Marketing: the unappreciated workhorse

Philip Kotler
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

The venerable Peter Drucker was an early fan of the new field of marketing. He struggled to explain it as a customer-centred discipline involving value creation. He wanted so much to disengage it from its confusion with selling that he penned the challenging statement: 'The aim of marketing is to make selling unnecessary.'

Yet Peter Drucker's view of the role and importance of marketing still needs to penetrate the thinking of companies and the public at large. We need to seriously address the following questions:

How is marketing seen by various publics?
What is marketing's real role?
What can marketing do to gain a better public understanding, image and influence?


Every profession has its critics. Physicians and educators are not immune from criticism even though most people see them as strong contributors to others and to the public good. As for lawyers, their critics are too numerous to count. And sales and marketing people receive a continuous barrage of criticism.

Let's examine how marketing and marketers are typically viewed by the following five key parties:

  • sales force
  • chief financial officers (CFOs)
  • chief manufacturing officers (CMOs)
  • chief executive officers (CEOs)
  • the public.
Sales Force View
It may seem odd to state that the sales force itself has major misgivings about marketing. We thought that marketing and the sales force work as allies to help garner as many orders as possible. But sales people are among the first to criticise marketers.

  • Marketers spend too much money on advertising that we could use better to strengthen our sales force.
  • Marketer's ads don't impress us, nor do many of their brochures and collateral material.
  • Marketers set prices too high, making it harder for us to sell.
  • Marketers don't understand customers like we do.
  • Marketers don't add product features and services that will help us clinch orders.
Three of us took up the challenge and co-authored a Harvard Business Review article, 'Ending the war between sales and marketing'1, where we examined the causes and the cures of this problematic relationship.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
A company's chief financial officer typically views marketing budgets with scepticism. The CFO sees marketing as asking for a lot of money but rarely accounting for its ROI. The CFO expects ROI estimates from other departments such as when manufacturing wants to buy a new piece of capital equipment or when the purchasing department decides on new materials. But marketing acts as if it is exempt from this responsibility.
Yet marketing is not alone: R&D and human resource departments don't provide ROI estimates for their proposals. Why should marketing be singled out? But it is true that marketing needs to start doing a better job of estimating and documenting the financial impact of its campaigns.

Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO)
The manufacturing group has a lot of complaints about marketing. Marketers want to put too many 'bells and whistles' on products that only add to manufacturing expense. Marketing runs frequent promotions that require adding another production shift to prepare a larger volume, only to be followed by a subsequent cut in production. Marketers push for special short production runs to customise some of their offerings. All this increases the costs of manufacture.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Many CEOs see marketing as largely a cost instead of an investment and a profit contributor. They see marketing as spending a lot of money with little short-run return. They read research reports filled with words and numbers that convey little customer insight or original thinking. They approve large expenditures on advertising campaigns and yet their acquaintances don't remember seeing the ads or remembering the message. CEOs want harder marketing evidence that marketing has increased sales, and yet all they get are measures of increased consumer awareness and knowledge. No wonder companies often replace the chief marketing officer every two years or cut the marketing budget as soon as the economy shows signs of slowing down. Rarely are marketing vice presidents active participants in senior management strategy decisions.

The Public
The public has an uneasy feeling about marketing. People remember the Vance Packard diatribe against marketing in his The Hidden Persuaders. There is a widespread feeling that marketers manipulate us into buying products that we don't need or even initially want. Marketers are seen as planning product obsolescence so that we get dissatisfied with yesterday's computer or camera and have to buy a newer model. Marketers keep interrupting us with unwanted and irrelevant commercials everywhere we turn. Marketers don't care if the product is good or bad for us, only if it is sold. The society ends up with overconsumption, high credit debt, material waste and a deteriorating environment.

All these critics have a love/hate relationship with marketing. They have a vague understanding that marketing is somehow necessary, somehow inevitable, somehow bad and somehow good.
I will describe four positive roles that marketing plays in society.

