Monday, January 30, 2012

VW and Company start to tease...

VW last year released their much loved (and watched) Super Bowl commercial - before the Super Bowl!  It generated a lot of buzz, and people actually looked for it during the actual Game itself.  So how do you top this:

It's current count on YouTube is almost 49.5 million views....

This year, they released a teaser for their campaign as a whole, and we weren't let down.  It already has 10+ million views on YouTube and has been linked back and forth across the social stratosphere.

The video ends with "" - which on January 27th opened up for people to create invitations to Super Bowl parties with a Star Wars theme.  Pretty cool - but not what I expected.

There's been a lot of talk this year - VW included - about how to increase commercial viewership (both before, during and after the game) associated with the Super Bowl.  Obviously, VW managed to to create a commercial that spoke to many people on different levels and entertained us.  One prevailing thought is that the teaser or pre-Super Bowl commercial release is the way to go.

Honda used a viral :09 teaser video to peak people's interests:

Speculation was flying around in Social Media comments about what is this for?  Is there a new movie coming out?  Soon, the media broke that it was about Honda's new CRV.  Here's the full length commercial:

Now, we know it isn't about the movie - but taking the movie and turning it into a commercial.  It's funny - it's long - it's nostalgic, but does it connect with their target market?  It at least made me remember it was a CRV - which can be a problem any many humorous commercials - remember it not the product.

Kia is trying to get in on the car teaser ads with this one - which I totally don't understand.  Except for the sex sells thing, of course.

Skechers released it own with a bulldog hurdle jumping dog with cute little sketchers on its feet!  His back legs just look wrong!

And yet another car teaser - Lexus this time:

And lastly, Bridgestone - complete with behind the scene video on their YouTube channel tells us the sports world will never be the same:

And because it was my second favorite of last year - here's Bridgestone's commercial from Super Bowl 2011.  I wish they had continued with the cute animal theme instead of the old athletes theme in the teaser.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do as I say, not as I do... Zynga

I recently talked about Copyright and Trademark in my Entertainment Marketing classes (you can view my prezi on Copyright here).  One of the examples we went over was Zynga vs. Vostu a Brazilian gaming company.  The law suite was settled out of court, but I found some comparison images I wanted to share.

Looks amazingly the same to me.  The real kicker is in the coding - Zynga's has a mistake that they never fixed for a building that doesn't require a road to be built - Vostu's game has the same 'mistake.'

TechCrunch did a great video showing comparisons between the two games on the same screen.  You can read their article as well as the legal documents - complete with photo comparisons - at the TechCrunch site here.

Today brought additional insight into Zynga's practices when the makers of Tiny Tower, Apple's pick for iOS game of the year, called Zynga out for copying their game.  I read about it first at Tech Crunch and I'm hoping they do another video comparing the two!   SF Weekly did an article about Zynga's practices in September, 2010.  Quotes from former employees as well as examples of Zynga's past game development practices are included and give insight into what is happening with Tiny Tower.

In closing, here's the graphic that Nimblebit, the creators of Tiny Tower, did comparing the two games.  I wonder what Zynga's lawyers would say that put together the Vostu case...'s confusing

In class we had a lot of discussion about what constitutes 'fair use' vs. copyright infringement as well as questions on what can and cannot be copyrighted.  

One student asked if a football team's playbook could be copyrighted.  I did my best to answer at the time - that the actually book itself could potentially be seen as creative and therefore copyrightable.  But what about other teams 'stealing' plays and improving upon them?  Is that copyright infringement?  It would certainly put a damper on football if it was and honestly off the top of my head, I didn't know the answer.  I started searching the web and came across an article at the Freakonomics site. 

What got my attention is their use of the word - innovation, used to describe a 'new to the world' play.  Other teams can then take this innovation, study it and improve upon it.  In comments for the Freakonomics article, someone suggests that the innovation process described above is just that a process and not protected. Copyright protection doesn't extended to  "any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle or discovery regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work." (Title 17, Chapter 1, 102(b)).  So, I sort of got it right - the playbook itself can be copyrighted, but the plays cannot as they are a processes - at least that's mine and a couple of others best non-lawyer, this isn't legal advice, opinions. 

The questions about fair use mostly centered on the use of music - is it really ok to use 30 seconds of a song?  What about sampling?  The truth is - I swear I read that it was somewhere, but now after googling I'm even more confused.  The answer seems to be - no.  I did find a great site that summarizes some of the copyright infringement cases involving fair use.  Copyright Website has several summaries about lawsuits concerning different entertainment industries.  The 2Live Crew case brought about by their sampling and rewording of Roy Orbison's Oh Pretty Woman is summarized and demonstrates the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Fair Use guidelines.  

I also found Stanford's website on fair use that has articles and videos from a variety of sources.  The EFF (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) also has a good FAQ on fair use.  Lastly, I found a cute and informative site used for primary eduction called CyberBee.  It has an interactive Q&A about copyright and fair use.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have citations, but you can look at their answers here.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

B-schools and the 4 P's of Marketing

For Josh... who asked.

Why Do B-Schools Still Teach The Famed 4P's Of Marketing, When Three Are Dead? 

