Want to watch $275 Million get spent in 48 minutes? Just tune into CBS at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday to see one of America's greatest primetime displays of violence, debauchery and poor impulse control. And I'm not talking about the Super Bowl…
I'm talking about the Super Bowl ads.
In all seriousness, these days it's no surprise that independent research year after year continues to show that over half of U.S adult viewers plan to watch the Super Bowl as much, or more, for the ads than for the game itself. In fact, social listening measurement findings suggested that in 2012 64% of respondents said that half or more of their conversations online with respect to the Super Bowl were about the commercials themselves.
With the average investment of $4 Million on the line for a 30-second spot, it's no wonder why the CMOs of many of these advertisers are looking to squeeze their investment for every penny.
There are three standout trends that have continued to proliferate the Super Bowl ad space for the last several years (and by all accounts will continue even more in 2013).
01. Online Ad Preview and Teasers
Online Ad Previews and Teasers are becoming more of the norm. VW made the most famous splash last year with its Star Wars parodies that received over 56 Million hits after allwas said and done, largely in part to the pre-release of the spotson YouTube.
This year's early winner goes to the Kate Upton Mercedes spot, which in one week gained over 5 Million views (and counting).
Humbling news as, by this author's account, this is one of the more ridiculously off-brand spots I've ever seen. Given the fact that the CLA won't even be available for the next 7 months, the brand needs lasting impression and awareness. Regardless of the substance, it's clear that Mercedes knows the value of online traction and will do whatever it takes, no matter how low-brow, to get an early lead among its rivals.
Regarding the idea of Super Bowl teasers, the concept is simple,but the debate still rages on about whether or not the big reveal should be saved for the big game. While we don't promote a "one size fits all" approach to advertising, and I'm sure there are errors to the rule, it's hard to argue with the facts. Mashable reports, "According to YouTube's research, ads that ran online before the Super Bowl last year got 9 Million views, on average. Those that waited? 1.3 Million." With, on average, three times as many views online over broadcast, many could argue that the real winner in all of this is actually YouTube.
02. Ads for Social Democracy
Ads by social democracy are becoming more common in 2013. While Doritos pioneered the concept with their user-generated ads in the past few years, this year we are seeing a greater variety of the concept. For instance, one of the biggest brands in the world, Budweiser, has finally launched a Twitter account in itsname. The brand, which had a little more than 600 followers Monday morning, is using the account to promote its upcoming Super Bowl ad, which will feature a Clydesdale foal via their Twitter hashtag campaign. Pepsi is also using their site and Twitterto recruit some of their fans to strike a pose with their can before their half-time show.
But, the big pre-game winners in 2013 seem to be the "choose your own adventure" style ads from Audi and Coke. In what Audi says is a Super Bowl first, they recorded separate endings for their "Prom Night"commercial, and are compiling social votes where the audience chooses the ending. Coke created cokechase.comto tease their spots by highlighting three different sets of teams who are all racing to win a giant coke in the desert. The team with the most votes online will get their spot aired right after the game.
03. Second Screen
This year, more viewers than ever will be watching on a second screen. Now in real-time, technology allows brands to engage with the viewing public on their mobile phone or tablet during the event. For instance, Yahoo's Into_Now pioneered app technology that augments the second screen experience by using the unique audio digital signature in a television show topickup, and serve up, content directly related to that show. CBS estimates ad revenue alone from their second screen engagement to be between $10-$12 Million. Being able to interact with stats,player bios, team formations, highlights and social aspects is an essential part of any second screen approach for the sports enthusiast.
Regardless of all of the hype, a few certainties remain. The Super Bowl represents one of the highest risk: reward ratios in advertising. Because of this, marketers are getting smarter by using not only the right tools, but also the right content to get the consumer's attention. Disintermediation is taking effect and the consumer is finally starting to see large-scale control of and connection with their favorite brands. As our society gets more social and mobile, so does the advertising.
Needless to say, as an advertiser, I am thankful for the Super Bowl. If not for any other time during the year - the Super Bowl gives us an annual magnified window into the progress of advertising. With so much attention to the commercials, it almost makes me feel sorry for the guys on the field.
Yesterday a reader asked us "how do you get into advertising?", our knee jerk reaction was to ship them off to the nearest ad school for a year or so.
