Mothers and the Olympics

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Proctor & Gamble’s “Team Mom” ads have gone viral – if you haven’t seen it yourself, watch it below:

So we’ve all seen Michael Phelp’s mom on the sideline watching her son swim anxiously down the swimming pool, right? Heck, she’s even been in a commercial. I am very glad that P&G decided to use this angle for their new commercials. From what I have seen, people have enjoyed this ad immensely – maybe it doesn’t sell their products, but it creates the awareness of their large corporation.

Let me tell you a little bit about P&G. According to Ogilvy’s book, “they spend $700,000,000 a year on advertising, more than any other company, and their sales are $12,000,000,000 a year.” (Ogilvy 155) That is a lot of zeros. Most importantly, they use market research to identify consumer needs. Also, they typically have more than one brand in a category and “allow each brand to compete with its sibling.” (Ogilvy 155)

This multinational manufacturer of household products produce their ads with consistency – and that’s the reason why they sell so many products. But this ad, especially targeting the Olympic audience, was made especially for emotional appeal. Even if it doesn’t make their products fly off the shelves, people have already been talking about it on the web. Generating talk means bringing awareness. Bring awareness leads to building that oh-so-great brand loyalty.

So who buys the P&G products in the household? Ten bucks on the mother. And who do we target in household product advertisements? Mothers. The equation is simple. Thus, who do we add in the commercials to grab the mothers’ attention and provoke the emotional appeal? Kids.

Kids make the woman we call mom, “mother”. Without the kids, she’d only be the woman who lives with you. “To their moms, they’ll always be kids.” – Simple message, gets to the heart. I applaud P&G. Very well done.



Father of Advertisng, the ADvant review

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First off, Ogilvy on Advertising, is a must-read for people who are interested in the field of advertising. This advice was past down from my advertising professor, and now I am doing the same for you. David Ogilvy (founder of Ogilvy & Mathers internationally) is considered the “Father of Advertising” and rightly so because of his professionalism and creative brilliance he brought to the table and during his clients’ meetings.

Yes, this book is a little outdated since it was published in 1983; but it brings up important points nonetheless. These are general rules to keep in mind while launching any type of campaign. Even if the book was written before the advent of e-mail and social media. Ogilvy might roll over in his grave if he saw what Facebook has become in today’s world.

Here are the top 6 points that I learned from reading this book:

  • Research is important, important, important. Data backs up results. Research saves time, money, effort – in all, it saves. Without research, clients can dump millions of dollars on your little poor campaign (an ineffective campaign to start with) and expect sales. Quantitative data projects consumer results. No data equals no sales.
  • Reverse type is a no-no. You see this dark text on light background – keep that. People don’t want to adjust their eyes to read your atrocious white-on-black. This applies to print ads, billboards, and various places you don’t want to strain your eyes.
  • Long copy sells more than short copy.  I thought that this was one of the most important points he had reiterated throughout the book. Although I do understand the technique and psychology behind long copy, I’m not quite sure people nowadays have the attention span for it. True, it also depends on your target audience. If someone is investing their time and money in an industrial tool for their company, you better believe they will read all your copy for it. To a certain extent,  I interpreted his point as the more luxurious or valuable your product is (depending on your audience) , the more copy it needs (very simplified view of mine).
  • Make information in your advertisements relevant to the product your are selling. This might seem like a given to many advertisers. But I can see why some ads can be misrepresented. That is the worse news for advertisers – all that work and the consumer still does not understand the product. In a study performed by Professor Jacoby of Purdue University in 1979, participants where shown 25 typical TV commercials. He found that all of them where somehow miscomprehended, some by many as 40%. I can imagine in a world as complicated as ours today, how that percentage could be rising. Also, sex doesn’t always sell. (i.e, Paris Hilton eating a Carl’s Jr. burger…you really think she would eat a burger?)
  • Celebrities and humor produce high recall rates, but not sales. Yes, that funny SuperBowl M&M commercial made me laugh, and I enjoy the “Sexy and I Know It” snippet every time it plays on TV, but has that made me go to the store and buy a pack of M&M’s? Nope, I don’t even remember the last time I bought candy. I suppose celebrities and funny commercials are part of the formula for SuperBowl commercials, and it’s been an American tradition ever since who knows when. Additionally, using celebrity for a testimony is not a credible source – consumers will assume that you paid them to say so-and-so, and thus is probably perfectly true.
  • Communication is key. This is applied to all walks of life, but certainly in advertising – no wonder why it’s in the College of Communications. Granted, there are many business components and sales is definitely a key factor in determining a company’s success – but at the end of the day, did your consumer understand what you are trying to communicate to them? The message transition between advertiser to consumer is crucial and should not be taken lightly. Also, Ogilvy mentioned the importance of advertising during a recession because it creates awareness of the brand, even in hard times.

