Posts Tagged 'WOM'

tee total

Tiger Woods Tee-Off Banner

I stumbled on this great interactive piece thanks to @eunmac at Amnesia Razorfish.

The experience is similar to the Pringles banner that won awards at Cannes recently: there’s a compelling communications proposition that actively engages the audience and draws them in to an evolving story.

Even better, this campaign offers people a simple, free sample of the new Tiger Woods game, right within the advertising.

However, it was when I came to post about it that I realised there was an opportunity to make this type of campaign even more powerful.

I actually wanted to include the ‘tee-off’ banner above, instead of just the screen shot.

Maybe I’m just being slow, but I couldn’t find an easy way to do that.

Allowing people to embed the tee-off banner on their own site, or even on their Facebook profile, would amplify the reach of the campaign with no additional media cost, and even better, stimulate audience conversations.

Interactive, social media, and peer endorsement all in one; a client’s dream!

Moreover, when you ‘tee off’ in the current campaign, you visit a series of new EA pages where you play your subsequent strokes.

This was perhaps another missed opportunity; if the subsequent banners were to appear on other, non-EA sites, the brand could establish some interesting partnerships (Poke’s Balloonacy campaign for Orange demonstrated the power of this approach).

It’s already a great campaign, but I’d love to see some of these developments expand the audience engagement.

Thanks again to @eunmac

influencing influence

eskimon's paid opinions

Paid opinions are a hot topic for discussion at the moment.

In the past 24 hours, PSFK, Marketing Pilgrim, and 1000Heads have all shared some great thoughts on the subject.

While reading their posts, it occurred to me that people view this issue quite differently, depending on the context.

That’s not surprising – context is always critical – but which specific elements influences our perspective?

In the ‘offline’ world, we seem to have little issue with paid endorsement.

Sports players invariably endorse the brands they use, and most of us seem comfortable with that.

The thinking seems to be,

“If Tiger’s success depends so heavily on the clubs he uses, surely he wouldn’t compromise his success to endorse a brand he doesn’t trust?”

Similarly, come Oscars time, gossip columns lead with stories on which designer was ‘chosen’ by each celebrity.

“If Angelina’s success depends so heavily on looking great at all times, surely she wouldn’t compromise her look by wearing anything less than the best label?”

Such sponsorship seems acceptable to most people.

But when it comes to sponsored editorial and opinion – especially online – people adopt a very different standpoint.

“If a blogger is being paid to review a brand, their review will inevitably be biased”

Why this change of perspective?

Blogging success is (usually) determined by readership, and that readership depends on the respect and trust of the blog’s followers.

So why would any sensible blogger compromise their success for any brand that pays them?

It seems ironic that, when it comes to sponsorship, we place less faith in the actions of the people whose opinions we normally trust than we do in those of celebrities and sportspeople.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.



I’m a great believer in the value of research, but I’m dismayed by the frequency with which findings are distorted in order to endorse or support a particular agenda.

As I’ve noted before,

“Torture numbers and they’ll tell you anything.*”

So it was with interest that I read this headline in MediaWeek:

“Survey: Consumers Don’t Hate Ads”

After reading the article, I dug a little deeper into the source material – the recently published “Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey: Trust, Value and Engagement in Advertising.”

It’s full of great data, and I’ve been looking forward to this latest iteration of the bi-annual survey.

However, there are two areas in this year’s report that disturbed me.

The first is the conclusion that inspired the MediaWeek headline:

“Consumer perceptions on the value of advertising
are generally positive.”

Let’s look at the data that ‘support’ that conclusion [click the image to enlarge]:

[image taken directly from Nielsen's report]

[image from Nielsen's report]

You’ll notice that these statements are framed as ‘facts’.

But when the report draws its conclusions on these findings, it states:

“We asked if advertising…

  • increases value for consumers (through competition);
  • promotes consumer choice (helping consumers exercise their right to choose)
  • powers economic growth (by helping companies succeed)
  • creates jobs (through economic growth and as an industry in itself);
  • is the lifeblood of media (funding a diverse, pluralistic media landscape);
  • funds sports and culture (through sponsorship);
  • helps make a difference (through public service advertisements);
  • often gets my attention and is entertaining.”

These ‘questions’ are quite different to the statements in the chart above.

So, do the data really show that “consumer perceptions on the value of advertising are generally positive”?

I’m not convinced.

My second issue relates to a regular concern [again, click the image to enlarge]:

nielsen trust in media 2009 02

[image from Nielsen's report]

You probably know what’s coming…

“Peer recommendation is the most trusted [advertising] channel, trusted “completely” or “somewhat” by 9 out of 10 respondents worldwide.”

I’ve talked about this before.

