The X Factor, Adverspectaculars, and lessons from Dr Seuss

It’s that season again… reality TV dominates the autumn schedule, as nights close in and people huddle round the warming glow of that screen in the corner.  And this year more than ever, the advertising world goes mad for the only reliable ‘Event TV’ spot left.

(It’s worth bearing in mind that before the internet came along, ‘Event TV’ was just called ‘Tuesday night’.  Or Wednesday, or whatever day.  Every night was Event TV night.)

Anyway, I don’t watch the champion of ‘Event TV’, The X Factor, for many reasons (probably good and bad).

But I do watch twitter whilst it’s on.  And, because of the company I keep in twitterland, I see a lot of tweets about the ads in between the acts.

Now, of course last night it was #yogurtwars in X Factor slots, and ergo my Twitter stream…

…and there was an Activia one with Tiffany from Eastenders too, apparently, but I’ll spare you that.  Basically because I can’t find it.

Now, clearly Britain’s being invaded by yogurt stormtroopers intent on spreading all sorts of new types of counter-cultures.

And I, for one, welcome our new yogurty overlords.

But, on a slightly more thoughtful note, I think it’s part of a slightly worrying, one-dimensional train-of-thought in agency land; the push for the ADVERSPECTACULAR, the greatest song and dance show it’s possible to put on in thirty seconds.

(Although better in sixty.  Though, actually, it only really works as a ninety…)

You can understand exactly why… because when they work, they really work.  Without dipping into exactly why and how you measure it, we can all point to the adverspecatular successes of the last few years (Sony Balls, Cadbury Gorilla, Nike Write The Future, etc etc), which did everything from galvanise supply chains and sales people to customers and marketing circles (to the best of our knowledge).

But it seems to be the driving force behind a lot of campaigns nowadays, and there’s perhaps too much gravity pulling people to the marketing model that says ‘make an adverspectacular, debut it on The X Factor, monitor social buzz…’

So what’s going on?

Mel Exon at BBH, behind the Yeo Valley ads, gave (and subsequently shared here) a brilliant presentation on the future of agency models at the last Google Firestarters evening (there’s two more excellent presentations from James Caig of MEC and Martin Bailie of Glue too).

Mel points out:

“At its simplest… ALL marketing – not just the rare handful of brands that regularly win awards – needs to be *genuinely* useful or entertaining.  If  not, marketing will become that thing that marketers and agencies fear the most: unseen and unheard.”

Which reminded me of something Ed Cotton posted about three years ago, off the back of an Emily Bell column – I borrowed it at the time, and it feels right to revisit it now.

It was rooted in what technologists are motivated by; entertaining people, being useful, educating them, or connecting them together.  Ed proposed that it was also a good model for working out what your brand should do:

I would propose that marketers and their agencies default to “entertain” far too readily.

There is nothing new or innovative in making an entertaining ad and putting it in a high rating TV slot.  That’s been modus operandi for years.  Of course, the infrastructure that can be placed around the spot is the interesting bit for me, and a lot of people are doing that really well, I think (e.g. getting the Yeo Valley song up on iTunes on launch night is simple, but really smart).

But conceptually, for a client, “make a really entertaining ad” is a pretty easy step to move to.  And it is something an agency feels utterly happy to execute, because they’ve got loads of people already who can do that.  It’s a brave decision that’s actually pretty safe to make.

The other three categories aren’t so straightforward.

Usefulness is more interesting, and difficult.  It unlocks a lot of the things around mobile, apps, service improvements that only a very few agencies genuinely get off the ground for clients.  The timescales on it are not campaign timescales either, whether you’re talking about development or measuring effects.

Education is again harder, trickier; how to impart knowledge, skills and ability to a group of people, leaving their lives better and more fulfilled, in a way that still satisfies the demands of marketing.

“Connecting people” I always think of the equivalent of running a party, booking a venue, paying for the food… but then just letting the guests get on with it.  They’re interested in each other, not in you, necessarily.
So of the four, you can see why Entertain is so appealing.  The other three are hard to define, extract value from, measure against the short-term effectiveness of “entertain”.

Howevre, I’ve been wondering… in so readily defaulting to “entertain”, are marketers and agencies are building up problems for the future?

Maybe a brand can only go so far down “entertain” before expectations (their own, and that of their audience) become unreasonable?  And at a macro-level, if EVERY brand starts playing the “entertain” game, does that universally dull the effect?

