Thursday, December 24, 2009

Unsafe at any speed?

In 1965, activist Ralph Nader wrote a book titled Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile.

This issue is taking on new life today, emerging in the form of arms reach electronic gadgetry in cars. Here's a key frame from a current commercial for one brand, but this marketing emphasis is seen throughout the automobile industry.


The parallel structure of the commercial demonstrates what is called a navigation and entertainment system. To use it, the driver must look down and away from the road ahead. There are many things to read and buttons to find and push.

The commercial concludes with the pushing of the car's starter button, but the demonstration of the features clearly takes place while the car is driven on a busy city street.

On December 6, 2009, the New York Times carried a story concerning the distractions of cell phone use when driving. The story focused cell phone advertising and marketing as related to promotion of phone use while driving.

So the questions of distracted driving go far beyond what you bring into the car. The question arises now as to whether the devices being built into cars are making them unsafe at any speed. And in the marketing of these devices, there are clearly legal issues relating to failure to warn.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shareable Advertising

Hamsters are small and stout. They have little furry ears and short legs with wide feet. They have stubby tails that are bare.

They also are nearsighted, so hamsters benefit greatly from their good sense of smell and acute listening skills.

All this makes hamsters very attractive as creatures of the media.

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It's a charming commercial, providing a surprising demonstration of the product benefit. This charm is also evident in the Zu Zu Pet craze.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Avatar and Cultural Conversation

Buzz is building on AVATAR, James Cameron's 3-D epic spectacular opening on December 18.

To accelerate this buzz, Cameron has reinvented the very concept of the movie trailer. It is a desktop application you download to your computer. The trailer is dynamic, with multiple "hot links" bridging moments and characters in the trailer to expanded features.

AVATAR appears poised to become a popular culture phenomenon. Here's a quick look at a small portion of the trailer.

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Here's where you download the AVATAR desktop application. It is an easy download and works brilliantly on my iMac.

This desktop application approach gives you much more than a seductive introduction to the movie. You can easily, as I did, buy tickets to the movie. But, the wide range of connectivity to news and social network services can establish an enduring relationship to the cultural conversation about this film.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Social Media Map

I spoke to the Edina Chamber of Commerce today about the growth of social media services and how businesses can successfully participate.

Here's one of my 20 slides. It shows my condensed typology for thinking about the dynamics of communication in the public sphere.


Conversations among consumers, stakeholders, and members of the general public have always been the forum where people make decisions about the products they buy, the policies they will support, and the life choices they make.

Now, the new social media have accelerated the dynamics. It is an exciting time to be in the communication business and many business opportunities present themselves.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Advertising Future

For quite some time I have been telling my students, "In the Information Age, you will make your living by adding value to information."

This underscores the importance of advertising. It is the discipline, that when effectively carried out, can make things happen faster in the economy and society.

Advertising is about showing people how opportunities connect to their values, interests and needs.

Today's New York Times column by economist Thomas L. Friedman points to the importance of creativity in business. He also speaks to the value of having an education that teaches you how to develop new ideas or recombine existing technologies.

This is what the best advertising professionals have always done. They "resist the usual" to envision a future, conveying to others how their lives can be different and better.

Advertising programs in journalism schools play a critical role preparing young people to succeed in business. Premised on the critical thinking skills of the liberal arts, the advertising curriculum focuses on concepts and methods to promote original thinking leading to productive solutions for business problems and opportunities.

This foundational perspective in the liberal arts is a vital distinction from a "business as usual" education. Success, even survival, is premised on always going forward.

Educated advertising professionals take us there.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Injustice and Public Opinion

The police in Gwent, UK have recently released a video on texting while driving. Their hope was that "the film will become part of the core schools programme across Wales and ultimately the UK."

Gwent Chief Inspector John Pavett said, “Making and receiving calls and texting whilst driving is still happening on roads not just in Gwent but all over the country. Seeing a scenario, like the one Cassie goes through, played out right before your eyes makes you realise how extremely dangerous it can be and what devastating consequences it can have."

