Friday, July 31, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - Lotech is hitech

Happy Friday all. Today Creative Excellence Fridays looks at a commercial that was designed to look lo-tech. It's a trend today to make commercials look "viral", meaning appear as though they were shot on a hand held inexpensive camera, with inferior lighting. The objective is to present a non slick, guerilla, renegade brand around the subject matter and appeal to the masses who feel advertising and the conventional delivery methods are too "corporate".

This commercial was done by Euro RSCG C&O for the French postal system.

Next, a pure viral piece. What does "pure" mean? There is no direct sponsor or advertiser connected to this piece. This illustrates the inspiration for many of the larger corporate viral influences. See if you can figure out how they did it.

Now, the explanation. A simple technique that has been done for years with a little edit twist.

It's not exactly the Cadbury secret, but interesting just the same.

Next week, more coverage of the implications of the Yahoo Bing "alliance".

Have a great weekend. And for our Canadian readers, a great long weekend.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bing Yahoo's

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft and Yahoo inked a 10-year web search deal to better compete against market leader Google, but stopped short of combining their display-advertising businesses. The deal gives Yahoo much needed operating cash, but investors hoping for a shock to the system rather than a shot in the arm pummeled the company’s stock.

Yahoo shares fell 7.5 percent, while shares of Microsoft edged higher, and Google shares fell 1 percent in a mildly down market.

“Those that were looking forward to a take-out, the deal today was rather disappointing,” said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist for Cantor Fitzgerald. “The 10-year pact, it’s not a bad thing. It’s not as good as what investors expected.”

Under the deal announced on Wednesday, Microsoft’s Bing search engine will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search technology for Yahoo’s sites, while Yahoo will be responsible for selling premium search ads for both companies.

Media Sales
Televisions upfront market appears to be ending for the season. Networks playing fast and easy with their ratecard to battle the competition of internet and the digital era.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The television network of the future is an entertainment web portal that shares ad revenue with contributors. Many say this will be the future of television. I flipped through a few of their shows and I'd say they have a ways to go before they'll be pulling a lot of eyeballs. But they have some major players on board.

And on the technology front - bar code mobile phone technology is now being called URL KILLERS. Through bar code scanning you will be able to avoid texting a lot of information into your cell phone. It's already being used in Japan on headstones. Scan the stone, see a picture of the person buried there. Creepy? Absolutely.

url killer

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fast food strategies

McDonalds and Starbucks have recently crossed paths on coffee strategy. McDonalds has been giving away coffee samples to build share and it has been making Starbucks take notice McStar

Meanwhile Tim Horton's is offering icecream. Timhortons

Monday, July 27, 2009

Great web marketing ideas

The gay pride parade in Stockholm sweden launched a unique way of marketing itself recently. They have the "how hetero are you" website.

How hetero are you

Giants of Viral Video
Online video is no longer just a sideshow for marketers. Brands such as T-Mobile, Samsung and Cadbury have recently scored viral-video hits racking up 10 million or more views. Click here for a video snippet.
Giants of Viral Video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays Stop motion

Happy Friday. This week on Creative Excellence Fridays we go to the UK for our first spot. It's a combination of stop motion, motion, and digital compositing. For Orange telephone's Rock Corps. A visual work of art as your eye is guided through all the volunteers in all shapes and sizes.

Our next commercial harkens back to all the interesting and quirky beer commercials we've seen over the years. A recent spot from Miller beer featured here. "Yellow Snow"

And speaking of beer, Anheister Busch is still trying to figure out how they came up with such a winner. They introduced Bud Light Lime in Canada and this summer beer stores can't seem to keep it in stock. Was it just a good idea? Or was the accompanying Facebook social marketing campaign along with all the print/television responsible?

That's it for this week. On Monday, ingenious web ideas to promote a product. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A mosquito free safe driving summer

SC Johnson's doubts that a newfangled clip-on mosquito-repellent fan priced around $9 could be a big seller in a recession have proved unfounded, as the Off Clip-On Fan is far outstripping the company's initial projections and leading to shortages in much of North America.

Too drunk to drive? Not sure? Now there's an Iphone APP that will help you determine whether you should get behind the wheel.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Twitter hype & Walmart goes green

Will the Tweet hype continue? Obviously it can't. But media pundits are curious how much longer the buzz will continue. Last month alone Twitter received over 40 million dollars in advertising (when you calculate the free exposure verses paid)


On the retail front, Walmart is going Eco-friendly. This can have a huge impact on the movement when a company this large jumps on the bandwagon.

Walmart Eco

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Winery tasting and tweeting

Most vinophiles can swirl and sip. The Murphy-Goode winery wants one who can sip and click.

