All tie-ins are not created equal.
Try as the marketers behind this awkward spot may, human-killing aliens and Coors Light just do not work well together here.
Over the years marketers have successfully and seamlessly tied thousands of products in with one another. The best marketers sell you something (Coke, Budweiser, or a BMW perhaps) without you even knowing by building an emotional connection between you and the product while you think you are simply watching your favorite madcap group of tele-friends ham it up while you sit on your couch or the newest romantic comedy in the theaters.
This ad, unfortunately, is clumsy, overt, and more awkward than me in eighth grade.
Tie-ins do not work if the audience notices them. I am not the only one who knows this. I promise the folks behind this ad know it, which is what makes a fumble like this so confusing. Television ads are not cheap. Producing them is not especially inexpensive either. To me, the biggest problem with this ad is the waste and disconnection from the current situation of potential consumers.
How far could those same marketing dollars have taken either company if spent on a new, vibrant, creative social media push?
Ads like this make me question how much marketers have really learned over the past decade. This spot smacks of the lazy, money-blowing old guard. Companies cannot afford to treat their marketing like this anymore.
The American auto industry collapse provides constant examples of what not to do while your business model evaporates around you, and one of those lessons is “Do Not Waste What Money You Have on Television Ads Just For The Sake of Having Them.”
Hollywood is definite offender. The American film industry can complain about how nobody goes out to see movies anymore, but Avengers and fine films like Midnight In Paris are proof that audiences will still spend money on GOOD movies. The extra cash to toss away on crappy films has gone away, which means that it is more important than ever to put a thoughtful marketing push behind any given film. This ad is proof that at least one person hanging around the upper strata of Hollywood still does not get it.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on June 20, 2012
I was flipping through an old Money magazine the other day looking for print ads to write about and I noticed that the most interesting thing about the ads in the magazine was not what they were selling individually but what they were pushing as a whole.
An important part of understanding marketing is understanding why certain advertisements appear where they do.
I would say 95% of the ads in my Money magazines are for travel (automobiles, tires, hotels, airlines, or similar products and services) or financial products (banks, money managers and other financial institutions). The latter makes a lot of sense to me, but the former is where you will find the proof that Money and the companies that purchase advertising space within the magazine both understand the people who read the publication very well. Much effort, time and money go into gathering data on and breaking-down the folks that read Money, and any other magazine.
Publications like Money might serve other purposes as well, but the number one reason why it still exists is because the people who run it have gotten (really) good at understanding the people who read them.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on June 1, 2012
When creating a new marketing campaign, companies should try very hard to remember to stay connected.
The best ads and ad campaigns are entertaining, sure. But they are also (at least somewhat) connected to what they are trying to sell.
The campaign Bridgestone started out with in 2012 never really felt like a solid bridge between sports (which I love) and the product. The effort is worth noting, but the execution just never panned out.
Marketing campaigns, remarkably, still have to be a little connected with reality in order to resonate with consumers. Campaigns like the Bridgestone Performance Balls campaign are too disconnected from reality to make consumers pause and pay attention. It is a fine line to walk indeed, the line between to dull and too unrealistic.
Part of the problem might be that Tim Duncan has the least personality of any athlete in my lifetime. In fact, spalding basketballs have more personality than Duncan, but I digress. The larger problem is that when an idea gets too unbelievable, goofy or ridiculous, consumers get bored.
…And when consumers get bored, they pay attention to other things. And when they pay attention to other things, you do not make money. And when you do not make money, you go bankrupt. Don’t go bankrupt, make interesting, connected ads.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on May 31, 2012
Midnight in Paris is the best movie I have seen in a long time, so this post might be a little biased. I will do my best to treat the trailer as though I do not have a huge crush on the film itself.
Did this trailer make me want to see the movie?
Was the trailer effective as a commercial?
Like so many films I discuss on Movie Trailer Tuesday, the main reason I saw Midnight in Paris was word of mouth from people I know who’s opinions I trust.
A film as original and exceptional as this one is hard to make into a trailer.
