I have heard ad people say that it’s either the most terrifying or the most exhilarating time to be in our business. Being an eternal optimist, I side with the latter.
No other time has afforded our industry the opportunity to devise solutions for our clients with a virtual endless choice of technology, platforms and possibilities to help us engage with an audience.
One recent success story for us is The Pike Place Market Farm Fresh Lunches. Farm Season is the most important time of year for Pike Place: the bounty’s aplenty and the tourists a-many. But the Market faces a challenge in convincing Seattleites that the Market is theirs—given “fresh” local farmers markets’ popularity in many neighborhoods—and to shop it regularly.
And, Pike Place is a quasi-governmental organization with understandably tight budgets. In the past, the Market had run paid media at the level they could afford to a buckshot audience prompting Seattleites to get over the parking burden and crowds to shop during Farm Season. Our client challenged us to approach it a different way.
In a recent Q&A with the Sports Business Daily, Bob Ryan—who recently retired after 44 years as a journalist with the Boston Globe-lamented, “The Twitter world has perverted any concept of perspective.”
Them’s some heavy words, Bob. The concept of perspective is still out there. Very much so. It’s just that sports fans aren’t gaining perspective via 950 words on page 1C the next morning anymore. Instead, they are getting it in 140 characters within 90 seconds of whatever is said, done, shot, scored. Their sources are from everyone and everywhere. And, in many cases, they are giving perspective, too. The fact is you don’t need to be a columnist to be a taste-maker anymore. Not in a world of retweets.
We were working with our long-time client the Seattle Aquarium on a new brand campaign for 2012 that included outdoor advertising and radio. Both are good for awareness, but we wanted to see if we could find a way to also generate real engagement with families. So we came up with the idea to create a fictional childrens ebook that took place in the Seattle Aquarium that could be something kids and parents could share and enjoy together.
We have a tradition at Copacino + Fujikado where new employees are presented with a curious welcome-to-the-agency statuette known as Chick Norris. They’re expected to hold onto Chick until the time comes to pass him off to the next fresh face. But what does it all mean? Nobody could really tell me. So I was forced to draw my own conclusions. What I came up with was that each newbie must attach his or her own significance to Chick. Even though you are being welcomed into a family, discovering the meaning of Chick is a personal journey.
Mine led me to believe that if you screw up they’ll stick you in a can, seal it and hand you out as a knickknack albatross to people on their first day.
Let me preface this post: a sample size of one doesn’t make for much of a scientific study. But let me tell you about the person who gave me a glimpse at Facebook’s potential fate.
I was following a very smart, funny woman on Twitter. And I wasn’t the only one: she’d amassed a following of more than 3,000 by simply tweeting about her daily life here in Seattle.
Then one day I ran into her in the real world and we had a chance to chat. Turns out she’s a 21-year-old UW student who will be hitting the job market next year. We talked about her success on Twitter, and then the conversation turned to Facebook.
“I’m probably going to quit Facebook as soon as I get a job,” she said.
Quit. Not change privacy settings. Not delete potentially embarrassing photos. Not unfriend certain people. Her timeline will end and she’ll be gone. Poof.
She has over 600 Facebook friends & has been active on the site throughout her teens and into her 20s. With her efforts on Twitter, she’s dancing on the edge of the social media elite. And Facebook will lose her soon.
Last Saturday, Chris Rumble, a 22-year-old leukemia patient at Seattle
Children’s Hospital grabbed a camera and filmed this astounding music video
featuring the hemoncology floor singing and dancing to the song Stronger, by
Kelly Clarkson. Five days later the video already has over 600,000 YouTube
views, 1,300 inspiring comments and a video response from Kelly Clarkson
Here’s the video along with Kelly’s response to the kids. This moving
grassroots piece is another reminder of the incredibly important work being
done at Seattle Children’s Hospital every day.
