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Putting People First

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Posts in category 'Advertising'

8 May 2006

When street ads give you a ring [International Herald Tribune]

JP Decaux
Sometime in the next few weeks, French [JP Decaux] billboards will be able to speak to your mobile phone – but only with your permission.

People with certain kinds of phones who download a special software program and say they want to participate will receive digital advertising when the phone is near the billboards.

It is the latest twist in the budding niche of mobile marketing, wherein the cellphone becomes a conduit not just for communications but also for commerce.

When participating users are near an active advertisement – it could be part of a billboard or a bus shelter poster – their phones will automatically receive a notice that a digital file can be downloaded. The information could range from a ring tone or short video to a discount voucher.

Read full story

(via Pasta & Vinegar)

25 April 2006

Stuff the kids [The Guardian]

Stuff the kids
It bombards them with adverts, seduces them with merchandise – and then fills them with additives. In an exclusive extract from his explosive new book, Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation) reveals in The Guardian how the fast-food industry exploits its key audience – the very young.

Some excerpts from the article:

“Before trying to control children’s behaviour, advertisers have to learn what kids like. Today’s market researchers not only interview children in shopping malls, they also organise focus groups for children as young as two or three.”

“At a focus group, kids are paid to sit around and discuss what they like to buy. The idea of creating a squeezable ketchup bottle came from kids in a focus group. Heinz earned millions of dollars from the idea; the kids who thought of it were paid a small amount. Advertisers study children’s drawings, hire children to take part in focus groups, pay children to attend sleepover parties and then ask them questions late into the night. Advertisers send researchers into homes, stores, fast food restaurants and other places where kids like to gather. They study the fantasy lives of young children, then apply the findings in advertisements and product designs.”

“The fast food chains now work closely with leading toy makers, giving away small toys with children’s meals and selling larger ones at their restaurants.”

“”McDonald’s is in some ways a toy company, not a food company,” says one retired fast food executive. Indeed, McDonald’s is perhaps the largest toy company in the world. It sells or gives away more than 1.5 billion toys every year. Almost one out of every three new toys given to American kids each year comes from McDonald’s or another fast food chain.”

Read full story

24 April 2006

‘Channeling’ on the net [International Herald Tribune]

Land Rover's Go Beyond channel
Some marketers, worried about a world in which they can no longer rely on TV commercials to get their messages across, are taking matters into their own hands, starting their own “channels” on the Internet.

Land Rover, the brand of British sport utility vehicles owned by Ford Motor, this month introduced what it billed as the first broadband television channel run by a car company. It features an around-the-clock schedule of packaged multimedia programming, interspersed with ads for the Land Rover brand, accessible via a special Web site.

That move followed news from Bacardi, the rum maker, that it planned to start an online radio station, available over the Internet and mobile phones. The service will stream “uplifting party anthems from the world’s hottest dance floors” to listeners around the globe.

“To succeed today, you need to engage consumers rather than interrupt them,” said David Stubley, chief executive of Performance Worldwide, a London division of MindShare, a media planning and buying agency that developed the idea for the Land Rover channel.

Brands like Land Rover and Bacardi are hoping to engage consumers by offering them content that they actually want to watch or hear, rather than foisting a hard sell on them.

Read full story

29 March 2006

Daily Fix, a new MarketingProfs blog

Daily Fix
Marketingprofs.com, the online publishing company, yesterday launched Daily Fix, a group weblog featuring news, opinion and commentary on marketing, advertising and business-related issues, both offline and online.

The bone and marrow of the blog are, first, the anal ysis, opinion and commentary on news from a collection of 20-plus writers (including re-posts from Putting People First) and, second, the news itself.

Ann Handley, MarketingProfs chief content editor, who has been putting a lot of energy in this endeavour, writes: "My hope is that the Daily Fix will become an engaging, interesting, lively, daily stop for many of you—a place to read the news and opinions of the day, some lively writing, some bit of inspiration, or a write-up about a great Web site, resource, tool, or fun viral campaign."

