Coca Cola targeting Female Audience?

I heard that Coca Cola knows exactly what their sales increase amount will be as a result of a new marketing campaigns, before even lunching it.

It makes sense. After decades of being in the market, their ROI should be very well known. It teaches you a lesson right there and then: always take note of results of your campaigns, so you can have historic data.

Also, on the topic of Coca-Cola and sales, I’ve noticed a growing interest in the female market with these two new campaigns, lunched at more or less the same time:

and

.

You see why this is a female oriented ads, right? Well, first there is always a guy (main character or narrator), and than there are girls who are supposed to represent target groups. In the ad you can see at least one girl that suppose to represent a part of their target group (the biggest  target group is represented by the girl in closer to front and center). In this respect, guys in the ads are not there for target group determination.

What is also interesting is that these two campaigns advertise Coca Cola Zero and Coca Cola Light. The difference between these two products I don’t understand. Why Coca Cola decided to have two of the same (similar) products? And why are they promoting both the products at the same time?

The only reason I can even guess to have Coca Cola Zero and Coca Cola Light is best described by this Futurama moment:

Translating into socially acceptable or scientific term, this last video can teach us that by increasing amount of choices, the overall sales amount will also increase (which is consistent with the theory).

Do you agree that these two campaigns are female oriented? Leave a comment.

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75 euros for Google Ads

I just saw this and wanted to share. Click here and to get 75 euro for free on Google AdWords (don’t worry, it is an official google page). I’m not sure whether this will work for existing AdWords accounts, but hey, who can say “no” to 75 euro for free to promote your website? Just sound like a good idea.

PS: The page might be in Dutch, so you might need to translate it, which is a non-brainer.

Mac Keeper (WARNING!)

mackeepr-mascott1Have you heard of Mac Keeper? Well, if you see a banner for it, you should not click it (like many other banners out there), or for that matter install Mac Keeper on your Mac.

Mac operates on automatic system that requires no cleaning or anti-viruses. Everything is done automatically, which can be sometimes confusing for first timers (Windows users).

Furthermore, Mac Keeper is not official Apple product, it costs money and it will only slow your computer down. It is like cigarets, if you know what I mean.

This is not even my own opinion / warning. The official Apple store personal will tell you this. In my understanding, the only reason Apple does not block Mac Keeper is because they are a big company and don’t want to be sued on some grounds, but I feel it is my obligation, to warn you about it, as I am just giving my honest online feedback about this product.

App Everything (and how to make money out of Apps)

apple-itunes-apps-app-storeThere are millions of apps out there. Apps that allow you to see your finances online, social media apps, apps showing location of your dog or a car, also known as GPS apps, an app for this blog (which is not officially out yet), an app for my gym (because why not?). Well, you got the point.

My favorite app is the remote controlled room temperature app. Basically, you can adjust your house temperature before you get home. Specially good for saving energy, for when you are not at home, in countries where it always snows or cold. You do, however, need to connect a small electronic device to your central heating, and that’s how the companies that promote this app make money (which is why this app is one of very few apps that actually makes money with the TV advertisements, which we all know can be expensive).

It is also interesting to notice that companies like TomTom are concerned with bringing internet to everywhere and everything in the world. Their own estimation is that ONLY 1% of the world is connected through internet, which is not good enough, because plants in your home don’t still have a microchip that would send you an App’date (I want to say App for Update, not App for Dating) on your phone saying that the plant needs some water (which by the way already exists), or anything else you want to have done remotely.

So, to sum up, today there are app’s for almost everything. If you, or your industry does not have an app, it means that you are in very “exotic” niche, or that you need to get it right away, because apps, is just a new way of promoting yourself and your company.

If you want to make some money out of apps, you have several solutions:

– Promote yourself or your company through the app (as mentioned above);

– Sell the app;

– Sell the ad space on your app (or should I call it “selling app space?”);

– Have a Razer Blade pricing strategy, which means giving away apps for free (razers), as long as you sell microchips (blade), or anything else that cannot work without an app.

Social Uncertainty: What we Should and should Never do.