The four-minute Gwent Police PSA has been widely viewed on YouTube. Here's a key frame.


The PSA as generated controversy and commentary about the role of fear appeals in advertising, particularly in communication programs directed to youth audiences.

However, the UK commercial not only speaks to individual risk but to responsibilities drivers have to others. The child who dies in the PSA was not texting.

The Gwent PSA not only portrays individual risk, but also the injustice of the horrific consequences that can befall innocent others.

So there is another perspective on this PSA worth considering. It is the role that perceptions of injustice play in social change.

In the United States, there is currently a national debate about the safety of drivers using devices that distract from their paramount responsibilities. Without a sufficient public sense of injustice in this matter, the debate will fall short when it comes to legislative action.

The Gwent PSA makes any driver think, on a number of levels.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Surprising Demonstration

When it comes to getting attention and making a selling point few approaches are as charming and effective as a surprising twist to a product demonstration.

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There is a bit of "hyperbolic" in this commercial, for sure. But, the durability point is made with charm and of course any buyer of a $400 camera will read the specifications.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 is waterproof to 10 feet and can be dropped from five. Oyeh!

The work was done by the Campaign Palace in Sydney, Australia.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Propensity to Share

The human social propensity to "seek and share" is fundamental. This propensity is amplified by electronic communication, and can produce dramatic effects in the viral context of the Web.

We tend to share items that will please and surprise our friends. A notable example is the wedding march video posted by Jill and Kevin Heinz, of St. Paul, MN. Their video was posted on YouTube on July 19, 2009. Within a week it was viewed over 10 million times and garnered over 51,000 comments.

By Tuesday, July 28, 2009, viewership continued to grow at a rate of about 1 million views a day on YouTube alone. Comments continued at the rate of about 5,000 each day. As of July 31, viewership reached almost 13 million with over 65,000 comments.

As of March, 2015, total YouTube viewership for this video was approaching 90 million with 175,000 comments.


Why have so many sought and shared this video? What conceptual lessons can be learned about public response to viral communication?

Clearly there is a classic reversal of expectations. Most of the people in the church were not aware of what they were about to experience.

The door is closed. The first notes of “Forever” bring expressions of joy to faces throughout the church. The ushers extend the surprise by dancing their way down the aisle. Two bridesmaids then set the stage.

The narrative of the song becomes apparent as members of the bridal party take turns interpreting. The groom makes his entrance with a promise to his angel. The bridal party mystically prepares the altar and then turns to the bride for her entrance.


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This video demonstrates the basis for sharing. People want others to have that same feeling of unexpected joy.

A combination of psychological responses underlies the desire to share. The figure below identifies six factors commonly associated with how we respond to what we see in media. It is my Index of Viral Sharing.



We share Jill and Kevin’s video because of the originality and clarity of the storytelling. But it is not just any story… there is activity, enjoyment, empathy and realization in their video. We see the wedding march in a new and enjoyable way. That’s the substance people really want to share.

For further reading, see my article "Profiling User Responses to Commercial Websites" published in the May-June, 1997 issue of the Journal of Advertising Research. It has been cited by 230 articles and books about Internet advertising and provides the conceptual basis for thinking about information distributed on the Internet, whether by websites or viral sharing.

Many thanks to Scott Shellstrom – art director extraordinaire – for letting me know about this video.

For more on the psychology of advertising, please see Advertising and the Arc of History.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toyota Creates New Font with the iQ Minicar

Toyota is using the intersection of creativity, communication and cars to introduce its new iQ minicar to the European market.


An overhead camera was employed to film tracking lights placed ontop of the iQ minicar while it was driven in the patterns of the letters and symbols needed to create the new iQ type face.

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It's an inventive way to create interest among the urban innovators who will lead the way to this car. You see the car and how easily it maneuvers. Then, if you are a creative person, you also want to download and use the font.

It was easy to download it. I'm sure the iQ font will make an appearance in at least one PowerPoint presentation next semester.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Source Credibility

The two most credible people in advertising died this week. Billy Mays at age 50, and Karl Malden at 97.

