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It's a storm in a coke can.
The 2014 Super Bowl achieved a record breaking 111.5m viewers, making it the most watched event in USA history, just scraping past the 111.3m who watched the Super Bowl two years ago.
Of course the Super Bowl isn’t just about the football, it’s about the adverts. In fact much of what we read relating to the big game in the UK is mostly about the marketing: ‘it costs $4m per advertising slot’, ‘Scarlett Johansson and Soda Stream banned’, 'David Beckham and H&M gamble with t-commerce’ and one story involving Coca-Cola that you can’t have failed to notice…
Coca-Cola’s unveiling of the controversial ‘Big Game’ commercial that carries the hashtag #AmericaIsBeautiful, in which the traditional American song ‘America the Beautiful’ is sung in nine different languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Hindi, Hebrew, Keres, French and Arabic.
A predictable storm of protest followed from the Conservative quarters of the USA, with many right-wing pundits and politicians choosing to take the ad as a provocative blow to their ideals and all the things they perceive to be ‘American’.
Albeit one from the most famous, American corporation on the planet.
How has this controversy affected the brand? How does the advert itself stack up against the competition in terms of online sharing; a barometer of general opinion away from the political world?
Touchstorm has sent us over some data from its Super Bowl Video Scoreboard that tracks the #AmericaIsBeautiful controversy over YouTube, in terms of post-Super Bowl shares, comments and likes. But first, a little insight into the controversy...
You really don’t need me to tell you that there’s a LEGO movie out right now. It’s impossible to ignore.
Heck, even as I write this there’s a Culture Show special on BBC2 right now about how LEGO has influenced architecture. Funnily enough, when constructing our house, the builders ran out of red bricks halfway up and had to finish with yellows and greens.
Warner Bros. began the marketing push seven months ago in June 2013 with a rapturously received teaser trailer and continued with a solid social marketing strategy, which saw very close engagement on social channels that continues through to this week of release.
ITV even turned over an entire advert break during its Sunday night edition of Dancing on Ice to LEGO, during which adverts from BT, Confused.com and Premier Inn were remade with LEGO models.
With native advertising the buzz phrase among marketers for 2014, London is poised to lead the way in innovation in what is one of the most creative digital ad formats to emerge in recent years.
In November AirBnB co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk claimed that London was ‘stuck in a Silicon Valley Roundabout’ and held back by its failure to produce a ‘billion dollar’ online business.
Many in London found the comments annoying. Phil Cooper, a digital veteran who launched the UK’s first video ad network and was until last year European MD of Brightroll, was one of them.
Cooper, who launched his latest digital venture six months ago, London based accommodation platform Kippsy.com, a competitor of AirBnB in the London market, believes that what London does best is innovation; taking an established model, technology or platform and turning it on its head.
Is a world without ads possible? We’re already halfway there.
“What if there were no ads?” That was the question content marketers Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi asked in an episode of their podcast, This Old Marketing.
It sounds like the start of John Lennon’s Imagine, but for marketers. What if there were just no ads?
The box, the tube, the telly, the television. Are any of us sure the set is set to evolve?
The television is one of those unifying pleasures and most people are already happy with the experience of watching it.
Additionally, advertisers still think of television as the big hitting ad medium, rightly or wrongly.
So, if it’s not broken, why fix it? Or is that the kind of reasoning that stymies innovation?
I think it’s fairly obvious that although we can choose to think of television as a constant, it has changed significantly since it went digital. FreeView in the UK, TiVo, Sky+, on-demand services like iPlayer and Netflix, Apple TV and Chromecast, the impact of Twitter and social TV, Roku, there have been many developments.
But what’s next? Here I’ve tried to sum up some of the innovations for advertisers and viewers I’ve seen in the last few months. See what you think..
H&M is set to launch its entry into the nascent world of ‘television commerce’ during this Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The interactive, 30 second-long ad starring David Beckham will be screened during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII and will allow viewers the chance to purchase the featured products via a Samsung Smart TV. It’s the first of its kind.
