Second Edition of Brand Media Strategy

brand media strategy


My top ten list of top ten lists for 2011 …

This is that time of the year when everyone comes out with their top ten list of 2011.  I’m never been a great believer in re-inventing the wheel, so have curated my top ten top ten lists of 2011 … Enjoy!

1. top ten social media lessons of 2011 by Christopher Barger

Part 1  and Part 2

Lesson #7: People in social platforms not only want to feel “part of” events or phenomena, but social networks allow them to feel like they truly are part of a collective.

2. ZDNet’s 2011’s Top Ten Pirated TV Shows by Steven Vaughan-Nichols

3. Most viewed videos on YouTube

Ultimate Dog Teaser 75.8million views

4. Search Engine Watch’s Top 10 Most Significant Search & Social Marketing Stories of 2011 by Guillaume Bouchard 

#4. Facebook Becomes Biggest Site for Display Ads on Earth

5. Ecopreneurist’s top 10 green marketing campaigns by Jennifer Kaplan

#5. HSBC “No Small Change”: A highly successful campaign elevated HSBC’s environmental credentials and consolidated their environmental leadership position; it exceeded all expectations without TV or radio

6. Ad Age’s Top 10 Viral Advertising Campaigns of 2011

# 8. Google: “The Web Is What You Make of It” Agency: Google Creative Lab Launch date: May 2 Views: 21.2 million

Google’s Chrome browser is becoming its second-most successful product, behind Search. It passed Firefox and is closing in onMicrosoft‘s Internet Explorer. Google enlisted Lady Gaga, Johnny Cash (posthumously) and Justin Bieber, among others, in 11 creative executions. Some have been promoted to TV from YouTube.

7. Adweek’s Top Ten TV Commercials in 2011 by Tim Nudd

#2 CHIPOTLE • Back to the Start

8. Hubspot’s top ten marketing infographics for 2011

#3. Top Email Marketing Irritations

9. The Faster Times top ten marketing stories we’ll still be talking about in 2012 by Mat Zucker

#6. Twitter as customer service channel

10. Mashable’s top ten iPad apps by Christine Warren

Digital media are winning the advertising game by being traditional

Obsessed With the New, But Digital Marketers Are Investing In the Old

Why Digital Advertising’s Hottest Formats Are Adaptations of Old Media

Antony Young

We in the media industry are infatuated with the new.

… New media, new technologies, new start-ups, new devices, new apps … In fact, being labeled traditional is the kiss of death for any medium.

How ironic, then, that when it comes to pitching for advertising dollars, being somewhat old-school appears to be the formula to win over marketers budgets.

Early on in the days of the web we marveled at the precision of the Internet. The opportunity to target audiences beyond demographics to individual behavior profiles and the ability to track and measure all the way to a sale opened up our eyes. So it surprised me when the Interactive Advertising Bureau and others launched initiatives to get the digital media industry to adopt old-media concepts like ratings and reach. It kind of feels to me like a dumbing down of online advertising’s offering. Yet, its par for the course. The hottest digital ad mediums are adaptations from old media.

What’s the fastest growing medium in digital at the moment? Online video … or basically TV commercials interrupting other content being sold on a CPM (cost per thousand) basis. That’s essentially the medium we have been buying since the days when Don Draper was sketching out story boards.

Tim Westergren founder of online music service Pandora was in our agency a couple of weeks back. His pitch to me was that they were just selling radio. Indeed, Mr. Westergren said recently he doesn’t expect to reap major brand dollars until Pandora is measured on the same currency as radio.

Example after example, we see that today’s digital new media clamoring to sell us very traditional advertising solutions.

But it doesn’t stop with traditional digital media. Social media powerhouse Facebook sees its financial future in selling display advertising space — a decidedly traditional online advertising model.

And the best ad model on iPads are full screen print or video ads interspersed in editorial, a twist on what magazines have been doing for more than 100 years.

So what does this tell us?