How were they such powerful spokesmen? They simply believed in what they were selling, and their belief came through.

Here's Malden in the classic American Express commercial from 1985. The construction of this commercial rises to the level of Aesop's Fables. It is a simple tale with a moral, delivered with conviction.

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Both Billy Mays and Karl Malden spoke with belief and authority.

Decades of persuasion research have pointed to source credibility as perhaps the key source of variance in message effectiveness.

There is a value in always telling the truth.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Credo for Corporate Advertising

An earlier post about effective advertising has sparked interest.

On May 11th, I reflected on the advice George Olmstead once wrote in a house ad for Young & Rubicam. George was the master of print advertising, yet his advice applies to all advertising.

Here's a look at the tear sheet for the ad. Boleslaw (Bob) Czernysz was the art director.


George wrote:

"Corporate advertising can pay off for your company in lots of ways.

If it's good corporate advertising. Unfat, unfuzzy, unstuffy, and uncomplicated.

Is there a key to corporate advertising that's sharp and effective? We think so.

Do it like product advertising. With all the same unforgiving disciplines you'd follow in selling toothpaste or dog food or seats on airplanes.

Disciplines? Start with a clear definition of exactly what the advertising is to accomplish. And exactly how you plan to measure it's success or failure.

And exactly who it's talking to.

Then remind yourself that no one really wants to read advertising. You have to make your ads so compelling that people can't help themselves.

Which means telling your story - any story - in terms of the reader's self interest. They want to know, 'What's in it for me?'

Talk like a person, one-to-one. Not preaching, but conversing with a friend.

Keep things simple, too - the way good product advertising does. (Just because it's corporate advertising doesn't mean there is room for the kitchen sink.)

Of course Y&R believes in corporate advertising. When it's hard edged, focused, and disciplined.

Like the best product advertising."

George Olmstead wrote this advice in the late 1970s. Given the state of business today, his words are even more important.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Caution on Click Through Testing

Direct response methods have tremendous potential. The promise really is to introduce the scientific method to choices advertisers have to make. The trick is to have a complete model of consumer response, and to get the measurement right.

On the Web, this is not as simple as just tossing up a variety of ad executions and counting the clicks for the differing promotional offers.

Indeed, studies have shown that extrinsic rewards, such as promotional offers, can erode the intrinsic motivation underlying consumer intent. Here's the top-line on one recent study.


So the risk is that by "buying consumer interest" as demonstrated by a click-through response to a sales promotion offer, marketers may actually demean the value of the brand in the eyes of consumers. It is vital that the entirety of consumer brand response be modeled and measured, and not just the click-through rates.

Advertising should always have a well-conceived communication strategy that is based on a leverageable consumer insight. It also helps to have a Big Idea based on the strategy.

Of course direct response methods are critical to success, but scattered testing of discount offers to promote click-through rates can erode the brand's vital value proposition.

Data mining should always take place in the context of smart strategic thinking. Said another way, you don't have a science unless you are testing a theory. Here's a link to more on the study shown in the chart.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Valuation of FaceBook

There is a lot of discussion about the valuation of social networking companies such as FaceBook and Twitter.

Sky Technologies, the Russian IT investment organization, just purchased almost two percent of FaceBook. This translates to a $10 billion valuation for FaceBook.

The preferred stock acquired by Sky Technologies confers special rights and so maybe $10 billion is an over-estimate. But various sources have speculated on the valuation and contrasted this most recent purchase to the earlier investment in FaceBook made by Microsoft.

It is important to recognize that the most valuable commodity on Earth is attention. So an alternative valuation approach might start with that foundational perspective.

Today Facebook reports that it has “over 200 million” active users on a world-wide basis. The Nielsen Online chart gives the latest on the size of the FaceBook audience within the United States.


In April, there were 53.8 million active FaceBook users in the United States. This amounts to 34.8 percent reach of active Internet users in the US and 17.5 reach of the total US population.

