marketing minute

Marketing Minute: Sadvertising

It’s always interesting to see what tricks advertisers are coyly employing in their campaigns. I’ve recently read a really well written and interesting Fast Company article, where writer Rae Fera points out that while not too long ago “funny” was the way most advertisers chose to direct people to their ads, lately the trend has been going another direction – by making customers cry.

Fera cleverly calls this trend “sadvertising” and describes it as emotional commercials and ads that hope to stir some sort of reaction out of customers to build a bond, relationship or, at the very least, association that will result in increased traffic

What’s really interesting is how simple the idea really is. Any effective strategy aims to create a story, a character or situation that you can relate to or root for. For example, the commercial below shows a man and his dog sharing good moments while at the end they show the dog waiting for the man and ends with the voice-over imploring everyone to think about their friends waiting for them at home before they think about drinking and driving . Cue the tears (no? just me?).

A simple idea that can’t help but stir a reaction that helps you connect with a story and ultimately (possibly subconsciously ) a brand.

Noted by Fera, one of the commercials that started this recent trend of “Sadvertising” was a 2011 Google commercial titled, “Dear Sophie.” In the commercial,  a new dad chronicles his young daughter’s life through gmail. You watch it and you find yourself tearing up (unless you’re a cold-hearted robot). This might not seem remarkable, you see a sappy commercial and it makes you cry. But in reality, it’s commendable and genius advertising.

A commercial that is essentially selling an email service can genuinely make you cry. Brilliant.

What’s interesting about this trend is not that it’s novel; the idea of creating marketing and advertising that relates to your customer to engage them in your brand is nothing new. However, the difference now is that companies aren’t always in charge of their marketing anymore. If I watched the commercial above and it really touched me (which it did), I’ll be more likely to rewind and watch it again or to pull it up on YouTube for other’s to see. I’m exposing more people to it and building an (unconcious) bond or at the very least positive association with a brand which can one day potentially result in me becoming a customer for said brand.

But does it work? Will I go buy a six pack of Budweiser anytime soon? Probably not. But maybe? And that “maybe” is enough to make it worth it for advertisers. Of course the trick for advertisers and marketers alike is how to create content that connects with your customers on a real emotional level without feeling gimmicky and intentional. It’ll be interesting to see how long this trend lasts and how effective it proves in the long run.

xoxo

Sandi

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marketing minute

Marketing Minute: Magazines, Magazines, Magazines

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“Fashion is not about looking back. It’s always about looking forward.”

Said by Anna Wintour, famed Vogue editor and caricature of a scary and demanding boss, about the industry she bolsters and celebrates on a monthly basis. Though said in relation to a magazine devoted to style and trends, the same can really be said about the magazine industry itself.

In the last few years, magazine subscriptions and sales have been on a steady decline.  Over the first half of 2014, single sales of magazine issues are down almost 12 percent, per the New York Times. So how is an industry that’s hundreds of years old supposed to look forward and adapt to an audience that is accustomed to (and expects) information, content and images to be delivered quickly and free?

Well as Ms. Wintour states, it’s looking forward. Namely with digital versions of the magazines. But simply changing the medium from paper to print isn’t going to be effective because unlike the print industry creating a digital presence and growing a brand is no longer only in the hands of large corporations. Now anybody can become a fashion blogger, a sports expert or an interior decorator. Simply put – the competition is abundant and coming from every direction.

So the answer, however, lies not solely in digital versions of what’s printed on paper but in staying in front of the pack. In an over saturated community of bloggers, stylists and “experts”, magazines need to market themselves as the true experts and curators of their field (be it fashion, home design or sports).

As this article so eloquently puts, magazines needs to focus “…more [on] curation and less creation…as magazine brands become guides in a digital world overflowing with content.”

Here’s hoping that the industry can keep adapting and staying ahead of the game.

xoxo

Sandi

 


 

Marketing Minute is a weekly-ish post on marketing musings, rants, complaints and observations.

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marketing minute

Marketing Minute: Social Media Experts

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If you’ve ever searched for a job in marketing, you’ve seen a job listing for “Social Media Expert”. Usually the requirements call for extensive experience running the social media channels for a large brand, somewhere in the listing it might explicitly say or imply that basically they want you to create and manage “viral” (can we all agree to stop using that word?) content in a way that garners likes, follows and favorites. This leads to brand loyalty and brand recognition and eventually sales (supposedly).

Does it sound like you qualify? Well, truth is you probably do. At my age now, I can say that I have almost ten years experience creating, posting and editing content for social media channels. In twenty years, people entering the job market can say that there wasn’t a time in their life that they don’t remember running multiple social media accounts. Furthermore, as much as we’d like to pretend – the content we choose to post to our channels is never happenstance. There are choices and debates that we all have in our heads before we post something. Something that makes us choose certain angles, certain filters and certain channels to post content in.

This is great news if you’re a child dreaming of working in marketing (which by the way is no one). But for everyone else this is just a new reality. It’s becoming necessary for kids to know how to use social media. Not for a job, but for your personal life. Apps like Kuddle, as highlighted in Tech Crunch, is one way to teach your kids how to responsibly use social media. It’s as writer Sarah Perez put so well, Instagram with training wheels. We’ve all accepted that kids at a younger and younger age will be using social media, so now parents have to make sure that they’re being taught how to use it correctly – how to become responsible social media experts.

That’s all we’re doing – creating personas which at the purest form is just a digital reflection of our real lives but in reality is a heightened and polished version. So we might not all have millions of likes or followers, but we are all becoming acutely aware of what sort of content is appealing in an online format.

At a younger and younger age, we’re all becoming the directors and stars of our online lives. We create personas which we fine tune to ensure we look good. That we look attractive, successful and for lack of a better word…popular.

Soon companies won’t need to hire specific social media experts because we’re all just social media experts in the making.

xoxo

Sandi


 

Marketing Minute is a weekly-ish post on marketing musings, rants, complaints and observations.

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