March 31, 2008

Advertisers as Censors

Filed under: BRANDS,Marketing — Tony @ 1:53 pm
Tags: , , ,

CBC- Terry O’RiellyI am sure as a brand manager and advertiser you have had that horror moment when your brand spokesperson or positioning wobbled off the tracks. We all know that managing a brand is tough. Its something like herding cats.

As a brand manager there is one show you should absolutely listen to- its Terry O’Reilly show – “The Age of Persuasion”. (That is Terry on the left). This week the show is about censorship. We know it happens. Networks drop TV spots, papers refuse to run an ad. Who is responsible.?  In this weeks show Terry O’Reilly reviews the long relationship between sponsorship and censorship – from early Radio, to Hitchcock’s Psycho, through the more recent woes of radio jock Don Imus. Do advertisers really decide what you should see, hear, or think? And if they don’t – who does?

Terry O’Reilly has had a stellar career and his show is bright, intelligent, dense and convoluted. In other words it gets you thinking. Take the time and listen to this week’s show onAdvertisers as Censors” Terry’s show is compelling as are all his shows . Check them out here at TerryO’Rielly.

I found this weeks show “Advertisers as Censors” good but I disagreed.


Just click on the red headphones and listen

. Once you are done lets debate.

Interesting links:
From Ancient Rome
The Grand Daddy of Film Censorship


March 30, 2008

Google about to launch “Kids Safety Video”

On Tuesday Google will launch a parent’s resource for kids’ safety online which is to be called Family Safety Guide . Its reported that Google with the media-awareness group Common Sense Media has produced an online video called “A common sense approach to Internet safety.” You will be able to find it on the guide page, on YouTube, and throughout the video-on-demand services provided by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cox (which are partners of Common Sense.)
This new action by Google is on top of Google’s “safe search,”which filters out inappropriate material for kids from its list of search results; and the Google directory lists kid-safe sites. Google is stepping up to the plate and matching what it’s rivals Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft have done. The educational video is also a big gesture. Watch Google on Tuesday when it is rumored they will post a blog about the site. Way to go Google

March 28, 2008

Social Media & Obama and Clinton Campaigns

Jennifer Jones the creator and host of Marketing Voices™ recently interviewed Pete Blackshaw EVP of Nielsen Online about how the “Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton Campaigns” had used social media.

In the interview there are gems that all marketers and brand managers should take note of.

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March 27, 2008

A Marketers Dream – “Demographic Targetting”

tragetting.jpgGoogle has announced it can do “Demographic Targeting”. What is demographic bidding? Well now you can use your ad word buys and contextual buys to target users of a particular age group or interest (such as ages 18-24), by gender, or to combinations of those groups. You can use demographic bidding whether you are using contextual or placement targeting and with both CPC and CPM bidding. You can refine your reach based on users’ gender and age on certain sites in the Google content network such as MySpace and Friendster, whose users provide that information about themselves. AdWords receives the data in anonymous and aggregate form from participating partner sites, which means that users can’t be personally identified.

This new feature by Google is huge and has implications to every brand and advertising and marketing target audience. Folks you can now target by demographic. Yes Yes yes

Marketing to Kids Is it right?

hockey2.jpegCryptic as that may sound I am referring to a report in the New York times about a new venture,, which is creating a social networking site for youth sports which is expected to start in mid-April. It is aspiring to be like Facebook for youth athletes, parents and coaches — a vast audience. The value proposition or soft sell on is that young athletes will be able to set up a profile, post pictures, communicate with friends and share videos of games. Of course the coaches and parents are included. Coaches will able to communicate with their players and parents and parents will be able to get practice schedules, coordinate car pools and find out which equipment to purchase.

Youth sports are huge. It involves parents a huge audience and the 52 million children who participated in organized children’s sports leagues. (National Council of Youth Sports.) It’s a massive audience into which to project brands and products- but is it right? Check out how teens think at Marketing Vox – they are vulnerable

Remember that Madison Avenue has for eons used professional sports teams as a way to promote and market brands products and services. What followed was the push to sell brands and services to the college level and then high schools with Takkle, a social-networking site for high school athletes which are partially owned by Sports Illustrated.

Now with the “WePlay” model , Madison Avenue and advertisers will have the chance to present brands and products to even younger and younger audiences and thats not the end of it.

Potentially as Rick Heitzmann, managing director at Pequot Ventures, the venture arm of Pequot Capital Management has been reported to say “There’s no reason to believe that the organizing principles that are applied here ( to sports can’t be applied elsewhere, such as to religious organizations,”

Everything is going commercial Play and Prey. Is that a good thing???????

My vote is no.

