Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Brilliant in it’s simplicity and it’s uncharacteristic audacity. Shows stature.



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This evening, I decided to go through accumulated bills from the last two weeks. Each envelope I open is filled with other “stuff”. While some were interesting, I just did not have the bandwidth to go through all of them. Actually, some of them, I really was keen to find out.


1. Keep language brutally simple. We don’t believe marketing blah blah. Give us the facts and keep it at that. We’ll make up our own minds.

2. Keep the word count brutally minimal. We want economy and efficiency of language. We just don’t have time to plow through your marketing blah blah.

3. Layout. Keep it simple. No pictures admittedly is irritating but redundant pictures and complicated layout is even worse.

End result. Nothing caught my attention and both the marketer and myself are worse off for it.

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Volvo C30 Site

I used “New Media” in inverted commas because it really isn’t new anymore. There’s also this Web 2.0 jargon being thrown about. It’s the web. It will evolve. It is the mainstream media and will continue to replace and supplant old media.

Anyway, I was personally impressed by the recent campaign, which incidentally I got via eDM for the new Volvo C30. Marketing Interactive had a summary of the campaign here. See the actual campaign here.

The internet has given rise to citizen journalism and an exponential growth in “Word of Mouth” (WOM) information dissemination. In the past WOM would have been restricted to your immediate social circles but the internet puts the power of publishing in everyone’s hands.

Hence, a wired person will typically (anecdotal evidence) surf independent review sites and blogs before buying a product and be wary of marketing information from manufacturers. For example, when I bought my Canon Digital SLR, I relied on bloggers information and the independent review site Digital Photography Review and not once did I got to the Canon Website. Why would I when I want impartial information?

So, Volvo’s decision to allow users to submit self created UNCENSORED video interviews is a very mature and enlightened way to go in my opinion.

I’ve maintained many times (including an article I wrote for Marketing Magazine here) that the internet as a medium will force manufacturers to be more transparent and focus more on product quality and service delivery. I think Volvo here is very confident of their product and hence brave enough to launch this campaign. It is the right thing to do, of course, since even if Volvo didn’t provide this platform, the information would have appeared in blogs, in car forums and other digital platforms.

Well done, Volvo.

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The world seems to be evolving into “user created” experiences. Some blogs are essentially user created magazines, Wikipedia is user a user created encyclopedia and Second Life is a user created 3D virtual world. In this sense, when I say “user created”, I mean individuals as opposed to organisations.

Second Life is a particularly brilliant piece of leveraging “user creation”. Although it is not a game, Second Life is considered a MMORPG (Massive Multi-Player On-Line Role Playing Game). Not a game because unlike say, World of Warcraft, there’s no real objective to Second Life. However, a lot of people treat it as a game. Unlike World of Warcraft, everything you see on Second Life is user created and the IP owned by the creator. The inventors of Second Life, Linden Lab hence does not incur any creative development cost. And in the gaming industry, the biggest cost is the creative cost.

So, what has this got to do with advertising? I sense that advertising has evolved from being one of information provision to one of entertainment. If I wanted to buy something, say a digital camera, the last place I would go to is a Canon, or Panasonic or Nikon website. I’ll probably go to an independent review site like this or read personal experiences of the camera in question from blogs. If I like a particular Canon ad, I’ll probably youtube it until I’m sick of it just for entertainment. OK, I may pay attention to the facts like how much optical zoom and so on but certainly not for the marketing claims.

So, why waste good money, usually millions of dollars on advertising? Why not, like Linden Labs, create a platform for user creation and let the users create their own advertising based on their own perception of the brand.

It’s a radical idea but if a manufacturer provides the platform for their users to create a multi-media impression of the brand; something like a multi-media wiki, moderated for malicious use, I think what will result is a fascinating piece of creative. This will benefit both the user and the manufacturer.

Transparency will be huge, skepticism will be reduced because this piece of multi-media communication is not manufacturer created but user created. Of course the manufacturer must be brave and confident enough to let go. This means that they have to be dead sure of their product quality, which obviously, is not a bad thing.

I just wanted to throw this thought out. I’ll probably come back and explore this a bit more.

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I like this ad. It’s clever. Mind you – I’m not saying that I think this ad is effective; just that I like it. I have always been concerned about the entertaining vs. effective (from a brand recall POV) balance. But this ad, I think it’s clever.

Seagram’s Drink and Drive Campaign

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