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Archive for November, 2007

Dell’s new viral – Unleash the power of celebs

November 27, 2007 Leave a comment

I’ve just came accross this campaign on Youtube.

What a great idea. Users can use famous celebs to pitch the product of their dreams to friends and family.

It’s a very clever way to boost sales for Dell, by leveraging the power of the grouped purchase. If one user can’t afford it, maybe 20 of his friends can help him get there, rather than offering him one little present each.

What’s genius about it is that users with a Paypal account can include it in their message, so the recipient can directly cheap in after seeing the celebrity’s pledge.

It could have an absolute killer if it had included more personalisation in the video message (a la MINI aveaword), but it must not come cheap to get these celebs in a studio for a few days each.

Inspiration from this campaign might have come from different sources. The popularity of online wedding list for example. Or the ‘team buying‘ phenomenon that is getting momentum in China.

But the interesting point is how they’ve made the most of these 2 functionalities to turn it into a powerful selling tool.

It should boost sales and do well at Cannes next year.

The review to kill them all

November 21, 2007 Leave a comment

While doing some research, working on how Microsoft managed to create so much Hype for Halo 3, using one of the most clever communication channel plan known to man, I came accross this satyrical video, a Halo 3 review done by The escapist (Thanks to the chaps at GigaOM).

For some reason I can’t upload it directly here, so there it is. Click on the picture below, it’s really worth it.

Now, for the non-hard core gamer like me, who was actually tempted to buying a Xbox 360 just to play that game, it definitely talks to me!

Funny how, despise having spent the last 45 minutes mouth watering at all the videos Microsoft scientifically posted on Video sharing websites, it just took one video to extermine this feeling of desire forever. And there is no coming back…

It really only takes one personwith a good wit and sense of humour to cancel all your marketing effort…

Categories: UGC

Say or do? Claim or prove?

November 20, 2007 Leave a comment

It’s a subject I’ve been interested in for a long time and I’ve come accross some great posts about it.

Gareth, quite rightly, pointed to this very interesting post from Adrian at Zeus Jones. Even more intersting is the presentation of his new agency:

Some great examples here of how ‘doing’, and advertising the ‘doing’, are much more powerful than advertising your product or brand alone.

It’s something people working online have realised a long time ago. Just saying it, no matter how well or beautifully, is not enough.

It’s something I’ve been pushing at glue and BBH for a long time. How can you change people’s life with your communication budget, rather than just making an ad, which ultimately is just one claim? No matter how good it is.

It’s also something the clever boys at Naked had realised a long time ago, calling it branded application (or so I think).

My guess for 2008, is that branded applications will overtake viral (in the wide sense) as the Internet’s most wanted. And one big brand will dramatically switch its advertising budget to creating a strong utility.

It will be a lot more viral to find something to improve an audience’s life than to actually try to plan a ‘viral campaign’.

Examples have been around for a long time, yet very few marketers have seized its potential. I was reading the ‘tour de France’ origins yesterday, only to find it was one of the best example of ‘doing’ rather than saying. And what a powerful one (from the BBC):

” At the start of the twentieth century, two of France’s leading sports newspapers, Le Vélo and L’Auto-Vélo, were in competition. After a copyright ruling, L’Auto-Vélo had to drop the ‘Vélo’ from its name, and its editor, former world hour cycling record holder Henri Desgrange, knew he had to do something big to keep its cycling fans interested. He proposed a race visiting major cities in France: from Paris to Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and finally Nantes, before returning to Paris.

1903 saw the first race, masterminded by Desgrange and single-handedly reported, organized and engineered by the newspaper’s chief reporter, Georges Lefèvre.

20,000 people saw the winner Maurice Garin arrive in Paris. The resulting publicity saw Le Vélo go out of business and the Tour become established as an annual event.”

Faced with this situation, many modern marketeers would turn to advertising to do something about it, like spending some money to promote their new names. Or trying to outspend their competitor and establish themselves as the authority by focusing on the quality of their magazines, the fact that they have many pages… and would have failed miserably.

Imagine a bank spending half of its budget to create a free banking service that gives you financial advice, video, explanations, personalised tips on your finances…

Companies can find what they are an authority on and create a valuable service, experience around it. And then advertising that service.

Much has been said about Nike+ but before that, Nike Run London was doing that in a brilliant way by allowing runners accross London to meet and share running maps. They are now definitely owning ‘running’, in a a much more powerful way than any advertising could have achieved alone.

It’s something I’m definitely sure we will start to see a lot more of.

the art of dialogue

November 20, 2007 Leave a comment

And the lack of it. Especially in our industry. In the middle of reading the excellent book of W Isaacs, “Dialogue and the art of thinking together”, it struck me how little we use dialogue in advertising. We love to use the word, every company wants to establish a dialogue with its audience. But I suddenly realised how little we know about how to have a dialogue.

Especially with how much our industry thrives on meeting, where dialogue could help so much.

How many times have we got to useless meetings where all parties are standing on their opinions and not willing to change their opinions.

This quote from Ullery Management, summarizes it very well.

When we learn to communicate through our minds, hearts and souls with the desire to connect to the spirit in one another to act for the higher good of all we will be on the way to high performance, understanding, peace, harmony and spiritual progress.”

How many times do we go to meetings, hoping to win over people with our way of thinking? How many times do we want to convince people that our ideas are better? Without giving even a thought about other’s people ideas?

We put otherselves in a debate situation. Coming to meetings with what we want in mind, what we want to achieve, as an individual, as a department or as an organisation. We are fighting for our interest. It’s so easy to forget the bigger picture, our client’s interest, or our audience, stakeholder. We are more interested in what we have to gain from it. Therefore, we ‘think alone’ in meetings, thinking how to win over people, we don’t listen to each other, as we are too busy ‘reloading’, finding the killer argument and the better way to shut the opponent. We are not trying to find solution as a team, but separate entities, fighting for their piece of the action. Not trying to use different points of view to create a better one. We are just too busy trying to convince everyone we are the smartest.

As soon as people realise that, the fact they already arrive in meetings pre-charged with what they want to get from it, they start to change. An transformation occurs.

The ullerly management has a fantastic table comparing debate and dialogue.

Like “In a dialogue the goals are finding common ideas and new ideas. In a debate the goals is winning with your own ideas.”

It helps putting in place dialogue in an organisation, instead of sterile and frustrating debates which still constitues the majority of all the meetings we have to attend.

I’m now starting to change my mindset when i go to meetings and to take a step back when I feel like I’m going in debate mode (I was one of the worse offender). And try to thrive on dialogue. Let’s see what happens!