Monday, November 20, 2006

Where Relevancy Road Meets Location Lane

Here’s a great posting about the placement of messages by Seth Godin. With the abundance of clutter, if a message with information about a product I need is mis-placed, it’s likely to go unnoticed (un heard). A key to success is being in the right place at the right time. Right message, right location – as determined by the content being received and acted upon its target audience.

Friday, November 17, 2006

NBC Sells AND Produces Ads

I wanted to point out Jon Fine’s most recent column for BusinessWeek, which discusses the new role NBC is taking with some of its key advertisers. While not so much a discussion of on-point marketing or anything that cuts through the clutter, it’s interesting to point out that the network has found a way to produce advertising and turn messaging into content (or even blend the two together). I guess NBC realized there was more money to be made in advertising. Someone must have thought, “We sell the time for ads, hey, let’s produce them too!”

“Media” is already such a murky concept, and NBC’s latest move of developing an in-house ad agency has added another wrinkle to the information marketplace that is already overloaded. Product placement is nothing new, but this is far beyond that, as the article mentions NBC potentially producing brand-related content for the advertisers and mobile devices. It just seems to me like another source for potentially mis-directed content.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Smell of Success?

Kraft is sponsoring a special issue of People magazine with ads that allow readers to experience the smell of one of the products being advertised. Kraft believes the more a reader can play with the ad, the better the recall of its message, says Gary Gruneberg, director of media buying for Kraft Foods. The idea of scratch and sniff is nothing to magazines, as I’ve received countless issues reeking of various perfumes. But I think this is an interesting twist on the idea, and from the article, it seems as if the printing technology has improved to prevent the scents from being activated accidentally, which would be counterproductive. (The magazines I received with perfume strips have always been delivered reeking and I can’t tell which perfume is which.)

The article mentions that marketers believe the addition of scents to ads is a huge differentiator from other print ads. My former GSU professor, Pam Scholder Ellen, is quoted as saying “scents can be a powerful advertising tool because they ‘transport people out of their current state into a more desirable state.’”

Instead of trying to make a visual impression, the company is hoping use of consumers’ olfactory senses will leave a more lasting effect.

Does Kraft have a nose for clever messaging? I think the marriage of scented ads with a special publication dedicated to holiday entertaining is a great idea. That the interactivity in this issue is extended to editorial content is icing on the cake for Kraft. (Can you tell I like puns?) Food engages our sense of smell, touch and taste, so why not allow a print ad to be more than just a feast for the eyes?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Full or Cluttered?

Seth Godin’s column today touches on what I call clutter. He uses the term “full.” His posting is an interesting take on how repetition of a message can pay off. While I think the marketplace is cluttered and only the relevant content finds its way to an audience, Godin believes consumers are full until they’re ready to listen. Toe-may-toe or to-mah-toe?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"I just want my stuff": RSS feeds & You

I’m a relative newcomer to the world of RSS readers and am now wondering how I ever lived without my Google reader or Bloglines page. Once upon a time I would manually check each blog I liked and found that I was missing content if I didn’t stop by each page frequently enough. Needless to say, I could only read so much and gave up on some that were too time-consuming. Now I am reading blogs and topical news items at my convenience – and have expanded my repertoire to boot.

I’ve mentioned my newfound love of RSS feeds to friends who have looked at me like I am crazy. (I don’t run with a crowd of early adopters.) Now, I’ll just forward them this column, which excellently explains RSS feeds.

RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication. J.B. Holston, the CEO of NewsGator, succinctly explains why we should love this technology: "RSS brings the Web to you, rather than you having to go out and find things on the Web."

Holston uses his RSS feed as a customized newspaper, which I have begun to do as well. It won’t be long before that behavior is commonplace. That means that we’ll be getting the information we want, when and where we want it. And thus a marketing challenge is born – or an opportunity, depending on your perspective.

I see ROI measurement increasing in future campaigns. Thanks to Technorati, it’s quite easy to track when an ad campaign is discussed in the blogosphere. So, now I wonder, how to reach an audience that has set limits to what it wants to read? While a marketer has the opportunity to reach a captive audience, the trick will be to reach folks who don’t know they want what you’re offering. Talk about a chance to put your brain to work to think of clever ways to circumvent the filtering process and incorporate your messages into new channels and feeds! How can that be done? Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks to Micro Persuasion for the Yahoo! link.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Reaching a Virtual Audience for Real-Life Action

Another posting I found interesting today – this interview Nedra Kline Weinreich conducted with CDC Second Life representative John Anderton about how the organization is using the virtual arena to carry out its mission of public health advocacy and education. I really like how the agency has chosen this platform for communicating with its audience. Second Life has a captive group of participants, but I just hope action isn’t limited to cyberspace – it’s important that the message carries over to real-life. Thanks to Micropersuasion for the suggestion – it’s well worth viewing.

First and Goal: Philips Eyes a TD for its Medical Devices

Philips Electronics has taken a novel approach to eliminating the clutter surrounding its ads. The electronics giant has purchased all of the national ad time available in this Saturday’s football game between Texas and Oklahoma State that’s being televised by TBS. You can read the particulars of the arrangement in this Wall Street Journal story.

I have mixed feelings about this strategy. The article mentions that Philips wanted the ads to be relevant to the viewers of the game, but are the buyers of Philips’ medical devices the same people who will be watching? I suppose this is just an awareness-raising endeavor, but it seems like a lot of money to spend and possibly only be remembered as the company that sped-up the pace of a football game. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….