Then they told us more about their experiences to date and what a fascinating life they had lived. And as all of us forget from time to time, education is just a base foundation, life is what moulds you into an interesting creative person, ultimately making you more employable than the next guy or gal.
This trending video from Mondo Endruo below seemed an appropriate fit for this editorial.
Call them morals, ethics, beliefs, principles, I don’t want to get into semantics here. You live your life by a certain set of rules, and we all have a slightly different set. Anyone who reads my column regularly knows I lean very far to the left on most issues, and that rubs a lot of people the wrong way. And I really don’t care. In the same way, you shouldn’t care if your views piss people off either.
But when it comes to doing the job we do, is the best creative work done by people who don’t give a flying fuck about their morals when they cross the agency threshold? Or by people who can, by some extreme act of willpower, disengage emotions and just get on with the job? There have been several times in my life when my morals were really pushed to the limit.
It started in my first ever job out of college. It was, by no stretch of the imagination, a job that was a million miles away from the glitz and glamor that I thought advertising was all about. Most of my time in the first six months was spent working on credit card mailers, slimming products, local car ads and other such crap. There were bigger, more glamorous accounts at the agency, but they were reserved for teams that were not fresh out of college. Those accounts were earned.
Then, one day, the creative director said he was giving us a chance to work on a big account. But it had one slight drawback. He knew both my partner and I were anti-smoking, and it was a cigarette account. To be precise, a cigarette account in a country that was very poor.
Hmm. Do we want to say no, and delay the chance to work on great accounts for another six months? Or do we do it, and sell poisonous shit to people who cannot afford it, and will go hungry in order to buy a pack?
We chose the latter, to our shame. And we did a cracking job on it too, with the campaign being loved by the client and outperforming any previous campaign by a good 20%.
YES! We had succeeded…in selling more death sticks to people in poverty than any previous team before us. Talk about a double-edged sword.
Over the years, other such challenges have raised their heads. Most of the time, I kick my morals or beliefs to the curb and just get on with the fucking job. I’m a professional, I get paid to keep the clients happy, and my personal beliefs have no room at the conference room table.
Being such a lefty liberal, I had to bite my tongue and advertise a Republican candidate on more than one occasion. He wasn’t even a moderate. He was the kind of guy Rush Limbaugh would consider a bit too right wing. And yet, I did it, and he got elected on the back of the work we did.
I still regret that one. Much like a lawyer who gives a criminal the best possible defense, I did the best job I could on his campaign. Should I have thrown it?
I’ve also been directly responsible for pushing ads that I knew, beyond a reasonable doubt, were “conning” people out of their money. Everything was legal, but my God, I certainly walked the line. Thankfully, that company is out of business now.
I could go on, but I am way more interested in what you have to say. Maybe this is some kind of catharsis for me, to see if I’m not the only one who says “fuck it” to my beliefs in favor of doing a good job (and keeping it).
Would you work on the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” campaign if you were a strict vegetarian or vegan? And could you really do a great job, even if you try and kick your own beliefs to the curb?
Could you advertise alcohol if you were on the wagon? Could you really convince other people to drink booze even though you’re off it for good?
What if you’re anti-war? Would you happily work on the Army or Marine Corps accounts? Would you do it begrudgingly? Would you “just say no?”
Could you ever work on advertising for the KKK? What if your job depended on it? Would you do a piss poor job if you had no other choice?
In the past, when it was easy to go from job to job, having morals was a little easier. It was possible to turn down some accounts, or raise objections if pitching for work that you believe the agency just should not have.
But these days, with the industry (especially in Denver) being so fragile and work being so hard to find, could you dare stand up for your beliefs and sacrifice a good job? Would that make you feel better, when you had no food to put on the table for your family that night?
We all, to some extent, do things we don’t like to do for money. No one really wants to work on shitty credit card mailing packs. No one likes doing godawful radio spots for local clients. It pays the bills, and we know it.
But where is the line, and when do you refuse to step over it? Do we, as advertising professionals, have any right to let our own personal morals and beliefs interfere with the job we are being paid to do?
Go on then. Chime in.
Felix is a site contributor, ranter and curmudgeon for The Denver Egotist. He’s been in the ad game a long time, but he’s still young enough to know he doesn’t know everything. If he uses the f-bomb from time-to-time, forgive him. Sometimes, when you're ranting, no other word will do. In his spare time, he does not torture small animals. He's been known, on occasion, to drink alcohol by the gallon. Do as he says, not as he does.
