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24 posts from September 2005

Grey, Panasonic Skate to Where the Puck Will Christmas

PanasonicangelPanasonic and Grey Advertising share how they developed an advertising campaign which avoided their competitors and sent their market share from 21 to 55%. I recommend the whole article, but you'll probably have to be registered (free) at AdWeek to read it. (The dancing angel, left, is from the Panasonic web site, but I'm not sure if he's in a commercial.)

Adweek: Grey, Panasonic Share Campaign Insights by Kathlen Sampey

Instead of buying media for the new campaign during the fourth-quarter holiday season, which is when electronics brands do their heaviest messaging, Mandel and his team decided to buy heavily in April and May and on radio. The reasons were threefold: entertainment electronics, especially TVs, are used every day; by advertising heavily in those months, the brand message would resonate more because competitors advertise more heavily in the fourth quarter; and running ads on radio during the evening rush hour drive time made consumers think more about the TV they were going home to watch, Mandel said.

The radio ads gave TV listings for programming that was being broadcast in high-definition, said Greenberg, which raised awareness about which channels had that capability and drove awareness and curiosity about Panasonic's plasma-screen televisions.

A Future of Better Advertising

InfinityInfinity Broadcasting is sponsoring a couple of speakers at Advertising Week called the Infinity Innovators. One of them, Carat Americas CEO David Verklin, set a different tone than the other executives complaining about advertising's 'broken model.' He says now is the time for advertising professionals to decided what future they'd like to have--and go for it.

MediaPost: High-Tech Future Will Create New Opportunities For Advertising by Michael Deibert

"Thousands of advertisers are going to use television who could never afford to use it before," said Verklin. He added that the end of the 30-second ad was "not something to lament," as the new technology would enable "advertising to the interested" to take hold.

Blogging for Visibility

EhobbiesAn article at DM News has two excellent case histories with ROI reporting on retailers using blogs to improve conversion and customer involvement on their sites. Blogs and Bling Bling by Christopher Heine

"One of the great side effects of blogs is that they are search engine friendly," said Seth Greenberg, CEO of, La Mirada, CA. "Once we realized this, we made a point to include better descriptions in blog posts. We look at blogs as an extension of our organic search engine marketing strategy. Paid keyword placements are costly and must be managed responsibly. We have thousands of products, so the more we show up organically in search, the less we need to rely on pay per click."  ...

"The page impressions tell us that people are spending more time at the site because of the blogs and are more likely to both purchase and come back," Gniwisch [of] said. "The investment to blogs has paid off in the sales coming from them. However, we are not necessarily looking at sales as the end-all barometer. We are also looking at the whole package: PR, site ranking, traffic and being in the forefront of online marketing."

To make the effort click, uses four freelance writers who invented characters like "Icegrrl" and "Rahulio" at the retailer's chief blog destination, The fictitious entities hold court daily with a range of opinions on celebrity gossip and news, but the articles always end with a jewelry pitch.

Marketers Challenged to Own their Media

Strawberryfrog_1Rebel agency StrawberryFrog just won the Heineken account and is interviewed in the Wall St. Journal. Most of the article is about how agencies need to change, but the StrawberryFrog creative chief makes a telling point about how marketers ought to place their message into media. He says they should look for opportunities to 'own the media': sponsorships, branded entertainment, micro web sites, etc. Questions for ... Scott Goodson by Christopher Lawton (subscription required)

With the reality of media explosions and the Internet, StrawberryFrog prefers to invent our own media opportunities that clients can own.

Scott also has a wonderful statement about why StrawberryFrog won't be a typical flame-in, flame-out advertising boutique:

StrawberryFrog is a movement. It is not a business. We are all having the most fun we have ever had. We are really turning the industry on its head, working in a new way. It is really motivating. So you'll be talking to me hopefully when I am 115. We are here to stay. I think you get burnt out when you are just a business.

New Viral Marketing Cooperative

Tickle_logo_from_home_pageI heard about the Tickle web site and thought, "how cute." Well, it's growing up into quite the strapping teenager, perhaps soon to grow into a influential media professional. Tickle is now owned by Monster Worldwide, but shows no signs of being absorbed. In fact, the founders are flexing their power and expertise by creating a new media service called Tickle Grapevine. Grapevine brings together several major new social networking web sites and provides a suite of advertising tools including viral videos, interactive quizzes, emai tags, and programs like Brand Connector, described below.

However, I couldn't go on by without drawing your attention to Tickle's About Us at a Glance page which includes the Founders' Mission: Connecting People through Fun and Science. Gotta luv 'em.

Tickle Grapevine: Brand Connector (via iMedia Connection)

We introduce a little friendly competition to the "how well do you know me" routine and connect your brand to the entertaining experience. Users answer an interactive question related to your product, and the "Vote" button automatically connects them to a custom-branded landing page with results. Users can then guess how their friends will answer and send them the poll. Their friends will receive an email inviting them to see if their friend guessed their answer correctly. It's a fun, interactive experience between friends with your brand at the center of it.

Tesco Tracks UK Shopping Habits--Massively

TescoThanks to Tim Manners of Reveries for a heads up on an article about UK retailer Tesco compiling a huge database of British shoppers, their habits and preferences. These activities are the same that Experian and Knowledgebase Marketing are pursuing in the U.S., but everyone thought it was off-limits in the U.K. The big news is that Tesco is growing extremely successful by using this data.

Guardian Unlimited: Tesco stocks up on inside knowledge of shoppers' lives by Heather Tomlinson and Rob Evans

A subsidiary of the [Tesco] supermarket chain has set up a database, called Crucible, that is collating detailed information on every household in the UK, whether they choose to shop at the retailer or not. The company refuses to reveal the information it holds, yet Tesco is selling access to this database to other big consumer groups, such as Sky, Orange and Gillette. "It contains details of every consumer in the UK at their home address across a range of demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics," says the marketing blurb of dunnhumby, the Tesco subsidiary in question. It has "added intelligent profiling and targeting" to its data through a software system called Zodiac. This profiling can rank your enthusiasm for promotions, your brand loyalty, whether you are a "creature of habit" and when you prefer to shop.

Newspaper Ad Salespeople Shifting Focus

Nationally placed advertising has been a mainstay of newspaper advertising sales for a long time. Now Federated Department Stores is shifting much of its spending to TV and direct mail. Perhaps newspapers will survive by cultivating a local market. Not much margin there, unfortunately.

MediaPost Publications - Federated Spending Shift Could Spell Trouble For U.S. Newspapers, Firm Says by Michael Deibert

"I think what we're seeing is some progress in some areas where newspapers are making inroads, slight though they might be," said John Kimball. "In specialty retailing, for instance, it would appear that there's a marketplace there that's being untapped. Newspapers individually are also working very hard with advertisers in their own marketplaces that may not have traditionally been seen as such."