First, marketing has helped give birth to and gain acceptance of new products, many of which have eased or enriched people's lives. The housewife no longer has to work for hours in the kitchen preparing food and afterwards washing dishes by hand. She has a modern refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer; few homemakers would accept being without them. These appliances have emancipated women. And today's students have a computer, printer, scanner, camera, iPod, a PDA and a cell phone, none of which they would give up. Some of these new products were resisted at first, but thanks to marketing and sales efforts, they soon gained broad acceptance and use by the public, without any regrets.
Second, marketing is a powerful force for improving existing products. Products draw competition. Marketers have to fight clones by differentiating and improving their offerings. A company's marketers constantly search for ways to make the company's offerings different and better so they will be preferred in the marketplace. The pressure to compete through differentiation leads to continuous improvements of product and service offerings.
Third, marketing helps create and sustain jobs. We are not talking about marketing jobs, although they are also created. We are talking about all jobs. Jobs exist to create goods and services. When the public doesn't buy these goods or services, these jobs vanish. When marketers successfully push the sale of products and services, they are sustaining employment. The intense marketing of credit and goods and services plays a key role in creating a dynamic and growing economy.
Fourth, marketing, or effective marketing, improves the bottom line for most companies. In spite of the difficulty of measuring many types of marketing investments, we have to assume that most CEOs acknowledge that marketing contributes to their profits. If they felt otherwise, they would reduce or eliminate the marketing department and budget. There is no reason to sustain marketing in so many companies if it doesn't contribute to the top line and the bottom line.

Marketing can improve its image in different groups by taking four steps.
First, marketers need to improve their metrics and measurement of the financial impact of their marketing activities and campaigns. Senior management is losing patience with marketing over the lack of marketing results measurement.

The good news is that several people in academia and business are working on this problem and proposing new tools and solutions.
Second, marketing may need to prepare an educational campaign to inform the public about what marketing is, why it does what it does, and how this contributes to the lives of individuals and to the body politic. Too many people see only the tip of the marketing iceberg, namely TV and other ads, and wrongly identify it with the whole of marketing. They don't know anything about the research, product development, distribution planning, and other marketing activities that go into creating, communicating and distributing attractive products and services. I can imagine one page ads carrying the headline 'What is Marketing? Does it Contribute?' with text answering a set of brief questions about marketing. Beyond this, I would like to see a course in marketing or market economics introduced in high schools. This has already been proposed in Holland.
Third, marketers must build better working relations with their colleagues in the other departments of the company. Marketers must explain their role and how their actions support the other departments and the company's overall performance.
Fourth, marketers must publicize their work in social marketing and place marketing. Persons should become aware that many highly regarded social causes (anti-smoking, say no to drugs, exercise regularly, eat healthier foods) are helped considerably by social marketing research and messages. And many places that lack enough tourists and businesses are helped by place marketing campaigns using the latest marketing thinking and practice.

Clearly these are only first steps in a sustained campaign to bring members of the public and businesses to understand and recognize the contributions that marketing makes to individuals, communities, and the economy as a whole.

1. Kotler, P., Rackham, N. and Krishnaswami, S. (2006) 'Ending the war between sales and marketing', Harvard Business Review, July.

Sovereign – Leaders in Life

Category: Consumer Services
Advertiser: Sovereign
Campaign: Leaders in Life
Declining brand health was becoming a direct threat to Sovereign's continued success.
The challenge was to re-introduce Sovereign to New Zealanders in a way that would establish a brand identity beyond the Independent Financial Advisers, and engage an audience in a category they would rather ignore.