Woody Allen is used to handling films like this, but Hollywood is not. Hollywood is accustomed to making trailers for formulaic movies with predictable plots, mainly sequels and novel-based pieces without an original idea within the entire project.
This trailer is better than many of those made for 2012 Best Film nominees, but it really does not convey the wondrous experience the film delivers.
Quick side note:
The best decision Woody Allen ever made just might be putting Owen Wilson in this film (especially if Allen himself was the other option). Had Midnight been made 20 years ago, it might have been an inferior film because of Wilson’s absence. Wilson is entertaining, energetic, and funny throughout. The “Holy-shit” face he pulls several times during his midnight adventures is one of the best film faces I have ever seen. That one expression conveys more than most actors can put forth with over-animated monologue deliveries and melodramatic emotional breakdowns. As my wife often says, “The best actors convey emotion with their faces and movements, not their words.”
Posted by Jeff Osborn on May 29, 2012
Is there anything worse in the marketing world than the ongoing Geico gecko campaign?
Why are you still here?
Geico has been ripped for these ads because they are all about making “six-pack Joe” laugh and not at all about sharing real, concrete reasons why their insurance is better.
But that is not my problem with these ads. My second biggest problem (I’ll talk about my first biggest problem in a minute) with the gecko ads is this: They are not funny.
Humorous commercials used to bring attention to your product or service serve an important purpose.
Humor is an important marketing tool. Laughter, after all, is one of the main ways human beings connect with one another.
Think about your best friends. Chances are the memories that keep you closest to those people are either somber emotional ones or goofy, fun, riotous moments of uninhibited, uncensored laughter.
The same is true with brands and products. Great marketing campaigns make you feel emotions that bring you closer to the product, brand or service being touted.
Geico’s gecko campaign is a slowly dying horse that no one has balls enough to put down.
All of that said, my biggest problem with Geico’s gecko campaign is that they have never done a Gordon Gekko spoof with Michael Douglas. With all of the lazy, crappy ads with bad jokes (a few of them are below) I just cannot believe Geico never did a Gordon Gecko spot or two. Tsk, tsk.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on May 25, 2012
Kia’s ads with Blake Griffin are essentially free lessons on how to properly use your celebrity spokesperson.
Here are two of my favorites:
These Kia/Griffin commercials are a pleasant blend of goofy and incoherent. And they always show the product!
Kia bought themselves kind of an awkward spokesperson, but they use Mr. Griffin’s awkwardness to their advantage. Having him simply talk about Kia’s new sedan would seem weird and forced. So they had the guts to approve an add campaign that took that potential awkwardness and made it real. By putting Mr. Griffin in awkward situations (doing awkward things) Kia negates the potential for millions of wasted dollars on a spokesperson that would not resonate.
On the other end of the spectrum is Subway, which manages to routinely bungle their celebrity endorsements with boring, impact-less ads like this one with Michael Phelps:
Posted by Jeff Osborn on March 26, 2012
Did this trailer make me want to see the movie?
I did end up seeing The Help, but not because of the trailer. I can imagine that this trailer was effective on some people, but I remember seeing it and declaring no interest in seeing the film. I finally saw The Help (on DVD) because so many people that I knew liked it so much.
The trailer for The Help is my least favorite type of trailer, and is usually not very effective on me. By “Type of trailer,” I mean the kind that tells the entire story in two short minutes. Those trailers turn me off right away. The film could be about ninjas on the moon battling aliens from the future with martial art AND their intellects, and a trailer like this one would cause me to suddenly lose interest.
I did like that the trailer was sprinkled with humor, which turns out to be one of the best parts of the film itself.
The trailer also gives the viewer glimpses of a potent performance by Viola Davis. If you watch only her clips carefully the trailer starts to become a lot more effective.
Was the trailer effective as a commercial?
I would say, yes.
Like I said, this type of trailer is my least favorite. But there are plenty of people who can see past a boring trailer to the heart of the story.
I believe the scandal, humor, and subject matter probably attract people at a higher rate than the trailer as a whole repels them.
Posted by Jeff Osborn on March 20, 2012