Advertising in 2013 is certainly an interesting time. With online content and constant changes to the formats of social networks to allow for better advertising opportunities for business, we’re in an ever-evolving environment. However one thing that’s remained constant in recent years is the success of a viral video on a brand.
For the past two years, my phone has been ringing daily with the request “I want a viral video”! And for those of you in advertising I’m sure you hear my pain. To the tune “we want eyeballs” and believe me, we want to create a genius masterpiece that fits that bill also! And we’re not alone. So what are the successful key ingredients that take what maybe an everyday video to suddenly turn viral?
First I’d like to clarify. What exactly is a viral video?
In short it’s a video that becomes popular online without having any traditional advertising to support it. Viral videos live online and are shared via social networks and email.
There are two types of viral video in my world, those that were planned (usually for brands and businesses), and those that were born as happy accidents with no advertising goal in mind. Such like the sweet video of the two brothers “Charlie bit my finger!”
So my phone has rang, and we’re challenged with pulling off a ‘viral’ video for the client. As the creative shop, we need to provide a killer concept that not only sounds good to the client but ultimately will send their brand into the social media stratosphere and become an overnight success.
All sounds so simple however there’s usually one problem, the nervous client! Getting buy-in on concepts is the biggest challenge for ALL creatives’ in ALL ad agencies. With brand reputations on the line, many clients are nervous to agree to anything out of left field, and so your pitch to them is key. Client trust is everything and the folks over at DraftFCB Chicago certainly know a thing or two about that. The latest video to go viral is a risqué but hilarious ad for Kmart.
Utilizing a clever scriptwriter‘s talents, the play on words is a winner all the way. Getting the buy-in on that concept was huge and hats off to the Kmart execs for putting their trust in those creative genius at DRaftFCB. An approach that paid off for KMART big time.
Stay tuned next week for Part 2: So what are the top 5 commonalities for viral videos?
Will they have your back? The right creative agency will keep your brand’s best interest in mind.
When it comes to choosing a creative agency for your advertising, branding and design needs, personality fit counts for a lot. After all, you’ll be working closely with these people in high stakes, deadline-driven situations. The fit can be determined almost instantly when you meet them in person, but in the mean time, how do you narrow your search? Keep in mind the following:
1. Size vs. Value: The bigger you go, the more cooks you get in the kitchen. This can be a good thing: many of the large multi-service advertising agencies have a team of strategists and creative directors that can provide great ideas and insight. You’ll be paying for that expertise and it takes time to get your message heard by a large team. Keep in mind that even the large agencies usually still outsource the animation work, so you’ll be paying a mark-up on those services. You can go directly to an animator to get the work done, but generally you’ll be providing a lot of the prep work, from strategic planning to copy writing and audio. Medium-sized creative firms generally offer strategic branding and campaign services, experienced producers and a team of creative minds who are all used to delivering the whole enchilada quickly and to budget. Smaller agencies may impress you with lower pricing, but beware they have the adequate resources to handle the full project. They often outsource much of the work to keep overhead costs down, and can get caught if their go-to partners are busy with other projects.
Do you want to be the first? Your project could be a win/win or a big mistake.
2. Guinea Pig Pitfalls: It’s easy for creative companies to become experts in a particular style or step in the creative process. After all, doing good work leads to more of the same work. So when you’re shopping around for a creative partner, make sure they have a solid track record of doing the kind of work you need. They may lower their bid for the project because the work would provide a nice addition to their portfolio or could be a strong case study for them. Maybe this is a win/win. Or maybe you’re gambling with your limited marketing dollars.
The best creative agencies don’t just tell you what you want to hear.
3. Timing is Everything: Is your timeline realistic with the expectations you’re setting for the work? This question is valid when planning any project really, but in the creative world, a misalignment in timeline expectations happens a lot. A creative agency can turn around a really complex project quickly, but not if you need time for them to incorporate your notes and test it with a market sample. They’ll likely say yes to the project, but be open to considering any recommendations you get regarding adjusting the scope to maximize quality and effectiveness. The best of the best pride themselves on making great creative work for their clients – that also drives bottom line results.
Start shopping around early so you’ve already vetted creative agencies before your boss drops that fantastic ‘we-can’t-afford-not-to-take-advantage-of-this-opportunity!’ campaign idea on your desk. You’ll be glad you did.
