LOCOG: Should’ve gone to…

Specsavers has taken out advertising poking fun at the mistake which saw a South Korean flag displayed before North Korea’s football match in the Olympics.

The opticians reacted swiftly to the mistake, which occurred on Wednesday night, to take out advertising with its signature ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ tagline in Korean.

North Korea’s women’s football players stormed off the pitch for an hour in protest after Olympic organisers accidently displayed the flag of hostile neighbours South Korea on the electronic scoreboard before the match against Colombia at Hampden Park.

Specsavers took out the ad, which urges readers to book an eye test, in The Daily Telegraph today.

Olympics organisers have apologised to the North Korean team for the gaff.

They’re Off! The Olympics Viral Video Dash

The London Olympics have hit the AdAge Viral Video Chart in a big way this week, with  videos from three of the world’s  top global marketers.

Top of the heap at No 1 is Visa with Go World 2012. The video from TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles had views so far (5pm UK time) nearing 2,800,000, according to data from Visible Measures.

The campaign, supported by  a push in social media, is live in 70 countries and features nine individual videos with Olympic stories of famous athletes, including Michael Phelps, Li Na and others.

Main component is a montage  “The Difference,” showing  previous games’ more exciting moments, punctuated with the tagline “Join our global cheer.”

Coca-Cola also launched a  new campaign  around the London 2012 games playing, like Visa,  on the general spirit of excitement and competition, but  with a major music theme.

Coca-Cola’s “Move to the Beat of London 2012” from Mother London came in at No. 5 with just over a million views.

P&G’s  tearjerking  Mums 2012 from Wieden and Kennedy is at no 7 with 800,000 view on the chart and 3,800,000 since its launch last month.

Theye’re all great – but my favourite  is  PG. What’s yours ?

Hard Objectives Give Better Results

In a recent advertising research periodical, there featured a valuable study evaluating what strategies result in the most effective advertising campaigns.

One strategy in particular caught our attention. Namely, that the best ad campaigns are developed against hard objectives, like specific market share gains, versus softer goals such as building awareness or making people like our brand more.

This finding is an important reminder to all marketers. Targeting our efforts towards hard objectives lead to better results in every aspect of life. Performing well at work, raising our kids, investing our hard earned money. Just ask any TV pychiatrist! 

Of course, achieving advertising effectiveness is no exception. By focusing on hard objectives we’re forced to concentrate on creating a compelling, distinctive and hyper-relevant message first; not clever execution. That comes second–always. That may seem obvious, and to any good marketer it is, but still, all one has to do is randomly watch a handful of TV commercials to see that execution all too often trumps insightful and incisive messaging as the first order of business. The goal too often is to be heard and be liked, as opposed to being relevantly distinctive.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re all for fun, exciting, amusing, and cleverly executed commercials. In fact, they’re a must. But only when they’re in service of a strong, single-minded, persuasive message, which is always the hard part, but the most rewarding to consumers and employees alike.

View From the Spire: MySpace is reborn!

Contrary to what I reported in an earlier View From the Spire (Dead and Buried), it appears there has been some swift movement to save one of our founding fathers of social media, MySpace. Here is yesterdays press release:

Specific Media, a digital media company, today announced its acquisition of Myspace, a leading social networking destination for consumers, celebrities and artists. As part of the deal, Emmy and Grammy winning artist Justin Timberlake will also take an ownership stake and play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward. Specific Media and Timberlake plan to unveil their vision for the site in an exclusive press conference later this summer.

“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. Myspace has the potential to be that place,” says Timberlake. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”

Myspace has created a robust social networking infrastructure that connects people with the artists and content they love. Specific Media and Timberlake plan to evolve Myspace into the premiere digital destination for original shows, video content and music.

Specific Media will also leverage the Myspace social networking infrastructure to deploy socially-activated advertising campaigns, enabling brands to turn their campaigns viral by allowing users to share their favorite ads with friends.

Brothers Tim, Chris and Russell Vanderhook founded Specific Media in 1999 to address the needs of the burgeoning online advertising space. Since then, the company has developed into one of the world’s largest online advertising companies, with capabilities spanning addressable advertising, original programming and cross-media distribution. By bringing its advertising technology and Fortune 500 client base to Myspace, Specific Media is creating a digital hub where consumers, content and brands connect based on mutual interest and relevance.

“We’re thrilled about the opportunity to rebuild and reinvigorate Myspace,” said Tim Vanderhook, CEO of Specific Media. “We look forward to partnering with someone as talented as Justin Timberlake, who will lead the business strategy with his creative ideas and vision for transforming Myspace. This is the next chapter of digital media, and we are excited to have a hand in writing the script.”

As part of the agreement, News Corporation will take a minority equity stake in Specific Media. Additional terms of the agreement are confidential and will not be disclosed.

