Tag Archives: advertising

BeanCast 458: The Least Amount of Work Possible

I hopped on The BeanCast to discuss the fickleness of influencer programs and whether content marketing offers up truly better results. Facebook will offer mid-roll video ads– ugh. This seems like a cash grab to me, and is at the very least cart before the horse considering their tracking failures with existing pre-roll. Of course Facebook has ambitions to advertise on connected TV apps and mid-roll on the site/app may just be research, but I’m not a fan. That said, audiences will probably deal with it, as Zuck has a great batting average at predicting what users will tolerate.

A sloth is the featured image because Twitter’s $99/month premium subscription plan (in private beta now) seems like way for non-marketers and small businesses to check a box that won’t really do much for them. Tamsen zeroes in on the appeal of this budgetable expense. Then we talk about GIFs – how marketers should use them, and the fact that we’re probably devoting too much time to discussing GIFs.

Listen to The BeanCast on Apple Podcasts

July 31, 2017

PANEL

Emily Binder, Consultant, Beetle Moment Marketing

Saul Colt, Founder, The Idea Integration Company

Bill Green, Consultant/Blogger/Author, Adverve

Tamsen Webster, Consultant, TamsenWebster.com

Bob Knorpp, Host, The BeanCast


TOPICS

Content vs Influence

Sources: MediaPost thoughts

Facebook’s Midroll Ad

Sources: blog analysis

Twitter’s Subscription Service

Sources: Business Insider

GIF Marketing Now

Sources: MediaPost analysis


Adapted from original post by Bob Knorpp on thebeancast.com

BeanCast 442: More Sketchy Studies

I talked with a smart panel on The Beancast again, this time the theme was how much bunk is out there in marketing study land.

What do YOU do on your phone during TV ads? We tackled Facebook’s assertion that TV viewers turn to them during commercial breaks, the hurdles facing people-based marketing, overcoming voting blocs at Cannes, and the effectiveness of brand takeovers on Twitter (I say not effective at all). Also, why Canada at Cannes is like the 1988 Jamaican Olympic bobsled team in Cool Runnings, and Travis Kalanick is a narcissistic frat boy. (Not mentioned on the show but worth noting: Sarah Lacy at Pando has been calling out Uber‘s problematic culture with little notice since 2012).

Cool Runnings movie poster
Canadians at Cannes are like Jamaican bobsled team at the 1988 Winter Olympics

Listen to The BeanCast on Apple Podcasts

June 12, 2017

PANEL

Emily Binder, Principal Consultant, Beetle Moment Marketing

William Bock, Director of Strategic Consulting, Merkle

Saul Colt, Principal, The Idea Integration Co.

Craig Hodges, Principal, Randwick End Consulting

Bob Knorpp, Host, The BeanCast


TOPICS

Phones, Social, and TV Ads

The Hurdles for People-Based Marketing

Voting Blocs at Cannes

Brand Takeovers on Twitter


#ADFAIL5

Google pissing off brands and consumers with their planned ad blocking stance

One fifth of UK web users now have an ad blocker

Leaked Uber memo from 2013 adds to the bad PR

Bulleit Bourbon sues Redemption Bourbon for stealing their bottle design

Breitbart hasn’t lost all of their advertisers yet

Adapted from original post by Bob Knorpp on thebeancast.com

Why a 1960s Ad Man Understood Social Better Than You

Howard Gossage believed that most of the advertising of his time was manure. The Socrates of San Francisco died more than forty years ago, but his radical approach is as important now as ever.

Howard Gossage in front of repurposed firehouse where he housed his ad agency
HQ of Freeman, Mander & Gossage: a restored Barbary Coast, San Francisco firehouse which attracted counterculture and influential thinkers

Gossage was irreverant, inquisitive, and creative. At a time when agencies encouraged increasing media buys for their own profit, Gossage worked on quality over quantity, and even instructed some clients to reduce their ad budgets. He eschewed TV. He helped launch the environmental movement. David Ogilvy called him “the most articulate rebel in the advertising business.” Gossage was an iconoclast and proponent of using advertising to effect social change. He cared more about ideas than media.

When Gossage was in the ad business in the late 1950s and sixties, you could reach 85% of the U.S. with three TV networks and four publications. The options for sharing information and stories were a tiny fraction of modern media, but HLG was a prescient proponent of interactivity. His most important principle will outlast this month’s shiny new marketing toys:

Respect Your Audience

Howard Gossage black and white photo with advertising quote
Howard Gossage on advertising

Gossage was talking about conversation long before Twitter. Our age is one of digital marketing buzzwords that mean little beyond having secured standing room on a crowded bandwagon, of an obsession with social media too often devoid of strategy and technique. Now we have tools that make the conversation more convenient and immediate, but this has made us lazy.

Tired of reading articles about how to “measure the ROI of social media”? Quit reading them. Turn off your phone, sit down (better yet, stand up) and take the time to write interesting copy, inform, incite. Spell check.

Client: Petrofina Oil

Gossage transformed a pedestrian category, gasoline, with a campaign that directly acknowledged that most service stations were identical, while satirizing “advertisingese”:

1960s Fina ad - pink motto by Howard Gossage
Gossage’s Fina motto ad satirized the pounding slogans and culture of consumption in most “advertisingese”

Fina didn’t pretend to be your friend or solve your problems. Fina acknowledged reality in a conversational way. Fina sold petrol.

