The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Entries in advertising (5)

Monday
May242010

Creativity Can Solve Anything

One of the things to love about Netflix on my TiVo is that when there is nothing in my Now Playing List I feel ike watching, I can investigate Netflix and usually find some independent film or cancelled television program that fits the moment. My recent exploration led me to "Art & Copy", a film by Doug Pray on the ad industry.

For those of you that don't know, the first 13 years of my professional life were spent on the set of commercial productions in Los Angeles - as well as exotic locales like Mexico, Dubuque, Laguna Seca raceway and the Mojave Desert - as a Second Assistant Director and Producer. The people featured in this film were responsible for some of the mini-movies I had the good fortune to work on during that period, and a few of them remain to impact the world of advertising today. Enjoy...

 

Thursday
Mar042010

Favorite Tweet of the Day

 Time to Rewrite Brand Playbook for Digital (via @adage) Branding online must simultaneously address behavior & technology. http://ow.ly/1evii

Tuesday
Feb092010

Did Google Use Apple's TV Ad Playbook?

For advertisers, the Super Bowl  is as much the “big game” as it is for sports enthusiasts. This year that was more true than ever before, because the televised broadcast brought a record 106.5 Million viewers.   In the post Internet bubble, fewer new technology companies are using the expensive, broad-reaching television broadcast to build brand awareness, opting instead to make their dollars work harder at measurable activities that convert to sales.   That leaves the door wide open for established brands like Budweiser, Coca Cola and Doritos - the ones that can afford the lofty ad rates - to use the time to create entertaining, “talked about” vignettes that enforce the meaning and positioning of their products.

Despite the Super Bowl being a mecca for established consumer brands, Sunday’s game was the first one to include an advertisement for Google’s dominant product, search. Many have commented on why the company chose now to run the ad, and whether the company’s virgin effort at broadcast advertising was meant to prove a bigger business agenda in the advertising community. For me,  the ad was most notable because of its use of the product to tell a brand story.  Among a sea of ads that used slapstick, animals, and underwear, the Google commercial seemed to take a strategy right from Apple’s advertising playbook for its initial foray into television.

Five plays I saw called:

1. Use the product to tell a story.  In the Apple spots, a friendly narrator tells the story of a customer journey, ending with the line “there’s an app for that.”   The Google ad tells the story of adventure, discovery, love and family through searches. Each step in the journey has a solution in the Google results set that advances the customer’s story.

2. The product is the hero.  People are a distraction in Apple ads, and while iPods used to feature silhouetted dancers, most Apple commercials now are about the apps. Except for the disembodied finger, for the iPhone, it’s all about the software.  Google’s spot starts with its iconic home page filling the screen, which is only replaced by its familiar results pages.  The television stands in for the PC, and the audience looks right over the shoulder of the searcher entering terms and phrases, just as I peek into the iPhone the finger points to and swipes.

3. Be gender neutral.  Although the Super Bowl tends to attract advertisers with a propensity for frat humor and belly scratching, Google, like Apple has, tried hard not to offend men or women.  The story in the ad is universal, and while it is clear a man is entering the searches, women in the audience can appreciate the romance of Paris, and the happy ending of beginning a family.

4. Lather, rinse, repeat.  The world believes all touch screens use the gestures that Apple’s iPhone does.  The constant repetition of the gestures within the commercials, played in frequent rotation during popular television programs, trained the audience even before they purchased the device.  Within the Google ad, the searcher performs the same activities several times over – enter search term, then click on results.  

5. Don’t go for the cheap joke. It was an ad about romance, and the cursor skated across - but never clicked on - the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. Sure Apple has done its share of cheap jokes in the Mac versus PC story arc, but, in the categories Apple dominates, iPod & iPhone, Apple doesn’t disrespect their leadership position with skeezy parents or slapstick jokes.

Saturday
Feb062010

Should Apple Decide What's 'Beneficial' in an Ad?

First published on Technorati

The process of getting an application approved through the iPhone App Review team and into the App Store can be a mysterious one for application developers. Many complain the app review process takes too long, the rules for acceptance are vague, and the reasons for rejection are too subjective. Apple does produce guidelines for submissions, which highlight best iPhonepractices, tips, and rules to help developers successfully navigate the review process.