‘Peer Recommendation’ / ‘WOM’ / ‘Consumer Opinions Posted Online’ / ‘Editorial Content’ are not advertising channels.

Rather, they are all consequences of other marketing activities.

People trust them precisely because they’re not advertising.

In their true form, they’re unbiased, and that’s what makes them persuasive and trustworthy.

Sure, brands have tried to hijack them and use them as channels, but that invariably generates mistrust rather than trust, as evidenced here.

I don’t dispute the value of word of mouth, but we need to accept that it’s not advertising; brands cannot ‘buy’ these ‘channels’ any more than they can ‘buy’ sales.

Having raised these two concerns though, I fully encourage you to download a copy of Nielsen’s report and study the numbers for yourself.

So long as you approach them with an open mind and an unbiased agenda, you’ll find them highly informative and very useful.

[As a side note, perhaps we should see the report's conclusions in the context of  this post]

*Thanks again to Kelvin for this wonderful quote.

tweet and make up

coke twitter

pepsi twitter

This really tickled me – a great idea from Iain at Amnesia.

He’s managed to get Coke and Pepsi talking to each other on twitter.

The idea works on so many levels, but above all, it demonstrates marketing maturity from both brands.

Holding out a hand to your rival is a great way to demonstrate a strong brand personality and a responsible social attitude.

And it’s doing wonders for PR and conversations too…

Who’s next?

slick on both sides

mos def album

PSFK reports that Mos Def has launched his new album as a t-shirt.

At first, this struck me as a pretentious PR act.

But further reflection reveals a mastery of audience insight.

In a world where illegal downloads are commonplace, what alternative channels can commercial artists harness?

The music t-shirt has long been a valuable source of social expression; they’re what Hugh MacLeod might term ‘social objects‘.

So making the t-shirt the core product, and providing access to the music via a link on the hang tag, is a masterstroke of contemporary marketing.

Mos’s approach identifies the expressive benefit of ownership, and amplifies that very same expressive element.


With thanks to PSFK for the info and image, and much kudos to Mos Def

unexpected benefits

hyatt random surprises

We saw a couple of weeks ago that satisfaction is a function of expectations.

As we interact more frequently with a brand, we come to expect certain things of it, and over time, we can start to take some aspects of the experience for granted.

These aspects become part of the brand’s promise, and not receiving them negatively impacts our level of satisfaction.

However, this premise works the other way too; if you only expect average service, and instead experience a more pleasurable interaction, you’ll probably come away feeling more satisfied.

We tend to tell others about these experiences too, and this ‘word of mouth’ effect amplifies the impact.

If managed correctly, brands can harness the delivery of these unexpected ‘nice surprises’ to foster deeper consumer loyalty.

Hotel brand Hyatt appears to be applying this potential in a new initiative called ‘Random Surprises’, which featured in Springwise recently.

By providing unexpected, yet individually meaningful surprises, Hyatt give themselves more opportunities to delight the people that interact with their brand on a regular basis.

In other words, Hyatt have created more opportunities to satisfy their most valuable guests.

Such an approach can work for any brand, and it doesn’t need to involve costly extras either.

The trick is to incorporate the potential for nice surprises, while ensuring that the specific benefits they deliver don’t become an expected part of the brand experience.

Moreover, for those who are willing to venture beyond the conventional, the approach can work equally well for advertising too.

By incorporating subtle differences in execution across the same campaign (or even the same channel), you can ‘surprise’ your audience and increase your opportunities to engage them.

Picture from here; more on the Hyatt’s Random Surprises in this Springwise article, and on the brand’s blog

goo on the loose

A few days ago, Mashable shared details of an interesting new campaign from Cadbury for their Creme Egg Twisted bars:

As the Mashable article notes:

…the more interesting aspect is a second, quasi-secret contest Cadbury is running called Super Agents. This is something that even the official website doesn’t mention (save for the Terms and Conditions). But from what we’ve learned, ten Super Agents are supposed to take photos, record YouTube videos, tweet, and travel across the UK to solve their own set of clues. Cadbury has issued them Flip camcorders and packets to help them.

This reminds me of the Choose Your Own Adventure concept – an engaging and participative way of telling a story.

While the actual activities may involve only a few people, they inspire conversations amongst many more.

Another great example is Red Bull’s Flugtag:

Very few people actually make flying machines and jump into the Serpentine, but most of the target audience knows about it, because it’s a great conversation piece.

Get more sticky details on the Cadbury Secret Agents campaign in the original Mashable post here

welcome suprises

[image from improv everywhere]

this makes me smile. nice surprises are always welcome!

it feels like the sort of thing ben & jerry’s or innocent smoothies could do too.

more at improv everywhere | seen at notcot


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