20 March 2006

Nike, Google kick off social-networking site [Business Week]

The sporting goods giant and the Internet search king have teamed up to create Joga.com and connect soccer fans around the world

Nike and Google, hoping to take social networking to a new realm, have quietly launched the first invitation-only Web site for soccer-mad fans around the world. Joga.com went live late last week and will soon be running in 140 countries and 14 languages.

Joga.com is a free network where members will be able to create Web sites and send e-mail, photos, and video clips, as well as access Nike content related to its sponsored athletes such as Brazilian superstar Ronaldino or U.S. soccer prodigy Freddy Adu, according to Nike officials who confirmed the new initiative.

Read full story

26 February 2006

Publicis Groupe launches Denuo, a new futures practice

Denuo
Publicis Groupe has set up a new digital venture – a standalone consultancy to help clients, and their budgets, leave behind traditional advertising and move toward digital, interactive and mobile media.

Publicis Groupe, the international advertising and media conglomerate, has announced the launch of Denuo, a major new strategic initiative designed to anticipate and exploit the rapidly changing digital, interactive and mobile communication environment. Denuo is a stand-alone business, not based on any pre-existing industry model. Denuo’s model rests on three pillars, functioning simultaneously as a strategic consultant, an inventor of solutions, and as an investor in partnerships.

The unprecedented new venture [“denuo” = ‘afresh’, ‘anew’ in Latin] will be led by Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Innovation Officer of Publicis Groupe Media (PGM).

In a commentary, marketing strategist Steve Rubel writes “By talking more about “exploiting” new communications channels rather than using them to co-create marketing with consumers, the ad agencies demonstrate that, at least for now, that they still don’t get what this revolution is all about. Publicis appears to be operating in a mode where they still are marketing to consumers, rather than with them.”.

Read press release
Read background articles: International Herald Tribune | The New York Times

22 February 2006

Advertising 2.0

Advertising20
What everybody in advertising, marketing and media should know about the technologies that are reshaping their business.

What’s the effect of an advertising campaign, in a world where every consumer has instant access to all hard data about any given product? How can we even reach these consumers in a media landscape that consists of millions of personal blogs, podcasts and time shifted television? What is the role of marketing when consumers are directly connected to almost anybody within the companies they buy from?

In this paper advertising specialist Paul Beelen (Chile) attempts to provide some answers (or at least clues), but for now, he says, the best way to be prepared is to simply be aware of the fact that things are changing. Something has been set off, that is impossible to stopped. And it will force advertising to reinvent itself in quite a few ways.

Download white paper (pdf, 128 kb, 21 pages)

(via Future Now, the blog of the Institute for the Future)

17 February 2006

Visa’s virtual Olympic challenge [Business Week]

Visa_games
The credit-card giant scored a hit with its online “advergame.” And it’s not alone, as companies try to think of new ways to snag eyeballs

There’s a new competition at the Winter Olympics this year — and it involves virtual, rather than actual, athletes. On Feb. 15 winners of an online, Olympic-themed advertising game, or “advergame”, commissioned by Visa, will face off — in person — in a Torino-area shopping mall, playing on computer terminals hooked up to large-scale screens.

Designed to increase brand awareness, the free online game — which went live in October — allows players to engage in bobsleigh, giant slalom, and snowboarding competitions. Visa flew the 23 finalists from around the globe — from such countries as Austria, the Ukraine, China, and the U.S. — to the Torino Olympics to stage its own games.

Read full story
View slide show

22 January 2006

Teens living at the digital edge [International Herald Tribune]

 
While the emerging generation’s deftness with technology is a given, researchers say the most potent byproduct may be the feedback factor, which only accelerates the cycles of what’s hot and what’s over.

“We think that the single largest differentiator in this generation from previous generations is the social network that is people’s lives, the part of it that technology enables,” said Jack McKenzie, a senior vice president at Frank N. Magid Associates, a market research and consulting firm specializing in the news media and entertainment industries.

