Tag Archives: advertising

April Fools Day Marketing

When scheduling marketing plans, April 1st poses unique public relations opportunities and challenges.  Traditional marketers understandably hesitate to set aside much of their budget for marketing on April Fool’s Day.   In 2009, the hesitation to execute tactics on April Fool’s Day posed additional complications with the Conficker worm, which was primed to wreak havoc on the web.  Fortunately the Conficker worm scare came and went like Y2k and there were no major issues.

For Some April Fool’s Day Marketing is Foolish
B-to-B marketing isn’t very well suited for April Fool’s stunts because many companies would rather you spend time and money helping improve their business than joking around.  Also, people can be guarded on April Fool’s Day and therefore avoid being taken through the funnel your campaign is set to shape and this is a potential reality marketers would like to avoid.

For Others April Fool’s Day Marketing is Fantastic
Taco Liberty BellFor the brave, PR stunts on April Fool’s Day are a great opportunity to garner attention.  This year, Gmail offered an email autopilot that responds to emails for you, YouTube turned videos upside down, Reddit copied Digg’s homepage, and Twitter’s plan to make money was unveiled.

One of my favorite April Fool’s jokes occurred in 1996, when Taco Bell supposedly purchased Liberty Bell and was going to rename it “Taco Liberty Bell.”  This one was particularly believable because it sounded so plausible with so many other brands at the time putting their names on any and everything.

April Fool’s Day in Your Marketing Calendar
Plan for April Fool’s Day if it fits with your business. Send out a news release of something that is plausible, intriguing, and surprising enough to elicit an emotional response that makes people want to know more.  The best part about releasing fictional news is that you can be as creative as you want.  Beyond conducting the necessary legal due diligence, let your imagination run wild and get your brand noticed on April 1st.

Have you had success with April Fool’s Day marketing?  If so, share your story with a comment or contact me directly.

Marketing Metrics

Metrics are becoming more important than ever to verify what works and how to outlay your budget.  Are you using metrics to drive your marketing decisions?

To do so you need measurable data.  Every program you run should be defined by metrics that are quantifiable.  Generally, these metrics should be measured against benchmarks in both your industry and your company.

Lead Generation

For example, metrics from an email campaign I run with the goal of generating qualified leads will tell me many things.  I’ll know the email rental list’s open, click-to-open, and response rates.  But more importantly, I’ll learn what my qualified prospect lives based on which list they came from.

Further, knowing a list’s propensity for qualified leads (measured by metrics like their budget to buy, time-frame to buy, and ability to make the decision to buy) will not only help me focus on the right target customer through other mediums as well, but will also allow me to create a better product since I’ll better understand their specific needs.

Track Marketing Metrics

Keep track of your programs’ success and failures.  With each campaign you’ll equip yourself with the knowledge to improve your marketing effectiveness.  Marketing efforts that can show solid quantifiable returns on investment make budgeting for future efforts even more fruitful than the first go around.

The Marketing Metrics Process

To recap:  Set measurable goals, track your effectiveness, find what works, learn about your customer, increase budget for proven strategies that reach qualified prospects, repeat!

Super Bowl XLIII Winners & Losers

Super Bowl Sunday offered a lot of entertainment on the field Sunday night.  The commercials off the field, not so much. If you missed them, you can view them here.

There were a few interesting commercials, but overall the quality and freshness that Super Bowl ads usually provide didn’t add up to the glitz and glamor most of us have come to enjoy.  The packaging of commercials seemed more like a promotion for NBC Television shows and their associated corporate entities.

The Winners:

  • Pedigree – You can’t go wrong with animals, and their Adoption Drive campaign endears me to their brand.
  • Doritos – I love that they ran another contest to give people nationwide the chance to shoot the Super Bowl ad.  Everyone can dream of genie, but not everyone can throw a snow-globe at their boss. With the Wish upon a Snow-globe ad,  crotch humor is alive and kicking.
  • Coca-Cola – Coke’s vivid imagery was engaging and well received by the Super Bowl audience.

On the Fence:

  • Hyundai – The Assurance campaign is winner in the sense it addressed the unemployment fear that is sweeping the nation.  The campaign is a loser in the sense that it doesn’t do much for its brand and it wasn’t unveiled Sunday night as I’ve seen it many times before.
  • Hulu – The counter-intuitive message didn’t make me want to go to Hulu and watch my stories.  Why would you make a case that watching TV is not a good thing when your service is the vehicle to do just that? However,  the Sponsorship of funneling viewers to Hulu in order to watch the Super Bowl Ads was extremely effective.
  • Monster.com & CareerBuilder.com – First the good: Both Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com had funny and relatable ads.  Now the bad: Neither commercial capitalized on what the people afraid of losing their job want to hear: Come here for new and plentiful job openings that will remove you from the unemployment lines.

The Losers:

  • Pepsi Max – There is a lot of buzz around the Pepsi Max campaign, I just don’t think it did anything to make its target audience buy it’s product unless getting beat up makes you thirsty for a diet cola.
  • Gatorade – Since ‘G’ already means so many things to me (think ‘money’ and ‘Warren’) it will never mean Gatorade to me.  The whole ad was more about of a question of what? Who is wasting money on this ad?
  • Sobe – Dancing around like last year’s ad isn’t new or effective way to sell what is otherwise a really good product.

What are your thoughts?  Are there any ads you liked or disliked that deserve mentioning?

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl XLIII

For the 43rd time, two teams will square off in the National Football League’s Super Bowl – which means it’s time for 2-litter Coca-Colas and bowls of Doritos and Planters nuts, Pizza from Dominos, and wings lathered in your favorite sauces! 

While many longstanding Super Bowl advertisers like FedEx have pulled out this year, there still will be plenty to talk about this year.  In particular, it will be interesting to see some of the newcomers that fill the open time.  While Cash4Gold.com may not interest you that much, at least it may provide some much needed humor given the tumultuous times. Plus Hulu, the video service I’ve praised before, has a secretive spot this year. Pedigree is also new to the frey with their Super Bowl ad below:

The obvious choice for the most fruitful campaigns are CareerBuilder.com and Monster.  I’m guessing many people will jump onto these career services websites to scope out jobs with layoffs spreading across the country.

On the football field I’m picking the underdog Arizona Cardinals to prevail over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Later this week I’ll share my winners and losers from the advertising field.  In the meantime, enjoy the game and happy ad watching!