Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mood, Memory and Advertising Effects

Psychological studies have shown that mood states at the time of learning associate themselves with the material being learned.  Positive mood states are more likely than negative to promote learning and recall of material congruent with mood.

Studies also show that people in positive mood states tend to do a better job of integrating new information into their beliefs.

This highly symbolic and positive affect producing commercial for the World Wildlife Fund was created in Mexico City, Mexico.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Advertising Can Be

This 1952 Chevrolet commercial is instructive about what advertising can be.

On one level it is a statement for the brand, seemingly just an entertaining commercial celebrating the latest features of a new car. On another level, this commercial goes far beyond the brand to define what a better life can be for the entire economy and society.

In this way this Chevrolet commercial acted to define the entire outlook of an era and a nation building its future. Interstate highways were constructed and national television networks linked the nation. People looked to progress and the prospect of new experiences and fuller lives.

The recent two-minute Chrysler commercial “Imported From Detroit” is of a similar genre.  However, this commercial speaks of the car and the people who made the car. The connection to the economy and society is less evident.

Looking back to the Chevrolet commercial, we see how advertising can more clearly participate in the economy and society helping define a productive path to a nation's future.

This is more than cheerleading, it is organizing an outlook to build a better future for everyone. So, today, when so many voices are holding us back, someone or something needs to speak clearly for the future and help take us there.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Perspective on Valuation of Facebook

In April of 2009 I posted commentary on what the valuation of Facebook might mean in terms of the daily audience it accumulates. Let’s look again. 

Here is a recent table from Nielsen Online showing the magnitude of the Facebook audience within the United States as of December, 2010.

There were 135.602 million Facebook visitors in the United States alone. This amounts to 68.3 percent reach of active Internet users in the US. 
Looking back to April of 2009, Nielsen reported 34.8 percent reach for Facebook with about 54 million visitors.  Also at that time visitors averaged about two and a-half hours on the site or about 5 minutes a day.
As shown in the chart, people are now averaging about seven hours per month or about 14 minutes per day. Clearly, some are on the site longer each day, but the average has reached the quarter-hour level.

Now, turning to attention as the most valuable of all commodities, it is within this quarter-hour average daily window that the valuation of the company must make sense.
The latest reports place the valuation of Facebook at about $52 billion.  Looking at this from an audience accumulation perspective, in the United States alone, this valuation equates to a little over $380 per each member of the currently active Facebook audience. In April of 2009, this same calculation resulted in $50 per audience member in the US. 

On a world-wide basis, the calculation is a little over $190 per visitor, and the average daily time on the site drops substantially. 
Clearly, the audience size and daily time on the site have been increasing dramatically. Moreover, we are seeing Facebook engage with the civic space of entire nations in dynamic ways.  But, it is within this magic quarter-hour daily “attention structure” that the advertising model will have to pay out for Facebook.  This continues to be an intriguing story.
Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mindful - Playful

Honda has just released a commercial for it's five-door coupe known in Europe as the Honda Jazz.

This commercial projects creative energy with a "mindful - playful" brand personality. Mindfulness comes from the strategic premise of flexibility to meet unanticipated needs, while playfulness arises from Dr. Seuss-style writing and imagery. 

Minnesota's own Garrison Keillor performed the voice-over, adding his own home-spun charm to complete the storytelling.

For more perspective on psychological theory and the development of persuasive advertising, please see Strategic Power of the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super Banner

Chrysler's outstanding Super Bowl commercial - Imported From Detroit - was a signal of things to come (scroll below for earlier post).

Here is Chrysler's banner from the top of today's New York Times. Clearly they know where to find me.

This is exceptional banner design employing symbols with wonderful copywriting... "A car you don't have to own to be proud of."  

Now that is courageous copy.

The banner takes you to a site where you can view the Imported From Detroit commercial and learn more about the Chrysler 200. Just scroll down to February 8th below if you missed seeing this commercial on the Super Bowl.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Super Sunday's Super Brand

People thirst for more than good football on Super Sunday. So beverage commercials are always plentiful. This year was no exception, although only one beverage brand presented exceptional advertising.

Coca-Cola's corporate core competencies focus on distribution and branding.  And, when it comes to advertising, no beverage sends it's brand signal more effectively.

In this commercial - called Border Crossing - we see the "gift-like act" that is an essential element of the Coca-Cola brand concept.  "Happiness" may be how people speak of this campaign in contemporary terms, but the enduring metaphor of the brand involves the universal gesture of friendship. This metaphor was also portrayed in the Dragon commercial for Coca-Cola.

It is this underlying concept that differentiates the brand and raises it above all other beverages. Brands desperate for attention resort to stunts, while Coca-Cola sustains its leadership secure in the knowledge it stands for core values shared by people everywhere in the world.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Imported From Detroit

Automobile makers dominated commercial time on the 2011 Super Bowl. Their commercials were all over the lot. As the dust settles, one image remains. Chrysler's "Imported From Detroit."

In two sweeps of the second hand Chrysler moved to seize the high ground in automotive imagery. The ground was there for the taking. The new GM could have seized it, and Ford certainly has a claim to it with it's well positioned products.

Nielsen audience research reported the Chevy Camaro commercial set a television audience record with 119,628,000 viewers, but it was a typical car spot - attractive woman with attractive car - and Chrysler's story will outlast it.

The signal on Sunday was that it is the new owners of Chrysler who really know the value of brands and how to communicate them.  And it didn't hurt that the advertising agency and commercial director took a page from the playbook for the opening credits of the Sopranos.

A commercial like this is no accident. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Chrysler.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Best Buy Wins Super Bowl

Let's put the USA Today Super Bowl ad liking ratings aside (see earlier post below).  It's really a distracting "trash sport" when it comes to getting down to business.

For my money, I think Best Buy placed the smartest, most successful commercial on this year's Super Bowl.

When it comes to business and advertising strategy, it is hard to beat their offer to help us rid ourselves of yesterday's electronic millstones and replace them with the latest good things to do what we really want. Why not get something for our old technology, let it go properly into a recycling program, and happily move ahead with a better product?

When it comes to advertising creativity, Best Buy smartly employed two popular culture icons (metaphors) to bring its offer to life.

Just think.... it is time to "Ozzy that old phone" and "Bieber-Up" with the future.

Congrats to the people at Best Buy.  Smart business.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Super Bowl Advertising Regressing to the Mean

The vibe on yesterday's Super Bowl advertising reflects a bit of disappointment. 

Here's the trend line on the USA Today ratings for the "most liked" Super Bowl commercial in each of the last 23 Super Bowls. The newspaper uses a ten-point liking scale and they put together a small sample audience each year that is said to be generally reflective of the audience for the game.

This year, the Bud Light and Doritos "Dog Trick" spots tied at the top with 8.35 ratings.

The dotted gray line is the 8.6 average for the 23 years of data. You can notice a phenomenon known as "regression to the mean."  Ratings climbed when the scores were first reported, but now appear to be settling into an even pattern. This suggests advertisers have developed a "formula" to reduce risk.

Advertising, of course, thrives on intelligent risk-taking. Formulas are bad things when it comes to the most productive advertising creativity. So, it is probably time for some notable advertisers to move beyond slap-stick and pet tricks.

Although, they may be satisfied with "Professionally OK."

There is always next year.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Commercial

This new spot from VW excites us about the shape of things to come.

The commercial employs the "beetle metaphor" to promise performance like never before.  It is a car commercial without a car, demonstrating the power of original ideas in advertising.

It is charming, involving, and compelling.

Copyright © 2011 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.