For decades, companies have been going sleeker, hipper, and shorter in their branding. Federal Express became Fedex, French Connection became FCUK, and The Hudson’s Bay Company, as we all know, became The Bay. And while that strategy has worked – and is working – for most companies, some have come up against a wall in the shorter/faster/better branding department.
What interested me was this move followed a trend of companies reaching to their roots. We’ve been in the midst of a mid-to-late-century retro movement for a long time now – complete with faded tees and “throwback” packaging – but are we at the dawn of a classic movement?
With the combination of start-ups, sub-brands, and drastic rebrands confusing consumers, what better than to remind everyone that you’ve been operating as your own entity since your inception? You’re not one of the new kids on the block; you’re part of the old guard, withstanding the test of time.
In the Social Age, it’s all about talk. Smart phones mean water cooler conversations have spread beyond the 5-minute break and are now at the fingertips of over 50% of users – and potential consumers – 24 hours a day.
Platforms like Twitter or Facebook allow you to interact with consumers – both on a positive and a more… constructive nature. This is a benefit to both parties since your clientele can feel heard or validated, and you have instant feedback to correct any troubles.
But there are pitfalls to the process.
The problem with using social media is that non-traditional marketing can mean only a cross-section of your potential consumers are receiving your message. Your online circles are filled with people that are already fans or consumers. Beyond that, you can’t just tell them to make something viral. Simply, your tweets are only as strong as your followers.
For example, how many people saw this tweet from Pepsi last week?
Retweet if you’re ready for your next can of Pepsi.
Answer: Over 1 million. And how many people retweeted? 307. Three hundred and seven people out of a million were ready for their next can of Pepsi.
I think the stumbling block here is that Pepsi was counting on their consumers to share an old message. There’s nothing new about drinking a carbonated beverage. There’s nothing to get excited about – Pepsi doesn’t come once a year in a glorious celebration. So why send that message?
Don’t tell them something to talk about, give them something to talk about. Generate new ideas and allow a conversation to occur naturally among your followers and friends.
One of the best examples of this is Starbucks’s twitter account. Clocking in at almost 3.5 million followers, Starbucks’ tweets are topical,
and usually visual – as you may have noticed, most tweets include a picture of their products or promotions.
The result? Besides having well over three times the following of Pepsi, most of their tweets actually gain traction among the followers. Retweets and Favourites run wild when Starbucks speaks… even the least-received of their tweets I could find – a hard sell for one of their promotions – still had over 150 retweets.
So. What can you do? Get out there, get the conversation started. Add to the social sphere. Provoke thought, ride trends, and show what your business can do in a fun, creative way. Simple… right?
We had our apprehensions about the emergence of ebooks and book apps (enhanced versions of ebooks with interactive features), just like you probably did. But as technology moves ahead and kids are getting their parents’ hand-me-down tablets, it seems that generation Z will be getting the bulk of their education and entertainment in some sort of interactive digital format.
Some parents and educators worry that traditional books are being left in the dust, but just as many are becoming aware of the great advantages of ebooks and book apps. We, at Global Mechanic Media, approached the world of ebooks and book apps thoughtfully, making high quality, original storybooks that enhance the story time experience kids and parents know and love. Our latest project, A Sweet Story, an original illustrated book app for kids aged 4-8, focuses on the story time experience; interactivity supports the narrative and enhances reading comprehension.
Here are our top five reasons why you should think about complementing your child’s bookshelf with some ebooks and book apps:
1. Ebooks and book apps expand the reading options for kids– How many books do you keep in your car? What about in your bag? Having a variety of books on your phone or tablet for unexpected waiting periods, encourages kids to read more often, in more places.
2. Ebooks and book apps increase the appeal of reading – For the many kids who are constantly stimulated by digital games, entertainment and educational tools, reading on a digital device not only seems natural, but also more stimulating than a printed book. The end goal is to get kids excited about story time and reading; recent studies indicate that ebooks are an effective tool, and preferred by children.
iPad sales are expected to be 15.6 million this year and 46 million in 2013
5. Ebooks and book apps are cheaper – Ranging from free to $10*, you can afford to have more choices for your kids as their reading level increases and interests change.
To learn more about A Sweet Story, read an interview with the author here. Look for this new book app following the adventures of Oliver Pumpernickel at the App store coming just in time for the holidays.