The strategy positioned Sovereign in the context of major 'life events' to best convey the emotional freedom the brand offers and encourage consumers to embrace life insurance rather than fear it. All brand health measures quickly recovered to exceed the targets set. Preference improved by 122% to reach 8.2%. This resulted in a dramatic rise in call centre leads, a greatly improved rate of conversion and delivered an increase of $6.357 million in annual new business revenue.
It won TBWA/Tequila a Bronze EFFIE in Consumer Services.
The Life Insurance market is driven by a combination of saliency, trust and professionalism – it is difficult to attract new business and retain existing policyholders if you are not 'on the map' in consumers' minds. Even small increases on brand health measures are hard to achieve in this market, reflective of consumers' low involvement and engagement with the category. As Sovereign had received no brand support over the past three years its market leader position was under threat.
The challenge was to re-introduce Sovereign to New Zealanders in a way that would establish a brand identity beyond the Independent Financial Advisers, and engage an audience in a category they would rather ignore and forget. The ultimate goal was to deliver business results in a highly competitive market, no mean feat given a share of voice of just 11% for the duration of the campaign.
The objective of the “leaders in Life” campaign was to:
  • Increase Sovereign's unprompted awareness from 13.7% to 15% (Target Market) and 8.6% to 10% (All Consumers)
  • Lift consideration from 3.1% (the industry low) to 5%
  • To recover preference levels amongst the Target Market from 3.7% to 6%
  • Amongst risk users who recall Sovereign advertising achieve relevance of at least 50%
  • Strengthen Sovereign's brand image associations on all key attributes notably:
    a)'An insurance company I respect'
    b)'Professional and competent'
Note: while these targets appear modest, they reflect the low life insurance category norms.
Business Objectives
  • Increase direct leads to the Sovereign call centre by 20% versus a year ago each month the campaign ran
  • Increase conversion rate from 20% to 25%
  • Deliver growth in retained business of 10%
The core target is aged between 25–54, supporting partners or young families with medium to high personal incomes ($30k+).
The creative strategy expressed a universal truth that even though a loved one is no longer physically with us they are still looking out for us. It's memories that keep people alive, and the communications were to be a celebration of 'real' life and family memories.
The creative solution was to create simple, honest and direct pieces to camera – messages left for family members from a loved one who has passed. The communication depicted real life situations of family members expressing their love for their family. They were crafted to convey the satisfaction that comes from knowing that even though they may no longer be there to physically look after them, they have taken care of their family's future through a life insurance policy with Sovereign.

Media was focused on linking the communications to 'life events'.

$1 to $2 million


The campaign:

  • Raised awareness
  • Lifted brand perceptions
  • Resulted in business leads, higher conversion rates and major lift in revenue

Unprompted Brand Awareness

Monthly Leads

Heineken – Club Beertender (Netherlands)

Client name: Heineken
Category: Loyalty & Long-term Umbrella Campaigns
Heineken developed the 'BeerTender' together with Krups. It's a home-tap system for beer, with which you can tap your own glasses of Heineken's best beers: Heineken, Amstel, Amstel Bock, Amstel 1870, Brand, Wieckse Witte, Murphy's and Affligem.

Beertender was introduced in 2004 as the first system that could provide you a fresh cold beer at home. It's a better experience for the consumer and a chance for a better market share for Heineken.

The product experienced a healthy sales growth (200,000 in 2007).
Slowly, the BeerTender sales are decreasing. Everyone who wants a BeerTender already has one and there are not many new customers. Also, the amount of casks is not in line with the amount of

BeerTenders sold, which suggests a lot of buyers are not using their BeerTender anymore.

The system quickly becomes – without any further promotions – a tap for special occasions and disappears into the closet or garage. BeerTender also suffers from heavy competition of the PerfectDraft, a similar tap from Philips.

The further increase of brand-awareness won't lead to increase of sales of BeerTender, and BeerTender sales don't automatically lead to an increase in sales of casks.

Create a platform to regularly communicate with BeerTender owners and to encourage use of their BeerTender. The goals attached to this platform:

  • Building a database of BeerTender users through self-registration
  • Measure the communication effects to cask sales, with goal of increasing cask sales to Club members by 25%
The target audience is (mostly male) BeerTender owners. Age doesn't matter, but the communication is aimed at men, aged 25–55, with a strong affinity with football and music.

We chose a structural communication- and loyalty program for BeerTender owners: Club BeerTender. The program stimulates the owners to re-use their BeerTender and encourages them to increase its use. Club BeerTender should also create a special bond between BeerTender owners.

