Even cool-looking, disturbing, visually pleasing, interesting print ads have nothing on click-able, customizable, interactive internet ads.
This may seem like an obvious observation. Maybe even a waste of space and time to write about.
But think about why print ads are boring for a moment?
Do print ads lose the battle with internet ads for attention because technology makes internet ads so much better?
Or maybe print ads make us yawn because they are part of a dying medium?
I thank the answers to both of the above, and other excuses, are cop-outs. Or at least the wrong questions to ask.
Closer to the right track might be thinking more along these lines:
Are print ads (and is print as a medium in general) boring because talent, creativity, and innovation have all gone to the internet?
I think the answer is “Yes,” and I am submitting this wonderful innovation as proof that the medium is not the problem (which should have you asking, “So, then, what is?”).
Posted by Jeff Osborn on June 15, 2012
Did this trailer make me want to see the movie?
The trailer for The Artist is proof that music and visuals can be moving on their own. I have not yet seen this film, but apparently the entire production is a testament to this point as well.
I get easily frustrated by people who say there is not anything original out in the world any more. People are creating interesting, compelling pieces of art all the time. Some places, like Hollywood or Detroit, have a lot less of this going on than they used to. But original art still exists (Midnight in Paris is another great example in film).
Sadly for Hollywood but happily for The Artist, this trailer had more originality and magic than most films.
Was the trailer effective as a commercial?
I never saw this trailer while the film was in theaters. Had I had the opportunity, I would have seen the film within days. As a commercial this trailer is engaging, curious, and filled with question-creating and imagination-igniting moments.
The Artist is currently only available to me by pirated download from the internet. If there was a legal way for me to watch it right now I would be doing that instead of sitting here writing about it. The trailer is that well done.
But a trailer this good raises a question I have posed before: Does a good film make it easier to make a good trailer?
Another, broader, way to ask this question is: Does a good product make it easier to create a good marketing campaign?
Posted by Jeff Osborn on May 22, 2012
Someone like me should not be allowed to have a blog.
I like to repeat points I believe in until I know I am heard and have made an impact. And since it is nearly impossible to know when you have been heard in interweb land, my blog is usually just rants about the same three things. For Infinity.
This week I have been on my soap box about Kevin Durant.
Another of my favorite topics is marketing as a series of decisions we make every day.
Today I plan to combine them, even if readers might be sick of reading about either (or both)!
I love Kevin Durant because he is among the best at what he does and he is quiet about it.
I love the idea of treating every decision one makes as a marketing decision. After all, marketing is just a fancy term for managing perceptions.
In my view, Kevin Durant is one of the athletes with the best image right now. Aaron Rogers, Payton Manning, and a small handful of baseball and basketball players fall in to this category as well. But this is a small pool – one that is harder than it may seem to stay in.
Fame and money make people do stupid things (Achem **Ben and Kobe).
Fame and money seem to have only made Kevin Durant more focused on being the best basketball player in the world.
Try googling KD’s name and see what kind of results you get. Keep in mind that nothing you see in the first few pages is a mistake.
Check out videos, twitter, facebook, and images that come up. The image that will form is that of a soft-spoken, young talent who is religious, goofy, and respected by his peers.
What happens when you google yourself? Mitt Romney? Meta World Peace?
Posted by Jeff Osborn on April 26, 2012
I saw a bicycle helmet cover today along the lines of the above trend-centric number. The company that makes this one is called Yakkay (link above).
Before today I had no idea “fashion” covers of this kind even existed, which made me start wondering about how one might go about marketing a product like this.
A super fashionable helmet cover markets itself to a degree. The vain, super self-conscious and fashion-forward (or trendy) folks are going to find this stuff on their own.
Not that long ago (or, before the Internet era) television commercials and a heavy run of print ads would have been needed to jump start awareness and sales, but now a strategic Internet presence, some business savvy and a bunch of friends spread out all over do the trick.
I imagine the company that makes the above cover has spent some money on marketing, but I would wager that their budget is a fraction of what it might have been and they have spent at least 80% of their marketing monies in Internet arenas.