Every time, the joke has to be pushed THAT MUCH FURTHER… bigger, longer, more CGI, more preposterous, more inspiring…

It’s the problem The Cat In The Hat faced when playing “Up-up-up with a fish”…

“Look at me!
Look at me now!” said the cat.
“With a cup and a cake
On the top of my hat!
I can hold up TWO books!
I can hold up the fish!
And a little toy ship!
And some milk on a dish!
And look!
I can hop up and down on the ball!
But that is not all!
Oh, no.
That is not all…

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.
I can hold up the cup
And the milk and the cake!
I can hold up these books!
And the fish on a rake!
I can hold the toy ship
And a little toy man!
And look! With my tail
I can hold a red fan!
I can fan with the fan
As I hop on the ball!
But that is not all.
Oh, no.
That is not all….”

That is what the cat said…
Then he fell on his head!
He came down with a bump
From up there on the ball.
And Sally and I,
We saw ALL the things fall!

The current state of the market means people will keep adding more bells, more whistles.  Because they have to, to look better than the rest.  Is this sustainable, though?  I wonder what happens if, or when, the ADVERSPECTACULAR model for advertising falls..?

 

26 Replies to “The X Factor, Adverspectaculars, and lessons from Dr Seuss”

  1. Hi Willsh

    You might be surprised to hear that – with a few specific niggles (only reliable ‘Event TV’ left? Tsk!) – I have some sympathy with your point of view.
    But I just don’t think that entertaining, connecting, educating or useful brand comms are mutually exclusive. On the contrary, you are unlikely to get people to connect until they’ve been entertained as seen in so many failed socially-led campaigns. As in life, you need to be introduced before you start having deep and meaningful relationships. Yeo Valley, having inspired people with a very entertaining ad (which also contained some education about the product), will get thousands of people to connect through Facebook to sing-along.
    If you’re Dyson or Apple or Google you can ‘educate’ people in ads through demonstration; you can’t demo a yoghurt very satisfactorily.

    I’m thrilled about brands and agencies pushing the boat out with their ads, for whatever reason. Every piece of research we do confirms that viewers really appreciate good ads and they ignore (at best) bad ones. The IPA/Gunn research we sponsored last year into creative effectiveness showed that, all other things (strategy, comms) being equal creatively awarded ads were 11 times better at driving market share.

    As for the concept of ‘Event TV’, you seem to be defining it very narrowly based on size of audience. Yes, fewer programmes get 12m on their initial broadcast compared to 1995. But a) those 12m people are still watching TV, b) the 8m who are still watching ITV1 are doing so because they really love it, despite all the choice c) the 4 m who are watching programmes on other channels have found something they prefer and d) you can get all 12m to see your ad within minutes of each other. That’s why I need to persuade you and the industry to think again about ‘Event TV’. For some people TOWIE, or the RWC or The Killing or This Is Jinsy or Glee or Grand Designs are as eagerly anticipated, must-watch-live, must-talk-about-live as the juggernauts.
    Seeing your ad trending on Twitter is of course gratifying but I think can be an unhelpful distraction from the real business of getting people to love your brand and buy it.

    Reply

    1. Lots of good stuff here – in the post and in Tess’s reply.
      I would only add a point about context. I’m all for brands trying to be entertaining in X Factor. It’s entirely in keeping with the context of the show which if designed to be nothing other than one big entertainmentfest (albeit a particularly type of entertainment based around crushing the hopes of 16 year olds on live television)
      And for me Yeo Valley worked so well because they took this thought around context and sought not just to entertain but in a way that entirely reflected X Factor and all it’s silliness.
      What I’m less impressed by is brands seeking to do the adverspectacular and falling short on creative execution. Which can happen (as we may have seen on Saturday but who am I to say?)
      You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

      Reply

      1. john v willshire October 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm

        Ahh, Dr Wilding, I presume? 😉

        Yes, agree, context is really interesting… I wonder if there’s something about the inevitability and predictable nature of X Factor that allows the production time of advertising to play with it… even a year out, if we’re talking about advertising in X Factor next year, you’d feel comfortable enough in audience size & composition, and in tone and content of the show, to play with context around it as Yeo Valley have.

        But the rest of the time, with the production budgets of agencies, the time it takes them to make anything (see James’s point about ‘nimble’ below), the unpredictable nature of everything from show content and audience to the way in which you buy TV spots, context can’t be tapped into. So remains untapped. Ads are created in and of themselves. We can see the results of that.