Some of his points where “no, duh” points to me. But I find it reassuring that he mentioned them because it would have been worse if he had assumed. Don’t just assume – research, crank out numbers, produce some results. In this industry, you don’t just assume – you dig up data and analyze.

Some of his points were out-dated. Direct mail pieces, which were a popular choice back then for direct response, is not used as often as it is now today. Most mail advertisements we receive at home meet the paper shredder in my house. Though, the company I work at, is an advocator for direct mail pieces, which I can see some effectiveness in the direct-tracking results for a direct mail campaign.

In all, this was an important read because it provided his experience in the industry (which in order, for me to save time, I don’t want to make the same mistakes). Advertising takes time, and it’s not as easy as the consumer perceives it to be, even if he/she might think they are smarter. Good advertising produces quick turnaround results, but great advertising is used for many years and ensures brand loyalty.

You do know it’s hard to avoid name-brand products, right? And where did that all start…

It’s Not All About the Brawn, but the Brains

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During the Olympics, we think about our nation’s best athletes competing in different sports. The athletes are living under their own (and their coaches’) pressure to perform well in their various events. That is the brawn. But what are the brains doing in the Olympics? The advertising research behind your domestic sponsors’ commercials you watch in between Olympic history-making spectacles.

If you haven’t caught the Olympic fever yet from watch the U.S. trials on television last week, the Olympics are fast approaching. With the opening ceremony set for July 27th, Americans and other people in their respective countries will be glued to their TVs for about 16 days. What better time to advertise subliminally while supporting your nation’s team?

Big corporations are viewing the Olympics as an international advertising platform since there are approximately 214 countries represented in the London Games this summer.

For Team USA, there are 11 official worldwide sponsors:

  • McDonalds
  • Acer
  • General Electric (GE)
  • Panasonic
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Samsung
  • Atos
  • Visa
  • Coca=Cola Company
  • Omega
  • Dow

These companies are the big giants, which are recognized by people overseas. With the 5-ring circle emblem on their websites, consumers automatically know that these companies support Team USA. Furthermore, there are 22 domestic sponsorships on the U.S. part. Some include Budweiser, AT&T (as shown above), Kelloggs, Citi Mortgage, United Airlines, etc. The official Outfitter for Team USA are Nike (for performance wear) and Ralph Lauren (for the official Team USA uniforms).

You should have recognized about 90% of the brands that were mentioned previously. With this many sponsorships for Team USA, you wonder about what the other countries are doing. With the reach and frequency of advertising so high, there is no room for error. The cost of Olympic commercials vary depending on the event and the television station, but it is not uncommon that a 30-sec commercial could be priced in the millions.

Logos play a big part in designing your advertising campaigns. In the next post, I will discuss what makes a memorable logo and why some of the logos you recognize today have worked for years.

NBA Finals 2012

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NBA finals started tonight with the Oklahoma City Thunder taking the win. (I wasn’t aware that Durant played for Texas…) But on another note, I was noticing the advertising spots during the commercial break. There are plenty of sponsorships when it comes to sport championships because there is a certain target audience marketers are trying to reach out to through the television set. The television still remains the most important medium for a wide range of people. That kind of resource needs to be exploited to its maximum potential.

So how much does a commercial spot cost during the NBA finals?

Answer: 1-minute spots run for $1 million; 30-second run for about $500,000 (Well that seems fair enough.)

Opposed to Super Bowl commercials (30-second) that run for $3.5 million, NBA Final commercials seem like a bargain. Another reason why there is a natural spike in prices is probably because there is always hype around the Super Bowl, that one epic night of football. The basketball finals run for about 5 nights, and the promotion of the product wears off if it is shown for all those 5 games. But then again, it might be subconsciously engrained into your brain because you’ve seen it 5 times.

That is probably the reason why advertisers opt for sponsorships during the game. For instance, during the halftime show, we see the Statefarm logo in front of the desk where the commentators talk about the first half of the game. Not to mention, the orange Gatorade logos at the sideline benches during the post-season games.

Brand recognition and product placement are integrated everywhere we go, and that’s the beauty of advertising/marketing.