The program has three pillars:

  1. TO BRING IN: get to know the BeerTender users.
  2. TO BIND: figure out purchase behaviour, using codes. Always give a reason to register these codes.
  3. TO FILL: increase sales by using special sales promotions and reach the volume goal of 2007.
The Club gives you something directly, there's no need to save tons of receipts to get anything. Members get rewarded in both emotional and economic ways. The following incentives are used:

  • Discounts
  • Privileges
  • Chances to win
Examples of privileges: free cask on birthdays, preferential tickets for football matches. Discounts on football tickets, concerts and BeerTender merchandise. Also, with each registered cask consumers had a 1/10 or 1/15 chance of winning “money can't buy” prizes like flying an aircraft or driving a Formula 1 car.

Current databases, BeerTender sales (utilizing the Krups sales data), BeerTender packages and casks
Other Heineken SKUs
Print media and a banner campaign
Club BeerTender members encouraged to refer other owners

Radio 9%
Direct Mail 33%
Online 30%
Print media 1%
In store communication 8%
Promotional products 19%

Club BeerTender is about more than just a device you fill with casks. Club BeerTender is about the ultimate beer experience: being able to get the most delicious beer freshly out of the tap, at home! Heineken supports Club members, but moreover, Heineken makes sure it's more fun using your BeerTender.

Club BeerTender reinforces the relationship between Heineken and the consumer, and gives customers the recognition they deserve. By asking for specific preferences and interests, the communication becomes personal and relevant.

In the welcome-pack, after registering the first cask-code, the new member receives the BeerTender apron, to reinforce the “being-home” feeling. This also goes for discounts and the prizes members can win. Some merchandise is also personalized with favourite football-clubs, which makes Club BeerTender very personal.

Within the concept, the various beer brands (Heineken, Amstel, Brand) get the possibility to reinforce their individual brand feeling. For example via the Brand Brewery Days, the Amstel Live Concerts and the Heineken Music Hall.

Monthly emails are being based on the preferences of the ClubMembers, to continue to motivate the purchase and registration of more casks, in order to win prizes or to obtain further discounts.

A broadsheet to all distribution points explained Club BeerTender. By sending out direct mails with discount coupons, which could be checked at these selling points, the distribution channels were helping Heineken to sell more casks.

Back to back

Traditional Thaï Massage - 2005
Agency : Leo Burnett (Slovenia)

Revita “Relax with Shiatsu” - 2009
Agency : Fields (Brasil)

Amtrak:::Less hassle with Amtrak

CATEGORY :Travel/Airlines
DATE :2008

Unlike Europe and Asia, Rail travel in the US is not a dominant mode of transportation. In fact, over 98% of all US consumers are aware of national railway company Amtrak, but only 4% choose rail on any given year. Amtrak needed to change perceptions and get people to travel by rail instead of car or plane.
The rise in fuel prices in 2008 and subsequent financial toll it took on airlines and car travel created a perfect environment for Amtrak to change perceptions, targeting consumers at frustrating moments in their travels.
Amtrak targeted passengers at airports in the terminals, the baggage claim areas and the highway just outside the airports as well as taxi tops.
Amtrak could not purchase signage inside the gate area, so it ambushed it by gaining exclusive access through log-in wi-fi screens at regional airports and in CNN’s airport feed in 40+ airports to keep Amtrak in mind when passengers were delayed.
Amtrak also targeted petrol stations along the east coast of the USA, with a geo-targeted media buy in more than 1,500 gas stations – all two miles from the interstate, or 5 miles from an Amtrak station.
While consumers shelled out $4 a gallon for gas, they were reminded of Amtrak by ads on gas toppers and nozzle pumps.
Amtrak also sponsored local TV and radio live-read of traffic and weather report as well as search. As a result the number of people riding the train rose by 11.1%, with revenues rising by 14.2%. 27% of first time customers stated they would not have taken Amtrak had they not seen or heard the advertising.
Finally online bookings saw a 300% increase while cost per click decreased almost 50% and cost per booking dropped 88%

Sprite:::Slam dunk contest

BRAND OWNER:The Coca Cola Company
CATEGORY :Drinks (non-alcoholic)
DATE :Oct 2007

Sprite has enjoyed a long standing partnership with The National Basketball Association (NBA), which appeals to the primary target audience of African American teens.

