advertising

What do you say to people who say they aren't influenced by advertising?

Via the user ShamelessMendacity on Reddit in response to the question "Ad people, what do you say to people who say they are not influenced by advertising or branding?"

Great advertising changes your behaviour. It doesn't change what you want - doesn't even attempt to. It changeshow you want.
An example: If you ask people what they want to have five years from now, most of them will give you a list that's essentially an upgrade of things they currently own, or that their friends and colleagues have. A better car. A bigger house. A nice kitchen. Better furniture.
That's all fine - but then you should ask them what they're picturing when they say "a better car."
Chances are they're not thinking of a slight upgrade on their Ford Mondeo - they're thinking of an Audi. Or a Lexus. And when they say "a nice kitchen" it'll have a specific set of features that approximate to something made by Viking.
It's legitimate to want "better" things, but one of the most powerful effects of branding is that people have learned to benchmark quality based on brands with which they're already somewhat familiar. And even if the choice is negative, buying an Acura specifically because it isn't a Lexus is still a choice made with Lexus in mind.
By advertising themselves and branding themselves in a certain way, brands can completely change your relationship with their entire category.
Oh, and if someone says they're not influenced by advertising, they're actually admitting that advertising has the power to influence. Just that it doesn't influence them. And people don't make their choices in a vacuum. Even if you never watched TV or listened to the radio, never read a magazine, or surfed the internet, and only read books written before 1914, and were completely immune from the influence of advertising, you're still going to be influenced by what everyone around you is doing. You may not care about pop culture, but it cares about you.

You can read the rest of the thread on Reddit here. 

 

 

All About Instagram

I’ve been pretty Instagram-obsessed lately. It’s always been one of my favourite social networks because it's a place to escape into the world of somewhere else. It's a place I follow my favourite athletes (mostly surfers or the photographers that follow them) as they travel the world to amazing destinations, and it's a way to keep up with my more interesting friends and brands with agencies that understand how to make a beautiful image. 

Like a lot of people, I'm sure I've always thought of it as a more pure social network: it was simpler than the alternatives, and limited ways to engage kept the experience truly focused on the photos in your feed.

With Instagram removing the restrictions on image dimensions and giving it a more robust direct messaging system, a lot of that simple purity is about to change. Another big change is that ads are coming to the platform (or have already come, depending on where you live). 

Our team even did a bit of analysis, and found that comments on an ad from Instagram itself, letting Kiwis know that advertising was coming to the platform, were over 80% negative or extremely negative. People are always reluctant to change, but even more so when it's to something they've probably considered their own for so long, and when the change is so potentially invasive.

While I'm excited to be part of the DDB team working with Instagram and our clients to be launch partners for the advertising platform here in New Zealand, it's also a daunting task. How do we create something that will suddenly appear in what was such a personal, pure space for users that they'll want to react positively to, with a smile, like, or comment? 

We will have to see what the results are, but I'm really proud of the work that went into our launch plan and the amazing pieces that our creative team made for this launch, what we're calling Quotography

Our client, NEON, is a streaming video on demand service here in New Zealand, and we used some of the more famous quotes from shows available on the service and worked them up in pulsating NEON lights. If you can see the examples below, check out the links here and here. (though you'll have to click "play" on the videos to get the auto-play cinemagraph experience that users coming across posts on the Instagram app would get). 

A video posted by Neon NZ (@neon_nz) on

 

I'm really happy with the work that DDB New Zealand did on this (and our clients at NEON for working through it with us and making it happen),  but there are also a ton of other great Instagram accounts out there. Below are a few of my favourites, presented without commentary (the images link through to the accounts, so click and follow): 

 

Nike Lab

if you made it this far, you might as well follow me on Instagram as well: I'm ParkerNow there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Started as a Digital Strategist

Last week, a friend of mine emailed me to ask my thoughts on how he get started as a digital strategist. My response was a bit rambling, but I think I can boil it down to a few key thoughts. 1.) Don't Be a Generalist. These days, everyone has a base level of knowledge about how digital and social media work, and even the grad fresh out of ad school has "Digital Strategist" on his résumé. Yet many of these people don't have any deep understanding of how an online campaign actually works, or think that a shotgun approach of trying as many different channels as possible is the right way to go. My friend already has a head-start in email marketing and SEO, and I suggested he focus even further on these. As digital budgets within agencies grow, there will be more room for people with this type of specialization and it will be this type of specialization that will help drive results.

2.) Have a Few Case Studies. Specifically, case studies that demonstrate effectiveness and a return on investment. If you're just getting your start, it will be tough to provide case studies. Again, in my friend's example I recommended he spend a bit of time helping another friend of ours build up their online business, and using the results as a bit of an SEO/SEM case study.

3.) Meet People. I think my friend's approach of reaching out to me as someone in the industry was a great first step, and that he should continue reaching out. Finding out different perspectives from other Digital Strategists or potential employers will help guide my friend both in understanding more about what he needs to work on specifically and if it's even something he wants to get into. I'm always incredibly thankful of all the people I met when I first moved to Toronto a while back and who gave me advice and pointed me in the right direction when I was getting my start in the communications business. I also believe that for right or wrong, a big part of finding a job is about who you know, not where you apply. I don't think any of the jobs I've ever had came as a result of seeing a posting and applying, but rather came about through a personal conversation with someone.

