Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vanity Flies Right Out of the Window

The above is one from a set of three of Jeep's latest campaign. Although hard-core Jeep enthusiasts may not like the new strategy with its lack of a dirt trail, I must say am liking it! I get that this is more of a lifestyle ad than a product communication but given the state of the automotive industry and GM in particular, this seems to be a pretty smart move! And what's more, the core brand value "life outdoors" remains untouched.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Addressable Advertising

TV ads have always lagged behind their technologically advanced cousins...interactive web ads. Not any more.

<- Pic via WSJ Online

According to WSJ Online, "As Comcast gets close to a deal for control of General Electric's NBC Universal, the big cable operator and Madison Avenue think the merger could lead to some major changes in the $65 billion U.S. television advertising market.
The potential new company could speed the development of interactive TV ads and "addressable advertising."
Interactive ads let viewers vote in a poll or use their remote controls to request more information about a product or apply for a coupon. Addressable, or targeted, advertising uses set-top boxes to route commercials to specific households or neighborhoods based on data about income, ethnicity, gender or other characteristics. It lets an advertiser send a sports-car commercial to a childless home and a minivan spot to a home with children."

This summer, Procter & Gamble Co. teamed up with TiVo for Charmin Toilet Paper. As shown in the pic above, the animated ad has an option in the top-right corner with which viewers can interact. If interested, one can apply for a Charmin coupon using their TiVo remote control. For this kind of one-on-one interaction, Madison Ave is ready to spend the big bucks. Of course, the program remains paused and no part of it is lost during the exchange. The coupon is sent by mail but according to WSJ Online, TiVo has declined to provide results for the ads since the campaign is still on.

While this degree of involvement is every advertiser's dream, the actual process behind interactive ads is far from easy. The ads have to be customized for different TV companies which almost always use different technologies. But what seems tough today can be made simple tomorrow. Soon interactive ads may become the norm rather than the aberration that they are today!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Take Charge

O&M does it again. Creativity at its best. The latest from American Express basic charge card, after a hiatus of 7 years is captivating yet simple. The tagline "Don't Take Chances. Take Charge" urges customers to take responsibility for their spending with a lightness of spirit that is hard to ignore. Although the benefits mentioned in the commercial is a huge plus, the charge card in question requires the balance to be paid in full each month. Given the economic turmoil of the past year, am not surprised.

According to Forbes, "The number of credit cards issued this year has decreased 39%, causing further concern for card companies already dealing with financial setbacks. AmEx's second-quarter revenue, reported in late July, dropped 18% to $6.09 billion and profits plunged 48%."

Keeping the above in mind, this campaign is a hands-down winner. It not only encourages consumers to get credit cards and buy stuff (which by the way is great for the economy), but also manages to remind them to be sensible about it. Few campaigns can say it all...and still make us smile. This one sure does.