JudgementDay is comingSocial Uncertainty is on my mind lately. What is it like to be cool? How do our decisions affect others and us in the eyes of the others? Should I do something or should not I?

While the questions above were already asked by many philosophers, sociologist, and many others, the truth of the matter is that the world is changing and new trends are appearing and dying everyday. So what does that mean for us, common people?

This means that we are living in the world of uncertainty. We don’t know or understand how some things work, even if we know what they are. This is because some things did not exist 1 or 2 years ago and now we take them for granted (e.g., smart phone, 3d cinemas). It is like knowing poker rules, but still losing every time we play it. A more accurate metaphor would be to have a Social Media page, such as facebook or twitter, and not to know how our posts or comments will affect us in a long run. Certainly, we think twice before pressing “like” button or posting a new picture.

This was indeed a result of a study conducted Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, US, where researcher took a look at effects of social media on our lives. Some of the examples discussed in this research were: a guy getting fired for badly commenting on performance of his team, and a teacher forced to resign after publishing pictures drinking beer and a wine on FB. You can read more about this study and its results here.

There are many more example of things in our lives that give us uncertainty: buy or not to buy, spend time doing working or to go out, to tell something to someone or not to tell, …. Pick one.

My take of it is that we as a society are over thinking and trying to much to please others, even if we don’t know who they are. “You don’t have a new generation TV?” or “Still listening to music of 80s”? We should stop with judgement and caring about opinions of other, because other people don’t know themselves anything. Everything they think they know, is the result of social pressure and probably comes back to Money and Marketing. So take that Marketing.

Top 6 ways of finding Perfect Keyword

6103Keywords are important in online activity. They help browsers connect websites content with different searches.

While the use of keywords is useless for regular, or static webpages (the ones where content never changes), as Google and Yahoo removed the keyword tagging due to abuse, they are still important for many 2nd level (so to speak) search engines and very much so for blogs (or other websites, where content changes on regular bases). The question remains, how to find a perfect keyword?

Here are 6 inspiring ideas:

1) Title as a keyword. Don’t just copy past the title, but do use the main words of your title as your keywords. For both readers and webpages, titles serve as one of the most important ways of identifying the body of a content, therefore additional emphasis is important.

2) Search the body of your text. If you are writing a scientific paper or a book and you are looking for help with the structure for your content, many opinion leaders will tell you to write the body of the book first and the introduction, conclusion and the title second. This is because the introduction, conclusion and the title depend on the body and not the other way around. Therefore, if you are looking for a good keywords, don’t just take them from the title and the introduction. Also, see the main content. There are plenty of potential keywords there.

3) Use creativity. Spend 2-5m just thinking of any other ways you can think how you can say the same keywords. These will be indeed your new keywords.

4) Google the competition. Competitive or similar articles, by other authors, hold keywords that we sometimes don’t remember, or just could not think of, as other authors might be creative in different ways, or simply have different information, due to their specialization. These keywords could still be valid for you.

(Quick note here: why use step 3 if you can just get all ideas from step 4? Because in a long-term you want to rely mostly on yourself rather than on the others, otherwise I don’t think you would write in the first place.)

5) Find synonyms. When you got your keywords, from step 1 to 4, it could be a good idea to just google the rest. Write in a google, or other search engine “*keyword* synonyms” and see what you get.

6) Filter your keywords. If you go through steps 1 to 5 you will definitely exhaust all the options, but not all options are good for you. Even if someone is to find your content using a bad keyword, they will probably “bounce” (leave) immediately, informing search engines that you have a bad content than (or keywords), and search engines might decrease you in search priority.

AutoTrader.Ca TV Commercial

After a modest break, I am proud to announce a new TV commercial that in my mind made to the top of best commercials of 2013.

It is both funny, straight to the point and sticks in your mind, because both the ad and the ad execution are in line. Enjoy:

Advertisement Failures (Part II) – Website Edition

Humor in advertising is very important. However, some elements that originally were not supposed to be funny, may come out as so, in a very wrong way.

This Part II of monthly Advertising Failures (Website Edition).