In the past, the partnership has revolved around TV sponsorship and integration, but Sprite wanted to reinvigorate the sponsorship and drive sales.
African-American teens continue to be passionate about the NBA, and aspire to be part of the glitzy, showboating lifestyle they see lived out by NBA stars. Sprite decided to reorient its NBA partnership from TV to new digital platforms - video games, online video, and mobile. As the long standing partner of the Slam NBA Dunk Contest TV broadcast, Sprite worked with the NBA to put consumers in control of the event.
First of all they were given power to vote for the winner of the contest, either online or via text. The call-to-vote was pushed on TV and online. People were invited to discuss the event on the NBA page of Facebook. On the night of the event, consumers were reminded of the text-to-vote opportunity via Sprite crawls, TNT announcers, on-screen graphics, billboards and custom TV creative.
Toward the end of the broadcast there was a 5-minute voting window. The results were then announced live on-air at the end of the broadcast.
To continue the action all year long, Sprite infiltrated NBA licensed video games (NBA 2K8, NBA Live 08 and NBA Street), creating an exclusive new game feature, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, where the virtual players competed in the famous Sprite NBA event.
During the contest, consumers sent in 856,200 text votes and 101,000 online votes – smashing the original goal of 25,000 votes. The 2008 Slam Dunk was the most watched in the event’s 23-year history with 5.2 million viewers (+7% vs the previous year).

Pacifico:::Peace project

DATE:Sep 2008 - Dec 2008

Colombia has the oldest armed conflict in Latin America. A 36 year old Colombian doesn’t understand the concept of his/her country without war. Every 15 days 346 people die because of the armed conflict. In 2007, six kidnappings occurred every two days. However, the nation is making strenuous efforts to stop violence. Colombia has a Guinness Record for the world’s largest peace movement against war.

In 2008, 1,042 rebels handed over their weapons. Initiative set up a communications movement called Pacifico to support and promote peace.

The hub of the peaceful campaign was www.proyectopacifico.com. This is where Colombians could post their simple ideas to help Colombia live in peace. These included: “ask for forgiveness”, “remember to breathe”, “call your mother more often”, “don’t shout”.

Initiative approached leading advertisers in Colombia and persuaded them to transform the ideas into media spots so the message of peace could be spread. Leading media owners supported the project by giving free ad space. Initiative garnered support from the Francisco Santos, vice-president of Colombia as well as key media moguls.
More than 60 media owners in TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, outdoor and digital supported Pacifico with free spots, with a value of around $US 700,000. Around 1,000 simple ideas have been posted in the page.

The campaign also managed to unite media owners and advertisers in a single cause.

What Can Twitter Do for You? More than you might imagine

For me, Twitter is not another Facebook. It's not about connecting with lost friends or letting your virtual posse know what you're up to. It's not simply a source of breaking news . And despite the fact that it blows Google away as a real-time search engine, even that barely begins to describe Twitter's true potential.Instead, I've found far greater benefits to incorporating Twitter into my life and onto my desktop.
Here's what Twitter's given me:

1. Instant access to thought leaders in social media, digital trends, technology and marketing in the new age of community. They're all here: the staff of Wired, the lead strategists at the next generation of agencies, the pioneers of social media itself. Not just the expected names like @crowdsourcing (Jeff Howe) or @johnabyrne (BusinessWeek's digitally proactive editor) or @henryjenkins (MIT's director of comparative media studies) or @jaffejuice (Crayon's Joe) but a new generation of even younger social media enthusiasts.
Most of them are remarkably generous with their knowledge, willing to answer questions, share ideas, even give away their content.

2. An opportunity to experience crowd sourcing in action. Conduct a brainstorming session in your own agency and you're pretty much limited to the usual suspects. But on Twitter there are thousands of people willing to help out. And because no one pays attention to seniority or title, new voices are more willing to express an opinion that more often than not is both fresh and provocative. I'm constantly surprised where the quote or thought or insight or example I'm looking for comes from. But it's always to be found.

3. A new way to connect with Millennials. We live in a society that does its very best to isolate generations. But because a Twitter relationship centers around content, information and ideas, it erases differences in age. I'm now connected with college students in New York, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami.
Many of their blogs are far more telling than another research report from Simmons or Forrester. And all of them are willing to make me smarter about how marketing has to change if it's to connect with a generation defined by community, collaboration and responsibility.