The United States audience for FaceBook averaged about 2 and a-half hours on the site in April. This amounts to about 5 minutes per day.

Coming back to attention as the most valuable of commodities, it is within this 5-minute average daily window that the valuation of the company must make sense.

And, looking at it a slightly different way, the $10 billion evaluation equates to $50 per each member of the currently active audience for FaceBook. So it is within those 200 million five-minute daily “attention structures” that the advertising model will have to pay out for FaceBook. It is an intriguing challenge for sure.

For more perspective on the Psychology of Advertising, please see Advertising and the Arc of History.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Global Internet Use Down in April

Nielsen Online provides helpful information each month on how the online world is growing and changing. One of their most interesting charts shows global use of the Internet.

Today they up-dated the chart to show growth through April.


Interestingly, you can see that growth eased somewhat in April. The number of online sessions, domains visited, web pages per person per month, all declined somewhat. The active digital universe was also down about a percentage point for April.

This may reflect global economic conditions. People may be spending less on Internet access time, or they might be deciding to use their time differently for various reasons. Up-dated survey research could help uncover changing perceptions of time use and motivations.

Here's the link to Nielsen Online. You can follow their monthly chart on global Internet use, as well as charts showing some country-specific information on the most popular parent domain names, such as Google, Yahoo!, and FaceBook.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nearly half the US population uses social media every week

Yesterday Knowledge Networks released results of an online panel survey of the marketing impact of social networks.

The company reported that while 47 percent of the "full U.S. population" uses social media on a weekly basis, less than 5 percent say they turn to social media sites for guidance on purchase decisions.

Of course people turn to social media for social purposes. The question is, "What happens when they get there?"

Over 100 years of survey research have well documented that people turn to their friends first for the most credible information about what they should buy. This underscores the importance of interpersonal communication, including social media.

So, the important finding of the study is the 47 percent figure for weekly use of social media. The company also reported that 34 percent said they used these media more often then they did a year ago, while 18 percent said they used them less.

The bottom line really is not changed by this study. Organizations that do not productively embrace social media will fall behind competitors that do.

My earlier post today shows one way McDonald's is doing it.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Co-Op the Photo-Op

Summer vacations are underway, and that means plenty of photo and video sharing on social media.

Here, a mother takes her daughter's photo in front of the McDonald's animated outdoor display in Piccadilly Circus, London. The Charlie Chaplin hat is being shown at the moment, but the display will quickly change to many others.


The daughter sees herself appearing to wear the hat and smiles.


Doubtless that photo, and those of thousands of other tourists will be shared via Flickr, FaceBook, Myspace, YouTube, or even Twitter.


Here's the McDonald's viral video promoting photo and video sharing.

video

This demonstrates the inextricable link between mass communication and interpersonal communication. Clearly all of these people are "Lovin' It" and "sharing it" with McDonald's.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Difference in Detail

"From the assembly line to the road" is a familiar story line for automotive advertising.

Yet this new commercial from Ford shows how details can convey a strategic message in a fresh and confidence inspiring manner.

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The precision of the Mission Impossible inspired assembly, the breath of life to install the air bag, and the brand reveal as the car emerges from its protective bath, all these details work to evoke an emotional response of confidence in the car.

The kiss to the brand mark seems a fitting transition to the road scenes.


The commercial was done by JWT Shanghai.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sense of Purpose

Brand loyalty is ultimately based on core values shared between the brand and its followers. In this commercial for Calvo tuna every step along with way is infused with a sense of purpose.

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Indeed, the music has a percussive flamenco insistence. This commercial asks for the order in every frame.

The commercial was done by Publicis España, the Madrid agency.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Future Looking Advertising

Iberdrola, S.A. is the world's largest operator of renewable energy generating systems. The company is based in the Basque region of northern Spain.

Here is the company's latest television commercial.

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The commercial is creatively and strategically brilliant in its support of the business plans of the company. If you are in public relations or advertising or business leadership (or even politics) the larger significance of this commercial is well worth reflection.

