provocative cover, “Apple without Jobs.”

The Challenge

Perusing the table of contents, Esquire features a special flap on how to “read” the issue, including a blurb for fans of scavenger hunts. The paragraph describes the interactive strategy Esquire has concocted to allow readers to find more Brooklyn Decker photos beyond those in the physical magazine. The interactive steps involve:

  • Downloading a free app from iTunes
  • Going to a Barnes & Noble store
  • Locating the magazine aisles
  • Triggering the app, and
  • Pointing the phone around the store until additional Brooklyn Decker images (suitable for taking your picture with) appear on-screen, where they can be easily shared and tweeted.

In print, it seems like a lot to do, and very counter to earlier Brainzooming posts on not creating an interactive strategy that places undue burdens on your audience to engage with your brand and the how attractive simple interactive strategy can be. Five steps, including one step each in visiting both virtual and physical stores, seems onerous, even to interact with photos of Brooklyn Decker.

Is It Worth It?

Interestingly enough though, when you convert the instructions to video, as Esquire did on the video below showing the scavenger hunt in action, it just doesn’t seem like as big of a deal to clear five hurdles for a personal Brooklyn Decker photo to show your friends.

The number of hurdles aside, this interactive strategy from Esquire has several things going for it:

From what you’ve seen, what do you think about this? Would you jump over five hurdles to get your picture taken with a virtual Brooklyn Decker? Maybe you’ve gotten your photo taken with Brooklyn Decker already, so how was it? Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to see how we can help you define a brand strategy firmly tied to business yet recognizing the impact of social networking on your customers.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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The second annual #BZBowl is a Twitter-based chat The Brainzooming Group is sponsoring Super Bowl Sunday, February 6, 2011, and you’re invited to join us! Featuring cool marketers, branding experts, creative instigators, authors, and pop culture mavens (i.e., YOU and all the other Brainzooming blog readers) #BZBowl will be a running commentary on how brands are using what has become the biggest advertising and marketing event of the year.

Based on the strong response to last year’s #BZBowl, you can expect great branding insights, a little bit of snark, lively conversations, and no spammers (in contrast to other Super Bowl chats)!

Planned #BZBowl Activities

Here’s How You Can Participate in #BZBowl

  • Let us know if you’ll be joining us by replying to @Brainzooming on Twitter with #BZBowl in your tweet. Be sure to share the link with others as well. In fact, you can copy and tweet this to do both:

I’ll be tweeting on #SuperBowlAds w/ the #BZBowl sponsored by @Brainzooming. Join us Feb 6th! Info: http://bit.ly/hDNlBI

We’re up for ideas, so let us know what you think, and please plan to join us, Sunday, February 6 for #BZBowl! – Mike Brown

 

For a creative boost, download the free Brainzooming ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to enhance your creative perspective! For an organizational boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Strong interactive marketing can involve lots of design, complexity, and technology to make sure it works and engages the audience. Or interactive marketing can be done very simply and smartly, letting your ingenuity and creativity carry the day. That’s the route Houlihan’s took with this “interactive” email I received Friday. No places to click. No videos to set up the promotion. Just an engaging graphic drawing audience members in to figure out where they stand among the Super Bowl party invite crowd.

The only way it could have been improved?

It should include the #BZBowl as a great Super Bowl option for everyone!

Super Bowl Sunday, February 6, 2011 will mark the second annual #BZBowl, a Twitter-based chat sponsored by The Brainzooming Group, featuring folks from a whole variety of marketing, branding, social media, customer service, and other creative perspectives tweeting about they think works and doesn’t work in this year’s Super Bowl advertising and marketing camapigns.

Look for introductory details in Monday’s Brainzooming blog, when we’ll finally know what teams will be playing!  

Note: Houlihan’s isn’t a client, and there’s no direct payment for this shout out, but I have partaken multiple times in Houlihan’s Fourquare check-in deal for Free Frites! Love those Free Frites!Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I’ve been following Scott Ginsberg (aka @NameTagScott) on Twitter for quite some time. I’d  read a story in the newspaper about this guy that wears a nametag all the time ( in order to make connections with people), and it’s been a blast to read his daily, kick you in the rear, admonitions on Twitter.