The headline brings much promise for the blog post I linked above, but the post shows the writers' lack of marketing and business knowledge. I certainly agree with the concept that the four P's are some what out-dated. Depending on how they are presented, they can be like a disco leisure suite, but I also believe they are still relevant in today's ever changing marketing world.

Promotion-in the mentioned blog post is equated with advertising-which is wrong. The P 'promotion' does incorporate advertising but it is so much more. All forms of communication with the consumer is under promotion- and that includes social media and all things Internet. Do we need to include things in promotion that perhaps we have excluded before? Yes! Do we need to talk about social media as more than a fad? Yes! Do we need to realize that promotion for many brands is now a collaborative process with consumers creating promotional content-even without contests? Yes! Do we need to teach more extensively about branding and having clear branding strategies across platforms? Yes! The promotional world is different from it was even ten years ago, and what B-schools teach has to change to match these shifts.

Place - according to this author is dead because more and more commerce is moving on-line. Let me go tell Kroger to start closing their doors, and I better hurry to see my last 3D iMax movie while drinking my venti mocha, non-fat, no whip add toffee nut frap from Starbucks. Seriously? All kidding aside, yes, online commerce is growing and continues to grow. Does this mean that brick and mortar stores are going away? Not in most cases, but what it does mean is the increase in complexity of place can be staggering. Just do a google search about Toys R Us's first online holiday experience, and you'll find out that logistics (part of place) is even more important in our current marketplace. It's what Amazon excels at! In my entertainment marketing class, I teach about "conduit" - the delivery of the product to the consumer, and with the increase of on-line commerce there is another channel to be measured and our product may have to take a different form. So, B-schools have got to adapt and help graduates understand how to connect their product or service with the consumer when, where and in what format the consumer wants (just think how many headaches the music industry could've saved if they had actually done this!).

What's next...Price! The author would have us believe that raw market forces will now take hold because of consumers having more access to information. Now, he does have something here - if you are positioning yourself in the market based on price, then yes- the Internet will force the market price on you, but what if you are positioning based on benefits? You aren't just focused on the raw market price you are adding value which can add dollars to that raw price. Otherwise, no diamond engagement rings would be bought at Tiffany's because they certainly don't let raw market prices determine their's. See the stuff about branding under promotion to understand why setting price is still important, plus there is that cool break-even formula we should all know.

This leaves us with the last P, Product. The article states, "The only way you can increase the value of your brand is by increasing the value of your offering." I totally agree but it is short-sighted to not realize that value comes in many forms- including those delivered by the other P's. I have a friend who uses an on-line co-op to get fresh vegetables. He pays more than he would at a grocery store, but he gets the added value of having them delivered to his door as well as being locally sourced when possible. That's "place" in action and the website that communicates what the co-op offers is part of promotion - as is the Groupon they issued (good old fashion sales promotion done with an on-line twist). I'll let you know what I think of the co-op - I bought the Groupon.

In the end, the four P's still are a good starting point but B-schools have to expand and adapt them to the current marketplace. I would argue for the inclusion of a fifth P, "participation," but maybe it's just the collaboration I talked about under promotion. What I do know is the time when a year-old text book is still up-to-date is gone.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Overboard? Just a little...

I had forgotten about some glorious examples of product placement in soap operas.  Over-the-top doesn't begin to describe these product placements in Days of our Lives (The Hollywood Reporter even wrote about the outrageous placements).  Soap operas have had a bad run lately, with several being canceled after years on the air - but I have to question whether or not this helped Days in their fight to stay on the air.  They did receive a two-year contract renewal, so hopefully this was just a bad mistake they won't repeat.

After you check out the videos, check out the Days of our Lives website - videos, twitter feeds, photos, polls and games - lots of unexpected interactive elements.

And my personal favorite - Frozen chinese food kept behind a bar...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ad Agencies and Collateral Services

Tonight we went over ad agencies and other collateral service firms in my Advertising class.  Below are links to four different full-service advertising agencies.  Take a look around their sites, and see not only how they market different but how they are based on different philosophies:
Leo Burnett – It’s all about the big pencil, the big idea – Mr. Burnett created the idea of inherent drama in ads – something that draws us in and gets our attention.  You will know him best as the creator of the Marlboro cowboy.
David Ogilvy started Ogilvy & Mather.  Mr. Ogilvy believed in uniform branding and creating memorable images.  Notice the differences in this website compared to Burnett’s.  Ogilvy could be seen as one of the first advertisers to get the one look, one voice of IMC.
Saatchi & Saatchi has built their brand around the idea of ‘Lovemarks.’  The CEO wrote a book about Lovemarks – branding and loyalty beyond what we normally think of.  It’s all about consumers emotionally connecting to brands.
Barkley is a different kind of ad agency.  They are employee owned and focus on honesty in what they do.  Watch the video on the homepage about what they stand for.  Is it different than the other agencies you visited? – you bet! 

One of my students suggested looking at XA, the experiential agency, that specializes in event marketing - but not in events in the way you are use to think about them.  Check out their portfolio or the clips they have on the home page - some neat stuff.  I really enjoyed the Covert Affairs on USA promotion they did!
This is the link for the major advertising awards:  Cannes Lion awards -

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's Product Placement time...