The music, of course, is Carly Simon's Academy Award winning song. "We're coming to the edge, running on the water, coming through the fog your sons and daughters. Let the river run, let all the dreamers wake the nation. Come, the new Jerusalem."

In the commercial, the swimmers depart from Palos de la Frontera, Spain. This is the point where Columbus set sail for America.


The artist Evaristo Dominguez depicted the departure of Columbus. The Rabida Monastery, where Columbus met with Franciscans to plan his expedition, can be seen in both the commercial and the painting.


The commercial was done by Publicis España, a Madrid agency.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Sustaining Brands

This 1959 Volkswagen commercial looks back on the 1950s to position the brand against the excesses of competing brands. The commercial speaks to brand sustainability based on improvement of utility.

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It is a humble commercial demonstrating a profound business truth. That truth is to always plan for long run social sustainability.

Most economic models marginalize the things that matter in the long calling them "externalties." The thought was not lost on Keynes.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Creative Ambiguity

Advertising creativity calls for a frame of reference. It must be to a purpose or the work can be questioned.

This week's 50th annual Clio Awards show has sparked some discussion along these lines. Here's the work that won the Grand Clio for print for CLM BBDO, a Paris agency. It is a charming page.


Here's how art director Bill Taubin presented Alka-Seltzer during the creative heyday of that brand. Bill's name is in the Art Directors Hall of Fame (1981).

This spot was on Bill's last reel.

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Of course the commercial is of another era. Yet its content reminds us of David Ogilvy's bottom line advice, "No sell, no eat."

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

YouTube Portfolio

Here's how to use the latest technology to propel your career forward as a creative person.

In this video, freelance artist Evelien Lohbeck demonstrates her original thinking and artistic talent. You'll see four vignettes in which she plays with our expectations.

video

This work is more than technique, Lohbeck can surprise us, charm us, and make us think. She lives in the Netherlands making videos and commercials. She released this video on YouTube about a week ago.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Godzilla Saves Copywriters

In times of crisis Godzilla always shows up to save the world. He also regularly saves advertising copywriters.

In 1984 Godzilla showed up to save Dr Pepper.

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In 2009 Godzilla returned in a new form to assist another beverage.

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Archetypal action heroes can be good for advertising.

The 1984 Dr Pepper commercial was done by Young & Rubicam, then the world's largest advertising agency. Lou DiJoseph's group did historic work for Dr Pepper in those days. The 2009 Oasis commercial was by Mother, the agency in London.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Original Advertising: Never Dull

There's a story in the news today about a major brand's search for its advertising roots.


It reminded me of the advice Richard Olmstead once wrote in a house ad for Young & Rubicam. He was the master of advertising writing, and his advice applies to all advertising.

Dick Olmstead wrote:

"Disciplines? Start with a clear definition of exactly what the advertising is to accomplish. And exactly how you plan to measure it's success or failure.

And exactly who it's talking to.

Then remind yourself that no one really wants to read advertising. You have to make your ads so compelling that people can't help themselves.

Which means telling your story - any story - in terms of the reader's self interest. They want to know, 'What's in it for me?'

Talk like a person, one-to-one. Not preaching, but conversing with a friend."

Dick Olmstead was a perfect writer. BTW, the visual is not from the original house ad, its just my spin on a good old brand.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Performance Advertising

You can't have a new idea if you only have one idea. That is the basis for creativity. Collide ideas to create new ones in surprising ways.

Some idea "collisions" are pleasantly surprising, others can be strident, yet sometimes surprisingly productive.

Spreading steadily on the Web is a pleasing combination of Love Story (Taylor Swift) with Viva La Vida (Coldplay). The latest from Viral Video Chart shows 615,014 views of the video and 610 blog postings over the past 30 days.


In the 8 minute video, music arranger John Schmidt performs his "mish/mash" arrangement with cellist Steven Sharp. If you have a Bose sound system connected to your computer this 3-minute excerpt will definitely "activate your subwoofer."

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This is a good example of what I call "performance advertising."

