Posts Tagged ‘social’

Are the ads on social networks even remotely effective? That is the question often pondered on by social network users. We see them every day when we use Facebook, but how many of us take notice of them? Let alone click on them?

As you are reading this.. Without switching to your Facebook tab, try to recall an ad you might have seen.

It is no surprise that you’re having some difficulty. Social network ads are small and non-invasive compared to the regular animated flash banners we see on most sites. They are placed out of the usual reading pattern of users and consist mostly of a small thumbnail and text.

Unless you’re on Ren Ren, the Facebook of China’s youth, who have flash banners in close proximity to the social content. You’re unlikely to be paying attention to the advertisement’s message.

I know its shocking but companies have sworn that social media advertising actually works! Despite the recent GM Facebook ad campaign failure, big brands like Ford and Coke have found value in Facebook advertising and intend to expand its use of the advertising platform. Others like Joseph Perla think that Facebook ads are no different from a ponzi scheme. He and some others raised a compelling argument that the fat advertising returns posted by Facebook is not sustainable mainly due to the fact that the influx of advertisers it is experiencing is only going to be momentary. When advertisers both big and small have experienced Facebook and discovered that their ROI is abysmal, Facebook’s main revenue source will dry up and they would soon be killed by the next social network.

So who’s right and who’s wrong? Are brands like Ford and Coke enjoying a temporary success on Facebook? In my opinion, it depends on what your campaign objectives are. If you are looking to sell a laptop on Facebook, then you’ll probably get more sales going door to door. Facebook ads seldom work well if sales is your KPI and especially if your product costs more than a box of cereal. Apps, games and easily redeemed vouchers on the other hand seem to do better due to its relevance to social networking. The ads would work well if you are looking to raise the number of fans on your Facebook page, raising awareness or simply driving traffic. Here are a couple of tips for you to make the best out of social network ads.

  1. Social networks allow for ads to be targeted but ads have to be relevant.
  2. Ads have a tight character limit, so make your call to action compelling, clear and concise.
  3. Experiment and rotate creatives and copies to get the best click-through rate.
  4.  Have a strong value proposition to encourage users to click
  5. Due to its obscure location, ads should try to be as disruptive as possible. Copies like “EXCLUSIVE TO FB USERS” or “50% OFF”.

Click here to see examples of effective social network ads.

Though there is a huge controversy as to the effectiveness of social network ads, I (like many others) have personally had successful campaigns on Facebook. In my opinion, the results are really subjective and would depend heavily on your campaign’s KPI and creatives.

What do you think? Share your experiences with me! Leave a comment!


Old Spice, once a dying brand (because their core customers were actually dying), was associated with the seniors and was shunned by the young. But yet now it is hard to find a digital native that has never heard of Old Spice. Since its re-branding campaign that took Youtube by storm in 2010, the Old Spice Youtube channel has had close to 297 million views.

Th re-branding campaign featured former NFL wide receiver, Isiah Mustafa, as the Old Spice Guy. The campaign was a great application of  both video and social media. It captivated the audience with creative and spontaneous videos and gave personalised marketing through social media.

The ads had the winning formula, which made the campaign spread like wildfire across the Internet. Allowing Old Spice to become the top brand on consumer’s minds when it came to scented body products for men for the rest of that year. The buzz around the brand was astounding. But there were skeptics that felt the brand couldn’t maintain its position once the hype of the campaign died down.

Old Spice answered the skeptics with another Youtube and social media driven campaign in 2011 (if its not broken don’t fix it right?). They cleverly put a twist to the Old Spice Guy relationship with fans. Introducing Fabio, the contesting new Old Spice guy, asking Isiah out for a duel. Fabio is a long shot from Isiah Mustafa and is a tad bit thick-headed, though he does entertain in his own disturbing way. This entry of the ‘bad guy‘  rejuvenated the 2010 campaign in an uproar of support from Isiah’s fans.