Perhaps the most compelling story of the young baseball season is the improbable comeback of 49-year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer. Old enough to be the father of most of his Colorado Rockies teammates, Moyer missed the entire 2011 season to reconstructive elbow surgery. Against all odds, he’s worked his way back to the starting rotation and is playing in his 25th Major League season.
He’s the baseball equivalent of Picasso who pushed the boundaries of art well into his eighties.
Or Philip Roth, writing powerful, intricate novels in his seventies.
Or Bruce Springsteen, still leaping and sweating through 3-hour concerts in his sixties.
Our ad agency has had a long association with The Seattle Mariners, the team Moyer pitched for from 1996 through 2006. During that span, Moyer won 145 games for Seattle—and promoted Mariners baseball in a dozen commercials our agency produced during that time. We got to know Jamie well, even volunteering our company’s services to The Moyer Foundation which he founded with his wife, Karen.
We observed many Moyer personality traits during that time that may provide an insight into the secret of ageless creativity and productivity—lessons we can apply to our own careers.
A recent story in Adweek listed just about every possible peril of using ad networks for online display campaigns. It featured a case where display ads for major brands were running on a horribly-designed site full at least questionable if not downright offensive content.
So should we flee as fast as we can from online networks? Hardly.
Buying online media blindly from networks merely to get the best possible CPM carries risk. It’s not unlike buying run of network on cable. Sometimes you get good programming in good timeslots, sometimes you get garbage at 2:43am.
Network buys need to be carefully purchased and closely monitored. When we’re purchasing a network, we research sites where we’ll be running in advance. That’s exactly what we did with a mobile network buy for a client that’s running right now. We eliminated questionable sites before the buy even went live. And it’s also why we have tools like Adometry, which allows us to track the exact sites and placements for our ads on a network and make adjustments if necessary.
Ad networks can be highly effective. They reach broad audiences, they provide “one stop shopping efficiency” and pricing is often very attractive. But the buy has to be managed. It takes good tools and hard work to ensure the client’s money is well-spent. That’s where an agency can deliver real value for a client.
Remember when we used to rank cities by how “wired” they were? (Austin was high, Biloxi was low.)
Remember when our media plans excluded digital messaging and social networking for people over fifty?
Remember when we thought online video viewers were overwhelmingly young, white men?
The face of Digital America is changing. And while the growth of the Internet is hardly newsworthy, there are a few surprises in a recent study from Nielsen and NM Incite. Here are five nuggets regarding digital and social media usage that might cause you to reconsider your views of online behavior.
54% of visitors to social network sites and blogs are women.
Women outnumber men (53% to 47%) among online video viewers.
Men are more likely to own tablets than women (53% vs. 47%).
274 million Americans have daily access to the Internet—at home, at work or at a third place. However, 100 million Americans (a third of the country) do not have access to broadband.
Whites make up 61% of smartphone owners. The next largest group of smartphone owners are Hispanics at 17%.
One thing is certain: adoption of new technologies is a dynamic process and the digital demography will surely be different a year from today. Stay tuned.
If you watch the uneven but occasionally hilarious IFC cable series Portlandia, you are familiar with Put A Bird On It: a design movement that enhances objects by adding a bird.
Marketers have their own version of this fad: Put a QR Code on it.
These chunky barcodes are showing up on everything from billboards to, alas, urinals. I recently saw a QR Code on a website which accessed (wait for it) another website.
In theory it’s a great idea. When scanned, a QR Code provides additional content that enhances the host message. A print ad can turn into a full- motion product demo. A real estate flyer can offer a guided tour of a home. A concert poster stapled to a telephone pole can unleash a music video.
Unfortunately, the public doesn’t share the marketing community’s enthusiasm for QR Codes. According to a recent Forrester Research survey only 5% of Americans with smart phones actually scanned a QR Code during a recent three-month survey period. Those that did tended to be young, affluent and male.
Does this mean that QR Codes won’t ever be a viable marketing tool? Not at all. But as with any emerging technology, it requires patience and best practices. Here’s how our agency is using QR Codes for maximum effect.