Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Friday Five – February 7, 2014

Johnson & Johnson Takes Newspaper Readers Back With Ads That Smell Like Baby Powder
Print advertising doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun, interesting and multi-sensory. I love how Johnson & Johnson took a relatively predictable ad channel, like print, and turned it into something you’re intrigued to interact with.

This just in: Paper is the best Facebook app ever
I think the Facebook team has been really smart in how they’ve approached mobile. By building stand alone apps that run outside of the core Facebook app experience, they can test different designs, features and approaches, without messing with the core experience. Then, after they’ve learned enough, they fold the best features into the base/core app. This allows them to innovate and improve quickly. It’s smart. It’s also why I like Paper. The other reason I like Paper is how simple, intuitive and fun the interface is. Definitely worth the time to download.

Foursquare Gets $15M And Licensing Deal From Microsoft To Power Location Context For Windows And Mobile
I guess all that Foursquare data must be worth something? Good move by Microsoft and another validation that Foursquare’s stubbornness to sell or change strategy, is going win, long term.

Arby’s Social Media Manager Gives Inside Scoop On Tweet To Pharrell That Rocked The Grammys
Sometimes being lucky is better than being good. But, when preparation meets lucky/opportunity, you get something truly outstanding. I love this article from Arby’s social lead on how they quickly took advantage of Pharrell’s strange hat choice during the Grammy’s. Three things really stuck out. First, there was no warm room or command center. Sometimes simple, wins. Second, they were prepared and clearly didn’t have 100s of layers of approval to work through. Third, I loved this quote “Our CMO has created an environment for our team to have freedom and flexibility.” It’s nearly exactly what I said in predicting why most Super Bowl Real Time Marketing Efforts would fail: “Fast doesn’t come from committee. It doesn’t come from running every single tweet by the brand team, legal team, corporate communications team, media team and so on. Fast comes from trust.” Kudos to their organization and to Josh Martin for being prepared, on brand and fast.

Hashtags win in Super Bowl ads, and Facebook gets even with Twitter
The game was a snoozer. The ads were hit and miss. But, one thing that was clear, social integration is here to stay for a while. 58% of Super Bowl ads integrated hashtags into their commercials. Some did it really well. Some just tacked it on at the end. The 58% number shows us that more and more brands are trying to solve for the multi-screen use of their consumers.

Friday Five – January 31, 2014

21 real-time marketing Super Bowl prop bets
On Sunday, most of America will tune in to watch the Super Bowl. I’ll be one of them. A smaller group, will be watching the “2nd” screen just as much as their TV, to see what advertisers do during the Super Bowl. Arik Hanson has put together a very funny list of prop bets that outline some of the seemingly preposterous, but potentially likely actions by brands on Sunday. You’ll chuckle.

The Death Of Expertise
This is a long read. I’m just warning you. But, it’s also a great read. In an always on and always connected world, are we losing the reason to learn and retain knowledge? This author seems to think so. I think he’s on to something. How many times have you been in a situation where someone asks you a relative basic question and you offer the response of “just google it.” I’m guilty. Is that behavior contributing to a slow down in the development of critical thinking skills, which negates the ability to create expertise? Grab a cup of coffee and read this thoughtful post.

Millennials Not That Into ‘Things’ and That Goes for Cars Too
Solid short read. If given the choice between renting/leasing or buying, millennials would choose the former. That behavior goes across things big (cars) and small (phones). Perhaps this behavior and mindset is why marriage rates and home ownership rates are on the decline with this demographic. As a marketer, you need to rethink the value of the carrot you put in front of these consumers. Experiences will be viewed as more valuable, than tangible items.

TV Remains the Reigning Champ, but Display Internet Ads are the MVPs of 3Q
Lots of great data in the latest report on Nielsen, covering media spending habits. Nearly 60% of budgets go to TV, with only 5% going towards digital. On one hand, shocking. On the other hand, not really; old habits die hard. Keep in mind that massive gap is even AFTER digital investment increased nearly 33% year of year.
Nielsen Ad Spend Shift

Full report can be downloaded here.

13 Things You’re Not Outsourcing (But Totally Should)
Loved this post. A great mix of things you could be outsourcing at work and things you could be outsourcing in your personal life. My personal favorite on the list was “waiting.” Totally agree with how much of a life suck waiting can be.

Why Your Super Bowl Real-Time Marketing Will Fail

The Super Bowl is a peculiar American tradition. Over 100 million people will tune in, with the advertisements as big a draw as the game itself.

Last year, with the success of the tweet from Oreo heard around the marketing world, a new tradition was born: big-event real-time marketing through the second screen. Since the Oreo tweet, brands big and small have attempted to recreate the perceived success of that one tweet. No doubt, judging from what we saw at the Grammys, we’ll see many, many more attempts to replicate the “Oreo moment” during this year’s Super Bowl. And they’ll all fail.