But – and it’s a very important but – you have to do them because they not only provide the framework and inspiration for creative teams to start creating their magic, but they become a piece of historical reference on the brand that ensures people won’t post rationalise the execution and miss out all the little bits that made all the difference.
That said, the debate of what should and shouldn’t go in a brief still rages and I find that sad because at the end of the day:
+ You should never be a slave to the briefing format, the briefing format should always be a slave to you.
+ Different people like different levels of information so a ‘one size fits all’ mentality, is totally and utterly ridiculous.
+ A short brief shouldn’t be an excuse for ignoring the real issues that need to be addressed & conveyed.
+ A long brief shouldn’t be an excuse for not being clear, concise and interesting.
+ Regardless of what you are being asked to do, a brief should always be interesting, informative & inspiring.
Because of this, we have a few different briefing ‘formats’ here.
Some are designed for more junior guys to ensure they’ve done all the critical thinking necessary … some are designed for clients to ensure they give us what they need, rather than what they want … but all cover 6 critical questions.
1. WHAT IS THE GOAL
What is the end objective? I don’t mean the execution but the business result.
In short, if they say, “We want some TVC’s”, ask why and don’t stop till you get some real reasons with some real quantifiable goals.
2. WHAT IS THE BARRIER
What are the key issue/s that are stopping this from happening right now.
It might be people’s attitude and behaviour … it might be a competitors product or distribution.
Maybe it’s an issue with our brand or communication or even a product quality or lack of innovation story.
Whatever it is, find the fundamental issue and write it down.
3. WHO DO WE NEED TO TALK TO, TO CHANGE THIS?
Who do we need to engage in conversation? Who do we need to inspire, inform, push?
Don’t just write a bunch of stats or bland statements, explain how they think, live, worry, behave.
Let people feel the person not just read a bunch of cold, clinical bullet points.
4. WHY WILL THEY CARE
This is where blunt honesty is needed.
You can’t write this from the perspective of what the brand wants them to think, it has to come from the audiences mindset. If you’ve done your homework for the previous question, you’ll know the answer to this … and if you’ve done your homework well, you’ll know the answer is not going to be some marketing hype/bollocks, but something that satisfies a real need in their life – be it emotional, physical or mental.
5. SO WHAT’S OUR STRATEGY?
Detail the macro approach you are taking to achieve this brief. It should be short, precise and full of creative mischief.
ie: Deposition the key competitors as ‘old success’ by making XXX the badge for ‘new, entrepreneurial achievers’ … or something.
6. WHAT’S THE KEY POINT OF VIEW
Based on the goal, the barrier, the audience and the strategy – what is the brands point of view on the issue they need to address.
It should be something that is obviously based on truth but also full of tension and pragmatism.
ie: “You can’t change tomorrow if you don’t act today” … or some other z-grade sounding Yoda impression.
Don’t rush it. Take your time to really craft it because apart from needing to be relevant to the task in hand, it also serves as the creative ‘jump off point’ and if you’re going to help your colleagues do something that is powerful and interesting with it, you’ve got to ensure they really feel the tension and energy of what they can play with or play off.
You might ask why things like ‘tone of voice’ are not mentioned.
Well sometimes they are … sometimes they’re not … it depends on a number of factors, however at W+K, we place great importance on ‘brand voice’ so a few abstract words like ‘fun, upbeat & lively’ are not really going to cut it.
I should point out that how you brief your colleagues is another incredibly important part of the creative process.
If you give them a piece of paper and tell them to “read this”, you’re almost doomed before it’s even had a chance to begin.
While the brief should be inspiring on it’s own merits, it’s always good to think of ways to let your colleagues really understand what you are trying to get across.
That might mean you present it in a different location or environment to the office … that might mean you put them in situations where they can really feel what you’re trying to convey … that might mean you get interesting – yet relevant – people in to chat to them before you go through your hard work, but whatever you do, it’s always worth putting in that extra little bit of effort because it will genuinely pay dividends to the work that comes out the other side and that is ultimately what you’re going to be judged on.
At the end of the day it’s worth remembering there is no such thing as a perfect creative brief because ultimately, it’s about what you put on it – or how you present it – rather than what it looks like … however what I can say is that from my experience, as long as you have a culturally provocative point of view running all the way through it [obviously based on truth rather than 'marketing truth'] then you stand a much greater chance of creating something that affects culture rather than just adds to the blunt, advertising noise.