I'm sure there is more to it than that. Do you have any advice for my friend? Leave a comment or shoot me a tweet (I'm @ParkerNow) and I'll update this post.

-Parker

Get Your Ears Ready

Even after all these years I've been in advertising, it's still exciting to see an idea go from research, through to strategy and a finished execution. That's why it's great to see the creative that my colleagues at DDB developed to promote SONY's line of High-Resolution audio products:

As part of the campaign, we're working with music bloggers across Canada to share content and give reviews about these products. Check Ride the Tempo if you want to try and win a pair of these great SONY headphones now.

Otherwise, learn more about SONY's High-Resolution audio products at store.sony.ca/sound-evolved

How Jewish Is Your Favourite Movie?

Jewish Jurassic Park

 

If you like movies, you'll probably have fun with the new website that DDB Canada (the place I work) developed for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. To prove that you're already a fan of Jewish movies, DDB created a website that analyzes everyone who was involved with the movie (from writers to actors and producers) and gives it a score (or gentile percentile) for how Jewish it is.

Check it out for yourself at J-Dar.ca (and then check out some of the great movies that are playing on the Toronto Jewish Film Festival website)

Simpsons and Advertising

I think that the Simpsons* will always have a special place in my heart. Part of it is because they've got a reference for everything, but partly because I've just grown up with them. Anyways, here are a couple of advertising-related clips that I was thinking of the other day:

 

"Super Liminal Advertising"

"Rich Creamery Butter"

 

*Not, of course, the newest seasons.

-Parker

Radar DDB 10am One Thing: Pepsi Lives For Now

The following post appeared originally on the the DDB Canada blog as part of the Radar DDB 10am series of blog posts and emails I contribute to at work. 

A few months ago, Pepsi launched a global campaign, “Live For Now,” by redoing Pepsi.com to feature a waterfall of branded content and fan comments about the beverage. It was a unique way to embrace social media while not relying too heavily on third-party networks. More recently, Pepsi also partnered with Twitter.

On Tuesday night, we started to see what that partnership was capable of as Pepsi delivered on that “Live For Now” promise by streaming a Nicki Minaj concert on any Tweet with #NickiMinajNow hashtag. As the go-to site for what’s happening now, we think Twitter was a perfect channel for Pepsi and this campaign. It’s also a great reminder that the world still loves a super-star endorsement deal.

Check out an archived version of the concert or just take a look at some of the tens of thousands of Tweets from users talking about it.

If you liked that, you might be interested in knowing that Nicki Minaj also wrote a song for Adidas just for the “All Originals” video.

We also wrote about Pepsi’s year-long partnership with Twitter here.

I'm hiring! #Toronto #Jobs

Good news, everyone! Tribal DDB is going to be hiring a number of Community Moderator/Writers for a five-week contract starting in mid-September. These positions will be for a high-profile, national campaign. It won't be an easy job, but it'll definitely be interesting. The official job posting from the DDB website is as follows:

 Tribal DDB is looking for 4 English writers with a passion for social media for an intense, 5 week contract on a high profile national campaign, beginning in mid-September through to late October. This role involves constant and ongoing interaction with our client's target audience – from adorers to detractors – around a sensitive and polarizing topic. Common sense or street smarts are mandatory.

As a high-energy creative, you have a solid understanding of advertising, are an active participant in social networks and have a history in community management and moderation. Strong writing skills are a must and a writing sample is required along with your resume.

RESPONSIBILITIES: You will be responsible for responding to consumer questions with engaged, quality written responses on a social media website in Tribal DDB's Toronto office. Primarily, this will include assessment, triage, moderation and creative responses to consumer questions. Developing answers to these questions will require navigating detailed product information.

QUALIFICATIONS: - 1-2 years experience is required - Passion for social media and marketing/advertising - Strong written communication ability (grammar, formatting, creativity, spelling) - Ability to follow a process - General understanding of agency process and capabilities - Bilingualism a plus - Proof reading/copy-editing ability a plus

Interested candidates please send resume and cover letter to hr.toronto@ddbcanada.com.

We appreciate all expressed interest in this position, however, only the candidates selected for interview will be contacted.

What kind of car should you buy?

Have you ever wondered what kind of car you should by? Check out the autoLyzer, a Facebook App developed by DDB for autoTRADER.ca. It works by analyzing your Facebook profile (including Likes, Friends, City, Age and a number of other factors) to determine the perfect car available on the autoTRADER.ca website for you.

Try the app for yourself on the autoTRADER Canada Facebook page, and let me know which cars it chose for you.

-Parker

Prometheus & The Animated .Gif

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Radar 10am Meetings we hold at the DDB Canada offices. The following blog post was written as a result of one of those meetings, and I'll be sharing others in the future.

If you're like some of the Radar DDB team, you've been pouring over every piece of content that's been created to promote the Ridley Scott film 'Prometheus.' From a powerful TED talk in 2023 with one of the film's characters to a futuristic Facebook-style timeline for the fictional Weyland Industries, the marketing for this movie has lots of highly-shareable pieces of content that provide a rich backstory.

