Category Archives: marketing

David Ogilvy

Great man, great video, from AdWeek via Ricc Webb:


Greenpeace, VW and the “Dark Side”

Something being discussed a lot at the moment in adland is this latest “viral video” from Greenpeace:

An obvious parody of the VW “superbowl” commercial from earlier this year and quite a clever one at that.

It made me laugh, but it didn’t make me think too much about VW’s emmission standards or stance on C02 regulations because, as one comment on YouTube puts it so bluntly: “Greenpeace need to go take a long, hard look at a Hummer”. Interesting sentiment, in fact on page 1 of the YouTube comments every one is negative, calling out Greenpeace for various things a good example: “Sure, it’s a well made little clip but it’s times like this I realise that a decent amount of donations to Greenpeace go straight to either some ad agency or a very well paid team of CGI experts. It just seems a bit too easy to rip off a clever advert when there are actually much bigger things to be fighting against. There are companies doing much much worse than just opposing a proposed CO2 reduction commitment.”

So is this a win for Greenpeace? Well it has started the conversation but generated a lot of negativity and people also seem very hung up on the fact that VW seem to have a decent environmental record, I guess that’s the power of CSR communications, maybe VW have successfully minimised the impact of this clever campaign by being so proactive with green issues generally, by marketing the “bluemotion range” well and getting messages out there like this (quote again from YouTube) “”Volkswagen’s Passat BlueTDI meets the upcoming 2014 Euro-6 emissions standards by emitting less than 80 mg/km of nitrogen oxide and 137 g/km of CO2.” I dont see what the fuss is all about. VW even invested 350 million in a single plant to reduce its Co2 emissions by 7000 tonnes a year.”

So nice work so far VW, proactive is good! But this vid still has 100k views in 1 day, and an “episode 2” has 20k hits so you’re not out of the woods yet…

Dear Jaguar and MG, you’re doing it wrong

Yesterday, like many red blooded males in the UK, I watched the new series of Top Gear, and like many of the aforementioned red blooded males I drooled over this:

Courtesy of Octane Gossip

The Eagle Speedster, a £500,000 modern take on the iconic Jaguar E-Type.

Now what is interesting here, from a marketing perspective, is that a small East Sussex based company are doing this and not Jaguar themselves… And I don’t mean Jaguar making a £500k concept to prove a point I mean going down the Mini / Fiat 500 road and actually re-making the classic.

OK so am I touching on the sacrilegious here? Jag re-make the E-type? I don’t think so, it would only be sacreligous if it was crap or expensive, if it was like the original, a super sexy, chic, alternative to a prancing horse while undercutting the price it would be an insane hit! And it’s not like it would take much design effort, Eagle have done it for you, just make it! (Yes it is easier said than done, but so was the original E-Type, and they did that!)

Now for MG:

MG’s comeback car was released recently, the MG6 GT it only got a cursory mention from Clarkson and co, bad news for a comeback for the once great MG! But here is the problem: What does new MG stand for? No one knows, they are still batch building the dodgy TF and now they come out with their comeback, MG the brand formerly great for lightweight convertible sport cars, with a great racing pedigree, the brand which still (in their new ad campaign) reference the iconic Midget, so why the hell release a boring, average looking, saloon? That is not something for me to get excited about!

Instead: re-make the midget, or similar, do something sporty and different, turn some heads, make it good! Then follow up with the boring saloon that Dad buys remembering his youthful lust for the Midgetesque roadster!

I dunno, I feel the new MG is a disappointing shadow of it’s former self, I hoped the new owners would come out with a revolution, not a badged up Chinese saloon (might as well be a badged up Rover like the last 10 years?!) Jaguar are doing good at the moment the XF is awesome and the XK is pretty but the E-Type is still an opportunity!

Wouldn’t it be awesome if MG released some kick ass 2 seater roadster which looked amazing, something to rival the MX5, maybe not as quick or balanced or reliable but something so good looking and iconically MG that it took the limelight and sold some cars, even if they sold a very limited run below cost and made it super awesome, just to bring MG back into the collective consciousness as a marque!

Cool slow motion video

This video is a piece of marketing for Fluke Corporation, a company I have never heard of and know little about… But it is very cool:

Amazing, and there is more on their YouTube channel!