        Reply

    2. john v willshire October 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      hiya Tess, thanks very much for this, very good points. I agree, when thinking about Entertain/Useful/Educate/Connect, they’re not mutually exclusive (or needn’t be). It’s just very hard to do the last three, and especially hard in thirty (sixty/ninety) seconds on TV. The whole “Tell me/Show me/Involve me” Confucius quote thing.

      If you want a proper “useful/education/connect” piece, it’s stuff like this Nike Film Room thing I’m thinking of…

      http://bit.ly/nlaaTW

      …which COULD be a great story as told by a TV advert “look what we did, want to take part?”…

      But by-and-large, the UK seems to be more focussed (still!) on making the ad ‘the thing’.

      I’m sure you’ve read it, but I found a lot of interesting points in Mark Sorrell’s “TV is the Second Screen”:

      http://www.bewareofthesorrell.com/2011/09/tv-is-second-screen.html

      …specifically about Social TV:

      “Social TV is a non-starter because it’s not about TV, it’s about social. We want to talk to our friends and TV is as good a subject as any. We’re already talking to our friends and the TV is on in the background and if it’s on in their backgrounds too, then hey, why not talk about it. That is social TV. People talking in big letters. About TV in little letters.

      The assumption that the TV bit is more important than the talking to friends bit could only come from inside the TV industry. Think about it from a normal human’s perspective for even a second and it instantly becomes obvious what the hierarchy is. TV is the second screen.”

      It’d be really interesting I think to explore who people talk to using social media during TV shows… is it mainly people they talk to all the time anyway? Do people talk to lots of random strangers? Does ‘Social TV’ bring people together, or does it just happen to be on in the background for people who were together anyway?

      For instance, I really like the Heineken Star Player work for tapping into the fact it’s about you and your mates, and gives you all something useful and fun to do that you’d like to do together. Tapping into a ‘small’ event (comparatively to X Factor) and doing something brilliant for the people who’re passionate about it.

      My overall point, I guess, was this; there are great examples of using TV and weaving brilliant things through and around it. It’s just they’re pretty few and far between. And too many ads seem incapable of looking beyond the “entertain” factor to exploit the real value of what they’re investing in.

      Reply

  2. Interesting stuff, John.

    I think you’re bang on about the limitations of ‘Entertain’. It seems all nestle rather comfortably in the fireworks side of your fireworks/bonfires equation – getting harder to do and even more difficult to sustain.

    The other purposes for marketing are, of course, more difficult to do, and take longer to register an effect – which might have something to do with it.

    There’s a timely Charlie Brooker column over at the Guardian today about the sheer wastefulness of all those overly expensive BBC trailers for their own programmes. Like watching the BBC “shit into a big glittery bin” as he puts it. http://bit.ly/nSRjiy

    The same charge could – perhaps less fairly, as it’s not public money, after all – could be laid at ad agencies. Stealing money, time and creativity from the product itself (and customers’ potential interaction with it) is one of the worst things an ad can do, but is pretty common.

    The other interesting thing here is to do with Mel’s involvement. It’s a great presentation and an enticing vision of the future. I’m intrigued to find out for how long agencies can credibly put forward new ideas about the way agencies should be small and nimble, yet continue to make their money from a model that drives (in fact, needs) the Yeo Valley approach.

    Reply

    1. john v willshire October 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Imagine, James, if companies spent all that advertising money on making something better… a product, a customer service division, whatever. Real change for people to get excited about. Agencies would hate it…

      …unless, you know, an agency suggested it. “Look”, the agency should say, “why not take these millions of pounds, deploy it here with genius, flair and panache, and change your company for better, for ever. And rather than take a rathe opaque back-end percentage for advertising, why not pay us instead to help you make it happen, and make it great”.

      That’d be nice.

      Reply

      1. Hell yeah to John’s comment about ploughing money into improving your product and company for the better. There’s an age old adage about ‘nothing kills a rubbish product faster than good advertising’ that springs to mind. At the same time, I don’t really get why we talk in black and white terms about diverting funds in one direction. Let’s invest in making products the best they can be AND find ways to market them brilliantly too. Create a virtuous circle.

        You can tell I’m clearly on a relentlessly-refusing-to-be-cynical tip this afternoon, but I fail to see why great businesses, big and small, shouldn’t do both…

        Reply

        1. john v willshire October 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

          Evenin’ Mel… replying to all your great points in scrolling order 🙂

          I wonder if, in a lot of cases, agencies feel that they can’t focus on product; it’s maybe beyond the remit of their direct client, the marketing director, or if the agency suggested it, maybe the money would be channelled to a different sort of agency to fulfil the task.