March 26, 2008

Measuring Social Media


Measuring the benefit of social media is a tough one for the PR and the Advertising industry. To get into the debate read a great article on the metrics of Social Media in Adweek written by Brian Morrissey (full article here.)

Many bloggers are weighing in with their comments. I liked the blog “ITS A HARD KNOX LIFE” written by Dave Knox who is a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble and part-time marketing consultant. Dave’s comments capture how the larger brands and industry view social media. He notes that “The largest advertisers (like P&G) have embraced the traditional aspects of social media, putting up banner ads on MySpace, etc. We are experimenting in order to figure out how to fully embrace social media but measures are the struggle in order to get total buy-in.”

A gem on Dave’s blog is the interchange in the comments area between him and Marcel LeBrun . Mercel believes there are ways to measure social media. He writes “First, social media actually produces many measurable artifacts… even more than the traditional media. We can count all of the social breadcrumbs such as comments, unique commenters, social bookmarks, on topic links, video views and all these things provide us with valuable insight into the level of engagement around a topic, how it propagates and who the influencer’s are.

The second point, however, is that the industry has not yet agreed upon a standard set of metrics by which to determine ROI or value. This is the point I am referencing in the above quote. The advertising industry has this; it is page views. Now the advertising industry also recognizes that page views provide an incomplete measure, but it is the current standard nonetheless.

The exciting thing for a brand manager is that you can effectively measure your efforts and brand perception in social media without waiting for the industry to agree on standard measures. We measure several of the “digital breadcrumbs” mentioned above related to brands today and then let users look at the data from several angles.”

It’s a great debate. What I took away is that brand trajectory is now more than ever in the hands of the consumer and marketing, advertising and public relations will never be the same. Thanks.

March 25, 2008

“Memory Almost Full” and Spin


BBC reports that fans of Sir Paul McCartney have been claiming a track on his latest album Memory Almost Full is about his break-up from ex-wife Heather Mills. I have a question does it matter if Paul McCartney latest album “Memory Almost Full” is about his break-up from ex-wife Heather Mills. Nope it does not matter as the BBC noted . The case is closed and the BBC is having a media moment.
And this is a marketing moment 🙂

Case closed unless you have comments.

March 24, 2008

Creating Desire and Consent


I purchased a bag of coffee this morning which was festooned in seals and declarations of authenticity and assurance. The coffee was apparently pesticide free, organic- fair trade- and another sticker boldly declared the bag was recyclable. Talk about a winner.

All those “third party authorities” had pleaded the cause to buy that bag of coffee. I was convinced and I bought the coffee . Some smart marketer somewhere with a lineage that stretches back to Edward Louis Bernays and ultimately back to Freud was having a chuckle. They had done it again. Bernay’s favorite techniques for manipulating public opinion was the indirect use of “third party authorities” to plead his clients’ causes. “If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway,”

As we know marketing and public relations has a lot to thank Benays and Freud for. We work hard to craft desire and engineer consent. As Bernays pointed out “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? .” Bernays called his scientific technique to which all markets are deeply indebted – the “engineering of consent.”

Here is Bernays on “Propaganda and Public Relations”


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Future Trends in Advertising

Filed under: Marketing — Tony @ 2:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

The advertising giant Leo Burnett has posted a You Tube video titled “Future Trends in Advertising”. No surprise but Ben Hourahine, Futures Editor at Leo Burnett in London sees a world even more cluttered with visual stimulus where there will be screens everywhere and ads are going to follow you around like a bad memory. So according to Leo Burnett, you can look forward to even more urban spam and a lot less time to appreciate things not pasted with a logo.

Seems to me Ben Hourahine vision and predictions are upon us already. I see a backlash and protest movement coming.

March 22, 2008

PR and why you eat Bacon and Eggs

Filed under: Marketing,Marketing /Lifestyle,Public Relations — Tony @ 4:13 pm

eggs-and-bacon.jpgYears ago, Americans grabbed toast and coffee for breakfast. Even juice but public-relations pioneer Edward Bernays changed that when his client Beech- Nut Packing Company wanted to stop the slide of their bacon from the menu of America . (Useful links: The Museum of Public Relations, Edward Bernays)
Bernays used his Uncle Sigmund Freud’s ideas to help convince the public, among other things, that bacon and eggs was the true all-American breakfast.

He took Freud’s complex ideas on people’s unconscious, psychological motivations and applied them to the new field of public relations.

Just click on the red headphones red-phonessml.jpgand listen to the Story on National Public Radio. Its a fascinating talk. In this case scroll down till you see “A Hearty Breakfast” Its Edward Bernays at his best .

Tomorrow I will post how Bernays used Freud’s ideas to create desire and nothing has been the same since in Marketing and Public relations. And why your cholesterol is so high !!

Other talks worth listening to The Age of Persuasion (Radio)

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