Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon's failed attempt at advertising

I was reading AdAge, as I typically do, and came across an article on The Twilight Saga: New Moon and the advertising efforts they were engaging in. One particular ad caught my eye and made me think, “That’s a really bad and annoying idea.”

New Moon has partnered with MySpace to post its full page ad that literally takes over a person’s homepage. Not only that, but, pictures of the characters from the movie will appear in the corner of every page. Talk about intrusive – have the advertisers heard of “pop-ups”? Because this ad is looking scarily close to an enormous pop-up. And what do we do to pop-ups? Block them. Why? Because no one cares about them and, frankly, are annoyed at having to click the X in the corner of the pop-up to make it go away while trying to access the internet page they were after in the first place.

Another thing the ad agency should have thought of – its social medium. MySpace? Really? I’ve heard it referred to as the “white trash version of Facebook.” Does anyone even use it anymore? My theory here is that the advertisers approached Facebook about doing this ad on the site and Facebook (quite rightly) said no. So then they went to MySpace (which I understand is trying to reinvent itself as an entertainment-centric social platform - good luck).

Now, they did do one thing right with the ad, and that was to offer a free soundtrack remix through Apple’s iTunes if a consumer buys a movie ticket online. That’s great interaction with a customer and definitely makes the idea of buying a movie ticket online a better alternative to buying in the theater. The only thing they should have thought of was not putting it with one large pop-up on a dead social site.

This ad had the beginnings of a good idea. If the company had put more interactive links on the ad (such as links to character blogs, Twitter feeds – which, come to think of it, I don’t think they even have) and placed it in a better spot, or even its own site, consumers might have been more excited at seeing a large ad pop-up. Perhaps the agency should have looked at another vampire-esque show (True Blood) and taken note of their amazing ad campaign.

Overall, I rate this as a complete fail by an agency to promote, what should be, the easiest movie to promote in years.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Social TV

I've written about social media's impact on television before (check out my postings on Talent Zoo's Beyond Madison Avenue) and now more and more people and news outlets are recognizing the significance that social media is having on everything; not just friends updating friends.

I'm sure you've seen the commercial for Sharetv.com, where you can interact with people online and share your opinions and ideas, etc., about television shows and programs. Studios are taking notice and have invented what they call 'social tv.'

Essentially what this means is that people no longer just want to watch tv, they now want to interact with others who are interested in the same genres (much like traditional clubs and networking organizations).

AdAge wrote an article today on 'social tv' and the benefits its giving to programs. As I'm sure you are aware, watching a tv program in "...the old school fashion..." (i.e. at the time it actually airs and with commercials) is not a common practice anymore. With social media, producers are able to track who is talking, texting, tweeting and facebooking about their show and then use that information to attract sponsors. Many programs, such as Tosh.O on Comedy Central, have incorporated social media into their programs (Daniel Tosh does a regular segment where he answers tweets he receives).

Borrowing a quote from the AdAge article, David Dickman, senior VP-digital media, Warner Bros. Digital said, "Extending the customer base to online is going to broaden your demographic push. The digital aspect is going to broaden out that base and just bring more people into the fold."

Mr. Dickman, you are correct. The face of how we connect with customers, clients and partners is changing and companies are rushing to catch it. Expect a few mistakes, but a ton of successes. It will be interesting to see how social media goes hand-in-hand with, well, just about everything media related. Perhaps we'll see discount coupons through Twitter, contests through Facebook and even a scavenger hunt that ties all social mediums together (imagine how fast that would bring in an audience!).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Southern Comfort targets men with online social sports series

A few weeks ago I wrote about Ashton Kutcher and his Facebook series, as well as the newest trend - Twitter series. It seems that companies are really changing their advertising tactics and heading to the internet instead of the TV.

Southern Comfort is just one of the many who is targeting consumers through online social mediums. They have asked the Break Creative Lab to create an 8 episode web series aimed at men and the holiday season parties, called Social Sportz Net.

The episodes offer tips on party planning and the format is similar to Sportscenter. The ad company can add this to their growing portfolio of 25 other online series. VP Jonathan Small says the key to these series is humor.

“Humor is the universal language of the Break audience. So what works are videos that look like Break,” Small said. “You can’t be too heavy handed. It helps to have a client who is aware of this.”

Lena DerOhannessian, Southern Comfort’s U.S. brand marketing director, said, “This is about showcasing the brand in real situations.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A night in my life - Halloween

My mom, being the smart lady she is, mentioned something to me on Halloween about my costume. Although she didn’t agree with what I was wearing (she’d rather I went as a hot dog as I have done the previous two years) she told me I should write about my adventures in my costume and post it on my blog. Since I haven’t shared much creative writing with you, my fellow bloggers, I figured mom was right, and I would let you know about my two nights as…well, let me see if I can paint this picture for you.

A group of five of us dressed up and refused to leave each other’s sides all night. We wore long trench coats, fedoras and sunglasses. Underneath our trench coats? Well, we wore boxers and white undershirts. Get it yet? We were flashers…kind of.

The Friday before Halloween, we dressed up to go to the Star’s hockey game. I went to my friends house to get ready and after putting on our attire, getting me to leave the apartment was when it really hit me – my goodness, I’m going out in my undies.

For the next two nights, I was no longer Megan, I was an anonymous flasher, sneaking through crowds of people to unknowing prey. Ok, it wasn’t exactly like that. Actually, people kept asking if we were spys or a part of the Blues Brothers and no one really seemed too surprised when we “flashed” them, although they did tend to laugh.

And sneaking through crowds? Well, Halloween is a busy night, and you can’t even move to get a drink in a timely manner in a bar, forget blending in to the shadows.

Overall, the hype of being a flasher completely outweighed the actual being of a flasher. Perhaps I should try to be a flasher when it is not Halloween and I’ll get a better response…