  • That despite all the bravado of the new media world that was going to disrupt and disintermediate the traditional media model, all it’s done is reinforce it.
  • From what we’re seeing, any media company that doesn’t have a scalable advertiser funded proposition really doesn’t have a sustainable business model. Media buyers have always known that a lot of eyeballs or uniques isn’t worth much unless it has a clear solution to monetize it.
  • Even in this ever social media world of participation and personalization, audiences, particularly engaged ones (or even interrupted ones) at scale remain valuable for marketers to help them build brands. Conversely, innovative technologies that talk to niche audiences will find a place, but will struggle to get substantial budgets or advertiser attention. Note: there will always be some exceptions to this rule, but the odds aren’t great.
  • That the clout of the big media buying agencies continues to be important and enduring.

In other words, the upstart media players of the digital age, haven’t disrupted the establishment, so much as they’ve just joined it.

Five common mistakes on social media and how to avoid them …


Brian Solis,  author of The End of Business As Usual gives a nice summary of the don’t’s of social media which you can find at the site.

They include:

1. Showing up isn’t enough. While creating a presence is a start, it is how you engage with people that attracts them to you.

2. You can’t be everywhere, nor should you.  The key is to only be where your customers, prospects and those who influence them engage.

3. Authenticity and transparency are nothing without a connection. I think this is the killer point that Brian makes.  We all talk about authenticity and transparency. But he’s right when he says, “The only problem is that they don’t really equate to a strategy.” But to really engage you need to deliver value, conveying a meaningful mission and vision, or establishing a connect-worthy presence.  Othewise authenticity and transparency have nothing to reinforce.

4. Talking to people isn’t a business strategy. Don’t get caught up in only replying to brand mentions. Your real opportunity is to also engage and convert those people not already talking about you.

5. Keep your core customers tuned in. With the Old Spice, Evian Rollerbaby and Nike Write the Future, they identified all of the potential influencers in their space and reached out to them in advance of and during the video release. They sought help to make sure that the video was shared. Remember though, going viral only counts if it impacts your brand. If it creates lift, leaves an imprint or if it drives action or outcomes, that’s when you’re going viral.

All good stuff … Here is the full article.

Asia – a hot bed for media innovation …

The world has recognized Asia’s emergence as an engine for advertising growth, but it may not have registered another equally compelling phenomenon: Asia’s capacity to upstage the rest of us in media innovation.

I spent last week in Singapore as president of the media jury at Spikes Asia, the region’s top awards show, produced by the organizers of Cannes. I was struck by many of the entries’ strategic thinking and bold executions. No longer are they playing catch-up.

The laundromat after its transformation

Asia proves newspapers can be innovative too
While the use of technology from augmented reality to mobile is widespread in the region, the Spikes Asia jury also saw some really nice uses of traditional media such as newspapers.

A campaign to promote a tablet computer in China, for example, stood out for the way it tried to expand the product’s market by going after an older, tech-resistant group of government officials and businesspeople. Knowing that this consumer prefers writing by hand over using a PC, the effort touted a handwriting app — by persuading a major business newspaper to print an entire news page in manually handwritten Chinese characters instead of printed type.

Purchase intent increased to 93%, while sales of units improved by 23%.

Experiential media to sell packaged goods

Procter & Gamble’s agencies handling the laundry detergent brand Ariel in the Philippines decked out a chain of Laundromats and dry cleaners as fashion boutiques to promote the idea that “Ariel can make old clothes look like new.”

They produced chic designer window displays with mannequins wearing laundered clothes that looked brand new. Inside the re-furbished laundries contained clothes racks displaying washed outfits and changing rooms to try on freshly cleaned clothes. And consumers could carry away their laundry and dry cleaning in large branded store bags. This campaign cleaned up, helping to increase sales of the brand by 16%.

Higher polish than most direct mail

Higher polish than most direct mail

A 3-D campaign across multiple media
The side streets of Mumbai don’t always suggest high-tech media campaigns around the corner, but India delivered a 3-D media campaign for the new Audi A8L with legs in multiple platforms.