Earlier this week, Apple added a new tip about the use of location services for developers looking to get apps approved for the iPhone. According to the App Review team, the iPhone Core Location Framework, the programming interface that enables developers to “deliver information based on their location, such as local weather, nearby restaurants, ATMs, and other location-based information,” is not to be used primarily for targeted local advertising.

The wording in the Apple post continues to secure Apple’s position as content editor, and not just technical reviewer, in the App Store approval process. "If you build your application using Core Location, make sure your app first asks users for permission before you use their location to provide targeted information,” the tip suggests. “Once granted, the information you provide must be beneficial.”

What will qualify as “beneficial”? Apple goes on to clarify, “If your app uses this information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on user's location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.”

This comes as important news to the mobile marketing community, although the insight was buried in a series of notes aimed at helping developers. For many advertisers who wish to use mobile applications to engage with customers, mobile location data provides invaluable targeting information.

It’s a delicate balance of providing value versus being invasive, says Pat Binkley, VP of Engineering at mobile developer, Zumobi. Zumobi produces iPhone applications for partners and then monetizes the content with advertising. Binkley goes on, “I think in the case of applications that do not have a local component, you have to balance the perception of invasion of privacy and disrupting the user’s experience for the sole purpose of delivering local advertising to them.”

Apple’s recent purchase of Quattro Wireless, a leading advertising network and mobile marketing platform, has fueled industry pundits’ and software developers’ concerns about the intent and impact of this recent tip posted on the iPhone Dev Center. On Twitter, one software developer, @Oliverbo,  summed it up this way, “That spells trouble: Apple: Core Location Off-Limits for Serving Location-Targeted Ads http://bit.ly/dtNzcC /cc @feedly.” Some, like AppleInsider, believe that through the Quattro platform Apple intends to restrain others from using a feature it plans to keep wholly to itself. Industry analyst Greg Sterling, also known as @gsterling pondered, “Is Apple Hoarding LBS Advertising?”

A December 2009 report published by Quattro Wireless, in partnership with DM2Pro, highlighted the importance of targeting capability to advertisers. When advertisers were asked what they considered the most important criteria for choosing an ad network, the ability to target segments of consumers was listed first.

Advertisers and agencies have been trying to monetize the emerging mobile application marketplace but have yet to broadly embrace one particular revenue generation platform. One digital marketing executive, Holly Brown, SVP of IPG’s MRM Seattle office, expressed concern that Apple is attempting to micro-manage the mobile advertising eco-system. “At a time when it’s more important than ever to engage consumers with relevant value, and to build monetization strategies for application developers, Apple seems to be interfering with the natural evolution of the market created between consumers, developers and brands (advertisers).”
Research
Location targeting is not only a tool to help small regional businesses, like dry cleaners and cafes, promote services, but it also aids in the discovery of national products available locally. Location-based applications often enable national brands to target local promotions at a store level and can help customers find their favorite franchise or store nearby prompting them to visit with a coupon or in-store offer.

Because they add a layer of relevancy to the ad content, advertisements based on location can be more productive for advertisers. Brian Wilson, VP of Marketing at application developer Point Inside, which develops iPhone indoor interactive mobile mapping applications for navigating malls and airports, is supportive of the Apple position. “From our perspective, Apple’s notice only serves to reinforce the value that Point Inside is providing and the methods we’re using to provide it.”

Feel free to post a comment below and tell us what you think. Do you need Apple to decide for you which ads can be localized?

Friday
Jan292010

Can a Brand Buy Your Love?

First Published on Technorati:

Advertisers are increasingly supporting the production of long form, episodic, social content that's easily shareable. The more inventive the content, the more likely it is to get the kind of reach an advertiser would want from an ad you might run on a niche cable channel. At this scale, the numbers start to become material for advertisers to consider transforming into mini film studios, commissioning hot directors or actors to appear in long form brand trailers.

But the question is, what should the measure of success be for spending money on making viral videos? Does making a feel-good brand movie that shows people getting free goods like flowers or pizza drive any measurable value for your company or customers, including revenue? "We were looking for a creative way to connect with teens outside of the typical TV commercial or online game," said A.J. Brustein, Global Senior Brand Manager, Coca-Cola.