(click here for a full list of Fabio’s ads)

The campaign saw the two fighting to respond to the Old Spice fans and ended in a challenge for the most number of votes (which was not really a challenge after all, since most people hated Fabio). The campaign ended with a face to face confrontation between Fabio and Isiah.

The revival campaign in 2011 was a success and it got the Internet buzzing over Old Spice again. Old Spice had the winning formula for marketing the brand and at a low cost too, due to the usage of Youtube to host their videos and responses.

They carried on their whacky and entertaining commercials in 2012 and hired a new spokesperson, actor and former NFL player, Terry Crews to promote their line of deodorant. The brand first introduced Terry Crews as its new spokesperson through creatively outrageous TV commercials.

These commercials were once again loved by the public and it spread through the social networks quickly. Just recently in August, Old Spice worked with online video player, Vimeo, and released an interactive viral video into the online social sphere. The video allowed viewers to use various parts of Terry’s body to make music after the advert finished playing. Viewers are encouraged to record and share their music with their friends (here’s why it became viral).

Wieden & Kennedy, the ad agency responsible for all these great campaigns from Old Spice, has won numerous awards like the 2011 annual Effie awards and the 2011 Adcolor awards.

I hope they will keep the zany and creative ads coming! How about you? What do like most about the Old Spice campaigns? Let me know by leaving a comment!

I am a great fan of gamification and guerrilla advertising. Making it no surprise that I am a fan of Mini Cooper’s advertising campaigns. Here are some amazing examples of their past ads.

The objective of this case study is to shed light on how they have rode the social wave like a boss. Most of Mini’s campaigns have very strong emphasis on word of mouth to spread the campaign message.

In 2002, Mini used unconventional tactics to create a buzz for its retro-looking Mini Cooper. At that time it meant creative billboards with an actual Mini stuck on them, innovative magazine and newspaper inserts that consumers can detach to share and 45 to 60 second cinema spots. The campaigns managed to generate hype but the reach was generally confined nationally.

In 2003, Mini moved their brilliance online. Recognizing the rise of Internet consumption and the shift of more advertising dollars to online, they broke free from standard banners and executed a digital campaign that cut through the cluttered digital space. With the traditional ad pop ups becoming a norm, they created their ad pop up to  spin and flip onto the screen instead. Breaking the monotony and then engaging the consumer with an interactive banner showcasing the Mini’s attributes. The result? A fun and unique experience online. The campaign went viral and was spread globally.

Then came the social networking era. With social media becoming one of the primary channels of communication and with a  user spending an average of 15 hours and 33 minutes per month on social sites. Mini knew they had to engage users where they thrive.

In 2010, Mini embraced social media and took Stockholm by storm, transforming it into a living game board for 7 days. Offering a Mini Countryman as the grand prize.

A great example of gamification and the application of social media. Apart from traditional advertising, the game got around through the use of Youtube. A video was uploaded explaining how the app worked and quickly got over 100,000 views. They also teamed with a radio station and the radio hosts talked about the campaign each day the week before it started, and followed it during the whole game week. But they knew the campaign needed additional social boost. Enter Tejbz, one of the world’s most successful and hyped gamers with more than 129,000 fans on his page. They engaged him to play the game and spread the word.

The result?
– During the game week 11,413 people participated.
– The virtual MINI was transported nearly 1,500 physical kilometers.
– Average gaming time was 5 hours and 6 minutes per person.
– People from 90 countries followed the game on our website
– Sales increased with 108% the first quarter after the campaign (record sales in Sweden).

For their creative use of social media, the Mini campaign won numerous awards. What really set their campaign apart is the simplicity and the revival of a childhood game. They reduced the number of hoops the consumers have to go through so that they can go straight to the fun. In short, Mini placed the consumers’ fun ahead of all else. With such success in Stockholm, they revived the game last year and brought it to Tokyo.

Sure hope that I’ll get a chance to play it soon.

We live in the era of social media today. Our journey to the social metropolis we have today took (believe it or not) 34 years! It all began in 1978 with the Computerized Bulletin Board System, or CBBS, created by Ward Christensen during the Great Blizzard in Chicago.

