Moderated by Edelman Catalyst Group Strategic Consultant Justin Zwiren, this session is the first of two AD:TECH session focused on word of mouth and viral marketing. The panel included VBMA Co-Founder and DMC CEO Justin Kirby, P & G Tremor CEO Steve Knox, New Media Strategies Founder and CEO Pete Snyder and BzzAgent CEO Dave Balter.
Zwiren began the session discussing how companies can listen to consumers to avert disaster through monitoring chats are reading weblogs. Much of the session centered on transparency - how much should be disclosed to the consumers in a word of mouth or viral marketing campaign. BzzAgent's Balter said no cash should exchange hands when a word of mouth network is created by a marketer and it's better to wait for consumers to join rather than actively recruit. DMC's Kiry question whether transparency, if intended, is even possible. Recent attempts by Mazda, which created a fake blog to promote a new vehicles was not branded in any way by Mazda but was "found out" by consumers in less than two days causing Mazda to eat crow and pull the site. Yet, BzzAgent's Balter pleaded expressly to marketers in the room to be transparent in their viral efforts or the medium would be killed.
Terms such as "talkability" and "Spreadability" have become vernacular for methods of measurement now being explored by viral and buzz marketers. Moderator Zwiren posited “conversation rating points” emerging as a comparable measure to gross/target rating points. While forms of measurement begin to emerge, DMC's Kirby lended some common "conversation" measurement saying, "we're not going to measure every cocktail party conversion - most people are there to get drunk or get laid."
Following the panel conversation, an audience member asked how viral marketers are insuring children are not being blindly taken advantage of with some of these efforts. While not addressing detail, both BzzAgent's Balter and Tremor's Knox stated emphatically when teens are involved, parents are approached as well and explained how their children are involved in these efforts.
Continuing AD:TECH coverage, this session, Proactive Branding Showcase, was moderated by Maven Networks SVP Susan Bratton. On the panel were GSD&M Strategy Director Dave Evans, Nikon VP of Marketing Jerry Grossman and DiamlerChrysler Director of Interactive Communications Bonita Stewart.
Bratton began by describing proactive branding as a "subject of grave importance and interest." Bratton introduced the panelists who each gave a short presentation of the work they've done to proactively "brand" their brands. GSD&M's Evans began by explaining how his agency approaches branding work for its clients describing the agency's "purposed-based branding" as achieving "sustainable results for brands that have a genuine purpose." He then ran through a litany of clients and the work his agency has done but revealed little details.
When the first of the two marketers, DiamlerChrysler' Stewart spoke, much more meat was provided. Stewart gave an overview of the introductory campaign for the Chrysler 300 that involved a multi-media branding effort coupled with several direct marketing and web efforts.
A primary goal of the branding effort was to shed the “old” Chrysler image and part of this was achieved with a teaser campaign that showed the vehicle but not the manufacturers nameplate leaving consumers to guess. The direct marketing component involved asking consumers for their names (via the web) in exchange for Chrysler revealing the name of the vehicle. Noted as a positive, 58 percent, when asked to guess the car's manufacturer named other manufacturers including Bentley and Mercedes - a crowd Chrysler was hoping to appeal to.
Next was Nikon's Grossman who began with a not so necessary branding 101 explanation, but then moved on to embrace an aspect of branding most copywriters are loathe to admit - no one reads body copy. Grossman then proceeded to explain how Nikon used various media to provide more and more detailed information as consumers required it. Lastly, Grossman explained how the company developed a photo school which was promoted as a means to both educate and to bring consumers physically into contact with Nikon products.
Contrary to Sunday night where virtual cobwebs were hanging in the AD:TECH exhibit area of the Hilton, this morning the hotel was abuzz with thousands of attendess registering, meeting, greeting, and checking out exhibitors booths, which, miraculously are in a dramitically different state than they were last night. In the registration area, there were two characters dressed up like Microsoft butterflies asking for business cards and offering attendees a chance to win a Rio. DoubeClick provided the closest thing to a "booth babe" this year with a beach, complete with a woman sunning herself while reading a book and being fanned by a male "servant."
Click here for more pictures including a pair of hotties registering. Hey, it'a a trade show.
Tian, the ever vigil Chinese marketing monitor points to a Nike ad that was translated incorrectly. While translations are always a grey area, Tian says Nike intended headline, "Extinguish fire from the base" ended up reading, "Extinguish fire but with base." He points out a few other problems but it does not seem to be is bad as the classic Chevrolet Nova/Nogo translation.