We especially like this animated .gif of Michael Fassbender's android character David 8. This image was released to those who had signed up to learn more about the movie, and was accompanied by more detailed information about character.

Despite having been around since 1987, animated .gifs are seeing a resurgence in popularity and are shared widely on social networks (learn more here). These are frequently user-created, so it is great to see that the team behind Prometheus recognized that they too, could create and use these lo-fi but highly-shareable pieces of content.

See the image here, or visit the Weyland Industries website to learn more about David 8. You can also check out some of the films fans sharing David 8 content on Tumblr.

View this blog post on the DDB Canada website here.

You might also be interested in reading our post about the Renaissance of the Animated .gif

 

Gaming for Good

Do you consider yourself a gamer? Think carefully about how you answer that question, as the reality may surprise you. The typical definition of 'gamer' is usually someone who looks a little something like this --> But the reality is that games have begun to infiltrate our lives to the point that we don't always recognize when we are playing one. The Entertainment Software Association's 2011 Report found that 72% of American households play computer of video games, with the average game player being 37 years old. Female gamers are also on the rise, making up a whopping 42% of game players. With so many people online, gaming can and is being used to spur some pretty amazing ideas and initiatives.

PSFK recently released a study on the Future of Gaming. Since it costs $150 and I'm low on cash this month, I perused the abbreviated version, posted below. It covers off all of the major gaming mechanics and tactics and includes a bunch of pretty amazing examples.

PSFK Future of Gaming Report [Preview]

View more presentations from PSFK

There are a few that I really wanted to draw attention to for their ability to take game mechanics and turn them into real, applicable and useful tools to further our society and do good.

1. Realitree: A digital manifestation of our local environments and the role that we play in keeping it healthy. Realitree is a huge projection of a

tree and it's surroundings (sky, earth, etc.) that thrives and suffers based on the health of its surroundings. It takes into account news media so that stories that are in conflict with climate reality decrease the visible health of the tree and expose agents of the fossil fuel industry who propagate smears and lies.  Groups, cities and even countries can compete across social networks for the healthiest image of their environment.

2. Fold.it: A web based platform that allows users to compete against each other to design new proteins. This work can be used to help spur innovation in curing diseases such as AIDS/HIV, Alzheimer's and Cancer. Researchers recently engaged gamers to compete in configuring an enzyme structure related to AIDS/HIV. The result: A breakthrough structure in a matter of weeks that had stumped scientists for years. Big win for collaborative gaming!

3. Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond: A collaborative game from NASA intended to grow interest around science, math, technology and engineering. The game is set in a fictional community in the year 2035 and allows players to undertake authentic solar system exploration using resources like NASA's Astronaut Handbook and complete renditions of real Mars exploration missions. I know this is definitely up one Blog Campaigner's alley (@parkernow)

4. Interactive Ping Pong: This one is a little less "for the good of the people" but still a pretty cool idea. An advertising campaign for McDonalds in Sweden asks pedestrians to play ping pong on a giant screen in Stockholm Square. Pedestrians download an app and play an interactive game of ping pong using their mobile phone and the billboard. If a player can play for 30 seconds or more, a McDonalds coupon is sent to their phone.

If all the predictions hold true, some pretty incredible initiatives should come to life all thanks to gaming.

What examples of gaming have inspired or amazed you so far?

 

 

(Gamer photo courtesy of Holy Taco)

Going Off The Book

A few weeks ago I was listening to a RadioLab podcast about Games. In this episode, hosts Robert Krulwich and Jad Abamrod spoke to Brian Christian, an author who recounted the story of the checkers craze of the 60s that culminated in the World Checkers Championship in 1963. Apparently. this championship was a series of 40 games between the world's two top players. All 40 games ended in a draw. 21 of those 40 games were the exact same.

"Checkers had gotten to the point where there was a perfect game of checkers," Brian said as he discussed how the top players memorized previous games and knew the ideal countermove for the other player's moves. "This was rock bottom for the checkers community."

The name for this knowing of all the games, all the moves, is The Book.

Brian continues on the podcast to say that the same thing happens in chess, and that there is an equivalent book  (actually a computer program called "Fritz" these ays) of every chess game played by grandmasters for the past few hundred years. Although there are way, way more variations, there are occasions where two grandmasters will play the exact same game that has been played years before. Nowadays, the first 20 moves or so in major chess games are totally by The Book: the two players playing moves that they've memorized, just like their checkers predecessors.

To chess enthusiasts, the most exciting part (and true brilliance) is when players go off The Book: that moment when they make a move that hasn't been done before in the history of recorded chess.

When I first started my career 5 years ago, there were no best practices for social media. There were no case studies. Everything was new. Everything we did was off the book.

Now it seems that everyone is staying on the book. Facebook brand pages are almost cookie-cutter copies of each other. Pitch emails to bloggers feel about as personal and special as a Hallmark card.

I still think there is a ton of opportunity to go off the book. I just worry that we're too concerned with playing that perfect game.