          The extreme business efficiency with with agencies are run nowadays would make sure that, by and large, no suggestion should be made of doing something they won’t profit from in the short-medium term.

          So suggesting half the budget goes back into product improvement, and halving the amount of money in the marketing directors pocket to make money from, doesn’t make sense from a business point of view of an already squeezed agency.

          Which gets us into remuneration and all that malarkey, which is a WHOLE other different conversation… I wrote a long comment on Martin’s Firestarters post about the Prisoner’s Dilemma and agency/client relationships which got into that, and I may (if I can find time) rewrite and rethink it as a post: http://bit.ly/nt0t28

          Reply

    2. James, I’ve just responded in full below. Hope it explains that my presentation and our approach for Yeo Valley are not at odds, quite the opposite.

      A further note on small & nimble – I think we’re in danger of confusing the structure of a team with the desired response to what that team does. Yes, we want comms that are nimble and responsive to change, however, this does not automatically mean ‘small’ in delivery or impact. It certainly shouldn’t prohibit us from adopting a (currently still proven to be cost-effective) approach to bought media that delivers mass scale at speed. If anything, we’re finding the social web rewards bold bought media behaviour, so long as the content is relevant, rewarding and not left to do all the work.

      Reply

  3. Such an interesting topic that I can’t resist adding another thought. The majority of people love ‘creative ads’ but there’s a fair chunk (approx 15%) who are dedicated ad-avoiders, whatever the medium, and they particularly dislike glossy ads. But, funnily enough, they do respond to very simple rational messages eg ‘Sale starts tomorrow’, I guess because it’s useful.
    I suspect that Charlie Brooker fits into that group. On the BBC topic, I have to say that when TV channels are lucky enough to be able to not just demo the product but give you a sample, there has to be a very good reason to do anything more complicated.

    Reply

  4. Hi JVW, great article and I am in agreement with lots of what you say, so much so I shared it (a rare occurrence, the sharing not the agreeing). The only thing I’d like to add is that we haven’t yet toppled; and I for one am hoping that there is still some room for innovation within the adverspectacular that will deliver not just broader entertainment for the masses, but also pockets of usefulness for those who want to increase their connection with the brand. I’m certainly no expert in this field but, as Internet enabled TV’s grow in popularity then we should surely all be getting excited about the opportunities that will come with that. Perhaps then we can use the big event TV spot to deliver the adverspectacular along with additional pockets of useful, educative & connecting messages to people – should they want them.

    Reply

    1. john v willshire October 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Hey Sutty – yes, indeed, we’re not at the endgame yet, not nearly. So there’s still room to do bigger, more explosive stuff. It does reach a ceiling eventually though. There’s also the consideration of how the TV market evolves to cope with the new model.

      The more brands who want to do what Yeo Valley have (minimal spend elsewhere, focus on one or two key moments), then the more the long tail of TV becomes focussed on exactly the sorts of big TV moments of which there are less, no matter how hard TV stations try (Yes, I’m looking at you, Red or Black).

      For there to still be an ITV in ten years time, they either need i) brands to still be buying the landfill spots on the channels all the rest of the time or ii) a much, much better model.

      A great quote from a movie industry exec that Steve Jobs purportedly left him with once (source: http://bit.ly/p3Gxkn):

      “he said: “Hey, do me a favor, will you? Don’t let what happened to the music business happen to yours — keep coming up with better ways to provide people with your content”

      There’s still too much resistance to change in TV land, and the buying of standard spots therein. It’s too good a system, nobody wants it to go away in place of something else.

      Last week Fru Hazlitt at ITV said “UGC is a fallacy, most people are boring and no-one wants to read their stuff” (http://bit.ly/navXai)…

      …tell that to Facebook, they seem to be doing ok off the back of things users create. Plus, having a scroll through the ITV daytime schedule across four channels doesn’t exactly convey ‘wall-to-wall excitement’ 🙂

      Reply

  5. Hey Willsh,

    Just thinking more about the ‘TV is the 2nd screen’ point, there seems to be a lot of chip-on-shoulder stuff in the online community on this topic. Of course, talking to friends and family is enormously important. TV is not even the most common topic of conversation (friends and family are source: TOM); it is however the 2nd highest. There is a great deal more social activity when people are watching TV; it’s not that the subject just changes.