5 ways to combine your Facebook page with your ATL

All the best examples of “social media marketing” are really, as much as anything, great examples of integrated marketing, it is social content, and cool social content at that, combined with ATL, TV spots, paid digital even PR etc. The recent Bing-Jay-Z example I posted about and the obvious “Old Spice” stuff are great examples for various reasons.

But most brands are doing it wrong, here is why:

  1. How many brands do you see who stick a FB logo or twitter logo on their ATL or TV spots, OK, so I know you are there, but I don’t even have a URL, how can I find your official page (most big brands have 1000’s of “unnoficial pages, no bad thing) and by making it harder work for me you reduce the action rate!
  2. So you have put up the URL but not given me a reason why I should follow, brilliant… What’s the incentive, if you want me to look at the page I better have a reason to go there, this is simple marketing in every respect!
  3. The URL is hidden in the corner out of the way, brilliant lets stick some tiny FB logo on a huge tube poster, here is a great example: 
    Can you spot the logo, it is hidden in the bottom left almost below the border, brilliant!
  4. No SEO or PPC, If I want to find out about a brand I probably Google it, simple really, so if you are spending all that money on FB ads and “sponsored stories” then it might also make sense to put some into Google Ads to drive traffic that way, a great, cost effective signpost, Lynx did this really well with their “Angels” campaign
  5. Not doing it at all… Look, integrated marketing works, so please do this stuff, your campaigns will be more successful
That’s it, easy really…

Sponsorship, integration and awesome marketing

I have been thinking a bit about sponsorship recently, I read an article the other day in the Standard which said that only something like 12% of football fans could name Carling as the League Cup sponsors, some similarly depressing figures were quoted for other brands involved in this kind of activity, this reminded me of a discussion I had on twitter over a year ago about how sponsorship was a broken model but no one was doing anything about it…

Depressing really as it is big business, millions of $ to secure the big deal and millions more in media and agency fees to support it all, the worst part being there is rarely a viable ROI model or clear KPI’s, it is all about “brand awareness” – a great catch all term in big brand marketing…

Then Joel showed me this:

Which is the best example of non-traditional sponsorship I have ever seen.

Sure this cost a hell of a lot of money, but sponsorship does, and this is sponsorship, Jay-Z is clearly being paid to endorse the bing products – sponsorship.

But instead of  a clever TVC and ATL execution featuring the famous rappers music and picture with some kind of “competition” online to meet him or get concert tickets (which is the typical fare for these kinds of deals) these guys really got to the nub of things: They engaged their target audience with something awesome and it’s awesome because it is the following:

  • Exclusive (you can’t get that content anywhere else)
  • Engaging (I would pay for that book so of course I am going to spend time finding it for free)
  • Disruptive (if I saw a part of Jay-Z’s life story emblazoned on a pool table or bus stop I would read it and then follow up online, because it is so disruptive it lures in it’s target reader
I also really love the way it thinks so differently about every day objects, from billboard and ATL to pool tables, table plates, clothing etc. – That is true creative engagement! 

And the results are great too: Huge uplift in Bing site visits, over a billion impressions and a hell of a lot of engagement. It also really sold the service, it was not some loose and contrived link to Bing, the Bing experience was core to the user experience and that is important, too often this type of thing has only a loose connection to the brand or product it is really trying to sell.

I have only 1 question: How many of those users who came to Bing for the Jay-Z stuff came back? – but then that is, in part at least, down to the quality of the Bing service.

How to get 40m hits on YouTube

Many people have many “tricks” or tips or ideas on what makes a good video and what makes it “go viral” and pick up some insane number of views, I am sure no small part is luck… There are lots of things you can do, you can throw paid media at it, you can “seed it” to key influencers in key communities and you can even build custom YouTube skins and clever engagement ideas around (or even within) the video.

But one sure fire winner is a talking animal:

40m views, need I say more.

So that’s it, next time you want a huge “viral” video hit, just find a dog and make it look like it’s talking, easy.

But seriously: All they have done here is made it cute, made it funny and made it relatable, anyone with a dog could tell you “that could be my dog” and anyone who loves dogs will find this funny and share it. So funny and relatable for the win