Ask customers about their pain points then speak to those negatives in a new or helpful light. Brands aren’t people: brand messages that seem personal simply because they begin with an @ still must offer some value, honesty, or fun if you want the audience to care, participate, or purchase.

Fizrin Instant Seltzer - Headache? Why wait for slow dissolving tablets
Fizrin – 1958: not a Gossage ad

1967 Diet Imperial Margarine Ad from McCall's
Diet Imperial Margarine – 1967: not a Gossage ad

Unlike the above ads typical of his time, Gossage based his work on the belief that the consumer deserved to be treated with some modicum of respect. Ogilvy agreed: “The consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife” (1955). Gossage went a step further with campaigns like the one that saved the Grand Canyon from being flooded:

Gossage ad to save Grand Canyon
Gossage Sierra Club Grand Canyon ad – 1966

His point, recalled by then partner Jerry Mander, was this: “You can’t just make people feel bad, you have to give them an opportunity to do something.”

Direct, honest, creative messaging that acknowledges the realities of the transactional relationship beats a feigned or forced friendship and unrealistic promises. It was true in the sixties and it’s true today, especially on social.

We relish our digital two-way street, opine about the “conversation” until its terminology has become hackneyed, yet many brands still turn off customers with their attempts at tone. Before you hit “send,” ask yourself if the message is interesting and real, or simply, WWGD?

This article originally appeared at ama-atlanta.com

Source for Mander quote

Why We Hate Skyler White

Do you think Skyler White is a total buzzkill on Breaking Bad? Do you full out hate Skyler?  “…Male characters don’t seem to inspire this kind of public venting and vitriol.” In an 8/23/13 op-ed for the New York Times, Anna Gunn, who portrays Walter White’s wife, discussed what’s behind the vocal public contempt for Skyler, which has blurred into “loathing” and even death threats against the actress. Skyler White – I Have a Character Issue – NYT

Breaking Bad - Walter and Skyler White staring at piles of money in storage lockerAnna Gunn’s op-ed explores why viewers are so quick to hate TV wives like Skyler, Carmela Soprano, and Betty Draper while their husbands, the protagonists, commit crimes against humanity, cheat, lie, manipulate, and endanger their families, but rarely inspire such “homicidal rage” toward the Don Draper/Walter White types or the actors who play them. Anna Gunn’s article made me rethink why I used to see her character as a killjoy, annoying, or a nag as she’s been pegged.

Gunn makes an excellent point by complimenting Vince Gilligan and the Breaking Bad writers for painting an ever-evolving Walter White as complex and likable “despite his moral failings.” And yes, there is “a natural tendency to empathize with and root for [a show’s protagonist].” Still, the fact that everyone so loves the “deeply flawed yet charismatic genius” that is Walter speaks to the highly skilled storytelling that has earned Breaking Bad titles like “best show ever.” Maybe the writers of these top dramas aren’t making the wives likable enough. Maybe it’s a learned, default cultural interpretation of wives as automatically antagonistic to our beloved, flawed male protagonists. Regardless, this is an important conversation because our society is consumed with and influenced by media now more than ever:

  • “American teenagers spend 31 hours a week watching TV, 17 hours a week listening to music, 3 hours a week watching movies, 4 hours a week reading magazines, 10 hours a week online. That’s 10 hours and 45 minutes of media consumption a day.
  • Women hold only 3% of clout positions in the mainstream media (telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising).
  • 53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies. That number increases to 78% by age 17.”

-statistics from Miss Representation with sources (2011-2012)

In the documentary Miss Representation (click to watch), filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom exposes disturbing realities about how women are portrayed by the media and “under-represented in positions of power and influence.” Newsom demonstrates the relationship between the lack of powerful women (characters or real ones) depicted by the media and entertainment industry and the lack of female leaders in politics, business, etc. In summary: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” -Marian Wright Edelman

Miss Representation Katie Couric media quote text

There are TV shows with strong, likable female leads, but nowhere near as many as those with male leads whose adoration by viewers exemplifies an obvious double standard given the wider range of character traits, flaws, age, and physical appearance in male leads. This is one reason I love shows like Lena Dunham’s Girls on HBO and Jenji Kohan’s Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

One aspect of Miss Representation that relates to television and marketing is the business of commercials. Essentially, brands want to advertise on content that mirrors their messaging. Marketing is about making consumers uncomfortable: if you instill in a consumer a sense of urgency that they need a product to make themselves better, happier, sexier, smarter, younger, prettier, richer, etc. then you’ve caught their attention. In general, TV shows are written to reflect their advertisers’ brand values and messaging so that they will keep advertising to an insecure consumer. Characters and storylines often perpetuate the beliefs that make viewers insecure, i.e., better consumers.

Media companies, networks, advertising conglomerates, and ad agencies are male-dominated financially, philosophically, and visually – pure numbers. While the Skyler White conversation has many variables, it’s important to keep the undeniable reality of our gendered media in mind when deciding whether you think Skyler hatred is a symptom of a larger cultural problem or is simply the result of storytelling in the modern age, where character-bashing is more public online.

Good follow-up reads:

  1. Laura Hudson’s Wired article posted after the 8/25/13 episode, Confessions: Breaking Bad Recap: Walter White Is An Abuser – Wired.com 8/26/13
  2. Hey, Anna Gunn: Not Everyone Hates Skyler White by Willa Paskin, 8/26/13