Having been on the inside of large complex organizations and having worked at agencies challenged with leading large complex organizations, I have seen up close and personal how brands grapple with being successful in social media.

From our couches, it’s always easy to second-guess a brand’s decisions and motives for engaging in real-time marketing. It’s even easier to critique those efforts. It’s become a bit of an event within the event, for marketers to make fun of a brand’s efforts and tag their efforts with the dreaded “#fail” hashtag.

That said, here’s why real-time marketing will come up short at the Super Bowl.

Immature client organizations.
Can you believe it’s 2014 and organizations still debate the value of digital and social marketing? It happens more often than you think. When you’re part of a team trying to change that fact, you’re looking for anything to demonstrate the merits and value of your team. You’re hoping that one tweet, that one blog post or that one Vine video catches lightning in a bottle and starts creating some type of buzz internally. Buzz eventually leads to interest, which leads to funding. It’s tough to fault an organization that’s so early in their digital maturity, for delivering something not at a Cannes Lion-worthy level. That said, you probably shouldn’t step onto the Super Bowl field, if you’re playing at a junior varsity high school level. Rarely, does something good come from that.

Social media by committee.
Social media is a team sport. Since it’s the Super Bowl, let’s look at a football analogy. The Broncos have a game plan that they’ve created for the game. The coach created that game plan. Members of the team know their role in executing that game plan. Some are meant to block and tackle. Some are meant to score. When Peyton gets into the huddle, it’s his huddle. The plays are chosen by a single person, not a committee, and only one person (Peyton) can audible the play. The person you’ve empowered with the responsibility and accountability for hitting the “send” button to deliver something on brand, on message and in context is in effect, Peyton Manning. He or she needs to have their finger on the pulse of the game, what people are talking about online during the game and how their brand fits in, if at all. For them to be effective, they need to be fast. Fast doesn’t come from committee. It doesn’t come from running every single tweet by the brand team, legal team, corporate communications team, media team and so on. Fast comes from trust.

Not enough preparation.
Measure twice, cut once. When it comes to social, 90 percent of the time should be spent on preparing and 10 percent on executing. If your planning is poor, if you haven’t thought through scenarios, if you haven’t identified your goals and if you haven’t pre-created a base foundation of content to pull from quickly, you’re not preparing enough. You can’t prep on the fly. You can make adjustments to the game plan in real time, but you shouldn’t be creating your game plan as the game is unfolding.

The wrong objectives.
What’s measured matters. It’s a tried and true maxim of corporate America. If your objectives are to make sure you drive “frequency of message” or drive “reach,” you’re more apt to post often; even when you don’t have great content to deliver at the right time. If your objectives are generic (e.g., engagement) or if they aren’t aligned with the nuances of each social platform and how people consume, share and interact with branded content, they won’t be successful.

Mistakes happen.
If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough. Peyton Manning has thrown 219 interceptions in his career. But without forcing it sometimes, he wouldn’t have 491 TD passes. The best thing you can do after you make a mistake is learn from it and apply the knowledge to the next effort. Being able to do that is made so much easier if your organization understands that mistakes happen. And sometimes being lucky is better than being good. For example, Miley Cyrus could incorporate your product into one of her songs and all you need to be doing is paying attention to hit social media gold.

There is no formula for real-time marketing success, even if the endless debates over it seem to expect one to emerge. On Super Bowl Sunday, there are only two guarantees: One team will win, and real-time marketing won’t.

Please note, this post was also published on DigiDay.

The First Real-Time Super Bowl

Tonight, I watched the Super Bowl in Florida, during the iMedia Brand Summit. That basically means, I got to watch the Super Bowl with 200+ marketers. It’s a very different viewing experience than watching with your friends and family who aren’t involved in marketing, advertising, technology, digital or social media. I’ll let Mashable and every other major publication cover the lessons learned, best ads vs worst ads, winners vs losers, etc. They’re much better at it than I am. That said, I wanted to touch on 3 very quick observations.