Today in my Entertainment Marketing class I'm covering Product Placement - the use of brands in entertainment as a means of promotion.  The increase in DVR usage made product placement more popular, but it has been around since the turn of the last century in film.  This clip is from 1896 has Sunlight Soap taking center stage:

Brand Channel's website has a special section to track Brand Cameos in movies.  Obviously, not all of the brands listed are paid or bartered product placements, but it's interesting to see exactly how many products are used in a film.

If you want to follow news about product placement or to find out more, the Product Placement News website is a pretty cool place to gather more information.  Their articles are short and lack extensive details, but they do hit the highlights nicely.  You can also find a good but dated video about product placement in movies that I think explains product placement pretty well with lots of examples.

Movies aren't the only place that product placements happen.  TV shows, games, music lyrics, music videos, and books all are places where product placement can be utilized.  It was reported that Britney Spears earned $500,000 for product placements in her music video "Hold it Against Me" including a 6-figure payment from who claimed to have a 20% increase in traffic the day after the video premiered.

Nielsen annually measures product placement in TV- here are some results for 2011 (available here):

Top 10 Most Remembered Branded Integrations – Dramas/Sitcoms
Rank Brand Branded Integration Description Program (Network/Air Date) Recall Index
1 Purell Sheldon uses hand sanitizer after he puts a live snake in a desk drawer. The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Oct 27) 271
2 Red Bull Tessa describes the official drink of suburbia; people drink it repeatedly. Suburgatory (ABC, Sep 28) 214
3 Milton Bradley Twister — Amy suggests that the group play the travel version of a game. The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Nov 17) 208
4 Ferrari Beckett drives a car after Castle explains that it is a high performance vehicle. Castle (ABC, Feb 7) 207
5 Subway Big Mike says that his kidnapping hasn’t been that bad because his kidnappers brought sandwiches. Chuck (NBC, Mar 21) 206
6 Wizards of the Coast Games Dungeons & Dragons — Wolowitz comments on the way that Sheldon plays a board game. The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Oct 6) 205
7 Rolex Laura comments on the price of a watch she purchased before she realizes it may have been stolen. Pan Am (ABC, Oct 30) 204
8 Snapple Waldon drinks a beverage while talking to Alan about his breakup. Two and a Half Men (CBS, Oct 17) 203
9 Hasbro Scrabble — Dick tells Susan that he’d rather play Scrabble than talk to her. Desperate Housewives (ABC, Jan 16) 200
10 Hasbro Monopoly — Penny wants to play a board game after getting home from a trip with Tom. Desperate Housewives (ABC, Oct 2) 199
Source: Nielsen
Data from January 1, 2011 – November 30, 2011. Broadcast Prime. The Recall Score is the percentage of television viewers who can recall within 24 hours the brand/product of a branded integration they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing Dramas/Sitcoms. These scores are then indexed against the mean score for all integrations occurring in this genre during the time period (Recall Index). 100 equals average.
Note: For this analysis, branded integrations were only considered if the occurrence had visual elements (i.e., was “seen” on-screen) or both visual and auditory elements (i.e., was both “seen” and “mentioned”). Only first-run episodes were considered. Both planned and incidental exposures were included.
Top 10 Primetime Programs with Product Placement Activity
Rank Program Network Total Number of Occurrences
1 American Idol FOX 577
2 The Biggest Loser NBC 533
3 The Celebrity Apprentice NBC 391
4 Dancing with the Stars ABC 390
5 The X Factor FOX 312
6 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 224
7 America’s Got Talent NBC 220
8 Friday Night Lights NBC 201
9 America’s Next Top Model CW 178
10 The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business CBS 161
Source: Nielsen
Data from January 1 – November 30, 2011. Primetime entertainment programming on five Broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, and NBC). First-run episodes only. As a result of coding enhancements implemented in 2009, occurrence counts now reflect the total number of show segments in which a brand/product appears or is mentioned.

It's still shocking to see the number of occurrences of product placement in a show - 577 for American Idol!  Commercials during Idol are some of the most expensive in TV.  I can only imagine what their product placments cost.  It's also interesting to note that the most occurrences are in reality TV shows while the most remembered are in scripted entertainment.  That's good to see - especially for those of us who like scripted shows best!

This morning I was watching a video about Zynga's stock offering and came upon this clip about CityVille that mentions product and brand placement.

The blog Social Ally did a post about BestBuy and some other product placements in games.  It's an interesting read - Online games and product placement - a good match?

So, what do you think of product placement?  Does it drive you crazy?  Get in the way of being entertained?  Or are you happy to put up with it for the ability to skip commercials?  Regardless, it is probably here to stay.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Back in the saddle!

It's that time of the year when I'm writing syllabi and trying to decide what did and did not work from the previous semester.  Unfortunately, I'm not teaching an on-line class this semester, but I wanted to continue my blog and my talks about marketing.

Look for posts about entertainment marketing and advertising as the semester progresses -and if I can conquer iTunes and podcast storage - there will be a Marketing Talk with Tyra podcast for your enjoyment as well.  My animals miss making guest appearances.