Every language has it’s own nuances and some things that can be said in one language, are not correct in other language. Foreigners can get lost in translation, as in their language a word can have completely different meaning.Very famous example of bad translation in Marketing is Pepsi’s “Come Alive!” campaign, which in China was not so well received because in Chinese “Come Alive” means “Pepsi brings ancestors from the dead”… Another, not so famous example, is of a brand RaboBank, which is a Bank. This is one of most respectable brands in Netherlands and few other countries, but this brand would never be able to expand it activities to Portugal or Spain, because of local meaning of “rabo”, at least under its own name.

Another nuance about languages is that almost in any language, words are supposed to be written separately, except for few exceptions (e.g., I am – I’m). Websites don’t offer this luxury. Some funny Failures came out of this:

Bog photo 1

Stay tuned first day of every month for more Ad Failures! Remember, the best way to remember is to subscribe.

History Channel – “#1 Men’s Enternaiment Network”

History channel: number 1 men's entertainment channelClaiming to be #1 is possible in marketing and it is also effective, specially when no one can truly say for certain who is really the best in specific field. It is even comedic material to see two brands side by side on the shelves claiming both to be “Best”, “number 1” or “most preferred / used brand on the market”.

To my knowledge this happens specially a lot in a toothpaste and medicine markets. Self-claimed doctors, real doctors or actors in robes all have a say for who is the best, for certain amount of money in their pockets, of course. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am a marketing specialist and I would do it too if I was in these brands position, so I am just stating the fact.

History channel: number 1 men's entertainment channel

 

 

Now, as the title states, apparently History Channel is the #1 Men’s Entertainment Network. As a man and as a marketer, I see a problem with it. As marketer I know that making unsupportable claims can be counter productive for the brand image, but also that bad press can be a good press. As a man, I can tell you at least a dozen of other networks that beat History Channel in terms of entertainment factor. Its easy: ratings. (who agrees with me?)

Overall, I do like the idea of this ad, though, simply because I haven’t seen many other ads for History Channel. So in a way it is a reminder advertisement, with targeted towards men’s curiosity. I can be skeptical about the ad all I want, but the damage is done, I did remember about the brand.

Comparative advertising

There are fundamental differences in how people do advertising all around the world. These differences are not only guided by the legal or cultural aspects of advertising, but also the ideology.

Specifically, the use of Comparative Advertisements is not the same everywhere you go in the world. In US, for example, the act of showing and comparing performance or images of two brands in the same industry is allowed and socially accepted, with ads showing one competitor as s weaker than other appear all the time on TV and billboards.

In EU, on the other hand, comparative advertising was not allowed for very long time. This limitation has been later removed, but this did not lead to increase of comparative ads in commercials. Why is that so?

What happens is that EU people don’t like comparative ads and they think that this form of competition is a “low” and unfair way of competing. Thus, if comparative ad is to be shown in EU, both brands will be seen as worth off at the end of advertising inspection. So it does not matter whether this aspect of advertisement is allowed or not, it is just smart not to do it in EU.

Lets now enjoy some classical comparative ads: Pepsi vs. Cola

Virgin – Gérard Depardieu and Micheal Jackson Ad (from France)

Two weeks ago I went to Paris, France, to see once again this amazing city. Besides the usual photos with all the most important monument I also took photos of cool ads which I saw on the streets and in the metro.

France is a good place to advertise, as comparing to many other European countries, in France there are few legal limitation to the amount of the advertisement allowed. Specially in metro stations, advertisements can be seen everywhere.

I found this set of advertisements by Virgin Mobile, offering a monthly subscription of 10 euro a month. The title says:

“For this price I’m back” and “For this price I will come back to France”.

A ce prix-la, I'm back Virgin Virgin ad - a ce prix-la je reviens en France

The ads are great, because they are ironic and funny, because they are several variations to the same ad (so they don’t get boring as fast) and because they use dogs, one being a metaphoric representation of Michael Jackson and second of Gérard Depardieu.