About Myspace

Myspace, Inc. is a leading social entertainment destination powered by the passions of fans. Aimed at a Gen Y audience, Myspace drives social interaction by providing a highly personalized experience around entertainment and connecting people to the music, celebrities, TV, movies, and games that they love. These entertainment experiences are available through multiple platforms, including online, mobile devices, and offline events.

Myspace is also the home of Myspace Music, which offers an ever-growing catalogue of freely streamable audio and video content to users and provides major, independent, and unsigned artists alike with the tools to reach new audiences. The company is headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA.

About Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake is an actor-singer/songwriter/producer, and entrepreneur. He has become an accomplished artist who is now widely-considered one of pop culture’s most influential entertainers. Timberlake came to fame as a member of the pop group, *NSYNC and, through a successful solo career, has gone on to win six Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards and dozens of accolades from around the world. As an entrepreneur, Timberlake co-created the popular denim lifestyle brand, William Rast; launched a spirits company with 901 Silver Tequila; runs the Tennman Records label and founded the award-winning Mirimichi Golf course located outside Memphis, TN.

About Specific Media

Specific Media is a digital media company driving viewership for content owners, engagement for brands and relevance for consumers. With capabilities spanning original programming, cross-channel distribution and addressable advertising, the company connects audiences, content and brands, adding meaning to each touch-point. As people discover new ways to consume content, Specific Media creates impactful media experiences no matter where they are.

Why banner ads are having a banner year!

Author: Todd Wasserman @ Mashable

There’s a great disconnect in the advertising world right now. On the one hand, everyone agrees that banner ads aren’t working. The click-through rate for banners is still one in 1,000. If you’re like most people, you’ve only clicked on a banner by accident and then cursed yourself for doing so.

On the other hand, banner ads are having a banner year. Analyst eMarketer this month had to double its online ad spending projections for 2011 because banners, a.k.a. display ads, are selling so well. By 2015, eMarketer predicts, display will overtake search ads as the top online ad segment. Facebook is girding for a $100 billion IPO and its business is mostly based on banner ads.

Clearly, the world has gone mad.

The other explanation is that most advertisers are able to see past click-through rates. They also understand that banners work like most advertising, which is to say in a fairly complex manner.

For instance, click-through is actually a poor measure of performance. It’s impossible to click through a billboard ad, for example, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. If you drive the same way to work every day for a month and see that same billboard for the new Adam Sandler movie, I’d bet you a Happy Gilmore DVD that you remember the name of the movie, know a bit about the premise and have already decided whether you want to see it or not. Yet, if that same ad appeared online, chances are you’d be among the 999 out of 1,000 who didn’t click through to learn more.

The same is true for TV ads. Only a fraction of the commercials you see on TV are so-called “direct response” ads, which include an 800 number or website. The majority don’t have any notable call to action.

For instance, there’s a well-known Skittles ad that goes like this: An older man is sad because everything he touches turns to Skittles. While this sounds great to a young observer, the man points out that he can’t hold his newborn baby boy in his arms or feed and dress himself. Then he goes to answer the phone, which turns into a pile of Skittles.

What is that all about?

Like most advertising these days, the Skittles ad isn’t touting product attributes or trying to get you to run to the store to buy something. Instead, it’s all attempting to build affinity with the brand. If you saw the Skittles ad and thought it was funny, then you might think more highly of Skittles vs. Good & Plenty. Or you might think Skittles is hip, like you, and Good & Plenty is something your parents like.

As the Sandler and Skittles examples show, advertising often has different goals. In the case of the hypothetical (and probably bad) Sandler movie, it was to raise awareness. For Skittles, it was to create a brand affinity. Sometimes you want to get into a consumer’s consideration set (particularly if you’re selling big-ticket items, like cars.) Other times, you want to convince consumers that you’re better than the competition. I didn’t make this stuff up. The purchase funnel is well-known in marketing circles. Now, ask yourself: Can you create awareness with a banner ad? Can a banner ad make you like a brand more? Can it convince you to consider possibly buying a product at some point in the future?

The answer to all the questions is yes, even if you find banners annoying and never click on them. Advertisers know this. That’s why they’re shoveling piles of cash into display advertising. Sure, search advertising works better, but people are doing a lot more than just searching online.

Advertisers also know that banners don’t exist in a vacuum. The TV ad you see builds on the foundation laid by a banner ad plus a billboard and a mention on Facebook. It all works together, and if you’re not running banners online, your competition will.

So, the next time you hear someone bashing banner ads, ask them what the click-through rate is for a TV commercial. If that doesn’t work, then feel free to pelt them with a bag of Skittles.

Best Job Advert Ever Written?

Poke London, an innovative creative advertising agency, lost one of their copywriters to the Presidential Office at the White House and needed to replace them. Here is their take on the advert for the replacement (which has it’s own website – ObamaStoleOurWriter.com). Is it the best job advert ever written?