Read full story

1 January 2006

Having your ears on the ground [International Herald Tribune]

Signbank
If you can track what consumers actually do, why bother with what they say?

Instead of simply producing ads, advertising agencies now want to be seen as creative consultancies, helping clients develop marketing strategies or even new products. DDB, part of the Omnicom Group, last month rolled out a service called SignBank, which taps the power of the Internet and the agency’s global office network to collect thousands of individual snippets of cultural change, identify trends in them and advise clients on what it all means for them.

“Focus groups confirm what you already know,” said Eva Steensig, a sociologist at DDB Denmark. “Talking about toilet paper for two hours in a room doesn’t really help.”

The problem, she said, is that most consumers are not experts on their own consumption patterns. They have other things to worry about – their families, the weather, their moods. So, in focus groups they are easily led in one direction or another and rarely come up with the kinds of original insights that a marketer needs to stay ahead in a fast-changing game.

Read full story
Read DDB press release

25 October 2005

Turning kids into fierce consumers [The Guardian]

M_ms
The Guardian has a fascinating and slightly depressing article about the multi-million-pound industry intent on turning teenagers and toddlers into passionate consumers.

British child is familiar with up to 400 brand names by the time they reach the age of 10. Researchers report that kids are more likely to recognise Ronald McDonald and the Nike swoosh than Jesus. One study found that 69% of all three-year-olds could identify the McDonald’s golden arches – while half of all four-year-olds did not know their own name.

Researchers have found that children barely able to speak will still communicate a preference for certain brands, associating them with fun. One mother of an obese five-year old told Ofcom’s research team that her kids wouldn’t eat “normal shop spaghetti”, but tucked in once they saw Bob the Builder on the tin.

(Thanks Régine at we-make-money-not-art)

21 September 2005

This billboard is talking to you

Ataklingb
It is not an example of experience design the way I like to understand it, but it is clearly a designed experience.

Ogilvy Belgium has launched this week a talking billboard in their campaign for Ford. [Alain Caviggia was commissioned by Ogilvy Belgium to produce the campaign]. The interactive poster reacts to their presence of who’s standing in front of it. The voice and facial expressions of the guy in the poster are controlled by an actor hidden in a booth nearby. The ads can be found in the main train stations in Belgium.

View movie with German tourists

(via we-make-money-not-art)

9 September 2005

Jean-Paul Gaultier takes a try at experience marketing

Chance_encounters
The French “buzz marketing” agency Nouveau Jour has been collaborating with the creative team of fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier on a new online section for the designer, conceived as a virtual world to experience and share chance encounters.

In addition to the permanent part of the site, there are also online “events” that are marketed by surprise emails just 15 minutes beforehand, I presume so that most people will miss it and the lucky few will create a “buzz”. Likewise, when I contacted the agency for more information, they sent me a prompt reply with a link to the press section, which I am supposed to keep “secret between you and me”. It seems all a little silly to me (and frankly, so was the violin concert event – see below), but perhaps I don’t belong to their target customer base.

Starting from the assumption that each encounter is the starting point of a creation, the site features three different encounters, each resulting in three creations.

“Tango Painting” allows people to encounter other people differently, by designing and tracing graphic concepts like in a game using one or two mice, to enhance them with artist drawings and to share them with other people over the Internet.

“The Fragrance Alchemist” is a film about a little prince who lives in the streets of a vertical megalopolis and has decided to create the perfume of his dreams. Everyone may add their personal creative touch to this manga by creating its virtual fragrance and passing on this mutant story to their partner or soul mate.

“When Zhang meets Veng” is one of their “events”, a chance encounter between the Russian violin-player Maxim Vengerov and the Chinese cult film-director Zhang Yimou.

Update: apparently the buzz marketing agency has been spamming (correction: “sending several promotional emails to” – see comment) some “cool” sites (including Wired and Cool Hunting) for weeks with the statement that these sites were elected to promote the “event” before the others. None of them wrote anything.