So who will win the NBA Finals this season? Is it finally the redemption time for the Heat or is it going to be a clean sweep for the Thunder?

theADvant Facebook & Twitter

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Remember to Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/theADvant) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/theADvant) for more updates and news! From an advertising standpoint, communication is key. Much appreciated.


AD news: The Apple Legacy to be Continued?

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First off, Apple has been a marketed brand since their 1984 SuperBowl commercial. They have done such a fantastic job at integrating their brand in the world that many people recognize the Apple logo without difficulty. That half-bitten fruit is everywhere, could be some type of allusion.

Today, at the WWDC summit, Apple reveal what they have been working on for the past year. The new upgrades include an iOS6 mobile operation system, FaceTime activity without using Wifi, and its new Maps application which will replace the Google Maps app we have on our phones now. The Google Map feature is “among the iPhone’s most popular features since its debut in 2007” (Sarno & Rodriguez, LA Times).  This important feature allowed Google to own a valuable part of Apple’s bestselling phone.

But not anymore. “In iOS 6 we have built an entire new mapping system from the ground up. And it looks beautiful,” said Senior VP for iOS Scott Forstall. “We’re covering the world.” Certainly the iPhone’s new Map application is going to improve its brand image because it’s virtually a GPS system  in the palm of your hand. The application will work with Siri to “offer voice-controlled, turn-by-turn navigation, letting motorists use it to guide them through unfamiliar neighborhoods” (Sarno & Rodriguez, LA Times). With this app, there will be advertising opportunities for local businesses to put themselves on the map.

Google and Apple have been fierce competitors with each other. Although the iPhone remains the best-selling single smartphone in the U.S., most major phone manufacturers are producing devices using Google Inc.’s Android software. “Taken together, Android devices made by Google-owned Motorola Mobility, HTC Corp., LG Corp. and Samsung are far outselling the iPhone” (Sarno & Rodriguez, LA Times). To keep the Apple audience happy, they must be coming up with more fresh, interesting ideas than Google. Apple has built their brand by driving innovation into their products, and they must keep that legacy.

To ensure that legacy, they are going to market their products with more expensive price tags. The new MacBook Pro with high-def retina display (as seen on the new iPads) will run you at least $2,199 for a model with 8GB of memory. Well, there goes my bank account.

Siri is going international – not only will she be able to speak English, she will know how to respond in Italian, Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin/Cantonese, tapping into that Chinese market and the growing popularity of Apple products from across the sea. Siri will be able to keep you updated with sport game scores and stats; no more looking it up on your phone. Also, you will be able to ask Siri to update your Facebook status and tweet or launch an app. The world of IMC is growing by the sound of a human voice and very rapidly.

Some people have said that their announcement today was a flop. People were expecting news about Apple TV and newer releases of Apple products. People are speculating that a new iPhone 5 will be released in October of this year, we’ll see. Were you disappointed by the “new upgrades” the Apple executives shared this morning in San Francisco?

Facebook Meant to Cure Boredom – Not Anymore

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Facebook has had a bit of a backlash lately with its impending lawsuit IPO dipping and Zuckerberg taking some time off for his honeymoon. There’s been several articles about how Facebook is becoming boring for many users. Facebook users are fickle, and in general many people are in this world. So it’s not really a surprise that Facebook will end its reign sooner or later.

According to the Yahoo! article, “a Reuters/Ipsos poll counted 34% of its users slacking off, compared with six months ago.”

Like remember the old days of MySpace? Will Facebook be obsolete in 2020, as one analyst has predicted?

I have a theory about why people are not using Facebook as much as they did, and it’s not because of the Timeline change or that your grandmother might have one. My theory about the diminishing Facebook usage comes from the constant status updates and the pictures and articles trending. People have had enough of the old stuff and want new stuff. But then again, when Facebook introduces a new idea like the Timeline and Sidebar Ticker – we choose to not accept it and move on. So it’s a lose-lose situation for Facebook, literally.

Do you always have one of your friends think that Facebook is Twitter, where there is a constant feed of what they are doing? Honestly, no one really cares that much about you trying to figure out what to eat for dinner or what show you are watching right now.

Additionally, another analysis about Facebook would be its manipulative nature to make people think everyone is living in a perfect world…except for you. Not sure if it’s the whole focus on the “glass half full” concept, but it makes people re-examine their lives. It’s only human for people to naturally post happy moments in their lives.

The monotonous status updates from the same friends are sure to bore you. So people are moving on to better, exciting things. Facebook was once a tool to cure the boredom in our daily lives as we check out what our friends are up to, but soon after you see that nothing has changed much – people move on.

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