The campaign, meant to showcase the new model’s design and interior, began by sending direct-marketing prospects a pack containing luxury designer 3-D glasses and an accompanying 3-D print brochure. Recipients were invited to view a microsite that played interactive 3-D video.

Other venues for its 3-D creative materials included TV (bundling a 3-D film with new 3-D TV sets being purchased), tablets (as iPad, iPhone and Android apps), Imax film screenings and 3-D displays at car dealerships.

More than 50,000 people joined “Win-an-Audi 3D Starter Kit” contests on Facebook and the campaign achieved half of its annual sales target in the first month of the launch.

Clever social media marketing that grabbed headlines and saved lives
One of my favorite social media campaigns I’ve seen in a while was created in Australia, an effort to reduce speeding for the Transport Accident Commission. The campaign got the residents of a small town named “Speed” to agree to change its name to “Speed Kills” if it got 10,000 “likes” on Facebook. The campaign got that many within a day of launching, becoming a national media event that got $6 million of media exposure and some 10 million hits on Twitter.

But the ability to tell a brand story with fresh thought and inventive executions in media is clearly in abundant supply in the Asia Pacific region. You can view all shortlisted entries at Spikes Asia here.

Social Media is not a strategy, its a venue for marketers …

Published in Ad Age, Wed 15 June, 2011

Barely a day goes past when social media doesn’t grab a headline.

Marketers eager to join the social-media surge have been challenging their agencies to rethink how they communicate their brands in this more participative and transparent landscape. A lot of clients often ask, “What should my social-media strategy be?”

I think it’s a mistake to think of social media this way.

Social media is not a strategy.

Social media is a venue for marketers … a set of technologies or tactics that enable us to elevate and amplify brands and their marketing communications.

The question shouldn’t be, “What’s our social-media strategy?” but, “What do I need to do to make my brand more social?” Or specifically for agency planners, “What can we do to make this TV work, print campaign or offer more social?”

Social media may be the channel du jour, but the message and the mechanics of how it’s deployed are the things that really count.

The DellOutlet Twitter feed became a poster child for Twitter’s potential impact, earning accolades by generating $6.5 million in revenue for Dell. But surely that success boils down to the product offers in the feed. Twitter was just the medium that carried those messages.

The fabulous Old Spice work featuring Isaiah Mustafa was built on a foundation established by an exceptional piece of creative, work that Weiden & Kennedy then very skillfully augmented through social-media channels.

Take two high profile brands that have been particularly active in social media: Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher. You could argue both essentially have the same strategy when it comes to social media. It goes something like this:

  • Get a following on Twitter.
  • Interact and engage directly with fans.
  • Create buzz and conversation.

But there’s only one brand here that’s #winning. And it isn’t Charlie Sheen! Just adding followers or driving buzz doesn’t qualify as success, however often the brand marketing world uses just those metrics to try gauging effectiveness. Getting the overall brand messaging and communication strategy right, rather than jumping straight to social-media tactics, is what’s going to bring success.

Another lesson we can learn from Ashton Kutcher is that he isn’t just tweeting his brand. He is incredibly active across multiple media channels, whether he is being interviewed on Leno, featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness or making a live appearance at CBS’s upfront presentation at Carnegie Hall. After Charlie Sheen’s road show ended, in contrast, so did a lot of the talk about Charlie Sheen. For most brands, having a presence in social media alone isn’t sufficient. There are too many one-off social-media marketing campaigns that, although highly creative, fail to connect or drive the broader brand communications platform.

Social media needs to be embedded into all parts of the marketing mix as part of a single, integrated brand effort. Every agency — creative, media, digital, public relations and customer-relationship management — needs to grab this opportunity and take responsibility for socializing the brand. Social shouldn’t sit at one agency or indeed operate as a separate strategy on its own.

Antony Young at OMMA Social, “Is Social Media in a Bubble?”

Keynote Presentation made at OMMA Social Thursday 9 June, 2011 at the Marriot Marquis New York.


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