  1. It’s 2012 and not much as changed when it comes to “TV” and digital calls to action. Since circa 1997 digital folks have been begging their clients and traditional creative teams to include a URL in the ad. The traditional thinkers obliged around 2000 by putting the URL in the last frame and in 2 pt font (something a bit larger than legal lines in ads). The argument for not including it throughout the entire commercial or in a larger font is generally something esoteric like, “we don’t want to interrupt the viewing experience” or “adding the URL at the very end is the perfect bookend to the commercial; they’ll be more apt to take action when it’s the last thing they see.” Both are hogwash. It’s 2013 and URLs, when they’re included, are still on the last frame and are still barely above a 2 pt font size. When they weren’t included, hashtags were. Roughly 50% of marketers chose a hashtag to be included in their ads. Awesome. Makes sense, given all the 2nd screen usage during the game. But, 2013 is just like 2000. Yes, hashtags were included, but they were included in the very last frame and in small font sizes. Sigh. As an industry, we still haven’t evolved.
  2. Including paid search to surround your Super Bowl marketing efforts, was something overlooked by many advertisers, 10 years ago. In my favorite example of how much of a mistake it was to forget about pad search during the Super Bowl, check out this post from AdAge about Ford and GM, from 2006. Yes, even 7 years ago, we were still making the same mistakes. This year, I’d say most marketers had paid search accounted for. But, they traded their former misses in SEM with not being tuned in to the real-time needs in social. Here’s a great example of what Oreo, Walgreens and Audi (in my opinion the best presence during the Super Bowl across all touch-points) did during the Super Bowl…when the lights went out. It’s impressive for a multitude of reasons, but to me, what impresses the most, is how well there organizations must be wired to move that quickly. Speed, in social, wins. It always has. But, today, it’s not just speed, in social. It’s speed in everything you do in marketing.
  3. Marketers get more amped about the intricacies of what a brand did or didn’t do during the Super Bowl. The average consumer, in my humble opinion, doesn’t seem to care. When I looked at my own person social feeds on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. it was clear that those talking about the ads the most were marketers, not “regular” people. The regular people were talking about the game, the half-time show and occasionally talked about the ads. When they did talk about the ads, it was generally a simple statement that made it clear they either liked or didn’t like the ad. It makes you think for a second, why do we listen to the arm-chair advice from other marketers, when it’s our consumers who we’re trying to connect with?

I think this was the first real-time and multi-screen Super Bowl. We saw it in the ads, the calls to action, the speed in brand responses and how consumers voiced their thoughts. The bar is higher than it’s ever been. If you’re going to spend roughly $4 million dollars on a Super Bowl ad, you need to think about the real total cost to cover social media monitoring, real-time content, the supporting digital elements, etc. Stepping on to the biggest stage isn’t just the media cost and the cost to produce the spot. There’s so much more. Consider that fact when you plan out, not just next year’s Super Bowl campaign, but frankly, every campaign you do.

The Evolution Of Super Bowl Advertising

My New York Giants are in the Super Bowl. They’ll be playing Sunday against the New England Patriots; the team I loathe the most. I’ll be in Florida at the iMedia Marketers Summit. And yes, while I’ll be tuning in to watch the game…to root for my Giants, I’ll be tuning in as much, if not more for the ads.  The stage that is the Super Bowl is a marketer’s dream. Your idea, your creative, your hard work is on display for all the world to see.  Creative Directors get geeked out on the idea of having a Super Bowl ad to include in their “reel.” That’s how this business works. We’re all about ego. Me included. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to work on two spots that made it to the Super Bowl. They were proud moments.

As a marketer, it’s been interesting to watch Super Bowl ads evolve into Super Bowl campaigns. Campaign, you might ask? Sure. We have seen the Super Bowl “ad” morph into an ad that has a web site dedicated to the campaign, paid search (if you’re a smart company) to help people find your ad, pre-launching/seeding of the ad ahead of the Super Bow, the solicitation of customer feedback, the gaming of the USA Today Ad Meter and oh so much more. As technology has evolved and user behavior changed (eg 3 screens) advertisers have swung, hit and missed. Last year, I wrote a post titled, “10 Mistakes 2011 Super Bowl Advertisers Will Make” and in looking at it this morning, I think advertisers are destined to make at least 5 of them. Which 5? Glad you asked:

  1. The call to action (URL, SMS, etc.) will be too small and come at the end of the ad
  2. Paid search to drive people, interested in the ad or who remember the ad, won’t be bought
  3. There will be too much emphasis on Facebook
  4. Mobile optimized sites will be forgotten…instead Flash heavy experiences will be used
  5. Proper load balancing for their hosting environment won’t be implemented – this will mean someone’s site will go down and people wanting to get an offer won’t be able to

Our consumers have gotten smarter, but have the advertisers?  This year should be an interesting test for marketers. We’ll have a combination of elements converging to make for one heck of a cocktail. Real time social media monitoring will be used to gauge consumer feedback, mobile will become a big player, monetizing across 3 screens will be critical, and oh so much more.  The Super Bowl places your work under a microscope.  Consumers, analysts, pundits, your own employees and more provide their often unsolicited thoughts, opinions and feedback.  When you spend $3M for just the air time, it’s too be expected.