As you may know Gérard Depardieu has recently emigrated to Russia, where he received Russian nationality (given to him publicly by Vladimir Putin himself) and was offered a posh house and governance rights over a specific region of Russia. This is to say that French people still may be holding some unresolved feelings towards this famous actor and simply seeing Virgin “making fun” of Depardieu makes them more positive towards the product and brand.

Harlem Shake and Planking

A new social trend has appears. It is called Harlem Shake. Basically, it starts with one person dancing in a repetitive way for about 15seconds in a crowded or none-crowded place, after which a crowd of people joins original dancer. At this point everyone is dressed in a costume or even dance half-naked.

This is social trend therefore of interest to Marketing. The demographic of the trend is about 20-30 year old, usually studying at university.

The interesting part about this trend is that it is socially incorrect and economically unprofitable. People doing this shake may get bragging right later on but that’s about it.

Still, people are doing it and companies should be aware of this trend, as if your companies demographic that of harlem shake people, you may consider doing a shake in your marketing campaign.

This trend comes out sometimes after another similar trends, one of which is called Planking. Planking required a people to lie on their belly, face down, in an odd place.

planking fail

Planking is an old trend, and this sort of trends tend to pass very fast, when people “saw it all” or think it is now to silly or even if a new trend substitutes the old trend.

As refereed previously, marketers can use this trend and some companies did. For example, South Park made an episode about this sort of trends (season 16, episode 3). Wikipedia has also an article about planking (press here to see the article).

Once again we see that social trends are unpredictable, but marketers should take advantage of these trends when they appear.

Advertisement Failures (Part I) – Bunny edition

Humor in advertising is very important. However, some elements that originally were not supposed to be funny, may come out as so, in a very wrong way.

This Part I of monthly Advertising Failures (Bunny edition).

The bunnies were supposed to be cute and adorable, characteristic that was meant to be transferred to the advertised product. However, there were some unforeseen complications… :

Stay tuned first day of every month for more Ad Failures! Remember, the best way to remember is to subscribe.

Creative, but smart – Branding

Concentrate - Homer editionWhen I am looking up a company or information I expect to find it under certain name or keyword. Keywords should be consistent with the information I am looking for. If the keyword is inconsistent, my search will be much more difficult and I won’t be as happy even if I find the correct result.

If a brand name is inconsistent with what brand stands for, it will be harder to find that brand and I wont be as happy if I spend 10 minutes looking for something that usually takes maximum 1 minute to find. This should be obvious, however some companies continue doing this mistake, making their lives harder. For example:

1. Taxi – international adverting agency. If you look for “Taxi” you wont find an international ad agency…

2. Fluid Technology – a sport equipment brand. A Google search for “Fluid Technology” shows water turbines.

The lesson is: Do your branding creatively, but do it smart.

Best Ad from India

Marketing potatoes is hard, because potatoes are boring and everyone knows what they are. Therefore, as a marketer one needs to get creative in the execution for the ad of potatoes. The following ad is not about potatoes, but also has characteristics of the above described product. Also, it takes a Indian cultural characteristic into consideration so this ad is for Indian local market (with a quick explanation in the begging to make sense of the ad).

Advertising vs. Publicity vs. Promotions vs. Sales vs. Pattern Advertising

VersusHere is an interesting fact for you. Generally when it comes to Advertising and Publicity, people think it is the same thing. Promotions is sometimes but more rarely confused with the previous two concepts. Sales are considered the be very similar to Advertising. Pattern Advertising is an easy concept, but known by very few.

So I am here to tell you that all these concepts are similar, in a way, but also different. Lets remove the confusion:

Advertising – Also called “paid or unearned marketing”, is when a company pays for promoting itself in a non-personal way.

Publicity – Also called “earned marketing“, is when someone else, but the company, promotes the brand and/or its products (e.g., word of mouth). The company does not pay for publicity. The message can be both good and bad.

Although the Publicity is unpaid, Public Relationship department is responsible for understanding and changing the public perception about the brand and fostering goodwill.

Promotion  Related to monetary and non-monetary discounts given by companies, in order for clients to buy more products.