    But this is where we getting into touchy territory. It goes back to your fireworks /bonfire analogy, which I have to say is very vivid but I don’t quite buy. If TV is the ‘lead’ medium and the first screen (and I have mountains of evidence that it is so) it doesn’t make the 2nd – or 3rd, 4th etc – any less important. It’s just chronology not a value judgement. There are plenty of instances where the last stage of anything is the most important (eg medicine). Personally, I believe we should stop trying to say who’s best and appreciate all these things for what they bring. At Thinkbox we are incredibly generous and grateful about search and social as places to go after (because of?) TV. One day we might get that appreciation returned!

    Of course there are some people who just don’t like advertising or any brand comms, as I said in an earlier comment. Sometimes I think you might be one of them… 😉 x

    Reply

    1. john v willshire October 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Yes, indeed, it’s about the combination of things.

      It’s like trying to unravel the supermarket promo / TV spots / sales increase thing. Supermarkets give you better placement for your promos if you’re advertising on TV. You could spend ages (and I have) wrestling with issue of ‘so what sells, TV or End-Of-Aisle’? But if you can’t GET the placement without being on TV, then it’s a redundant question.

      So yep, combinations; with the (now infamous, though I’ve probably missed my book window for it 😉 ) analogy it was always Bonfires & Fireworks, with an important ampersand. Use the fireworks to bring people into an ongoing relationship with other things you’re doing. But still (as Mel points out below) a lot of people pay only a cursory nod to the bonfires, and spend eons worrying about the firework.

      Reply

  6. hey team
    just catching up on a great post John and interesting discussion. really like the Yeo and Muller efforts above… the Yeo one in particular could have failed in the most spectacular of fashions yet pulled it off perfectly.
    I think there’s a danger though that we think and debate too much in terms of channels (1st / 2nd screen etc) and role for comms (entertain, useful) rather than ideas.
    fosus on the idea. ensure that it’s relevant (control it’s scope), make it distinctive (explore the alternative) and keep it simple (delete everything you don’t need). then go wild in the aisles of roles for comms and explore how the idea can be useful, or entertaining. deploy all that apply through the channels that will give you idea fireworks or bonfires (whichever is most appropriate).
    C
    ps X-Factor is pants in the antipodes … very jealous

    Reply

    1. john v willshire October 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      s’alright chap, it’s shit here too… so I’m told by people who watch these things 🙂

      Reply

  7. Hey John

    Thanks for the generous mentions about my talk from Google Firestarters and the Yeo Valley work. Unsurprisingly, I agree with a lot of what you (and indirectly, Ed) say here. At the same time I guess I just don’t get these debates that point fingers at TV or ridicule the role of social media (I’m looking at you, Mark Ritson). Why do we insist on looking at them in isolation, rather than acknowledging the powerful symbiotic role they can play? With respect to Yeo Valley:

    1. Our approach to TV is one component of a deliberate strategy to marry broadcast and the social web. I appreciate any polemical argument is watered down by acknowledging this sort of stuff, so rather than bang on about this, here are a couple of links where our approach has been looked at in the round: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15240688 for a broad overview and, for more detail, (putting the generous commentary to one side, she’s landed a lot of the components that have been released so far, simply and clearly) http://www.tamsinfoxdavies.com/marketing-spotlight-yeo-valley/.
    2. I do think it’s interesting that other brands seem to have adopted the same broadcast / bought media approach and either ignored or missed the rest. It’s cargo cult behaviour. Copying what’s visible, whilst undervaluing a fairly complex engine humming away underneath the bonnet. Or perhaps there’s an assumption that bigger budgets will buy them results. Truth is though you can’t buy engagement. Ever. (@wadds said this on Twitter the other day and I couldn’t agree more). And the numbers for Yeo Valley so far would seem to bear this out. Once a good slug of data is in we will report these in full.
    3. As you and Tess agree, the Entertain-Educate-Connect-Be-Useful approaches aren’t mutually exclusive. I’d add, I think we’re missing the point if we expect TV to do the lot. Again, using Yeo as an example, we’re finding it more effective and cost-efficient to think in terms of an eco-system around a brand. So it’s less about a chronology (in fact the online and social elements usually lay the ground and are there long after) and definitely not about an ‘advertspectacular’ trumpeting away on its own. For Yeo Valley, the TV entertains and educates, then points at where they and their friends can join in via a Facebook app if they fancy it. The deeper connection and usefulness happens via the brand’s YouTube channel, website, Twitter and FB. Digging deeper into sustainability and animal welfare, video recipes, signing up for a family tour of the farm, getting your questions answered.. all thought about very carefully, just not delivered by the TV.
    4. So why did we choose TV at all? It boils down to a simple commercial strategy for us. With a very limited budget, Yeo Valley needs to appeal to a mainstream audience if we’re to help deliver on its public mission to ‘make organic food accessible to everyone’. Buying one, major spot and deliberately tailoring our message to a TV show with huge, mainstream appeal has been both a fast and cost-effective way to cut through and earn media for the brand. To borrow from Dieter Rams, it’s a “less, but better” approach to media. So, oddly enough, not the splurge of cash you might infer. Either way, yes, it does demand show-stoppingly good content, not just bold media buying. I’m less worried than you are about our ability to keep creating interesting content, but then I work at a creative agency, so I would say that :-).
    5. One thing I am 100% sure about is that agencies and media owners will need to continue to evolve their strategies as people’s consumption habits change. With Yeo Valley, we have been responding to what we think is possible with the resources at our disposal and the audience behaviour we could see in front of us. What’s possible today, however, is unlikely to be the same tomorrow.

