Infomercials: Yes, they all suck.

Yes, this is real. I just watched it on TBS while waiting for Face/Off to finish up. Is this the point we've come too? Inventing useless contraptions with the hopes that some woman out there will feel sorry for themselves and buy it?

Don't strapless bra's already exist?

James Boags Draught - Pure Waters

Nice work from Publicis Mojo in Sydney. I really enjoy this spot. When will North America change so that the 60 second spot becomes the norm?

The lightsabre is the highlight.

Skittles might be random, but they get it

In the last few years, Skittles has come out with a ton of random, off the wall TV advertising. The spots are irreverent, hilarious and impossible to forget. Here's one of their latest that is starting to get some good press:

In the digital space, however, Skittles has been like most other brands - just OK. Until now.

The new Skittles site is very simple. You go to it, enter your age and agree to the terms of service. From there, a small Skittles widget appears and you can surf other sites (Like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia) to see all of the different content and conversations going on about Skittles across the web.

There is no master site, no funny flash videos or games, just a widget that takes you to some of their different properties. You can become a fan on Facebook (there are already a few hundred thousand), follow in real time what people are saying about Skittles on Twitter or even edit what Skittles means on Wikipedia.

It's a great strategy. Why build a site that people have to come too when you can go to the places they already are and provide them with cool content or added-value tools.

This idea isn't new (as AdAge mentions) but it's very smart. I hope that more brands take this approach in the future. Go where the conversations are already happening and be a part of them.

Dirty Advertising

Does sex sell? Maybe.

Does it get people's attention? Definitely.

And Raun certainly got mine with this spot:

You can see the full campaign here (there are 2 other spots...not as dirty as this one but still appealing). What do you think? Does an ad like this make you want to buy a sofa?

The only thing I do know is that this spot isn't running in Canada anytime soon.

Found via Copyranter.

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Thanks again for reading and stay tuned for a ton of new posts.

He's Back

The great thing about Nike? They get timing and they don't wait for a product to create a great spot about their brands. Here's one that was released this week for Tiger's return. Great stuff:


I was close to putting an exclamation mark at the end of that title. Fear is my most hated emotion. It cripples us, paralyzes rational thought, destroys intelligence and kills creativity.

Why? Too many brands today fight change and ideas new ideas because of fear. How many times have you heard that a brand can't try that idea or strategy because they are afraid. Fear means risk and in my mind the opposite of risk is obsolescence.

Most brands today would rather slowly become obsolete, un-interesting and dead then to take one little risk. The arguments don't add up or make sense. Arguments such as, we can't expose our brand, or, that is untested territory without predictable ROI are bullshit.

Every article you read with a CMO or other senior marketing title in it says that they are looking for their agencies to be "more creative", "more innovative" or to "find new ways to break through", but I do not see to many giving agencies permission. Obviously as a marketer you need to, and want to seem open to ideas but very few actually bless ideas. How can original thoughts see the light of day if there is no pre-existing model to base the ROI on? How can a risky position or a unique articulation of the value proposition become reality if everyone is full of fear?

Here is my wish. 80% was considered honours in school, so lets continue to see 80% as a successful grade. If all brands invested 80% in work they were comfortable with, that didn't scare them; then invested 20% in the "risky adventures" I believe that the following year they would be looking to invest 30%. If every movie Disney put out was about a lonely princess/woman/peasant that was eventually saved/loved/found by a strapping young lad we would all get bored and more importantly 101 Dalmatians would have never been made.

Risk in the world of marketing and advertising generally means drawing a line in the sand and standing for something more that a one size fits all message. It usually means deciding who you believe your brand speaks to, and how you want to speak to them. These decisions can be scary because they potentially mean failure. Especially in today's market this is a tough call to make but as far as advertising goes...

It is better to say something to someone then to say nothing to everyone.


BlackBerry Bullet

Now this is an aggressive stance to take.

Clean Coal Air Freshener

Clean Coal Air Freshener harnesses the power of the word "clean"....I love it.


Making the Oscars golden again. 10 tips.

WHEN WILL YOU LISTEN? The way the world is engaging with media, entertainment and content HAS CHANGED.

The article on AdAge made me sick today. The title was "Oscar Night Ratings Improved, but far from Golden." Apparently the ratings were the 3rd worst in history. I would be pretty happy with the fact the ratings improved over last year. The way we consume media has changed and so must measurement of success and how media companies sell their wares . The #1 rated show from Dec. 2008 wouldn't be in the top 5 of 1980. (An interesting fact is that the number of TV's in 2008 is 33 Million more than in 1980). We all know what is happening and where the eyeballs have gone. How can one of the most respected publications in our industry ignore everything else.