The northern California winery is looking to pay an Internet-savvy wine-lover US$10,000 a month for six months in return for tweeting and blogging about the joys of wine country.

The move is aimed at reaching new customers and tracking tastes in real time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Google grows up

From ...Google has a reputation for throwing money at a range of impractical-sounding projects and showering employees with perks, but this year the company cut costs so deeply that they managed to boost profits 19% despite a meager 3% increase in revenues. Robert Cyran notes the change comes even though the company has a huge reserve of cash, perhaps signaling that there comes a time in every tech company's life when it has to shed its Silicon Valley vibe and get down to business.

NEW YORK ( -- The digital chaos that has upended the music marketing business appears to be creating dramatic new opportunities for music publishers. In the past, those companies have been tightly focused on owning and licensing song rights, while record companies have controlled the recording and product distribution business. But no more. Los Angeles-based Bug Music, which owns more than 250,000 songs, spent the last three years reorganizing itself as recording studio and music marketer competing directly against those record companies.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - The Volkswagen effect

Happy Friday. Today Creative Excellence Fridays salutes Volkswagen and their new campaign called "Positive Thinking". With all the gloom and recessionary thinking over the last year, Volkswagen decided to spin it in their favour. You'll notice the driver hops into the right hand side of the vehicle because this ad was produced by DDB London.

Volkswagen changed the way cars market and brand as far back as the late 50's.
Their cache and clever approach influenced how every other car manufacturer advertised. Here's an ad from the early 60's.

And finally, speaking of edgy, this commercial was banned when it came out. I think it's pretty self explanatory why.

Coming up on Monday how the music industry is changing and evolving with the digital era. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stay Thirsty my Friends

The Dos Equix spokesperson has been one of the bigger beer success stories in the last ten years. People are repeating the campaign theme at parties and viraling the commercials around to friends and joining Facebook fan clubs. More importantly the campaign has created double digit gains for the Heineken brand.

In media news Corus acquires more television properties Corus

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

GM Marketing
Bob Lutz, new head of marketing is going to be changing the look/feel
of how they market their cars. He said this ad tested very well, but that's not the same
as being an "effective ad"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Rise of Social Video Marketing

It's become common place now, to be sent an entertaining commercial or promotional piece. You view, laugh, cry, become enraged, and forward on to 5 friends.
Ad Age features an article that goes a little deeper into Social Video Marketing and where it is going. Click on the Samsung video link to view.

Monday, July 13, 2009

How your Facebook/Twitter habits tell a lot about you

What kind of Facebook/Twitter/Myspace personality are you?
The "Browser", the "Compulsive Updater", the "Passer by" ? This is a great article on how your social networking habits tell a lot about you as a person.

Hamilton television station is looked at as the building block for Canadian television local operations.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - Banks and Babies

Happy Friday all. Today on Creative Excellence Fridays, we feature Barclays bank. Financial institutions have had a lot of work to do to restore confidence. This commercial was a finely crafted approach and works well.

And the viral that you've probably seen already. As have over 2 million others this past week. But hey, it's skating babies, it's worth a second few right?

Monday, we look at the difference between a Twitterer and a Facebooker.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Google goes head to head with Microsoft

Google Inc. is working on a new operating system for inexpensive computers in a an attempt to eat away at Microsoft Corp.’s long-standing control over operating system dominance.

The new operating system, announced Tuesday night on Google’s website, will be based on the company’s nine-month-old web browser, Chrome. Google intends to rely on help from the community of open-source programmers to develop the Chrome operating system, which is expected to begin running computers in the second half of 2010.

Google is designing the operating system primarily for “netbooks,” a lower-cost, less powerful breed of laptop computers that is becoming increasingly popular among budget-conscious consumers primarily interested in surfing the web.

Google has already introduced an operating system for smart phones and other mobile devices, called Android, that vies against various other systems, including ones made by Microsoft and Apple Inc.

The Android system worked well enough to entice some computer makers to begin developing netbooks that will run on it. For instance, Acer Inc., the world’s third-largest PC maker, said last month it would make netbooks that run Android instead of Windows. Acer said Android would make the computers less expensive and possibly help them boot up faster.

Google, though, apparently believes a Chrome-based system will be better suited for netbooks.

That is a direct challenge to Microsoft, whose next operating system, Windows 7, is being geared for netbooks as well as larger computers. Microsoft had no immediate comment Wednesday.

A duel between the two technology powerhouses has been steadily escalating in recent years as Google’s dominance of the Internet’s lucrative search market has given it the means to threaten Microsoft in ways that few other companies can.

Google already has rankled Microsoft by luring some of its top employees and developing an online package of computer programs that provide an alternative to Microsoft’s top-selling word processing, spreadsheet and calendar applications.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has been trying to thwart Google by investing billions of dollars to improve its own Internet search and advertising systems—to little avail so far.

