Archive for September, 2009

How to keep your agency living in fear

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on September 30th, 2009 at 12:00 am

For the fourth time in two decades, Pizza Hut is shopping for a new creative agency. BBDO, having held onto the account during the past three reviews, will have to demonstrate once again that it's the best advertising partner for a chain that continues to lose market share to competitors and the frozen pizza aisle, reports Ad Age.
No one takes an agency review lightly, least of all the agency defending its current revenue stream. But in trying economic times, it's natural to pursue every avenue that could conceivably lead to fresh ideas and boosts in sales. Some marketers even point out that recession-time agency reviews are far more likely to yield impressive pitches paired with conservative quotes than they would in times of plenty.
That said, the agency-brand relationship is just that -- a relationship. And when one partner must regularly defend itself and its work to the other, there's bound to be a little (albeit unspoken) resentment -- especially if the marketing partner senses it's being blamed for more-systemic deficiencies within the client's business model or product.
So how can a brand walk that line between the need to constantly demand innovative ideas while still forging a long-term marketing relationship... Read more

Huh? What? And, Ah-Ha Moments from a Long Traveled Road

Posted by Chris Cunningham on September 30th, 2009 at 12:00 am

I can't imagine working in any other industry but the Internet. As we head into Q4 and look forward to 2010, the buzz and discussions around social media are deafening.
As someone that crisscrosses the country meeting with agencies and brands, I've had some pretty interesting conversations and experiences recently and thought I'd share. Here goes…
Recently, I met with an agency that said, "We don't do apps." Wow, was I surprised to hear that! Saying you don't do apps is like saying you don't understand all the inventory opportunities available. For example, CaféMom was recently passed by Circle of Moms (a community on Facebook) by millions of women. Another example, NBC's Access Hollywood just launched an app on iGoogle, one of the newest third-party platforms available, and it is already gaining traction. So don't consider apps an object or a banner that goes away but rather a bonafide community that is growing each day. If you are a CPG company looking to sell diapers you may want to reach a highly engaged and targeted community of moms. If you educate yourself on what moms are doing you could possibly provide content, coupons around existing conversations on Facebook and soon via... Read more

Honda's Fit advergame is a hit

Posted by Mario Sgambelluri on September 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Did you happen to catch the advergame for Honda's Fit earlier this year? I missed it, but a tip from a friend (via LinkedIn) at the agency that designed it (Red Interactive) introduced me. (Red of course worked with RPA, Honda's long-standing AOR on the effort, by the way.)
The game acts as a seamless extension of those killer commercials that established the Fit as a sort of a comic book superhero fighting fuel-sucking "mecha mosquitoes" and hell-bent muscle cars. The game play is pretty simple, but it's a visual treat, addictive and a fine example of extending storytelling across multiple media.
Red Interactive's Honda Fit game is up for an "Advertising & Branding" award at the 2009 Adobe MAX conference.

5 Creative Lessons from Neuroscience

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on September 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

 It's always heart-warming when science validates the assumptions that underlie our thinking about creative messaging and media.
For years advertising agencies have been advising clients that disruptive or unexpected imagery seen, scanned or read with some frequency builds brand impressions. And that these impressions turn into awareness, preference, and purchases over time. Freud inferred that the unconscious mind picked up and processed as many signals as the conscious mind and on this basis the advertising industry developed rules of thumb about how, when and how often to intercept consumers and present brand messages.
Now brain researchers at Tel Aviv University have conducted experiments to prove this point. Professors Moti Salti, Dominique Lamy and Yair Ben-Haim documented that unconscious perception exists. A far cry from Freud's postulates about repressed trauma and childhood angst, the data suggests that our brains take in signals and process messages on several simultaneous levels of consciousness. Perhaps this explains why even those who skip the commercials and flip past the ads can recall brand logos and key copy points. According to Professor Salti, "You walk around and are exposed to many stimuli from all directions but are aware of very few."
The tests exposed participants to a... Read more

Two Things I learned at the Inc. 5000 Conference

Posted by Adam Kleinberg on September 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

I'm leaving the Inc. 500 | 5000 Conference in Washington D.C. feeling inspired. The Inc. 5000 is their list of the fastest growing companies in the United States over the past 4 years. This year, Traction was ranked #1399.

I go to a lot of industry events for advertising and digital media, so it was a refreshingly optimistic opportunity to be in the presence of an "industry" of entrepreneurs. To be honest, before I went, I wasn't too enthused. But I left feeling really humbled to be among this proud group of people who are making the American Dream happen for themselves every day.
Sound sappy? Maybe, but it's how I feel this morning.
Last night, they gave the Entrepreneur of the Year award to a woman who, despite being severely handicapped in a car accident when she was 23 years old, invented an "invisible bib" for people in wheelchairs to protect their clothes—and turned her idea into one of the 5000 fastest growing companies in America. I've never felt so genuinely humble.
The conference brought in one of the best lists of speakers I've ever seen. Jim Collins, who wrote Good to Great, tore the house... Read more