So what other metrics should they be measuring? Well:

1, 600,000+

That is how many views the 13 most popular videos from the Oscars posted to YouTube have received in the last 24 hours. How many people in the "golden days" of the Oscars recorded and shared clips the next day? The top 30 has over 2.5 Million.

16, 800 tweets using the hashtags #oscar or #oscars.

13,000,000+ blog posts (within 28 hours).

In 1983 the Oscars had 10 Million more viewers than last nights show yet a 30 second spot was about $1.5 Million cheaper. Obviously their advertising model is flawed and not sustainable. Who will continue to pay more for declining and fragmented audiences. I have got an idea why don't you find ways to reach involve the larger audience.

Here you go Oscars - send me the cheque via PayPal:

  1. Allow brands to sponsor the Oscar sponsored vidoes posted to the internet. Have someone on staff posting to, YouTube, Vimeo, etc all speeches, skits, comedic mistakes; whatever the online world will be a buzz about tomorrow the second after it happens. If you don't someone will post them. Win by being first.
  2. Partner with YouTube to create branded media players for those videos, put logo's on the bottom corner, and links to their sites in the more information section.
  3. Add in a 10 second billboard at the end of the vidoes.
  4. Partner with Google to have targeted bigbox banner ads next to all plays of that video on YouTube or any other Google ad-network enabled sites.
  5. Then have someone interacting with the Twitterverse updating them on posted videos with links driving to where additional display advertising is available.
  6. Follow that up with sponsored search where a parternship with Google (owner of YouTube) ensures that all related search terms for a 72 hour period from the start of the show has video gallery come up as #1, 2 and 3.
  7. Then enable with Facebook connect. Allow people to comment on the videos, engage in the conversation and guess what... thats right. You have a identified a very active group of consumers for the Oscar advertisers to communicate with via, facebook flyers, targeted ads, behavioural targeting through-out the google network.
  8. What could be next? Maybe employ a handful of celebrities or other attendees to take candid pictures from the event and post to the world via twit pic (I loved MC Hammers pictures from Superbowl), flickr, facebook, Myspace and more. Ensure these pictures are brought to the audience by a brand. Example: Follow DoveRealBeauty on twitter to see pictures of who Dove's favourite celebrities think have Real Beauty. Example #2: Join the Winners Facebook Fashion group to see VIP access to the best dressed the second they get out of the limo. Then maybe have Winners buyers share with the group how they can copy the looks for a low dollar.
  9. Post the entire show to after it is complete for viewing (without commercials), have page takeovers surrounding the video.
  10. And finally get your advertisers involved before the big day. Go big with user polls, leak presenters, share expected arrival times on the red carpet of certain stars, share the after party menus, and give us a look at those coveted winner gift bags. I am sure you could find a sponsor for that content.

Now if the Oscars media team brought this package to a brand I have a feeling that they would pay the additional money necessary to make the Oscars the most profitable ever...and in our business that makes them "Golden".

Beyond the Click

If you've ever read AdJoke, you'll know that I'm a big advocate for better metrics online - especially when it comes to display advertising. I'm sick of measuring clicks and impressions. They are useless metrics that really don't tell you anything about brand recall, message takeaway and purchase intent. Sure, you can tell if someone went to your site but let's be honest, it wasn't just the display ad that got them there.

Abbey Klaassen has a recent article for AdAge that interviews a few analytics experts (from ComScore, Organic and others) about tools that measure beyond the click. It's a fascinating read and well worth it if your clients care about actually learning how their campaigns did (which most, hopefully, do).

One of my favorite quotes from the piece:

"John Squire, chief strategy officer of web-analytics firm Coremetrics, which today is launching a service that helps marketers give proper credit to their many online ads, likens it to an offline example: You're headed to the supermarket and on your way in you see the big sign in the window advertising ground round for $3.99 a pound. You need some anyway, so you buy it. In the online world, which measures the last ad seen, that sign alone would be given credit for your purchases in the store. But it's quite likely that you were going shopping in the first place because you saw something in the weekend circular that you wanted to buy or maybe you heard a radio ad. Under the last-ad-attribution model, the circular is worth, at worst, nothing, and at best far less than the ad for ground chuck in the storefront."

So true. Just because you clicked on an ad doesn't mean it should take all the credit for driving purchase. Sure, it probably helped but so did the mass TV buy at 1500 GRP's, or the out of home boards that you couldn't miss on the drive home, or the newspaper ads that you didn't really read but vaguely remember seeing.

How do we get better metrics?