Sales – Different from Advertising in a way that promotion is done in a personal way.

Pattern Advertising – when it comes to advertising in different places (e.g., countries), managers have to make decision whether to standardize their marketing activities, making advertising the same in these two or more places, or to adopt them to the local needs, whereby every country has its own advertisement. Pattern advertising is somewhere between 100% standardization and 100% adaptation, whereby the “draft”, standardized version is produced and marketers adopt specific elements of the ad to their own market’s needs.

Lobbying – Senior Level Marketing

Pepsi Cola bribeImagine, you are a large Multinational Corporation (MNC) expert in a specific field. You are a portfolio brand holding brand of all sizes and specializations in the field that I just referred to. You hold 40+ % of the market. Your marketing budget is +100M (million) euro / dollars. What do you do?

Well, all this criteria and qualifications are necessary to say that you are not going to do things conventionally, and one thing you are probably going to look at is Lobbying.

Lobbying is an act of attempting to influence decision making of officials of government or other people responsible for regulation and legislation in a specific sector (which in the case of our imaginary firm is its specific field of its work). Lobbying also applies to hiring of the people who will be responsible for these legal aspects.

Lobbying is not illegal practice, if done publicly and within law, but for obvious reasons it has some controversy related to corruption and serving own interests, to the interests of the public. Lobbying might not be only done in a form of a bribes or other financial adding ways like presents and invitations to expensive VIP events, but also in non-monetary ways like arranging a meeting.

There are 12.000 estimated and registered lobbyists entities registered during 2012, companies like MNC Coca-Cola, which is reported to have spent over 9M$ dollars in 2009. This is nothing if you compare to firms like Patton Boggs LLP, which is estimated to have spent 452M$ between 1998 and 2012.

2012 US elections was one of the biggest and most openly accepted lobbying event in recent years. Top 5 lobbyists during these elections, by sector, are:

1) Finance, Insurance and Real State groups (640$M)

2) “Other” (540$M) – Individuals or parties that don’t belong to specific groups (usually people, not companies)

3) Miscellaneous Businesses (350$M) – e.g., manufacturing, textiles, consumer retail goods, gambling and tourism.

4) Ideology and Single Issue groups (320$M) – focus on a single-issue area such as abortion, the environment, gun rights or foreign policy.

5) Health institutions (250$M)

(Source)

Lastly, the conventional wisdom holds, you don’t need to be rich to be powerful, you just need to be well connected.

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12 Controversial Ads from the Past

Ethics change, so do the societies, so do the ads. We are living in a “developed” society, or so we think. In 10-20 years what we take today as allowed and welcomed will be incorrect on so many levels.

Selling alcohol, cigarets and guns was once a honest way of living, but today it is not allowed. The opposite is also true. Talking about science was not allowed for many centuries, but now it is hard to avoid in everyday conversations. Who knows what legal or ethical restrictions will emerge in the future? Today anyone can change opinion of millions with few words or presses of the button.

However, today we are not going to talk about the future, rather about the past. We are going to look at some old ads, which could offend some viewers and start riots and demonstrations if shown in incorrect context, but I am doing it from a fun and educational level, so hopefully no one will sue me. Enjoy:

1. Tipalet – with cigaret seduction.

Controversial ad cigarets

2. Toothache drops – made of cocaine

Controversial ad cocaine

3. Rats – An Asian person is eating a mouse… yeh…

Controversial ad enthnicity

4. Decron – Carpets

tiger-girl

5. Lysol – Concentrated germ killer for women

Controversial ad germs

6. Lucky Strike – Healthy cigarets for good looking people.

Controversial ad cigarets

7. Vitamin donuts – eat what you like and stay healthy

Controversial ad healthy donuts

8. Wheaties – Japanese trap for American soldiers

Controversial ad breakfast

9. Chase ans Sanborn coffee – drink it without telling others

Controversial ad coffee

10. Lane Bryant – Discounts on cloth

Controversial ad cloth

11. Humble – Energy provider

Controversial ad glacier

12. Perfect Christmas gift – Gun

Controversial ad guns

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Old Spice Ad Marking (in one shot)

Old Spice makes the best commercials in term of entertainment level and involvement of the viewers. What is more amazing even is how they make their commercials. It is a show in its own form. Here is a sneak peak at the production of a Old Spice commercial. Enjoy!

