Monthly Archives: February 2010

Advertising in Cricket

So India is playing South Africa in the much anticipated buildup to the IPL season 3 and the ODI series is already on its way. I am not sure about the advertising rates for the series but I noticed a lot of brands, albeit, small brands use the platform. Mobile companies surprised me a lot. Let it be Lemon mobile, Aroma,  MicroMax or Onida mobile, the mobile wars are getting hotter with everyone wanting to get into ‘one mobile that does all’ platform. MicroMax mobile even positioning themselves as the facebook mobile. Well all the ads were forgettable, nothing catchy about them but why I wrote this post was to address a different concern.

Have you seen the ads that come on the sides while watching a match. The match screen becomes smaller and moves a little towards upper right corner to make space for those banner ads that occupy the space on the left and down part of the screen A lot of brands seem to be taking a liking to them but I seriously doubt their efficacy. They are not done well at all.

There might be some reasons why advertisers are preferring this form of advertising

–          Flexibility in the message, one can have two different ads for two different banners and can easily mix and match

–          Cheaper to produce

–          Probably lesser cost to advertise

–          Catch the audience when they are not surfing between channels

–          Create a continuous flow from off the field advertising to live telecast point

And I must agree they are pretty logical reasons to advertise. However, there seems to something amiss in a big way. after a half an hour gap, I couldn’t remember any of the ads that came, barring one. Most of them had very average workmanship that allowed them to be less legible. My biggest concern still is that until and unless you use this technique (the side banner advertising) during stats presentation or during a field change, people are not going to notice it. I am not even sure if they do notice during those times but I am assuming that there is more reason to notice them when the ball is not in action. It is almost pointless to advertise when people are literally in their T.V screens. The centre of attention is the 22 yard pitch and the batsman and the bowler opposite. Typically, when the screen shifts to upper right corner to make way for the ads, The movement of the eye, involuntarily, is also in a similar manner and you tend to miss almost three fourths of the communication. I just found the WildStone side banner impactful simple because it was on a black background with big words that were contrasting and said ‘Don’t smell like a woman, smell like a man’. Apart from that, rest all were more or less insignificant and a waste of marketing spend.

So here are some suggestions if you want to take those spots:

–          Make it contrasting, don’t choose colors that blend in easily with one another

–          Do not have too many words

–          Keep your brand name at the bottom right corner, it is easier for the flow of the eye

–          Let the pictures be on the left and the words below towards the right (more or less what Ogilvy suggested for print ads)

–          Have it written in either English (preferred) or Hindi, don’t have an intercourse of hindi and English or a Hindi word written in English. Defeats the purpose.

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R.O.I of Advertising

Watch the videos, First!

Hope you enjoyed the series of war of the sexes in advertising.

First of all, there are three things by which you can judge an ad. Relevance, Originality and Impact (forgot the advertising agency that devised this concept). All three are self explanatory as in, the relevance the ad has in your life, the originality of the concept and does it have an impact on the viewer.

Its not necessary that the ad should have all three components. It is not a watertight compartment. If you see the ZooZoo ads, they were high on originality and to some extent in impact but not a high scorer in relevance.

There were 3 things that worked for Vodafone that time

  1. ZooZoo’s became a brand in itself and hence creating a good amount of recall in the prospects mind
  2. Shoddy advertising by Airtel which faced creative bankruptcy at that point of time. The series of boringly romantic moments between Madhavan- Vidya Balan that went on like an over stretched rubberband. Snap!
  3. Vodafone did not allow the zoozoos to slip from their peak by changing their ads frequently yo as much as 27 during a month and a half

All these reasons kept apart, I honestly doubt, if that made a person get a Vodafone connection. Recall, fine. But in the end did it turn it into a sale? Doubtful. They had the originality, the impact but where was the relevance? And to me until and unless your advertisement does not sell the product, directly or indirectly, it has failed in its purpose.