Let’s be blunt: NBC shit the bed in their Olympic coverage.
In this digital, social media age – when earthquakes are tweeted about before the Earth even finishes shaking – NBC made the unfathomable decision to broadcast events on tape delay in order to garner primetime ad dollars. Apparently NBC execs figured a few billion people could keep secrets until after dinner.
The funny thing is, even if a few billion people weren’t on Facebook, Tweeting, texting and blogging, NBC’s strategy was so stupid, they spoiled their OWN results. While the broadcast was holding back the biggest events into the evening, at practically every other commercial break, they were encouraging viewers to check out additional content on their Olympic website which… wait for it… showed headlines of results they had yet to broadcast.
Their Twitter and Facebook pages were no better. Before Americans got to see for themselves, the NBC Olympic Twitter stream had already blown the surprise of the Queen and James Bond parachuting into the arena.
NBC, you do understand how the internet works, right? (Rhetorical.)
But wait! There’s more! While you’re stuck trying to navigate a slow, horribly-designed, advertising-laden NBC site to see streaming events, 64 other countries get to view it live on YouTube for free. Afghanistan and Botswana get YouTube. You get McDonald’s ads to pay off NBC’s investment.
Because, you know, THAT’S the way to respond to social media criticism. There’s no way that strategy could backfire.
It sure seems like NBC’s entire strategy was “Let’s just say we’re streaming everything live!” without understanding how the viewer actually wants to engage with their content. Consumers have spent the past decade buying giant-ass HDTVs. Not everyone wants to be forced to their 10-inch iPad screen to watch events live. And certainly not everyone can stay completely away from Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the internet long enough not to ruin the surprise before primetime.
Someday, the networks will come into the 21st century with a digital strategy that makes sense. Unfortunately for fans of the Olympics, that day isn’t in 2012.
Whenever anything happens 3.2 billion times per day, you have to wonder whether its recurrence diminishes its significance.
Specifically, I’m talking about Facebook’s inescapable LIKE button (perhaps you’ve heard of it). The average Facebook user clicks ‘like’ 3.5 times every day — anything from friends’ wedding photos to slapstick status updates to videos of innocent childhood relics getting blown apart by explosives. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. It’s everywhere.
The ‘like’ button has become so ubiquitous on the web and has spread so rapidly across almost every online experience that trying to explain its purpose or its power or its potentialities is sort of like explaining to your grandmother why the Kardashians have their own television show. It’s just the way things are, the reasoning goes. And when it comes to applying this indeterminate behavior to branded communications, the conversation usually stalls similarly.
Sixty percent of marketers measure their social media success based on numbers linking friends, fans and ‘likes’. In other words, sixty percent of marketers measure their social media success based on a simple, one-click action that takes, quite literally, less than one second. Considering that the average Facebook user logs 8 hours and 18 minutes on the site every month, this seems like a pretty pathetic pittance of individual investment.
A while back, Dave Allen described how “social networks are effective at increasing participation by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires” — a pretty profound articulation of the conundrum facing many social marketers today. By making the process of connection more seamless, more effortless and more mindless, Facebook is arguably making the outcome of connection more meaningless.
At this year’s Asia Marketing Effectiveness Festival, Rob Campbell and Charles Wigley pointed out that the clay head from Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ video has accumulated over 11,000 Facebook fans. No joke. We are talking about an inanimate piece of pottery circa 1984, folks. Yet this is the same metric that headlines most brands’ social engagement reports and client case studies and agency award footnotes.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece back in 2010 about how the Save Darfur Coalition’s Facebook page had attracted an impressive 1.3 million ‘Likes’ with momentous speed. Yet when Gladwell dove deeper into the numbers, he found that these self-professed activists only averaged a 9-cent donation apiece. Pennies, really. And while its unfair to generalize success on any one isolated example, this should still serve as a cautionary tale for most brands. People click, but rarely do much else. It appears as though the majority of social media users like becoming a fan more than they do actually being a fan.
The bottom line is that brands need to stop attaching the term ‘engagement’ entirely to quantifiable clicks such as ‘likes‘. It’s not that simple. And it is an extraordinarily lazy way to measure sentiment and enthusiasm and affinity. When brands approach Facebook as though it’s any other digital display ad, it typically returns as little success as any other digital display ad.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s always nice watching the ‘likes‘ tally up after a creative campaign or a recent content plug. But by overstating the value of a ‘like’, we actually undervalue the prospects of deeper, authentic engagement.