4. The first hand experience needed to become an authority. As has been noted by Adweek, clients are critical of most agencies' lack of experience in social media, specifically calling them out for not using the space themselves. For me, hanging out on Twitter inspired ideas like Trash Talk from Section Twitter and RedCarpet09, two virtual gatherings created around the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards.
They not only became successful events in and of themselves -- generating visibility for Mullen and attaining status as hot topics on Twitter -- they demonstrated to clients how one agency in particular actually gets it.

5. A better understanding of how to weave together all things social. If nothing else, Twitter gives you a clear sense of everything a brand can and should do with social media: enable connections and ultimately create a community that let's you listen, engage, inspire, build and mobilize. Maybe you can't achieve social Nirvana with Twitter exclusively -- you still need a broader brand network, relevant content and genuine utility -- but Twitter makes it easier to create connections and to identify the content and utility that can help make sure those connections last.

Yes, there are challenges. Co-founder Ev Williams admits that Twitter needs to come with a set of directions; the functionality remains less than obvious. It also takes time to determine a personal strategy. Are you building your individual brand? Seeking new contacts? Looking to master a category? Or simply practicing what we all have to preach? To make things more complicated, there are hundreds upon hundreds of Twitter apps to consider, thanks to the open API. Figuring out which ones matter is in and of itself a chore.

Still, it's worth the effort. If you haven't joined yet, you're missing out. If you gave up the first time around, give it another go. And if you want help making it easier, contact me. I'm @edwardboches or http://twitter.com/edwardboches. I'll gladly share everything I've learned about the platform, and willingly introduce you to a few hundred people who can teach you everything I don't know.

Those who cultivate wind harvest a storm

Published in Campaign ME magazine, 29 March - 11 April 2009 issue, Page: 18.
Based on (unconfirmed) reports of up to a 40% decrease in advertising spending in the first quarter of 2009 and unoptimistic forecast still the year’s end leaves no doubt that the global economic crisis has castits shadow on Kuwait’s advertising industry; but the truth is that the industry has been dented long before the crisis due to years of malpractice based on “if it isn’t broken why fix it” mentality.

Advertising has an important role to play in the marketing mix as “Advertising presents the most persuasive possible selling message to the right prospects for the product or service at the lowest possible cost”– IPA.
Lets examine the situation based on “cause and effect”.
1. Cause: Price wars, “Brown envelope” culture and long credit.
Effect: Lower profit margins, cash-flow problems and redundancy across all ranks of the industry.

2. Cause: Stock photos and clip art copy-paste creativity.
Effect: Poor creativity and ROI (return on idea).Client’s messages are neither standing out in the clutter nor differentiated from their competitors. As a result clients perceive advertising as a commodity and seek the services of the lowest bidder further contributing to lower profit margins.
3. Cause:Hiring on the basis of “whom you know rather than what you know”.
Effect: Poor levels of industry practitioners. Media and printing press sales representatives compete with agencies by offering lower prices directly to clients than those offered to agencies - further leading to loss of business or contributing towards lowering industry profit margins.
4. Cause: Lack of (credible) media research, transparency and absence of media auditing.
Effect: Misleading data. Hindering the function of advertising targeting “the right prospects for the product or service at the lowest possible cost”.
5. Cause: Proliferation in the media mix.
Effect: Fragmentation of the budget (based on misleading data).

6. Cause: Lack of enforcement of intellectual property copyrights laws.
Effect: Copying the communication solution of a totally different set of problems, which does not yield a ROI - instead resultin a pandemic of copycat advertisements.
7. Cause: The over-simplification and generalization of obtaining an advertising license.
Effect: Advertising is not acknowledged as aprofession that requires certain qualifications to be practiced. Anyone can venture into the industry and cause havoc then exit leaving behind long lasting damage. Pre-press service bureaus, commercial printing press, advertising agencies, PR consultancies, calligraphers, sign makers, corporate gift items and premiums, event management, publishers and distribution companies - All fall under an advertising license with the exact same set of requirements.
Based on these stated facts; my conclusion is that the local advertising industry is in dire need of major restructuring.
If such problems are not seriously tackled promptly, the industry will remain in crisis long after the world economy recovers as per the Arabic proverb “Those who cultivate wind will harvest a storm