In terms of an official bio, Scott Ginsberg is the World Record Holder of Wearing Nametags. He’s the author of twelve books, an award-winning blogger, professional speaker and creator of NametagTV.com. He specializes in approachability, identity and execution. If you like what you see from Scott and want to learn more about his books, speaking engagements, customized online training programs or want to rent Scott’s brain for a one-on-one session, you can email him at scott@hellomynameisscott.com.

When he offered to do a marketing-oriented guest blog on Twitter last week, I was all over getting a DM to Scott to see if he’d guest post for Brainzooming. I’m so excited that you all get to enjoy his perspective today on these things most marketers overlook:

 

1. Be memorable for the right reasons.

What are you known for? What are you know as? And what are you known for knowing? Those are the keys to memorability. However, if your intention to become memorable is misguided, malicious or so focused on profitability that you disrespect people, you lose. Being memorable for the wrong reasons is worse than being forgotten. Remember the 2006 World Cup? When the captain of France head butted a player from Italy? That was the last thing he was remember for prior to his retirement. Not smart marketing. Why do you want to become memorable?

 

2. Save feedback from the people who matter most.

The number of positive stories that are circulating about you, your brand, your organization and your product is the measure of marketing success. So, a huge part of marketing is managing your impressions in the marketplace. Now, notice I said, “managing,” not “controlling.” You can participate in and keep track of your online reputation – but you can’t control it. That’s why you have to listen. Listening gives you the chance clarify misconceptions, stereotypes and false accusations.  And it doesn’t matter how you do it; it only matters that you do it. Are you listening to other people’s ideas about who you are?

3. Decide what you’re going to brand.

 Branding is committing to being the best, highest version of yourself. So it’s not just about your products. Smart companies brand their service, brand their honesty and brand their language. And here’s why: Branding is no longer a novelty – it’s a necessity – the price of admission for playing the game. Your challenge is to think about what you’re committed to. The emotion that’s under your fingernails. Brand that and people won’t just pay attention – they’ll pay dividends. What has your organization branded that nobody else has?

4. Increase your digital equity.

That comes from a variety of sources: Interviews. Blog posts. Tagged photos. Search engine optimization. Articles. Presentations. Status updates. Tweets. The list goes on and on. And the key element behind it is simple: The Internet is forever. Forever. Everything matters. Everybody’s watching. And everything’s a performance. Which isn’t that hard to do if the character you’re playing is you. And if you want to build real equity, start by building your platform. That’s the entire marketing engine that does the heavy lifting when you’re on vacation.

 

5. Focus on income generating activities only.

 I once read a business book that said the typical entrepreneur spends 43 minutes a day on marketing. That’s it? What the hell are they doing for the other 557 minutes? Playing on Farmville? I don’t care what industry you work in, here’s the naked truth: Everything you do is marketing. Everything. All day. Every day. From phone calls to client meetings to conversations to tweets to attending networking events. It’s all marketing. And once you realize that, you find a way to leverage everything you do to get the word out about why you rock. How much time do you spend on marketing each day?

6. Interaction trumps interruption.

Remember phone books? Remember brochures and direct mail? Those aren’t marketing tools – they’re artifacts. And smart companies don’t waste their money on them. Here’s the reality: The only place your grandchildren will ever see paper marketing is in the history museum. Instead, stop interrupting and start interacting. Because every time a customer hears about you means less money spent making them hear from you. You don’t need more direct mail – you need more friends. How many trees are you killing just to be ignored by your customers?

 

7. Fire up your findability.

Marketing is simple: Create a product that customers can stumble upon, obsess over, fall in love with, become addicted to and tell their friends about. There. I just saved you $80,000 in business school tuition. You’re welcome. But the secret is: If you want customers to stumble upon you, you need to become more findable. One suggestion is to ask them. A helpful question I ask my readers every time they write in is, “What helped you find me this time?” You might be surprised by their answers. How do you demonstrate to people that you’re worth being found?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you the arrow or the bulls-eye?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

For the list called, “8 Ways to Out Question the Competition,” send an email to me at scott@hellomynameisscott.com, and you win the list for free!

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The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

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