Monthly Archives: February 2012

Music and advertising – a perfect partnership

“Apple has proven that every time a iPod is created, an indie band gets their wings”~ Taylor Magenheim, Buzzfeed writer (via. Mashable)

While at Wellington’s Homegrown festival I noticed certain songs have been well and truly hijacked by the brands who have used them in their advertising. Examples included Op Shop’s One Day used by NZ Post, Tiki Taane’s Always On My Mind used by BNZ, and The Feelers Stand Up which was used in the 2012 National Election Campaign. It’s impossible to listen to these tunes without having the brands and ads pop into your head.

But why? Studies dissecting music’s effect on consumers suggest that songs — more often than not — positively influence responses to advertising. The right song choice can influence how long a person watches a commercial and sway them into buying what’s in the ad.
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Branding Love – Creative Valentine’s Day Campaigns

Valentine’s Day – or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day! ~ Jay Leno

If it’s a holiday/event/occasion recognised by the masses then chances are us marketers will make it an advertising campaign. In fact, the more cynical would have you believe that Valentine’s Day itself was created by chocolate, flower and card selling companies to create additional revenue – along with those other suspect occasions Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Boxing Day. 

I’m not complaining though – by now you’ve probably picked up that I like ads – and therefore applaud any occasion that inspires more advertising creativity (and perhaps ends up getting me flowers!). 

I’ve gathered a few samples of the most creative Valentine’s Day ads this year – take a look and tell me your favourite! Or if you think advertisers should leave love well alone! 

Heineken’s Serenade 
The Serenade app builds on Heineken’s “The Date” – part of the brand’s “Open Your World” global campaign. The app allows users to customise a Valentine’s serenade to a Facebook friend. You get to choose “who” you want to ask out, “why” you want to go out with them, “what” the legendary date will entail and of course “why” they should say yes. The details are then incorporated into a song that can be sent to the lucky valentine.

You can create your own serenade on Heineken’s Facebook page

Kraft “Golden Voice of Love”
Kraft’s latest campaign for Macaroni Cheese is “You know you love it” and to help spread the love they’ve come up with a unique Valentine’s Twitter campaign. 

Every message of love shared on Twitter between 12th-14th February tagged with #VoiceOfLove will be sent to Ted Williams. Williams is the homeless man with the golden voice who shot to YouTube fame in early 2011. A number of these tweets will be chosen to be read out by Williams as part of a Kraft video. 

There’s also a philanthropic component to the campaign – further sharing the love – every #VoiceOfLove tweet will trigger a donation of 100 boxes of Mac & Cheese to Feeding America, a homeless advocacy group. Kraft will give up to a 100,000 boxes this Valentine’s Day. You can follow Kraft and the campaign on Twitter. They also have a number of cute cartoons (like left) under Valenshares on their Facebook page.

Envied on Popsop

Wilkinson Smooth Valentines 
No explanation needed, just made me laugh. 

Field Notes Love Notebook 

The video has been created to promote the Red Blooded notebook which has been recently added to the Field Notes standard product line. Very cute, if not a little manufactured. 

Envied at Adverblog 

Westfield Love Billboards 
Westfield New Zealand ran a competition to have your love note emblazoned on 2m high billboard (and a chance to win a $5,999 diamond ring). 12 billboards around NZ were unveiled on Valentine’s Day – the full entries can be viewed at  Stoppress.  

One of the winning billboards that was unveiled in Auckland

Teleflora Super Bowl Ad 
Even the most watched sports event in the world is not immune to Valentine’s Day – Teleflora uses the beautiful Adriana Lima to convince the male audience that Valentine’s Day is all a game of ‘give and take’. Sex sells right? 

Starbucks Cup Magic 
Starbucks is bringing back their ‘magic cups’ which appeared last Christmas. The app uses augmented reality to animate Valentine’s Day cups.   

What’s you favourite of these Valentine’s Day campaigns?
Do you love when brands get involved in love?

Super Bowl – The Advertising Winners (and losers)

Even if you’re not in the ad industry theres a good chance you watched Super Bowl as much for the ads as the game. Super Bowl ads set the standard as the most expensive, creative and wild advertising imaginable. While I couldn’t watch them live during the game I’ve still tracked down the ads and picked my favs. 

Along with lots of cars, beer, dogs and babies one of the interesting trends was the number of really good ads that came from crowd sourcing. Possibly not what the agencies were hoping for but the idea is only half the equation, execution is also key. 