    If you’re still reading and interested in hearing (even…) more about Yeo Valley, we shared a comprehensive case study incl. commercial results at Brand Max last month, which I should be able to put on slideshare shortly. Or my post last year describes how the strategy first played out: http://bbh-labs.com/superbowl-super-social-the-story-of-yeo-valley.

    Reply

    1. john v willshire October 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      Mel, thanks for this. I especially love the Cargo Cult point… because it’s not just an external copying thing, I think it happens inside companies too. So in the multi-brand FMCG factories, one brand does something successful in a particular way, and suddenly every brief written becomes ‘let’s do EXACTLY THAT THING’. Agencies too, get caught up in the hype of their last great piece of work, and try and repeat the trick again. I was trying to wrangle some thoughts out on ‘idea amnesia’ the other day around that – http://bit.ly/nB7ZdK

      The ‘less but better’ thing is what I replied to Sutty about; if a lot of brands did ‘less but better’ as a strategy, that wouldn’t leave the TV stations in a healthy state. TV stations probably have a “Minimum Viable Income” to keep broadcasting, and that’s pulled from all across the schedule, not just Saturday Night.

      Reply

    2. Thanks, Mel – fantastic (and helpful) exposition of what’s going on underneath the bonnet.
      I think you’re bang on about the symbiotic nature of the broadcast beast and the smaller screen stuff. Search is, after all, both a response and a trigger.
      I hope it didn’t sound like I was accusing you personally, or BBH, of inconsistency – and you make the case very persuasively that the presentation and the campaign are indeed complimentary.
      And it’s clear that you managed to sell an idea, not a script, which is the essence to this. It so happens that strategically, commercially, effectivenessly (!) a pointed and purposeful TV strategy was a natural corollary to the idea.
      In short, sold.
      I’m sure that’s a weight off your mind!

      Reply

  8. The case for “entertain”

    http://mweigel.typepad.com/canalside-view/2011/10/the-enduring-power-of-stuff-that-isnt-useful-and-why-utility-will-not-overthrow-meaning.html

    I would argue for the “ampersand” lobby – all of these things can and should work together. The Muller thing was stark in that they ran a Youtube homepage takeover from which you could either watch the ad again in-banner OR, go to their Youtube channel in which you can, you guessed it, watch the TV ad.

    It’s a wonderful ad, but you can’t help but think that a further and deeper opportunity has been missed to capitalise on how much people loved the TV work. I can see why, having splurged so much money on an ad, they want people to see it but if someone further upstream had thought a little harder about how to develop work on different channels with different usage behaviours then who knows how far the impact of the initial work could have travelled..

    Reply

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  10. […] I defer to the great debate that happened over at John’s blog, where Mel swept in to defend/explain the entirely modern deployment of smart social and effective […]

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  11. […] to one of what I have come to believe are the four brand pillars of communication (props to PHD and John Willshire who were the originators of this): being useful, entertaining, educational or being a means of […]

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  12. […] of shows.   But it does beg the question of how much you can keep adding to the ‘Adverspectacular’ (coined by John V. Wilshire in his excellent posting on the subject of the ‘yoghurt […]

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  14. […] and fireworks analogy to describe the difference between advertising and social, and more recently we’ve debated what we at BBH call “Super Bowl, Super Social” on your blog. We can’t help but think (great) advertising will have a role in people’s lives for a good […]

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