One option is through ComScore's tool Brand Metrics. The tool helps to measure 10 different metrics including aided / un-aided brand awareness, improved attitudes towards the brand and purchase intent. The company has provided an overview and a fascinating report on some of the findings from the tool thus far. Here's a crazy-interesting one:

"Online ad exposures also yield a lift in various important online behaviors, such as brand site visitation and trademark searches. For example, a substantial lift in visitation to the advertiser’s Web sites can be observed in the weeks following an exposure to a display ad, even though click rates are less than 0.1 percent. Specifically, there was a 65 percent increase in lift in the week following the first ad exposure and a 46-percent increase over the four weeks following the first exposure, underscoring the latent branding effect.

What a great find. I noticed this on a recent campaign. We had a huge surge of traffic to the site due to a online partnership and a few days later their was a secondary spike. We had no idea what caused the spike - there was no specific media buy or presence to cause such a surge and, after reading this finding, it could be attributed to the people who saw our ads but just never clicked and came to the site a few days later.

Tools like this help us learn, get beyond the basics and improve our campaigns. The next time a media 'guru' presents results with just clicks and impressions, ask them what the unaided awareness of your display campaign was and watch them squirm.


Someday you'll be a star!

The never ending promise of video phones in the home.

We love old school ads at AdJoke. Check out some of our other favourite posts here, here and here.

Different Eyes = Different views

When I came across this image it got me thinking about how no matter what you try to do to change perceptions of a brand, the previous impact your brand has had will outweigh anything a new logo or new colours can change.

FFFFound here.

Applying Science to Advertising

YouNoodle is a scoring system that plans to turn the business of investment into more of a science. Reading about this company made me think that this is needed for the world of advertising.

The software measures the "buzz" surrounding a company via blogs and media reports along with a variety of factors including website traffic.

The scoring tool covers nearly 30,000 start-ups, ranging from biotechnology to gaming software.

"By watching the way the world responds to a start-up, we can give advance notice of what's hot and what's not," said co-founder Bob Goodson.

Researchers adjust the algorithm (the mathematical rating), based on more than 150,000 start-up related stories, every day. Those reports are then analysed in much the same way that Google ranks content on a web page.

How easy would it be to adjust this for a campaign? That I don't know but it doesn't seem like a stretch. What would need to be done for campaigns is finding a way to identify the media noise, blog posts, story diggs, youtube views, facebook fans, page views, etc of a holisitic campaign against the target. For example a mention of a youth targeted event that is supporting the campaign on talk radio would garner a lower score or impact versus a mention on MuchMusic or MTV.

All of these items mentioned have impact on a brand, and the success of a campaign although they may not be able to be tracked directly to ROI. This is the biggest challenge our industry faces. How do we make the finance departments, C-suite execs, and others understand that their advertising investment has to be looked at in a different light? Maybe a tracking program based on the YouNoodle foundation.

What do you think?

Learn more about YouNoodle from the BBC.

More About iPhone Applications

Last week, I did a short post on the pros and cons of developing branded iPhone applications. Over the last few days, a few great reports and presentations have come up that are worth reading if your currently thinking of developing an application.

The first is a great guide on how to actually build an iPhone application. The folks at Mashable have posted it and the developers who put it together documented the entire process of the development of the application - including all of the choices that they had to make during creation of it. Great read for any developer who wants to get moving (and they made the application in about a month):

Building PhotoKast: Creating an iPhone app in one month

The second is finding from Pinch Media (through Tech Crunch) that most iPhone applications only last 30 days before usage drops off dramatically:

It looks like after the intial download, users test out the free application for a minute or two and then it sits idle on their desktop while they look for other, more interesting ones.

As an iPhone addict, I can say that this is certainly true. I just did an audit of my pages of applications and of the 42 that I have, I probably use 4 daily, 6 weekly and the rest are just there. The cool part about the free section of the application store is that you can try out and download new applications daily.

The problem for developers is that there are so many great ones already and getting the attention of a savvy user is hard - even after they've downloaded it.

A Tactical Ad that doesn't suck

I can imagine what this brief might have looked like:

Main Message: Orange offers it's customers two for one movies on Wednesday's

Strategy: Show consumes why being with Orange is better than any other teleco provider

Mandatories: Explain the new service, show it, talk about Orange, show friends having fun together, 60 second spot, tag at the end, etc

Not a walk in the park, by an means. But the creative team worked with it and created a spot that is upbeat, memorable and fun. And as an added benefit to the client, it's easy to retain the key message.

Next time you get a brief that seems boring or complicated, remember this spot and think about all the cool stuff you could do with it.

Nice work Fallon and Orange.