The other key trend was the number of campaigns that were pre-released. While only a handful of ads were available online last year, this year 20 out of 36 advertisers released them in advance. Advertisers looked to leverage ads across social platforms and gather pre-game hype – when you’re playing $3.5M for 30 seconds it makes sense to make the ad work harder. 

Kia “A Dream Car. For Real Life”

I didn’t have high hopes for this spot after the Adriana Lima flag waving was slowed down into 5 hours of slow mo footage and released as the teaser. In fact, I’d pretty much decided I was going to hate it. Part of me thought – why bother watching?

However I was pleasantly surprised and happily wrong – Kia’s spot is everything you want from a Super Bowl ad – it’s wildly over the top and slightly insane. Adriana Lima isn’t the only draw card either – Kia managed to pack in rhino riding, a giant subway, kickboxing… oh and Motley Crue!  


M&Ms “Just My Shell”

A new character joins the M&Ms story this year – the sassy Miss Brown! As Zack Pumerantz of Bleacher Report says “at first we liked M&Ms because they were sweet and crunchy, but things have changed. We now respect their sex appeal and bravado” 
Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt 
This spot featuring John Stamos made me laugh – also in a brave move the creative was crowd sourced rather than using an agency. Doritos also went down this track with the public voting on their favourite of five finalists.    
Chevrolet “2012” 
Chevrolet takes advantage of the 2012 doomsday predictions and earns points by getting in a swipe at Ford too. Ford tried to have the ad pulled prior to the Super Bowl and the controversy stirred up further support of the spot. The inclusion of “twinkies” is almost distracting though – reminds me of the movie Zombieland! 


Chevrolet “Happy Grad”
A funny, likable ad. Again showing that the big brands are willing to risk $3.5M per 30sec spot by putting creative in the hands of fans. The spot was the winning entry in the Chevrolet Route 66 film competition. I’d say, due to some brilliant acting, the risk pays off. 


Acura “Transitions”
Rumors are that Jerry Seinfeld’s talent fee exceeded the creative and ad time budget for this commercial. It’s now being referred to as the ‘one with Seinfeld’ – nice ad, doesn’t mean much if the brand is lost though. Extended version of advert shown below.


Sketchers “Mr Quiggly “
There were some good dog commercials this year including VW’s and Bud Light’s Rescue Dog but my favourite has to be the unlikely race dog Mr Quiggly. 
Madonna “Halftime show”
The best advertising of them all – Madonna wasn’t paid for her 12 minute halftime performance but based on the rate card for ads her airtime was worth over $100M! Exposure that will definitely help her new single launch which was included in the performance. 
Lost on me:
I’m going to be honest – I didn’t love all the ads – there were a few that were completely lost on me!
  • Pepsi – Elton John and Melanie Amaro could have been great but it was way too cheesy – I did chuckle at the cameo by Flavor Flav
  • Clint Eastwood – Chevrolet “It’s Halftime for America” – ok I’m not American so I don’t think I’m meant to get it 
  • Chevrolet – Green Hell – didn’t tell me anything that convinced me this car was actually better than the BMW they compare it with
  • Go Daddy body paint and cloud spots – goes to show that the ‘sex sells’ rule can in fact be taken too far, lazy advertising at it’s worst 
  • Honda – “Matthew’s Day Off” – having never seen this movie, it’s obviously lost on me! It was the longest ad at 2.15mins – that makes it a rate card spot worth $19M! 
So what’s your favourite ad of Super Bowl 2012?
If you want to see ALL the ads you can see them here

Super Bowl is about advertising – an open letter to Sky

Dear Sky TV, 

I am the person your advertisers dream of. I love ads, I blog about ads, tell my friends about ads. But most importantly – I buy things I see on ads. Truth be told, I pay more attention to advertisements than your programming.  

So you can imagine the gravity of my disappointment then when the Super Bowl, the sporting advertising event of the year, was streamed live without these iconic ads. Instead we had to watch the same rehashed ESPN highlights clip every ad break. Super Bowl and advertising go hand in hand, surly we miss the full experience and a touch of the magic without these ads.

But do not fear the internet has come to my rescue and I have been able to view the ads post game. Hopefully next year New Zealand can get the full Super Bowl experience – ads and all. 

Kind Regards, 

Ad Obsessed 

P.S Sky’s own TV ads are awesome – keep up that good work!

Here’s the reply from Sky – sounds like I need to tackle ESPN on this – surely there’s a way!