The question I often ask is why do marketers use the Super Bowl as a lab? Sure, you could have done consumer concept testing beforehand, but when you invest nearly 5M (airtime and production) for 1 day, that work better be top notch and deliver.  In 2010, I think Google really hit the nail on the head and showed how to rethink the concept of Super Bowl Advertising.  They ran a spot called “Parisian Love.”

That spot wasn’t a new spot. In fact it had been out in the wild on the web for several months. Google created several of these videos and ran the best performing one on the biggest stage. Now, that’s smart…use data and insights to determine which commercial to run.  Why aren’t we using more data driven insights?  Why are we still saving our “best” for the Super Bowl instead of giving our “best” throughout the year? It’s a fair question when you consider how much data is readily available for us, as marketers, to leverage.

I’m hoping this is the year Super Bowl advertising evolves…grows up…and becomes something more than than a stage for ego driven Creative Directors and Chief Marketing Officers to demonstrate they know how to spend lots of money really fast.

The Real Reason Groupon Missed The Mark

There’s been a lot of discussion about Groupon’s Super Bowl ad from Crispin, Porter + Bogusky.  The ads were deemed offensive.

I won’t get into a debate, here, about whether people just need to learn to laugh or if the ads were really offensive. Regardless of what I believe, enough people complained to make Groupon CEO, Andrew Mason, write:

Five days have passed since the Super Bowl, and one thing is clear – our ads offended a lot of people. Tuesday I posted an explanation, but as many of you have pointed out, if an ad requires an explanation, that means it didn’t work.

We hate that we offended people, and we’re very sorry that we did – it’s the last thing we wanted. We’ve listened to your feedback, and since we don’t see the point in continuing to anger people, we’re pulling the ads . . . .

Insensitivity aside, the real reason the Groupon ad missed the mark is because it had NO offer. Think about that. Groupon is a site that’s all about deals. It’s about giving you an amazing offer. The ad focused on telling that story through irony and humor…but without an offer. How do you take to the biggest stage in advertising and not hit the world over the head with what makes your company unique? Does this really surprise you though when you realize that Crispin is their agency? More mind boggling is this quote from Mason, defending CP+B:

The firm that conceived the ad, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, strives to draw attention to the cultural tensions created by brands. When they created this Hulu ad, they highlighted the idea that TV rots your brain, making fun of Hulu. Our ads highlight the often trivial nature of stuff on Groupon when juxtaposed against bigger world issues, making fun of Groupon. Why make fun of ourselves? Because it’s different – ads are traditionally about shameless self promotion, and we’ve always strived to have a more honest and respectful conversation with our customers. We would never have run these ads if we thought they trivialized the causes – even if we didn’t take them as seriously as we do, what type of company would go out of their way to be so antagonistic?

On one hand, I applaud Groupon for sticking by their agency. Many organizations would have thrown their agency under the bus. Well done Mr. Mason for realizing you hired them, you signed off on the strategy (if there was one) and you approved the creative. But, on the other hand, you support the work from CP+B, but basically saying, “well yeah, I mean that’s why we went to them, because they you know creative controversy.”

Well, while CP+B was busy helping you create controversy, it also helped you miss the right strategy and took you away from your brand’s DNA. You spent $3,000,000 to introduce your brand to 25 million people during the Super Bowl and you didn’t bring an offer to the table? Talk about a lack of call to action.

Packers Win The Super Bowl

I’m not a Packers fan.  Far from it.  I bleed the Blue and Red of the New York Giants.  After living in Minnesota for 5+ years, I really learned to loathe the Packers.  But, I’m not a Steelers fan either.  It’s not the Steelers so much, as it is, their fans.  If it wasn’t for the good company I had watching the Super Bowl and the great food whipped up by a long time friend, this might have been a total snore of a Super Bowl.  When I got home from my friend’s place, I snapped this photo of the outcome:

Sign Of The Times

Notice we have companies driving people directly to YouTube instead of their websites to watch their commercials?

Also, kinda funny that the official Google Super Bowl from 2010 shows up first in the video portion of the search results.

The Social Super Bowl

Spoke with the good folks over at KDKA yesterday morning about the role social will or won’t play in the Super Bowl.  You can listen to the full audio here:

I think, in short, we are going to see a lot of great examples of brands just not really understanding what it means to be social.  It’s more than simply asking customers to vote on which ad they want to see, or to like a Facebook page to see special content.  Unfortunately, just like websites in 1999, we need to get ready for a lot of really good case studies about brands and their agencies doing bad things.  As I wrote here a little while back, there will be a variety of mistakes made, but I think ultimately, with regards to social, the biggest mistake will be not surrounding it with enough media to drive awareness of what these brands are doing in the social space.

As a side bet, I’ll take the over on 25, for the number of “social” logos inserted at the end of the commercials.