Follow the lines :Copy Cat

Ariel “Stain-Free” - 2000
Source : Advertolog ad archive
Agency : Unknown

Persil “free the stain” - 2005
Source : Adsoftheworld,
Agency : DDB Warsaw (Poland)

Sony::: Kuwait Copy Cat

Published in Kuwait - 2009

Cheers and hope tarnished

Published in Arab Ad magazine February issue, copycat section, Page: 154.

Chevrolet :::Branching out into widgets

BRAND OWNER:General Motors
DATE:Apr 2008 - Jun 2008

As gas prices skyrocketed, the American consumer was looking for an environmentally conscious car. Most consumers think Toyota, but Chevrolet wanted to make consumers aware of its commitment to environmental sustainability and conservation.
Chevrolet’s research showed that most consumers do not want to make the big changes in their life to become a true environmentalist. They will however, join and champion a cause that requires little personal time or involvement.
The campaign was launched on Earth Day across several media type, concentrating on key digital spaces that provided a one click platform where consumers could make a real world difference and show off their environmental commitment to their friends and family. Chevrolet teamed up with MySpace to develop and launch a virtual tree widget.
The Chevrolet widget allowed users to plant a seed within their profile that over 30 days grew into a tree to showcase their support for the environment. If users stayed committed to the cause for the full 30 days, then Chevrolet and MySpace pledged to plant up to 225,000 real-world trees in partnership with the Nature Conservancy in Florida. The widget was promoted within MySpace, but was spread virally.
To get the message across, each recruit would receive a note from GM’s VP of Environment, Energy, and Safety Policy stating that Chevrolet has “dedicated time, resources, and the brightest minds available to make our processes more sustainable, our vehicles less petroleum-dependent, our suppliers more conservation-minded, our plants more efficient and our planet more livable.”
Financial resources limited the number of tree plantings to 225,000, and this number of Tree Widget downloads was achieved in days.
To date, the Chevrolet Tree Widget has been downloaded by more than 18m MySpace users. Awareness of Chevrolet alternative fuels improved by 53%.

Dove::: Finding body and soul

CATEGORY:Toiletries/ Cosmetics
DATE:Feb 2008 - Sep 2008

Some 91% of Canadian women believe it's time society thought of aging in a positive way. Dove agrees, and in support of its Pro-Age products, spearheaded a campaign to change societal views on aging by promoting the belief that beauty has no age limit.
Dove commissioned an award winning playwright to create a one-of-a-kind live play, "Body & Soul", using a cast of real women aged between 45 and 78.
The media strategy was based on partnering with a limited number of media suppliers to foster a meaningful relationship with the audience, maintain their attention through the narrative and allow them to participate in the program. Dove chose Transcontinental Media (Canada's leading publisher of women's magazines) as the print and online partner, and CBS Television as the broadcast support.
To find cast members for the play, women were invited to write an audition letter, Dove and Transcontinental worked closely together to create customized magazine and online content which built emotional credibility for the campaign, and encouraged women to audition.
Advertorials, letters from the editor, e-blasts, web forums and brand ads were used to drive submissions. To promote the theatrical run of the play, the partnership with Transcontinental resulted in an eight page article featuring interviews with the cast and playwright, letters from the editor, web features, a chat session with cast members, a contest to win tickets to see the play, and a cast picture on the cover of Canada's top ranked women's magazine.
As a result, Body and Soul played to sell out crowds, winning rave reviews. CBS was the platform for the documentary, "Finding Body and Soul." The campaign delivered 124 million media impressions, with 55,000 unique visitors to the website

Blush lingerie ::: illegal ad of the day.

Four Ways to Exceed Clients' Expectations

1. Agree to a deadline you know you can beat. Clients nearly always appreciate when good work arrives before the due date, because it affords them flexibility. Plus, it shows that you are both efficient and customer-focused. Of course, you shouldn't nudge clients to begrudgingly accept deadlines that don't suit them just so that you can exceed expectations later. But the surprise of early delivery is more memorable than an up-front offer to beat a client's proposed due date.