6 September 2005

Sony Ericsson site has experiences section

Sony_ericsson_experience
The Sony Ericsson website now contains an “Experiences” section with small visual scenarios of how mobile phone functionalities can provide added value to our lives.

Or in their own marketing language: “It’s all about combining your emotions with our technology to create something unique.”

Unfortunately, the six scenarios are more advertisements to get you to like their features than illustrations of user-centred experience design. I am not sure who will watch this.

28 August 2005

The global future forum

Slobodan
The global future forum, which originated within Unisys, is an independent partnership of futurists, academics and businesspeople, committed to helping organisations extend their strategic planning horizons, and better prepare for the future.

It offers business a single point of access to the world’s leading future-thinkers, and develops the knowledge-bases and methodologies to enable business to adopt future-thinking as an integral part of their strategic planning process.

The 2005 conference takes place from 21 to 23 September in Saint-Paul de Vence, France. Several sessions focus on the importance of understanding people.

The conference homepage links to a number of interesting publications on branding and foresight.

1 August 2005

Ad execs rethink music [Reuters]

Indexpodcastingpublish20050628
Music fans may bemoan the crumbling boundary between commercials and song-making, but there’s more to come in an industry turned on its head by portable digital music players like the fast-selling iPod.

U.S. advertisers and their agencies are becoming talent scouts, music producers, programers and promoters to reach the consumers who tune out from the world around them with iPods and other music players, eschewing ad-heavy radio.

“iPod has really changed the world for people in terms of them having their own playlists,” Burger King marketing chief Russ Klein told Reuters. “We have to earn our way into it.” Klein sees marketers as “purveyors of the content itself,” not just sponsors of someone else’s programing.

Read full story

30 July 2005

I screen, you screen: the new age of the music video [The New York Times]

Musicvideo
Videos have taken on an exciting if uncertain life of their own, far away from the mother ship that launched them.

They thrive at online music sites, they’re sold in record stores, they connect strangers across the Internet. And just this month, speculation was rampant that they might soon be coming to iPods, the hand-held devices that are obsessing an increasingly large segment of the population.

Read full story

23 July 2005

Proctor & Gamble targeting teens with clever blogs [Fast Company]

Tiki_cheer_vid
On a blog called sparklebodyspray.com, the pastel geometric images of four faceless girls emphasize the four authors, code-named Vanilla, Tropical, Rose, and Peach.

Vanilla and her crew aren’t people at all. They’re the names of four perfume sprays, targeted to teens, created under the Secret brand by Proctor & Gamble. Secret Sparkle Body Spray products shipped in February, the blog launched in May, and already the colognes have 0.8 percent of the $10.4-billion global antiperspirant/deodorant market. The site, which has received 12,000 hits per week, combines teen “passion points,” as Michelle Vaeth of Proctor & Gamble calls them, which entertain visitors while subtly pushing the product.

The deceptively juvenile sparklebodyspray.com is more sophisticated than one might think—it embodies the next generation of internet marketing. On their way out are ads that alienated web surfers—the intrusive pop-up, the mass email known as spam—and made them all but blind and deaf to the message.

Read full story

16 July 2005

Customer storytelling at the heart of business success [Boxes and Arrows]

Arc100mm
As most of us know by now, customer personas and scenarios are vehicles for helping an organisation continuously keep their customers in their line of sight.

This report discusses how the Arc Worldwide’s Experience Planning group (a division of the Publicis group) uses storytelling and multidimensional customer-based stories to provide relevance, direction, and resonance in today’s business planning landscape.

Read full story

23 June 2005

Big advertisers catch the bug for viral campaigns [Reuters]

 
Some of the world’s biggest advertisers, including Microsoft and Anheuser-Busch, are increasingly turning to electronic word-of-mouth advertising campaigns as they seek inexpensive, provocative and entertaining ways to reach new customers.

Read full story