Yahoo! or Yahoo -_-
It has been recently reported that Yahoo is interested in acquiring BrightRoll (a company whose platform specializes in the management and automation of video advertising campaigns) to the tune of ~$700 million. While this looks good on paper, the true nature of this acquisition is not so cut & dry. The benefits that BrightRoll could immediately provide to Yahoo are clear, but what is not so clear is what Yahoo is truly expecting to gain from this. No doubt adding BrightRoll will give Yahoo a valuable asset in programmatic advertising, which most agree is the immediate future of online and digital advertising. And based on BrightRoll's track record (half of the top 50 publishers and over 80 of the top 100 advertisers currently use their platform in some form), it gives Yahoo an established and well-regarded partner to enter into the mix with.
The bigger problem that Yahoo faces going forward is not keeping up with the Jonses' (read:Google), but not getting kicked completely off the block. Yahoo's fundamental problem is not their inability to merge new technologies into their plans for the future; trying to stay relevant to their user base is. With this being the primary issue, just how much of a true impact BrightRoll could have for Yahoo might be overshadowed by the bigger problem. With lingering questions in leadership from their investors, as well as a string of failed attempts to acquire and facilitate a broader reach in digital & video advertising for their own content, the full potential of this possible deal may never be realized.
Advertising To Millennials
According to William Strauss and Neil Howe, a Millennial is someone born after 1982. Having been born in 1983, I certainly qualify for this generational “branding”. Some of the facts of our generation is as follows – we are “detached from institutions, and networked with friends.” Their report claims we are more upbeat about our future than older generations, with 49% of “us” believing America's best years are yet to come. Safe to say we are optimistic as a whole. One fact that may surprise you is, only 21% of us care about the environment, while 33% of Baby Boomers do. This data aside, how can advertisers reach us millennials?
Some of our guiding principles are rooted in the concept of interactive advertising campaigns that do not just interrupt the consumer with a push/pull type of message. I believe there may be a misconception among marketers, on how to really reach some 80 million millennials. We still watch TV, listen to the radio, drive our cars and look out the windows, use the internet and our phones, as well as read (of course there are more things we do). Companies should learn to be smarter, and stop taking all this research as the diagram for reaching this demo. What I challenge is this, stop running campaigns that “inspire” and fit into what research suggests our generation does while consuming media. I think things really aren't that different. Run a marketing/advertising campaign that answers the questions – why this product, and why now?
Stop thinking that the “next big thing” is going to solve your advertising problems. Retargeting ads have a place, social media ads have a place, mobile ads and apps have a place – it all has a place. We are a large group of consumers – not some mythical group of beings, that have to be told you are doing all you can to earn our business. Just focus on blocking and tackling again.
Painting a Town: Graffiti vs. Advertising
People have various opinions of graffiti. Many would say it is nothing more than vandalism and a disgrace to the side of a building, sign, or wall, others may see it was a hidden work of art in an unlikely place. Jacksonville is a great downtown area to analyze this. Traverse downtown and you will see incredible paintings on the side of Burrito Gallery and Chomp Chomp, as well as “tagging” at the top of some of the tallest buildings. Many artists’ motives will vary, but more often than not an artist’s main goal is to turn heads. To capture the attention and cut through all the noise of the day is the ultimate win for a street artist.
Advertising strives to accomplish a similar goal. On average, a typical American sees over 3,000 ad per day. Cutting through the clutter is an art form in itself. A lot of graffiti tagging can be washed away, or painted over. Why? Due to the fact that it has no right to be there, where advertising on the other hand, has paid placement. This allows really terrible ads to have a flight time for as long as they are funded. There are times we have all wished we could wipe away a bad ad and simply tell someone “You’re doing it wrong…”
Advertising and graffiti are two art forms that come from highly different motives, but end up having similar goals. Although many graffiti artists want to make a statement against corporations, who tend to be the biggest advertisers, both parties want to paint the town in one way or another.
To begin, copywriting is NOT the same as copyrighting. The particular service I’m explaining is where sentences are broken down and reformed to be as effective as possible. So, what does that mean? I’ll give you an example. If you own a candy store, and you say:
1) “XYZ Candy Store has awesome candy for sale, at low prices!”
You get the point across that you have candy for sale and that they are awesome. However, you can re-word the same idea this way:
2) “Save money on awesome sweets at XYZ Candy Store!”
Instead of saying everything that YOU do, aka feature-driven advertising, explain how it will benefit the consumer. The first says that the company has low prices, but it is up to the consumer to find the link between their needs and the low prices. By leading the sentences with “Save money” you address the consumers’ need, and effectively increase the chance they will read, remember, or even act on your advertisement. There is a lot of power in words and how they are used.
Many times people will load their websites and advertisements with feature-driven content, rather than explaining how their product or service is beneficial to the consumer. This leads to less engagement, higher bounce rates, and becoming lost in the mix of thousands of other ads we encounter daily. In my opinion, it makes you sound like a “ME MONSTER”, as one of my favorite comedians would say.
It is important to create the link to your audience answering the fundamental questions:
1) Why should I pay attention to this?
2) How does this benefit me?
So where is it important to have strong copy? Everywhere! You website, social media, advertisements, and anywhere your potential customer may be searching for info on your business. If you have a burning desire for feature-driven content, keep it to About Us and Bio pages. Create the link to your consumer, and see how the power of words can help you get the most out of your ad dollars.
Great Creative, Great Results – it’s half the battle
I read an article this morning about a not so new direction Coke is taking with some of its advertising. A campaign launched today in the U.K. that depicts a split screen of two men aired. One is a 1950's man, and the other is a man in present-day. It shows a day in the life of a “man of their time”. Essentially, the 1950's character had a much healthier lifestyle – including hard work daily, smaller portions, healthy snack options and far less stressful activities. At the end of the day the 1950's man can enjoy a Coke guilt-free. Coke has been rolling out healthy living efforts and trying to inform the public on obesity, and habits than can lead or even help to curb unhealthy living and poor health due to weight gain.
Coke has been airing and displaying these types of lifestyle ads for a little while now, and I do think it is some pretty good creative at that, but why haven't I seen any? The question begs, due to the fact that when I watch TV I am actually waiting for the commercials to start. When I read the latest issue of Rolling Stone – you guessed it – before reading my musical flavor of the month article – I check out the full page ads, in detail, and reflect on them. My point is that if this is such a hot button for Coke, why is it so scarcely positioned in the market? I would think an all out war on bad lifestyle choices as it relates to nutrition would be a focal point for the beverage giant. I may be wrong here as well, but the last time I checked the U.S. was in worse shape than the U.K. – so why not give the first impressions of this approach to the U.S.? Of course it is possible that I am just eager to see some great creative!
At the end of the day, success for any ad campaign relies heavily on placement and media strategy. You cannot leave this essential element out of the equation. I think Coke should take a look at it's media funnel and remember what needs to be at the top of a successful campaign. There is also a chance that I am jumping the gun here and this is part of a broader strategy, but never forget the vital role of a success media strategy!
Food for thought: (pun intended) Why does this strategy seem to be taking front and center for so many “unhealthy” companies? Instead of showing a guilt-free Coke, why not talk about sugar and processed foods and what this has brought to society? Just a thought, a little off the topic, but worthy of brief discussion nonetheless.