How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made

Excellent post from ReadWriteWeb on How the Old Spice videos were made. I love this campaign. Everyone does. The videos have been a huge hit on YouTube and other social media sites. There’s some disappointing news this morning that Old Spice sales aren’t benefiting from the campaign….yet. I think the jury’s still out. After all, body wash isn’t something you pantry load…unless you’re me and your teenage sons take yours out of the shower all the time.

I’ve got some ideas regarding what Old Spice could have done to insure better sales success. What about you?


Agencies, Do Your Clients Really Need You?


I’m seeing a lot of chatter lately about the relevancy of the 20th Century agency business model and the demise of the client-agency symbiotic relationship. This post from a London-based BBH Labs raises some provocative questions and proposed some intriguing alternatives to the future relationship between the two entities.

Digital technology, social networks and tools have fully empowered consumer to being content creators, critics, participants in the marketing enterprise. The behaviors technology and tools are enabling, along with the companion erosion of the MASS in mass media they cause, does call into question the whole value proposition of having an agency or 50 agencies (such as some clients have) handle work that the client should be doing.

It’s clear there’s much duplication of costs between firms handling different silos of a clients business….account people, creatives, overhead, profit….each firm has to have these to deliver client work and stay in business and yet, multiply these costs 10, 20, 50 times over and a huge portion of the client’s marketing budget is paying for outside staff and expertise that many are saying should now be residing inside the client’s organization.

Another post I ran across last week was even more dismal in it’s prediction of the agency’s future, as evident from the title: “RIP: 20th Century Agencies”. According to Forrester Research, the firm that provides ongoing tracking of 300,000 global consumer’s online behavior and participation with their Social Technographic Profiling tool, we’ve now entered an era of Adaptive Marketing. In this ear, marketers take advantage of media addressability and more effective data-driven decision making. Larry Flanagan, CMO for MasterCard put it this way: “We are moving form decades of push stategy to a more holistic 360 consumer strategy”.

Or, Trevor Edwards, head of global marketing at Nike said: “We’re not in the business of keeping media companies (or agencies) alive. We’re in the business of creating consumer connections”. And Nike has done this, building the largest community of runners in the world with Nike+…a product, a service, a community. Now, Nike doesn’t need to conduct focus groups with consumers or rely on the newest creative idea from it’s agency to breakthough to runners. It has over a million runners who use this connection, giving them unprecedented data on actual, instead of self-reported, consumer behavior. It can eavesdrop into conversations their hundreds of thousands of community members are having on a real time basis. And, it’s changed every aspect of their marketing…research and development, promotions, CRM, advocacy, customer service…you name it. As brands become media producers and publishers, creating their own content, connections and communities, the power of traditional mass media and the agencies that craft the mass marketing interruptions (ad units, PR, etc.) brands relied on so much in the past has to fade.

Agencies are struggling to adapt to this new age for many reasons, according to the post. Among the biggest challenges agencies face:

* They are focused on campaigns rather than experiences
* They’re good at talking but not at listening
* Agencies create media-centric ideas
* They treat customers as an audience instead of participants
* They are mostly “unbundled”, offering services in disparate skill sets
* They have trouble mastering many new specialties at once
* Agencies have moved down the value chain. Purchasing in now involved in agency selection and compensation and there’s little difference between agencies.
* Marketers don’t trust traditional agencies with digital and interactive agencies struggle for a seat at the strategic table.

So, what’s an agency to do to survive in this Brave New World? The path forward is simple but it’s not easy.

* Agencies must focus on developing big ideas that work across multiple communication channels and consumer touch points and they need to adopt a more iterative process for creating ideas.
* Agencies need to understand experiences that foster interactions drive marketing success from here on out. Media has now fragmented into distinct categories of paid, earned and owned and there has been a dramatic shift from viewing media as the foundation of campaigns to being seen as a catalyst of experiences.
* Agencies need to become more intelligent and adaptive…relying more on analytics to drive customer insights and developing a business and staffing model that gives clients access to the the talent that can do this and help solve their business and marketing challenges.

The big question that remains is: Can clients also make the adaptations they need to make? For all the talk about integration and holistic effort, the fact remains, clients still fund marketing activities based on legacy allocations of dollars in various “buckets” or slices of the marketing pie as well as managing this with internal staff in very defined silos tied to those buckets…above-the-line, CRM, digital, media buying, promotions, etc. It’s difficult to near impossible for an agency to provide an integrated idea to a client that isn’t integrated.

In fact, I don’t think the issue is integration, I think the real issue is orchestration. Some clients interpret integration in a very wooden, literal sense. To them, integration means: same thing everywhere. To me, this makes about as much sense as going to see a symphony concert where the conductor forces every musician to play every note in the same key at the same time. Where’s the artistry or beauty in that? Boring! And frankly, a lot of integrated marketing is executed in the same boring manner….same thing, everywhere. No wonder campaign results are so pitiful.

Rather, I propose the real secret to success in the new realities is orchestration…where there are levels of interest and discovery that the consumer uncovers at different touch points along their path to purchase. Yes, it all looks like it’s coming from the same company and yes, the message is consistent. In this sense it’s fully integrated. But the idea is orchestrated to reveal itself in delightful ways in social media, on mobile, in live experiences and at retail in ways that are unique, relevant and compelling for each channel or environment.

To pull this off, continuing with our orchestration analogy, it requires a beautiful piece of music (the strategic idea), skilled musicians (the client and agency stakeholders) and instruments (the tools and technologies) and a masterful conductor…but who is this? It’s that last individual that is the big question mark in today’s marketing organization. Are there people on the client side of the equation that can masterfully conduct?

