This guest contribution is written by Dave McMullen, partner and lead strategist at redpepper integrated agency.
Say the word "advertising" at a cocktail party and most people will immediately engage in a conversation about their favorite television spots. To be a part of this conversation used to be the holy grail of advertising.
Then along came the search engine, and along with it came a new holy grail--the top spot in a list of search results.
While the whole world was clamoring for Google's coveted number one, unsponsored search result listing, Facebook and Twitter began not-so-quietly supplanting Google as the central nervous system of the world wide web. These two social media juggernauts gave rise to an engagement era during which the once lauded "impression" began to fall out of favor as a legitimate measure of a return on marketing investment. And, as a result, yet another era in marketing arose. And we're smack dab in the middle of it at this very moment in time.
Welcome to the sharing era--an era in which a company's brand awareness and advertising messages have fallen, quite literally, into the hands of the market.
Here's an interesting take on SEO versus branding that's sure to stir debate from guest contributor marketing executive Andy Havard.
Search Engine Optimization has been like a marketing drug over the past few years, with businesses, brands and organisations cramming every resource into climbing up the search engine rankings. In fact SEO isn't so much a marketing drug, as a marketing placebo, and not very good one at that.
Focusing on SEO is a sure-fire way to make your brand disappear. It's little more than a strategy that makes marketing moguls chase their tails around every day in the office. Now brand awareness on the other hand is a marketing strategy that separates the tail chasers from the industry pack leaders and the following article explains why.
Well here's what we had to say about that. After viewing Volkswagen's new Red Urban-created Passat commercial over at AdFreak and the complaints it's generated, we simply could not hold our tongue and left this comment in answer to David Gianatasio's question, "Sexist or just sily?"
"Definitely just silly. Good God, people need to lighten up! Hysteria over such innocuous issue as a silly car commercial who's primary fault (if it even has one) is highlighting the sometimes distractive qualities of a new car is just stupid. There are far more important things to focus on in this world than stupid car ads."
OK? Can we all move on to more important issues now? There's more small towns to Occupy, right? Oh wait...
Former Adrants Editor Angela Natividad who now lives in Paris, works for CB'a, writes for AdVerve and hosts the AdVerve podcast was sent a screen shot of a conversation between Mark Wnek and Edward Boches. The conversation debated the merits or writing about advertising as a profession. Boches is pro on the topic. Wnek is con.
Angela, with her unique ability to ad spice and intelligent insight to anything she touches, takes a deep and introspective look at life as an advertising journalist and the purpose it serves. And, contrary to what Wnek might say, it most certainly serves a purpose. Chiefly, it plays an integral part in everyone's lives...even if most hate seeing ads.
Explaining this, Angel writes, "We wed ourselves to brands, see ourselves in the things we purchase because they become personal objects that we invest time and care in. We give them as gifts, wear them on our bodies, use them to facilitate our lives. It makes sense to want them to reflect something quality we have, or aspire to have, from the get-go."
Give her entire story a read, It's insightful and gives purpose to those of us who work in and rite about advertising each and every day.
So that supposedly offensive (to whom we aren't quite sure) Fiat ad in which a nerd is approached by an Italian woman after she catches him staring at her as she adjusts her shoe? Here's what we have to say about that.
The ad, created by The Richards Group, just funny. That's all. It's not offensive in an way, shape or form. It's just a true statement of fact: men are perplexed, dumbfounded and all out distracted when in the presence of a hot woman or a hot car. The ad is a dead on depiction of men and their relationship to women and cars. And that's just the way it is.
OK. Can we all move on now? Oh and thanks to Who is That Hot Ad Girl, here is all the background you'd ever need on the woman in the ad, Catrinel Menghia.
Here's the biggest problem in the advertising business. As much as agencies may say they hate clients and clients may say they hate agencies, both parties need each other to survive and thrive. Without one side keeping the other honest - whether the client/agency function is internal or external - we end up with work like the famed Agency.com Subway pitch video or this latest gem (see video below) from SapientNitro. Checks and balances people. Checks and balances.
It's not that this self-promotional video is poorly produced or delivers bad information about the agency. After all, agencies are supposed to be creative. They are supposed to be at the forefront of creativity for a purpose or, more accurately, marketing communications. Which, of course, is why every agency website contains a gallery of the work it has done for others.
In the self-generated controversy category this morning we have a new campaign from lingerie outlet The Lake and Stars which features a mother and daughter posing together while modeling lingerie. The "controversy" centers on the likelihood of a mother and daughter hanging out together while clad in lingerie.
Defending the campaign, The Lake and Stars designer Maayan Zilberman said, "A lot of the themes that we're dealing with are about psychology between women as they're growing up and dealing with family politics or women in the workplace. There's no shock value here. We're not trying to make people feel uncomfortable in order to provoke dialogue. We're just trying to confront some of these issues that I think people aren't really talking about so much."
Call us crazy but is there really a need to start a dialog about mothers and daughters hanging out together while wearing lingerie? Of course not. This is yet another attempt by a fashion brand to "shock" and "surprise." Excuse us while we doze off for a short nap.
This guest post is written by Lloyd W. Armbrust, CEO of OwnLocal.
Newspapers need more money. Print subscriptions are in decline. Print ad revenues have fallen precipitously. Online advertising revenues are growing, but not nearly fast enough. There's an unmistakable sense of despair and hopelessness surrounding most print publications. Everywhere, newspaper publishers and ad directors ask the same question: "What do I do?"
Luckily, there's an answer.
The future of newspapers sits at the intersection between content and online services. In other words, it looks like a Newspaper plus a Digital Marketing Agency.
Here is a fascinating article written by Jolie O'Dell of VentureBeat. In the article she take s along look at Google+ which over the past few months went from social media darling to everyone's favorite whipping post. O'Dell puts things into perspective when she says Google is all about "compiling the best, most actionable data about consumers to sell to advertisers." And to that end, she says Google will accomplish that "not by orchestrating a Great Migration of users from one social network to another, but by subtly linking all your Google-powered online activity and profiles so advertisers can see a more complete picture of you than Facebook could ever offer."
In essence, she sums, "Plus isn't a social network; it's Google's new way of getting you to use all its web products."
This, by far, is the most laughable attempt yet to unseat Facebook from its throne atop the Social Media Empire. If Google + can't do it, who the hell else would even bother? Thankfully a few do providing us with plenty of chuckle worthy hilarity. The latest attempt to sway people away from Facebook comes from Unthink, a new social network that's well, not a social network at all. Or so it claims.