Hence I come to my point that, relevance is the most crucial factor in an advertisement. There are  5 reasons why I say so

  1. You connect with your audience that second itself
  2. If you notice, ads that are relevant would always cost much lesser than ads high on originality and impact. You dont have to hire a Tiger Woods who goes around crashing his Escalade around the trees
  3. Relevant ads follow the K.I.S.S formula of “Keeping It Simple Stupid!”
  4. The fact that, it is much easier to have consistency in your communication, if your advertisement is relevant, one can catch on to the same set of themes. For eg: The Dodge  Charger theme of Oppresses men.
  5. Ads that are relevant don’t exactly need any brand endorser too because relevant ads will be around you and me and in simple insights that light up your mind making you think, ‘How true?’

Have a look at the Google SuperBowl 2010 ad:

How relevant was it? I would say, extremely relevant. We all Google like that, don’t we? Although, it is debatable if Google actually had to spoon out $5 million for the spot in Superbowl. And just imagine the cost it would have incurred to make such an ad. On the other hand, take the new ad for Yahoo’s ‘Its You’ campaign, they dished out more money and the results are not that certain, neither is the campaign worth remembering.

Well, you can always argue stating the fact that there are so many ads that are not relevant but still very memorable. For eg: The famous Honda accord ad. But.. the beauty of being relevant is that it allows you to carry forward a conversation with the other end and in todays tech enabled marketing environment every brand looks forward to indulge with the audience and try creating a conversation. An ad might be highly original and impactful and you might say a ‘Wow’ but if it stops there, an opportunity is lost.

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Super Bowl XLIV Bonanza

Super Bowl 2010

Another Super bowl concluded with the New Orleans Saints defeating the Indianapolis Colts’, 31 to 17. And we saw almost 60 ads aired by different corporations to vie for 106 million people who saw the bout on T.V and hence becoming the worlds most watched programme ever.

This years Super Bowl too saw Humor as a common strategy to gain the viewer attention.

U.S.A Todays Ad Meter ranked the first three ads in the following manner

  1. Snickers
  2. Doritos
  3. Bud Light

We need to take into concern that these ratings are derived out of an instant rating system from a focus group. USA TODAY’s Ad Meter tracks the second-by-second responses of a panel of viewers to ads during the Super Bowl and ranks them from best to worst. Hence, it might be too shortsighted to hail an ad as the best of the Super Bowl.

Snickers ad was neither funny nor serious but somehow people could connect to their message of ‘You’re not you, When you are Hungry’. Plus, the element of unpredictability made it a good ad. Although, I wouldn’t call it as the best ad.

Doritos ran four spots this year, which were all placed in the top 20. The peoples favorite was the anti-bark collar ad. It was funny but I dont think it was better than the Samurai ad. It certainly did make Joshua Svoboda be an envy to investment bankers! He created the ad for a mere $300 and is entitled to win $600000 from Doritos for being the second best rated ad this year.

Bud Light as usual was quirky and funny and memorable. Witty lines and an amusing storyboard made sure that people noted it and were involved in it. I even liked the ‘Not light, not heavy‘ campaign that they ran. But again it could have been better for a beer that did not have ‘Light’ mentioned in its name. You can not have ‘Light’ mentioned in your brand and communicate that the beer is neither Light nor strong, it is Bud Light.

I liked the Hyundai (Also the biggest advertiser for this years Super Bowl) paint ad as well but after the recent recalls in the car industry from the Japanese car makers, the South Korean car maker would have had to suffer. However, like the last super bowl ads Hyundai was smart and short and even attacked the competitors, in this case, the Mercedes CLS550, to showcase their product as superior.

A special mention for Google that flirted with TV advertising with a beautiful ad (the best ad according to me). The ad was powerful enough to evoke an emotion on the faces of the viewer and hence, undoubtedly, distinct. Something, that we could all relate.

Go Daddy slipped down the popularity, probably due to a repeated theme line. However, I feel it created enough memorability and reinforcement. Especially, with its imagery continuing on sexy and affordable to all. Women as usual were a major part in all the ads.

Coca cola played its sleep walker ad. It was visually nice but not exactly a memorable one. It somehow did not gel with the ‘Open Happiness’ positioning.

Then there was Cars.com advertisement that again started off brilliantly introducing Timothy Richman but somehow you just wished there was some more to it. An average ad. It did not have humor nor was too serious and fell in the same genre of the Coca Cola ad. A little more of work and it could have been a above average ad.

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