5 Social Media Trends to Watch Right Now


Good recap via Mashable of five trends in social media to keep an eye on. Here’s the summary but you should check out the original article.

1. Location services

2. Group buying

3. Mobile ads

4. Mobile payments

5. Establishing a corporate social media policy

Ad Industry Optimism Reaches Highest Point Yet: Improves For All Media, Especially Digital and Mobile


Advertiser Perceptions Inc tracks what marketers and media buyers say they’re going to spend on advertising and there’s some good news in their recent report, especially for digital and mobile.

Of the over 1,400 decision-makers surveyed, nearly one third (32%) now expect to increase their spending over the next 12-months, making this the largest increase since API began asking this question in the spring of 2007. While print still shows negative growth and TV is flat, digital and mobile are bright spots, with 60% of executives saying they’ll increase digital and 62% boosting mobile spending.

What are you seeing at your company?

Old Media Starts New Media Agency

If I were a client, I’d be highly skeptical that a dinosaur of the old media, like print, could attract the talent to help me develop best-in-class new media campaigns and activations. After all, the premise of all these business development operations within media companies is to keep the dollars on the publishers books. How does this really fit with a “free the content” strategy? I’ve been here and done that and I can tell  you, the client gets a “you can have any media you want as long as we own it” distribution strategy.

I guess they’ll find some takers and Meredith has certainly been aggressive about acquiring new media agencies of late. But, the same issue always does these guys in…it’s hard to innovate without cannibalizing the golden goose of your existing business.

Tribune Co. gets into consulting business with digital unit | Crain’s Chicago Business.

Think Local Search, Social Networking and Mobile Gaming on Mobile Devices


Compete just released it’s Smartphone Intelligence survey (redundancy there) and there’s some interesting insight into consumer behavior trends mobile is enabling. Think Local Search, Social Connectivity and Gaming.

Search

According to the survey, 1 in 3 smartphone owners has called or stopped in a local business after finding it using a local search app. In just first quarter, over a third of Android and iPhone owners discovered at least two new businesses that they were not previously aware of thanks to using these local search apps.

Social

Thirty-three percent of smartphone Twitter users post tweets primarily via their smartphones. Of those accessing Facebook via their smartphones, they’re reading news feeds, posting status updates, replying to messages and posting photos.

Gaming

iPhone owners download and play games more than any other handset owner. ..37% play games of some kind at least daily.

Implications:

Anyone with physical locations would be wise to find ways to make their presence known to smartphone users. If you’re really smart, you might want to think about a way to combine local search, social and gaming all in one…like a Foursquare or Gowalla.

via Think Local Search, Social Networking and Mobile Gaming on Mobile Devices.

Social Influence Marketing Trends


Shiv Singh, author of “Social Media Marketing for Dummies” and digital strategist for Razorfish gave this excellent presentation to Fortune 50 company executives at a conference last week. You should check it out for handy facts and info.

Presentation to Marketing Executives at Fortune 50 Company

Top 9 Brands on Facebook and Twitter

Another superb post from Brian Solis on comScores Q1 U.S. E-Commerce Spending Report. Brian’s post is filled with a ton of great information and insight and he includes this graphic, showing the top 9 brands by “like” on Facebook and followers on Twitter.

What I find fascinating is the mixture of brands in this list…a classic CPG titan like Coca-Cola, up-and-comer Red Bull, retailers Victoria’s Secret and ZARA, digital brand YouTube…even Converse. Some achieve their ranking based on their Facebook presence alone. And although Twitter hasn’t had as much time as Facebook to build as a service, it’s having an powerful impact as a source of news and information, even for brands.

This mixed bag of participants just goes to prove that success in the social space doesn’t depend so much on category but on actual participation. Having a presence in social media is one thing. Using it as yet another channel for old and tired “push” marketing and advertising is another. Brands that insist on this latter approach, and there are a lot, just prove to everyone they don’t get it.

What matters? Listening, engaging in the conversation naturally, offering value first before you try to “pitch”…these are the currencies of brand participation in social media. Gee, sounds a lot like what one person does to have a mutually beneficial relationship with another. Maybe if brands acted more like people and treated their customers like people instead of objects (“targets”) they’d experience better results all around. Something to think about.

Apple May Sell 1 Million IPhones in New Model’s Debut


According to BusinessWeek this morning, Apple could sell a record 1 million iPhone 4G’s today. “Could”? They already sold 600,000 on pre-order, crashing AT&T’s servers (will those guys ever get it right? You’d think a big company like AT&T could handle network issues with 600,000 people at once…but, I digress).

Personally, I already have someone lined up to buy my 3GS iPhone for a tidy sum. They get it for much less than they could from Apple because they’re going to jail break it and run it on another carrier. Me…I get into a brand, spanking new iPhone without spending a dime (well, kinda…that’s how I position it to the wifey anyway).

Since AT&T won’t be serving walk-in customers til Tuesday, there’s no use standing in line there today. If you haven’t pre-ordered the iPhone, cue up in line with all the other maniacs at your friendly, neighborhood Apple store.

On another note, I’ve been running the new iOS since Tuesday night and it sure seems snappier. Lots of cool new features but I really like organizing my apps by category and freeing up that valuable screen real estate.

Happy shopping!

Social Media Revolution Redeux

I love this video, originally released last year and now redone in HD. Nice job!