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Circulation Advertising and the Web

Advertising in conventional mass media can play a role in driving traffic to websites. Yahoo! demonstrated this approach early on.

But "circulation advertising" centered on current editorial content is a long-standing method used by magazines and newspapers. Now we see it driving traffic to the Web, and from the Web to conventional media.

Here, BBC Two uses viral circulation advertising to drive traffic to a current television program.

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The spot captures our interest and transfers it to their television show. We want to see the surfer's emergence from that monster barrel wave.

Medium to medium "excitation transfer?" Possibly.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hot Hot

Creative people sometimes encounter writer's block. Some of us called this "glass elbows" when I managed the creative department at Y&R in New York. My break out advice was always, "Think of the most arresting demonstration you can muster, we can always dial it back."

Creating an arresting demonstration of the benefits of the product attributes is a productive pathway to transformational advertising.

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This work was done for the McIlhenny Company by Duval Guillaume, a Brussels advertising agency.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

The Viral Distribution Process

Susan Boyle's video from Britain's Got Talent appeared on April 11. The latest report from the Viral Video Chart shows the video spread rapidly and now has moved into the "Long Tail" phase on the Web.


This video has set the standard for rapid and extensive viewing. As of today, the Viral Video Chart reports 135,153,354 viewings of the video, as well as 12,575 blog posts and 460,658 comments.

Here's a look at their chart in the fashion of Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations. This is the actual distribution, however, not a Normal Distribution as used in the Rogers typology.


At Phase Change 1, you can see the suggestion of an early inflection point and rapid acceleration. Phase Change 2 involves the transition to a continuing lower level of blog posting interest. This pattern is often described as the Long Tail phase of the diffusion process.

It took about three days for Sara Boyle's video to undergo a phase change to highly accelerated diffusion. The peak occurred in about seven days. The phase change marking the beginning of the transition to the Long Tail took place in about 10 to 12 days. The video has been a phenomenon and its diffusion pattern provides a basis of comparison and reflection when thinking about the role of blogs in the diffusion of viral videos.

The points of comparison involve the timing and slope changes seen in the two phases identified in my chart. The timing and extent of the peak point is also a key consideration. Of course, there are many other factors, such as the audience involved and the video content.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Advertising as Aspiration

Advertising is aspiration, and never is it more so when given responsibility for a majestic brand.

You can experience this in the newly released video for Chanel N° 5. Viewership is spreading rapidly now on the Web. The video stars Audrey Tautou in a wonderfully crafted story of romance and the Orient Express. You'll find one-minute and four-minute versions.

But, in the video below the director of the commercial speaks of his work. Jean-Pierre Juenet captures the majesty of the moments a perfume can bring. He also captures what advertising can be, and why we seek to do it at such a level.

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Jeunet speaks of the joy involved in a meticulous creative process.
Among his remarks, Juenet says, "I put the bottle in the story, since it was a sleeper train. We could get reflections from the bottle. My wife puts her perfume on a small cabinet and the bottles refract light creating lovely reflections. At the end there is a mosaic of the two Cs in the Chanel logo."

Jeunet also speaks of the discovery process and complications of filming in Istanbul and on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait. He reflects as the video ends, "It brought me four months of happiness... There were so many magical moments."

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Social Propensity to Share Joy

T-Mobile's advertising idea "Life's for Sharing" perfectly reflects the human social propensity to "seek and share." This propensity is of course amplified by electronic communication, and can produce dramatic effects in the viral context of the Web.

On March 4th I wrote about T-Mobile's success with its mob dance viral videos. When people experience unanticipated joy they act to share it with their friends.

Last Friday T-Mobile released a new video. The latest results from the Viral Video Chart show it to be spreading rapidly.


About 13,500 Londoners were drawn to Trafalgar Square under the guise of participating in another mob dance. Instead, they found themselves to be participants in a spontaneous rock concert.

Two thousand wireless microphones were handed out, song lyrics were displayed on a giant video screen, and the crowd sang various rock anthems as 22 video cameras captured the event.

There were surprises too, including Pink singing "Piece of My Heart."


