Cadbury – Trucks

The “difficult second advert”. And well, I don’t like it. The gorilla worked because it was so random, so unexpected. And that makes it a nightmare to follow up. Plus of course, it could be easily mimicked, repeat and spoofed. I’m not someone that thinks advertising needs clear branding messages, but it at least needs to contain something that people can talk about. I don’t think that this contains that.

And the fact that the song was used far better in Shaun of the Dead a few years ago also works against it.

Conclusion: Disappointing

sk

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Links – 28/03/08

Blog-related:

Random:

This week I would particularly recommend

Blog-related section: Social media starter guide, Anthropological argument for not having a boss, Case study of Dell’s Regeneration campaign and The future of marketing

Random section: Nazi attempt to convert the Sun into a weapon, How food really looks vs. its packaging and Joe Queenan on the worst film ever

sk

Why companies should advertise on TV during a recession

There is a depressing article on Brand Republic saying that total TV revenues for May could be down as much as 10%. It says that “the expected May fall comes as clients tighten advertising budgets amid worsening economic conditions”. In light of this, I offer an alternative opinion, and state six reasons why advertisers and agencies should have nothing to fear.

1. Higher real incomes: Although economic inequality is rising, real incomes rose for nearly all of the population between 1996-2006. If it weren’t for the rising levels of borrowing, this could have insulated people against a recession. As it is, some of their increased spending will be going on luxury items, which are of course…

2. Recession-proof industries: Not all industries suffer in an economic downturn. Wikipedia lists 15 recession-proof industries. These include such essentials as “necessities” but also “entertainment” and “cosmetics”. Last time I checked, these products and services weren’t inextricably linked to human survival. Advertising has made us consider them essential. And the advertising that does that best is…

3. Brand-building: Particularly with the FMCG industry, there is the temptation to use direct response advertising. These give a short-term boost but not necessarily a long-term. Aside from “brought forward” sales and provoking competitor retaliation, there are the effects of having the brand associated with promotional offers, rather than any emotional associations.

PwC Thinkbox chart
Source

If advertising becomes more about branding than short-term sales, the overall benefits will be greater. And of course brand-building is particularly suited to TV advertising. A PriceWaterhouseCooper/Thinkbox study shows that nearly 45% of TV’s revenue effects are delivered after the year of the investment. (Of course, some might say this is an argument in favour of postponing spend for a year but I would dispute that). Not only will the effects be longer-lasting, but they will be longer-lasting among more people. Because…

4. Commercial impacts are up: As we move to multi-channel, we watch more TV and more commercial TV. Among DTR households, commercial impacts are in fact 5% higher (according to BARB, ACB/LBS and Skyview data). And of course, brand-building ads are more likely to be DTR proof than direct response. So, not only are more people viewing the ads but…

5. TV advertising is becoming cheaper: The IPA Marketing in the Era of Accountability study shows that TV advertising is cheaper now than it was 20 years ago. Another result from this study relates to…

6. Share of voice effects: Campaigns using TV see average market share gain of 2.7 percentage points per 10 percentage point excess share of voice (compared to a gain of 0.7 points for campaigns not using TV). Share of voice has long been shown to be linked to share of market. If competitors are reducing their budgets, now is the perfect time to increase share of voice and share of market.

Although given the compelling reasons outlined above, there could be a game theory style scenario where each company in the market maintains (or even increases) spend in the expectation that their competitors will be reducing theirs. So, spend remains robust but their market share remains constant (all things being equal). Which, from my perspective at a broadcasting company at least, would be nice…

sk

Water and mobile phones

No water

 For those that can’t read it, this grainy image says “No please, no thank you, no water”.  It is from a music venue/pub I visited in North London last night. Posting it has two purposes:

  1. I mean, really? Manners are important, but I’m pretty sure they don’t form part of the legal requirement of providing water. And what a way to assume the worst of your patrons. Will seeing that sign buck up their ideas, or will it do the reverse and make them more surly? I bet the sign does more harm than good.
  2. I am a digital native and display the appropriate behaviour. However, I am not a “m-ager”. I use my mobile for calling, text messages and taking (bad) photos. Nothing else. While it would be nice to have a better camera, I get by perfectly well without Internet, video, Twitter-on-demand and so on. Without wishing to be too evangelical, I am “wrong”. Mobile phones are here to stay – I should embrace the functions and I’m sure my behaviour would change accordingly (like wondering how I ever coped without an iPod or broadband connection). But the sticking point is price. I have a very nice £15 a month contract which would double if I got a decent phone (and then the data costs…).

My question is when does the case for technology become so compelling that willingness to pay changes? Or doesn’t it? In real terms, games consoles and recording devices seem to be roughly the same price as they have been historically. So, do I wait for a £15 all-you-can-eat mobile phone tariff or bite the bullet to stay ahead of/on the curve? Is price the only thing preventing more widespread adoption, or is there a more general resistance to new technology? I have questions, but not answers.

sk

Research 2008: The Great Debate (Part 4 of 4)

Go to part 3 here

Part 4 contains (1) Web 2.0: Capitalising on communities, (2) Closing remarks and (3) My conclusions

Day 2 Session 3: Web2.0: Capitalising on Communities

The final formal session of the conference was also the most fun. There was little particularly relevant to my work, but it is a subject I am interested in and the passion of the speakers was obvious.

Mario Menti of GMI and Diana Derval of Derval Research opened the session with a look at research within Second Life. Continue reading

Research 2008: The Great Debate (Part 3 of 4)

Go to part 2 here

Part 3 contains (1) The Big Planning Debate: Is research failing in the boardroom and (2) Guaranteeing a return on investment

Day 2 Session 1: The Big Planning Debate. Is research failing in the boardroom?

And so onto Day 2. To open the session, Vanella Jackson of Hall & Partners introduced a video containing some very interesting quotes from business leaders. These included wanting intelligence and not insight, wanting a solution rather than the research, research is too often used as insurance rather than as a forensic analysis and that research is the only tool in the marketing mix that hasn’t substantially changed in the last 12 years. A call to arms then.

Rupert Howell of ITV gave a very entertaining keynote speech before the debate/Q&A began. Continue reading

Research 2008: The Great Debate (Part 2 of 4)

Go to part 1 here

Part 2 contains (1) Web 2.0: Harnessing the Potential for Business, (2) Honing Business Skills and (3) Pecha Kucha… And that’s why I love market research

Day 1 Session 3: Web 2.0: Harnessing the Potential for Business

This session kicked things off after lunch. It was chaired by Richard Young, who was the most enthusiastic and involved of all the chairs I saw over the two days. While this could have become overbearing, he generally let the speakers talk for themselves.

Dan O’Donoghue from Publicis gave this session’s keynote. Continue reading