2. Be an astute questioner, not a silent sage. People often overestimate the value clients place on not being bothered while their work is with a contractor. In fact, asking pointed, proactive questions during the process demonstrates your genuine interest and focus. That doesn't mean nickel-and-diming clients so that they suspect you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. But follow-up that proves you have foresight and a knack for process efficiency sends the reassuring message that while the work is in your hands, there's no need to worry about it. Silence, in contrast, can generate unease. Besides, the occasional question is a pinprick compared with the laceration that a wholesale misinterpretation can later prove to be.

3. Be collegial. "Duh," you're probably thinking. "I'm obviously not going to be rude." But collegiality is less about politeness than about your level of deference. Too much deference, which is what most contractors show, makes you seem merely like the hired help rather than a capable complement to the internal staff — and that doesn't inspire confidence. Most clients would rather work with an equal (i.e., a colleague) than a lackey, especially if you're providing expertise. That said, acting like a know-it-all obviously isn't collegial either

4. Offer constructive suggestions at the end. Every process can be improved, and who better to provide insights than someone who just went through it? If you focus solely on the merits, not on how you would benefit, your ideas for improvement won't sound presumptuous or like complaints. A truly useful suggestion, offered in good faith and with great tact, is one that the client will want to implement, probably with you. Of course, making suggestions as an outsider is a delicate endeavor that requires appropriate circumstances and good social skills. But if you've got both on your side, the payoff can be big.

Most expensive TVC ever "Honda Accord" ::: 90” for $6,200,000

“content is king”: how brands can best leverage content without the need to force-feed brand messages.

Branded content is made up of ideas that bring entertainment value to brands and that integrate brands into entertainment. This could be in the form of a TV programme, community events, film or video – any content, provided it links important passions to brands with a strategic reason.
Branded content is a by-product of a changing media landscape. Fragmentation and consumer empowerment in a world of personalised media platforms mean that consumers can choose if they want to engage with brands or not at the touch of a button.

Sophisticated content strategies enable brands to reach people without shoving brand messages down their throats. By facilitating new entertainment experiences, brands gain fame and goodwill. The more value created for the consumer, the more value is created for businesses.

It differs from sponsorship because it is not simply adding a brand’s logo to an already existing event or entertainment property. Branded content involves coming up with the creative ideas together with the brand and producers.

There are many pitfalls with branded content - Not only can it be prohibitively expensive, but it raises issues of intellectual property and can often require brands to relinquish editorial control: a prospect too terrifying for many to swallow.

Great content will draw an audience to unexpected platforms
Purina (FREE)
A cat-food manufacturer shows that gaming isn’t only for teenage boys, with an online gaming channel targeting cat owners.

Save huge production costs with live experiences
Huggies changes Colombians' perceptions of the brand as an expensive "gringo" brand through a link up and live tour with a local comedy troupe

Ensure value for consumers and brand with truly relevant content
Dove finds a perfect content fit to take its 'Real Beauty' message to China with TV show Ugly Betty.

Develop ideas in conjunction with media owners
Meat and Livestock Australia
Meat and Livestock Australia became part of the non-commercial airtime of the Australian tennis open with live branded content.

Engage consumers across multiple platforms
Cornetto reaches Chinese consumers with an online karaoke competition linked with a TV show and point of sale activity

Unify fragmented audiences with tailored media favourites
Halifax International drives business among the disparate ex-pat community in a competitive market

Be creative with distribution channels
Cheetos engages with 18-35 year olds with the first ever web series distributed on Facebook.

Reap the brand rewards from funding funky technologies
Fanta creates a series of mobile applications including an augmented reality tennis game to engage with teens.

Provide tools that travel across the net
STA Travel maximises its brand message via a range of Travel Tool widgets that can be embedded in users' social network profiles.

7 Skills for a Post-Pandemic Marketer

The impact of Covid-19 has had a significant impact across the board with the marketing and advertising industry in 2020, but there is hope...