In the past month or so, though, Microsoft has been winning positive reviews and picking up more users with the latest upgrade to its search engine, now called Bing. Microsoft is hailing the makeover with a $100-million marketing campaign.

Now Google is aiming for Microsoft’s financial jugular with Chrome its operating system.

Google’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, and its co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have not concealed their disdain for Windows.

Schmidt maintains Microsoft sometimes unfairly rigs its operating system to limit consumer choices—something that Microsoft has consistently denied. Google fears Microsoft could limit access to its search engine and other products if Windows is set up to favour Microsoft products.

Schmidt and Brin are expected to discuss Google’s new operating system this week when they appear at a media conference hosted by Allen&Co. at the Sun Valley resort in Idaho.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

4 Branding success stories

Here is a passage detailing 4 branding success stories from well known author on branding, Steve Tobak. It's worth the read.

In Destroy the Competition With Positioning Strategy, I provided five key product positioning principles and Toyota’s Lexus brand as an example that used most of them.

Although I view product positioning strategy as critical for success in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace where everybody’s competing for the same shrinking budget and differentiation is hard to come by, marketers often think of price as their only lever.

And as I’ve said before, that’s just incompetent marketing.

Anyway, when I wrote the post I invited readers to reply with product positioning success stories. You can learn a lot from other’s successes and failures. I was surprised at the enthusiastic response. Here are five, including three write-ins from readers:

* 7-Up. The famous positioning of 7-UP as the “Uncola” perfectly positioned that product for those who did not want to consume cola drinks. For those who do (a confirmed Coca-Cola fanatic), the positioning of 7-UP had no appeal. But that’s fine, since I am not their prospective customer anyway (even though THEY might consider me a prospect).
- Courtesy of Steven “sbhoward” Howard

* Starbucks. I’ve been critical of Howard Schultz the turnaround CEO, but Howard Schultz the entrepreneur franchised “premium coffee,” forever upgraded the “coffee shop” experience, and created one of the world’s most powerful brands in the process.

* Swatch. The most famous example I can think of is Swatch. Created as a defense against low priced Japanese quartz watches that swamped the market, instead of competing on price, [parent company] SMH positioned the product as the famous “fashion watch,” thereby creating a whole new market, much larger in size than the original watch market.
- Courtesy of Ricky ” rdewerk” de Werk

* Hyundai. Another fantastic example is Hyundai, a company that understands how to consistently move upstream through intelligent product positioning. Hyundai is increasingly creating havoc in the market for their competitors and finding ways to innovate, and develop value propositions that resonate with their customers and prospects.
- Courtesy of Mikah “MikahDC” Sellers

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Aflak - No guts no glory

Aflac has become a household brand in the insurance industry. But making fun of the company's name wasn't a decision that came easy.

Full interview their chief executive here Aflac

Monday, July 6, 2009

Michael Jackson and the Media

NEW YORK ( -- Michael Jackson's death prompted an onslaught of memorial media coverage arguably not seen since Princess Diana's passing in 1997 or Elvis Presley's in 1977. But when the King of Rock 'n' Roll died 32 years ago this August, the event was chronicled by only three broadcast networks, and the music industry had no digital downloads or SoundScan. Now the abundance of media platforms makes the King of Pop's death bigger in scope, and it's responsible for big boosts to three media players -- TMZ, BET and iTunes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - Sex sells sometimes

This week on Creative Excellence Fridays we look at a ridiculous product, and the oldest selling tool, sex. One has to ask, are we all too sophisticated to be influenced by such base, carnal influences?

You be the judge. Of course a lot depends on whether you are a 16 year old hormonal teen.

Both spots below were in the top ten most watched virals this week. And I'll be honest, I'm not sure I get this first one. A bra manufacturer teamed up with a theme park to show the "holding power" of their bras.

Next on the sex chart this week - Carl's Jr Teriyaki burger. It's not even close to subtle.

But what happens when you have a top rated viral commercial, with an incredibly ridiculous product? The results are predictable. People watch. Wrinkle their brow and ignore the product.

That's it for this week. Next week. Ridiculously bad commercials that still work.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Coffee and the I-Phone (Tech Thursdays)

Dunkin Donuts is combining the web and iPhone apps to increase sales.


New formats are giving online video ads potential.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Web TV Pioneer changes direction

Mike Volpi, one of the earliest start-ups to promise an interactive TV experience on the web gave it up today, as Joost announced it will shift from a consumer strategy to licensing its technology to cable, satellite, broadcasters and other video sites.

Smokey the Bear turns 65.

Happy Canada Day for all our Canadian friends.