Home > Uncategorized > Help needed – how to launch an advertising campaign

Help needed – how to launch an advertising campaign

I was kindly invited to present to the APG of Sweden a couple of weeks ago.

I didn’t really know what I wanted to talk about but had been playing with an analogy in my head for a few months: which is that we are in the business of launching satelittes (ideas) into space (our consumers mind).

That in itself is very simple, but in practice, very complex.

I’ve put together a presentation, but as with all these things, it takes forever to get it perfect, and I don’t have that time at the moment.

So I thouhgt I’d put it up there, and if it springs any ideas, please drop me a line.

If your ideas are any good, I’ll put them in the presentation and dedicate you the slide, with your picture and a link to your blog / website / twitter / whathaveyou. You will become an instant advertising celebrity overnight, your hair will grow thicker and you will start smoking the pipe.

Anyway, here it is:

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Hey Jérôme,

    What about the shuttle pilot/flier? Marketer, planner? A team of marketer and planner?

    What are the qualities of a good shuttle pilot/flier?

    . Anticipate
    . Forecast
    . Preempt
    . Think ahead
    . Plan
    . Experience
    . habilities to work in team

    About the rocket : to my mind, the hardest think is that nowadays we use several media rockets to achieve it.

    You know that is quite hard to play with all of them : often it exploses.

    That’s why I think the best thing to do is to give “rhythm” to stage separation and use different rocket at each stage separation.


  2. December 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Dude. How about this as a thought;

    Satellites are just bits of space junk unless they have some kind of purpose (or utility). In the same way we shouldn’t expect consumers to marvel at how clever or pretty or well designed our satellites are unless there’s a clear purpose (from an consumer point of view);

    Is it an entertainment satellite?
    It is enabling communication?
    Is it providing relevant and valuable information?

    etc etc

    Have fun at the soiree tonight buddy.

  3. Dan Greenberg
    December 17, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    When you’re speaking about a satellite’s purpose, stretch the analogy a bit more. Consider:

    Hubble Space Telescope: It’s there for observation.
    Telstar: It’s there to facilitate communication.
    Defense: It’s a secret capability. (Think GPS until it was unlocked on the market!)

    But then you can get more interesting. Some satellites are modules of something bigger… you’re launching bits of the Space Station, not the whole thing. Then, things like consistent interfaces and a plan for how they’ll latch together matters a lot. And you may not need to know all of a priori… as long as you leave some documented interface on the pieces you’re launching.

    Also notice that the space station receives regular resupply rockets that not only refresh what the satellite is doing, but also boost it into higher orbit. Remember, satellite orbits decay, with the satellite becoming a very expensive meteor if the orbit is not maintained. Bigger satellites that are in lower orbits (bigger ideas that are the most publicized) are most susceptible to this.

    Also, consider what happens if the rocket explodes on the launch pad, destroying your satellite. As we saw in the US during the Twitter storm regarding Motrin, an exploding rocket can take an entire campaign down (as well as killing some of the people who were flying on it). An exploding rocket is hard to keep secret and may cause collateral damage to your launchpad!

    Finally, all satellites are designed with a useful lifetime. Even for the most valuable ones, heroic efforts may be needed to keep it functioning and flying (viz. Hubble). Obviously, you need your satellite to have sufficient expendables for that lifetime. More importantly, you must leave a little extra on board so that you can deorbit the satellite when its useful life is up. If you don’t, your satellite becomes another piece of junk, hogging space from the gleaming new one you want to launch.

    Hope that helps. I love a good analogy.


  4. Digicynic
    December 18, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you very much. Some really good thoughts there!

    I will definitely use most of it.

    Special thanks to Dan, who seems to be quite an expert in satelitte! Should I point to your twitter titudeadjust?


  5. Rob
    December 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    You’re back and blogging …

    Shows I’ve not been here for a long time but now you’re back, I will be too.

    Good to have you around – I know this comment has nothing to do with this post, but humour me a little, ha!

    Speak soon,


  6. January 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    First off, I really like the deck and the overall thought of thinking of the advertising (idea generation) process as a satellite launch (and the multiple components that go into such a large process).

    I also think that Dan has hit on some very interesting points especially around the impact that a poorly designed rocket can have on the entire satellite and the people inside it.

    To that end, one addition that you might consider would be the reverse side of your analogy. A big idea (the satellite) is vital for brands to make a large impact and influence the perceptions and ideas that the consumer has of it. But what about brands that are already happy with their overall proposition and consumer ‘scores’? (ie. Nike, Apple, the top 100 who are trying to resonate and create impact but are happy that their consumers – basically – know what they stand for)…those with an existing insight and creative platform (Absolut in the good old days, Coke Happiness, Apple as creativity, Nike as empowerment, etc)

    These brands might not need to launch new satellites but – to continue a thought from Dan – send out a shuttle to update the technology or apply a patch to make dramatic improvements with little overall effort.

    Think about Burger King. Their satellite is irreverence and for youth, in the past decade, they’re creative ideas have focused on it (their ‘big idea’ was The King and everything seemed to flow from that through some – albeit – loose extensions; Subservient Chicken, Whopper Freak out, Whopper Sacrifice, etc.

    These extensions, although not new satellites, created huge value and awareness for the brand. They kept people talking, engaging (sorry…overused, I know) and interested in the brand.

    Said another way…brands who are ‘lovemarks’ have space stations that guide their work, decisions and, ultimately, create emotions for their customers. Development of a space station creates something that lasts – an outpost on the moon that can be improved upon and built on over time.

    The overall point is that a space station is different from a satellite. It takes planning, thinking and (most importantly) long term commitment to build on it. A brand (with enough money) can launch 1,000 satellites in a year (…USA…) but if 99% of them fail the consequences can be brutal.

    A focused approach followed by smart, upgrades (patches) and tests can lead to something that’s truly out of this world.

    Random thoughts so feel free to totally ignore but really like the deck!

    • Jerome
      January 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks Tyler! You definitely earn a massive thanks and link.
      Will have a proper look at it next week, I’m quite busy at the moment. But thanks again, really appreciate it.

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