Social media is a global and cultural phenomenon. A primary communication channel to most people today. With Internet access readily available with the help of mobile devices, information can be updated in real-time anywhere. With mobile penetration only going up. We see social media penetration increasing as well. In the Philippines, majority of the social media is consumed through mobile phones. In fact based on a study by Susan Huynh,  by 2016, mobile internet users will exceed PC and laptop internet users.

7 out of 10 people using their mobile phones in the subway in Singapore are on a social app. 9 out of 10 people taking out their phones during a street fight are informing the world. That one last person would most probably be calling the authorities and that is just how our lives have changed.

But how has this impacted the corporations and businesses? No, I’m not talking about the drop in productivity in the office. I’m talking about how has it changed the way advertisers and marketers approach the consumers. The entire media landscape has changed. Its no longer a monologue between brands and consumers, it is now a dialogue.

How are brands handling it?

Even before Facebook allowed anyone to join in September 2006, brands already saw the potential and were advertising on Facebook. A whopping $3.08 billion was spent to advertise on social networking sites in 2011. But does advertising work on social networking sites? Should brands blindly buy banners and textlinks to advertise products? No. Social media doesn’t work like websites or newspapers.

Social media is about building a community and creating brand advocacy. Building positive brand advocacy is not easy but if successful, it would be hard for competitors to replicate. Which explains why only a handful of brands have been successful on social media and I will cover some of such campaigns in my future posts.

The beauty of social media is the data. Social media has opened real opportunities for tracking and understanding human behavior in ways never known before. From advanced targeting and retargeting to segmenting customers, there is just so much data. Brands are now paying business intelligence companies big bucks to analyse this sea of data and to find out what the consumers want. As strategist, Brand Amery said, “A good way to approach data is understand what you’re trying to achieve and what you want the consumers to do, and always place it in context of the bigger picture.”

Social media has another function and that is customer service. Many brands have turned their Facebook walls into customer service channels. Be it rants or compliments, brands can access their relationship with consumers and if possible rectify consumers’ problems. This actually blurs the line between advertising and PR.

Investing in social media, is not just investing in a causal relationship with consumers. It is a very powerful tool for gaining insight into the characteristics of a brand’s target market, a great customer relationship tool, and a great way to build personal attributes to a brand.

(Enter Darth Vadar music) The pint sized Darth Vadar uses his force around his humble abode but to no avail. Disheartened and frustrated he cradles his head in his hand. Then came the sound of a car. He rushes out to the front yard, pushing past a civilian to give one last go with the force. He concentrates. Focuses. (Vroom) The car engine growls into action.

Everybody remembers that Superbowl TVC by Volkswagen which spread across the globe to even those clueless of what Superbowl is. All due to the viral sharing of the youtube video uploaded by VW on the very same day as the TVC airing. The youtube video has 54 million views thus far.

There have been countless Superbowl ads that have gained an international audience through Youtube. Budweiser, Coca Cola, Nike and McDonalds are among the regular advertisers at Superbowl and for good reason. An estimated 111 million viewers watches the annual Superbowl and it is only during this time of the year that advertisers get this amount of viewership. It is not cheap though. An average advertisement costs USD$3.5 million.

For the longest time, these commercials are expected to be the game’s entertainment before, during and after the game. They are expected to be unique and humorous and it is the one time in a year that people do not leave their seats or switch channels during a commercial break. People have come to anticipate the ‘great’ ads especially during half-time.

Most of these ads soon turn viral as people start talking about them over social media or at work. Prompting huge search queries for the ad or its product. Thus, making Superbowl ads resonate with the target market and worth every single cent paid by advertisers. Online media also helped increase these expensive ads’ reach beyond America and to countries who don’t even watch Superbowl.

This is one of many examples of an effective use of new media for advertising. I will be covering more case studies and sharing more of my thoughts of new age advertising in my blog. So stay tuned and subscribe to my page!