Thursday, September 29, 2011

The magic of free publicity

While giving a class in marketing communications this afternoon, I showed my students a screenshot of the homepage of Andrea Petkovic, a female tennis player, to explain some point being made in the course. At that moment, something peculiar about the site struck me. Just like her colleagues, Andrea of course endorses a number of brands (her sponsors). I do not know about how lucrative these deals are, but I guess she will be rather glad with the pay check. She does, however, provide free publicity to a number of other brands: facebook, twitter, and youtube. What is even more surprising is the size and placement of the publicity: these free endorsements are about as prominent as the paid endorsements and they have the more prominent left position on the screen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google+ A new religion has been born

Since today there is of course a big buzz going on about the public accessibility (without invitations) of Google+. Next to that, there's a large number of "new stuff" that is all pretty cool. Still, G+ is mocked because of its ghost-town appearances.

Pure blasphemy, in my opinion. In my view, a new religion has been born.

The reason for thinking so is rather graphic and deals with marketing communications. Google has played it very clever and they sure know their marketing Bible. G+'s immanent succes should not be attributed to the product itself but to how they used their other product, the sky-high favorite search engine named Google. Have a look at it today and you'll see this ...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wanted: Persuasive design research

A recent column (in Dutch) by Tim Driesen (@mrtimp; creative at Famous, Brussels) got me thinking - something the author should be credited for. Tim wrote down a desperate cry for help: advertising (at least in Belgium) is in desperate need of intelligent creatives. In recent years, he observed intelligent talent entering the business, but mostly in the strategic departement. At one point I did feel a strong relevance of his post for my own work in academics. His diagnosis of the problem revolved around two key issues, I believe:

  • Students from an arts education are of course pretty creative but, on average, less intelligent
  • Students having an academic background have lost their creative talent and ability to think outside the box

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How Groupon should move on

Groupon's been a mixed-feelings company lately. On the one hand, it is still one of the late boomers in the industry. On the other hand, there are some issues with the stock market entrance being postponed and accumulating stories about unhappy clients (for Groupon these are the firms/shops providing the offer). 
Although there is a vast literature about the malleability of promotions in the long term, this is even worse for services I believe. Promotions can always invoke feelings of suspicion about a product's actual price. Suppose people doubt the price for your goods, then maybe they are still willing to pay a subjectively overpriced product in the future given high customer satisfaction. If there is some behind-the-scenes production involved, people are willing to pay a higher price. So far so good, for actual goods being offered on Groupon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why do brand names accompany punch lines?

When simply watching TV commercials or even when thinking about the creative process behind making those commercials, it seems intuitive to build them up towards a punch line and to present the brand name (and/or the product) together with this punch line. Still, it keeps me baffled just to see how often this is almost the only brand name mention in some of these ads. From a strategic rather than a creative point of view, such practices are pretty much like stone age wisdom applied. Granted, TV might not be the most sexy and up-to-date advertising medium according to some of the advertising innovators, but stone age...? Or am I missing something and is there a vast amount of research out there contesting some of the old school wisdom?