Certain products attract certain types of people. It has always been that way. The only real change is that it is cheaper, easier and more fun than ever to raise the necessary awareness your product needs in order to find its way to its natural consumer.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on March 22, 2012
I am not sure why McDonald’s keeps popping into my head as an example for different topics this week, but I am going to keep it going today.
Try typing in McDonald’s in to Google. Let me know when you are done. I’ll wait. Take your time.
You did it? Thank you for coming back!
OK. What happened?
The entire first page was only things the McDonald’s CEO would want there.
Here is the list, in order:
An ad for the official website.
A non-ad link to the official website.
A list of all the McDonald’s locations near you. In my case, near Seattle.
The McDonald’s Wikipedia website.
Two directory listings for local locations.
The McDonald’s corporate website.
Another McWebsite. This one is dedicated to locations around the country. Delightfully, it is called mcstate.com.
Happy Meal’s personal website. (I had no idea such a thing existed, but I am not surprised.)
NYTimes news link for articles about McDonald’s.
And, finally, Google’s news links for “McDonald’s:
No, your company does not have as much McMoney or McManpower as McDonald’s. But your goal should always be for the first page of Google results, at least, to be a mirror you would b proud to hold up to your company.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on March 8, 2012
I discovered this weekend, as I drove back and forth from visiting my Grandmother in the hospital, that my car even has a radio. This baffled and excited me.
Yes, before the Internet and before television, people used to sometimes listen to a thing called the radio. When people knew what radio was, companies from all around the country would pay to have their advertisements broadcast over the airwaves. Apparently some of those companies still pay for this service (likely due either to nostalgia or a lost memo from sixty years ago).
While listening to a college basketball game on the AM frequency, I was treated to some of these delightful radio commercials.
Of course I am writing with sarcasm heaped on like bad copy used to sell insurance and new windshields.
Without doing anyone (including myself) the disservice of recreating those radio ads I heard here on the Internet, I’ll just say, “Why?”
Even if you are a small local company. Even if you are family owned. Even if you cannot afford a billboard, bus runner, local T.V. spot, or sponsoring a neighborhood softball team? Why in the name of selling your product would you pay for a radio ad?
With all that technology and complex interwoven social networks have to offer, a radio ad should always be off the table. Always.(This applies especially, but not only, to AM.)
A dime would be too much to pay.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on March 5, 2012
In an attempt to see what “the people” respond to, I typed in “best commercial ever” on Google and watched the first video that came up.
This gem has over 5.7 million views and nearly 11,500 comments.
Yesterday I commented on a McDonald’s commercial that I thought was really a great ad. But results like these make me think hard about what makes a great ad.
It is impossible to say whether the 5.7 million You Tube viewers who saw this commercial are all now using condoms when they should, but you cannot argue with the numbers. People respond to comedy and cleverness. We want to be entertained, even by commercials.
I have actually seen this commercial before, but I will give my thoughts on it as if this were my first viewing (because nothing has changed since I saw it for the first time).
I give “Best Commercial Ever” big points for managing to keep me, and 5.7 million others, around through such an obnoxious tantrum. I did not have any idea where the ad was going, and that question,”What could the product possibly be?” kept me watching.
“Use Condoms” is a terrific payoff that surprises, delights and rewards the viewer, justifying thirty five seconds of agony, embarrassment and annoyance.
The best way to get people to use your product, that is to buy into your story, is to capture their attention beyond the 30 to 60 seconds it takes them to watch your ad. I like to laugh, and the best comedy comes from the unexpected. Most advertisements go for the cheap, easy laugh (see any Bud Light Super Bowl ad) so I always applaud ads that put a little extra thought into their comedy. Easy has never kept people interested for very long. The Trojan ads we get here in the States are further examples of lazy advertising. They might make you chuckle, but they are more loud and blatently sexy than they are smart and thoughtful.
I may still be searching for the best commercial ever, but this one cure does an awful lot right.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on January 19, 2012