It sounds so simple that often times we forget it: if you really want to be loved, you have to be more than just ‘like‘d.
The Raleigh-Durham Egotist is a community aimed at bringing the creative talents of our area together. The goal of the website is to serve as the liaison between contributor and company.
As a member of this platform you are given a voice; we have enabled you to create a profile, upload a portfolio, and participate in on-going dialogue with your colleagues.
In addition to the content the editors provide, both businesses and individuals are asked to help run the site. The Raleigh-Durham Egotist helps expand your brand’s exposure, personal or professional. So what’s the problem? We can’t do it alone. There are only so many hours to comb through the work being produced and to make the public aware of it. We need your help!
Let’s be honest. The Triangle is home to us for a reason but the world may not know about the diversity we possess. Sure we are known for RTP but how many boutique and bigger communications agencies do we have? How many of the companies in the area actively seek out our talent before going elsewhere? That number may be smaller than we would like.
So how do we change this? For starters we must join together. We must have a place to call our own and to showcase the results being achieved. The RDU Egotist is that place. As a member of the national Egotist network, the RDU Egotist enables both our businesses and our community to actively engage each other. We are able to talk about our trade, to discuss ideas, to present our work and to build a better overall brand.
This is where you come in. We are asking that all of our friends, colleagues, students, and businesses not only visit the RDU Egotist but become involved. We will be making an enormous push to make this the go-to resource for creatives alike in the area. To make this a reality our businesses and individuals must create profiles, upload their work, submit editorials, join in on the forum discussions and let the world know about upcoming projects and jobs. By incorporating a job board, a work presentation platform and a forum, the Egotist is unlike any other news source available. What is the best part? It’s FREE! So put your social media person on it, your PR person, yourself, or whoever it is you have in charge of growing your business. Don’t have a social media person? Hire one already.
Additionally, we are actively seeking individual contributors to join our site and to submit examples of what they do, be it graphic design, photography, strategy, social media, video production, logo design, print or anything else and to get their message out.
To get started, simply scroll up and hit Membership; create a free profile and upload some of your work. Once you have done that you can choose the submit tab on the top of the page. This then presents you with the following options:
Raleigh | Durham Work – Local campaigns you love or hate, your own work you want to show off
Raleigh | Durham Talent – Individuals or groups who consistently put out amazing work
Raleigh | Durham Resource – Industry services, vendors or other secret weapons
Raleigh | Durham Event – Be as detailed as possible with links, dates and info you send.
General – New ideas, questions, challenges on where we’re heading
Pick one and let it rip. Remember this is a public website so please be courteous; our team of editors do have the power to remove anything we deem offensive or non-value adding. This is a great way to show off your work, announce a gathering or opening, tell the world of services you offer, or to simply pat yourself on the back for a recent accolade.
We are also constantly looking for new editors. This position is one that gives you more space to rant. This is another opportunity for you to write about something you are passionate about and gives you an outlet to do so. You are given more space and front page placement. Editors are expected to be professional and are selected based on writing ability and fit within the team. You will be given administrative rights to get a deeper look at the inner workings of the Egotist Network and is a position that, while unpaid, is sure to increase your visibility and skill-set. For more information about this please email email@example.com
How can we do all this and keep it free to use? Well, as with anything there is no such thing as a free lunch. So let’s look at what else we can do for you. First of all the job board is a great place to start. As the community grows and the site is developed, there will be an enormous talent pool of people who share our passions. Job postings are our main revenue stream. Keep in mind that freelance position postings are always free. If you are looking to announce a Full-Time hire, however, we do charge a nominal fee – far less than LinkedIn or Monster and much more targeted to the industry. You are putting your company and your job right in the middle of a community of people that require little filtering. Our sites average hundreds of hits per day and are only growing. In the short time the RDU Egotist has been live our users spend a little over 6 minutes on the site and view on average 3.39 pages. Take that Google+! There really is value in numbers.
Not only does your job get viewed, but since our members will have portfolios and writing samples already posted, you can immediately search for a look or style that fits your company. It truly is a better mousetrap. We are all here to develop businesses, put out great work and make a few bucks doing it. For rates and information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember this is a community and the best way to build a community is to participate.