12 Days of Advertising – Day 1
Somehow between all this she found time to tell us her pick of 2011 and some insights on what 2012 may hold.
Julie’s pick for 2011 is one that has been widely popular both in New Zealand and globally. NZTA’s “Legend” a.k.a “Ghost Chips” is a great example of how a positive message can be more powerful than a negative one.
- Adorable characters
- The sense of humor used
- Appeals to our kiwi sense of place and harks back to a simpler time (‘spoon’)
In the week beginning 4th November, the campaign was the second most shared viral video online. Not just in New Zealand but globally! The video was shared 99,797 times in that one week. Since being uploaded onto YouTube on the 20th of October it has been viewed over 1.4 million times.
Thomas Scovell, Director of Digital Innovation at Clemenger BBDO explained to me that this YouTube success was quite a feat as digital views were not an integral part of the original strategy. Paid advertising was heavily weighted towards television. Although the ad was on YouTube, initially it wasn’t easy to find. The video was listed under it’s title ‘Legend’ but most people were searching ‘ghost chips’ or the other takeaway sayings. He theorises that this actually aided the popularity, like an online treasure hunt, when the clip was found people might have been more likely to share their ‘great find’.
“Memes aren’t catchphrases. Catchphrases wear out. Memes evolve and are repurposed. Memes can be anything from a pure idea to an image, phrase or pattern.”
~ Thomas Scovell, Clemenger BBDO
Julie cites Thomas Scovell again when explaining what we can learn from the ghost chip meme – she says “don’t publish work that is too finished, and publish it in such a way that you optimize people’s ability to borrow it and make it their own”. A successful meme becomes part of our language. We’re no longer telling the brand’s story, it has become our own. We feel an ownership over the idea, adding our own humor and sharing it further.
|Some examples of how the ‘ghost chips’ meme was reinvented|
However, the catch 22 of memes is that we only know what will turn into a meme after it already is one. Even when closely examining ‘ghost chips’ and other 2011 memes like “Nek Minnut’ and Piri Weepu “Keep Calm”, there’s no way to predict what will be the next meme. This is best summed up by Charles Mabett on his great post on Ghost Chips and memes:
“Try as you might, you can’t reverse engineer a meme. Make a meme, and more often than not, it will fall flat. They arrive unexpectedly, they multiply like an algal bloom and they die when the oxygen of relevancy runs out.” ~ Charles Mabbett, Social Media NZ
“They’re good people who make bad choices. They don’t set out to drive drunk, they just don’t plan ahead. A few beers with the lads can easily morph into a bigger night, poor judgement and fewer options to get home…. It’s hard to tell a mate not to drive; no one wants to lose face, to be seen as the ‘downer’ of the party or to be accused of being ‘soft’… We want them to have the guts to speak up and say something without feeling like they’ve killed the mood.”
~ Extracts from the New Zealand Transport Agency press release
There’s no doubt that this campaign was incredibly popular – but was it a success? Will ‘ghost chips’ really save lives?
It seems that the message behind ‘ghost chips’ is being remembered despite it’s reinvention. For example, the above ‘free ghost chips ad’ ends with the line “The king says, stop a mate driving drunk, legend”. You just have to look at the many user generated Facebook pages that have adopted these memes – running through most of the conversation is discussion around not drink driving:
A great campaign to start off the 12 Days of Ads showcase – and hopefully 2012 will bring more in this tone from the NZ Transport Agency.
Now to Julie’s predictions for 2012…
Nicole: What do you expect to see more of in 2012?
Julie: I interviewed several Social Media experts earlier in the year for Ponsonby News and a number agreed that mobile is going to get very exciting as technology continues to develop and when we get better broadband speed here. Also, I came away from the MSN Digital Marketing Summit (where Julie heard Thomas Scovell speak on Legend) really excited about Youtube and video.
|Nicole: Eye tracking testing has shown that we often disregard the far right of our screen as we’ve been programmed to see these as ads (the red shows where the eye rests the longest when scanning a webpage – the green boxes added post test show where the ads were placed on the page). Sourced from Marketing Pilgrim|
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