Here's the viral of the crowd in Trafalgar Square singing "Hey Jude" as released by T-Mobile.

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T-Mobile is showing how brands can use the Web in an idea-driven way that is strategically, creatively, and socially smart. It will be interesting to see how viewership builds for this newly released video.

Saatchi & Saatchi, London is the advertising agency.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Simply Natural

Here is a simple story...this cordial orange drink is all natural.

A wren-like bird instantly establishes itself as a personalty. We get a charming bird's eye view on the choices we make and they lead us naturally to the brand.

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The commercial is at once simple and complex. There are layers of discovery that come to us from repeated viewing. It is a good example of "rich media."

This commercial was done by BBH, a London advertising agency.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Fractal Pattern of the Web

Much has been written about the "Long Tail" concept in connection with audience interest in materials placed on the Web. The long tail is sometimes modeled with the Poisson or Pareto distributions.

Here's a look at about 10 months of viewership data for a short video that I posted on YouTube and then left for observation.


Notice the long tail pattern for the entire time period. After a period of initial interest the pattern settles down to a lower level. Notice also the Pareto distributions in the fashion of fractals (self-similar patterns).

The onset of each fractal was occasioned by different blogs that briefly featured the video. In many ways bloggers can be viewed as gate-keepers taking us back to Katz and Lazarsfeld's "two-step model of mass communication."

The "Theory of Least Effort" provides one psychological explanation for the fractal pattern. "Marketing influentals" are willing to expend more effort and are more motivated to share what they have found. In the early phase, they make finding a source easier for those who are unwilling to expend the same levels of effort in seeking and sharing.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

High Definition and High Elaboration

A Samsung viral is challenging YouTube viewers to figure out how they made the viral with no edits using the latest Samsung High Definition camera phone.


To meet the challenge, of course you have to closely examine the high definition picture.

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As of today, over 630,000 have viewed this viral, with 1,500 making comments on how it was done.

Great advertising should make you think. That's an important lesson shared by the Elaboration Likelihood Model of attitude change and advertising professionals.

This work was done by the:viral:factory, the agency based in London and Santa Monica.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eighmey's Viral Sharing Index

Susan Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent has become a viral video phenomenon. It is by far the most viewed video this year.

As of today, the Viral Video Chart reports over 88 million views and 8,500 blog postings of this video.


Why have so many sought and shared this video? What conceptual lessons can be learned about public response to viral communication?

video

Clearly there is a reversal of expectations. An unknown person stands alone and vulnerable on the great stage. The audience takes her measure, and then she takes them away.

Therein lies the basis for sharing. People want others to have that same feeling of unexpected joy.

A combination of psychological responses underlies the desire to share. The figure below identifies six factors commonly associated with how we respond to what we see in media.


Susan Boyle's viral video exemplifies high performance on all six factors in my Viral Sharing Index.

For further reading, see my article "Profiling User Responses to Commercial Websites" published in the May-June, 1997 issue of the Journal of Advertising Research. It has been cited by 230 articles and books about Internet advertising and provides the conceptual basis for thinking about information distributed on the Internet, whether by websites or viral sharing.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's off to work we go!

Walt Disney saw how new communication technologies could be used to share simple human truths more widely and more deeply.

One of those basic truths is enthusiasm for work. Nothing expresses this better than the classic work song of the Seven Dwarfs in the animated movie Snow White. "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go!"


This joy is brought to life in the latest commercial for Hershey's Kisses. They've named the commercial "Off to work we go!"

video

One would hope that people might see more than a joyful commercial about an enjoyable product. It is a charming commercial, but it is also the needed outlook of our times.

When I worked in New York City, there was a New Jersey Transit conductor who whistled this tune as he walked up the aisle taking tickets. I am sure his sense of humor was noticed by more than a few, and the lesson was not lost as they went off to work in the Big Apple.

And, let's be sure we remember the lesson of Walt Disney. The media business is always about human truths, successfully communicated with the latest technology.

That is exactly what Walt Disney did. And there is a future in it.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.