Valentines Day: All you Need to Know!

Valentines heart cake with candle : happy birthdayValentines Day! It is day of love and of great romance, but it is also my Birthday, and nobody likes their birthdays more than I do. It is just “my day” and I celebrate myself as a person. So yes this is my blog and yes I do write about important events such as this and yes my birthday is on Valentines Day. However, having a birthday on St. Valentines day is actually not so great as people think it is…

Sure, more people remember your birthday, but all the restaurants are booked and half of my friends cannot come because of their dates. Also, sometimes instead of receiving presents I have also to give them…

Therefore, birthdays are as important as other celebration days, even more so, sometimes. Do celebrate them as a company, as marketers and as regular people, because you are not getting older, you are getting another chance to shine!

PS: Curious Fact – if you did not notice it, in 2010, aside from Valentines Day and my birthday, 14th of February was also a Carnival and Chinese / Lunar new year!

6 Lessons from a Marketer

Two Marketing thinkers1- Try different approaches – In marketing, as in life, there are no magic bullets. Don’t let other people tell you otherwise. There is no one approach that fits all the situations. Otherwise there would have already been one person who would have it all, leaving nothing for the rest of us. Marketing is a science and an art. One approach might be effective, but there is always a better one. There are numerous reported situations whereby marketers just by changing how the message was framed achieved 4 to 12 times increase of results.

2- Even a small person can succeed big – It does not take millions of dollars to make a great marketing campaign. It of course helps, to buy more media, but a good idea can go viral just by the word of mouth, requiring little to no investment.

3- Get creative, but don’t forget to be logical – Getting creating is not a first step nor the last. With all seriousness it is somewhere in the middle. To simplify, it all starts with analysis of the market, then getting creating and after implementation analyzing results (only 0,1% of all ideas is truly creative, the other 99,9% is just modifications of already existing ideas).

4- Everything counts as one – Marketing is integrated. All activities complement each other, or at least they should. It is therefore important to implement marketing activities in similar way, aiming at synergies and looking at the history, while thinking of the future.

5- Know who you are dealing with – everyone is different, but there are commonalities. It is important to know these commonalities, but it is even more important to know what these commonalities stand for, how they can be used in communication process. A research should be conducted to understand real hearts desire.

6- Polite but loud – It takes time to build reputation but it takes seconds to destroy it. Keeping this in mind, there is a lot of clutter in marketing (i.e., noise or other marketing). In order to break through the clutter one just can’t say that he is here and that people should listen to him, but he needs to be loud. Arguments don’t even count. The loudest wins.

Did you know: Google’s Behavior Tracking

Big brother never sleeps (internet))When I was working at my first E-marketing position, we were trying different things to bring traffic to our website (SEO, pay-per-click, etc.). Later I was asked for the results of my efforts. So what is the best indicator of progress, besides the incoming traffic?

One option is position of our website in a search engine (which position? which page? which keyword? which search engine?).

The main search engine for us was Google and second Yahoo, although today I will always suggest to look also at other search engines when developing your Internet presence.

I got certain result. Was it conclusive? Apparently not. What happens is that if two different people searching Google for the same keyword will get different results, because of Behavioral History which Google (and many other browsers) records.

What even more interesting is that your search result might not even be the best result for you, as when we search online we engage in two general behaviors:

1) Productive searching – when we are looking for information that we actually need; or

2) Impulsive searching – something we look up mostly for pleasure.

Therefore, Impulsive Searching disturbs the quality of information in Productive Searching, as Google and all other behavioral tracking browsers, don’t make distinction between different behaviors. They track behavior overall and count it as one.

Therefore, next time you are asked about position of your website online, remember, it is little bit more complicated than that.

PS: For fun, with your friend or college try searching Google (or other browser) with the same keyword and compare your results.