It’s an intriguing gambit and one that all marketers, advertisers and anyone with a keen interest in David Beckham running around in his underwear will be paying particular attention to.
If anything it’s certainly raising H&M’s profile ahead of the big game, where the biggest brands in the world fight for the attention of 108m viewers (2013 viewing figures) and can pay up to $4m for the privilege. In fact sneak previews of Super Bowl ads began to appear a couple weeks ago, such is the feverish building-up of anticipation.
H&M's experiment with t-commerce raises a few questions: Is H&M really the first to do this? What are the restrictions of t-commerce? Will t-commerce have a future?
Let's see if we can answer those questions here.
Google helps us all market our services. That statement can start a healthy debate amongst many in the media, but I think I'll stick with it.
Of course, Google has to market itself, too.
Even the biggest and most successful companies must market themselves in some channels. Apple, for example, may shun social media, but it's all over the television and out-of-home and has a distinctive presence on many high streets.
So, I thought I'd round up some examples of Google's marketing that have stuck in my mind and continue to leave me mindful of Google's all-conquering innovation.
Hope you enjoy!
We are all exposed to display and video advertising and we all have a view on its efficacy.
In this post I’m going to take a beginner's look at measurement in display and video advertising and ask if advertisers are finally getting a good (read ‘transparent’) deal.
How is improved measurement across display advertising changing the nature of the web? Will it start to feel lighter on ads as advertisers demand their ads are not just served but viewed by a human being?
What are the standards for viewability and if the networks are adopting them, is this the death of the impression?
Native advertising is set to grow phenomenally in 2014.
The New York Times among many others has now embraced native ad formats. This has led an even bigger clamour among media analysts to predict big things for native this year.
J.P. Morgan stated last week in its ‘Nothing But Net’ report that “We believe native ads are quickly becoming the de facto ad format on mobile and increasingly moving into desktop”.
There is still a lot of confusion among marketers and publishers about what native actually is. Many people have tried to define it and enlighten us all on what native advertising is.
Out of home (OOH) creative is great fun. The most creative minds come up with some great ads for OOH and the internet is full of wonderful examples.
I thought I’d bring you some of the latest, many of which I’ve found via Posterscope’s Twitter feed, which I recommend highly.
Enjoy these in all their boldness. You’ve really no excuse for not creating great copy and great concepts when this is your competition.
In this post, bear with me and you’ll get a couple of case studies and some best practice from brands using TV and promoted tweet tie-ups.
Before I give you the fun stuff, I want to say that best practice is all that matters. Ignore all the stats about engagement and sales uplift.
I don’t usually advocate ignoring stats, but as B2B marketing and service industries now pervade major cities of the developed world, we are awash with stats. And stats that claim to explain general concepts, such as generic increase in purchase intent after viewing a promoted tweet that references TV, are not helpful to you.
Yes, these stats succinctly explain the perceived benefits of advertising on Twitter, but like all data, it’s only that which directly pertains to your company that is of use.
There’s no point examining averaged trends when what you’re interested in is your business. Being blinded by amazing engagement stats will mean you don’t think properly about your campaigns. The last thing you want to do is drip out a poorly conceived set of promoted tweets and have faith they will deliver ROI.
The success of your marketing and advertising is dependent entirely upon detail; detail that’s way more granular than simply what channels you decide to advertise in.
I’ve possibly never had so much fun writing an Econsultancy blog post. For an hour or so yesterday, I was listening to ‘old’ in-game radio adverts from the Grand Theft Auto computer games, handily available here.
Whilst they are hilarious, in aping existing companies they also use many of the ad man’s techniques to sell a product.
I’ve tried to succinctly describe these techniques in this post. I hope you enjoy the fake product names and slogans as much as I did, and aren't put off by the some of the products' slightly poor taste. Thanks to GTA Wiki, where I grabbed the crazy product images.