March 28, 2015

Music Makes Memories

Filed under: Advertising,Marketing,Video — Emily Reeves @ 10:30 pm

There are two commercials running right now — both for insurance — that I stop and watch every time they play. It is the music in both that initially drew me in, but it is the clever execution that keeps me watching and giggling every time I watch. Yesterday I was getting ready for work and I could hear the tv in the living room that my husband was watching. The UnitedHealthcare spot below came on and I heard him laugh when it was over.

I am not currently shopping for insurance of any kind, but I remembered the brand names associated with both of these commercials. When I heard one connect with my husband, I started thinking about why these two were so memorable to us:

  • Music. Both “Push It” and “Time of My Life” are songs from my teenage years. I remember them fondly. I could sing all the words to Salt-N-Pepa’s songs and I must have watched Dirty Dancing 300 times.
  • Clean Humor. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for dirty humor. But these commercials are funny without being stupid, silly or dirty. I don’t feel guilty smiling when I watch these spots.
  • Surprise. I haven’t seen Salt-N-Pepa in years. The Geico commercial would not have been as good if it was the song without the artists. The UnitedHealthcare spot wouldn’t have been as funny if the couple had not crashed on the table. It made it believable and something we could all connect with because it could happen. Making the perfect lift would have been funny, too, but not as memorable.

Having worked in the advertising business for 16 years, I have become jaded and cynical when it comes to viewing ads. It is nice to come across a couple of spots that can still connect with me.

April 3, 2013

Getting Up To Speed Video: Branded Content As Advertising

Filed under: Advertising,Getting Up To Speed,Video — Emily Reeves @ 9:53 am

Today I think we will reading more about branded content as advertising, also called native content, as more online publishers are offering this as an alternative to online banner advertising to reach their audiences.

GUTS 4-3-13 from Emily Reeves on Vimeo.

March 30, 2013

Video: A Really Boring One

Filed under: Advertising,Girl Gets Geeky,Technology,Video — Emily Reeves @ 3:14 pm

I am trying to learn how to use my GoPro camera better and how to use Final Cut Pro, so I’ve been doing a little experimenting. A couple of weeks ago, I set up my GoPro on a Gorilla Pod tripod attached to the top corner of the bookshelves in my office and set the time lapse to shoot an image every 60 seconds. I did this for the full five days during the week and no one noticed (or if they did, they didn’t say anything). I only captured three to four hours each days as this is how long the wifi backpack battery lasted. Every time I had to get the camera up or down, I had to crawl on a stool and doing that during the middle of the day usually meant someone would see me and ask what was I was doing. So, I didn’t recharge during the middle of the day to capture the whole day. Therefore, the half-day recordings.

If you are curious as to how I spend my days when I am not traveling, this will be really interesting to you: I sit at my desk working all day. Sometimes people come in and talk to me. Sometimes I leave to talk to other people or go to meetings. You can see me eating my Brown Sugar Cinnamon PopTart and drinking my Red Bull each morning. Like I said, this is a boring video. But I have put too much time into figuring out how to use the technology to not share it.

Office Time Lapse March 2013 from Emily Reeves on Vimeo.

April 18, 2012

My Favorite Quotes and Facts from the AdAge Digital Conference 2012

Filed under: Advertising,Digital Strategy,Marketing,Social Media — Emily Reeves @ 8:08 pm

Here is a round-up of things heard at the AdAge Digital Conference that resonated with me in some way, shape or form:

  • “Snow White” was the first full length feature animated film. It was also the most financially successful film when it came out. (“Gone With the Wind” beat it next year.)
  • Stop thinking about the technology and instead think about the purpose.
  • Go back to your startup mentality. What was it that excited you? Don’t think about digital as something you do to stay relevant; think instead about how to communicate your message.
  • Every marketer mines data. It is how you use the data that makes the difference.
  • People would rather give up their toothbrush than their mobile phone.
  • People look at their mobile phones an average of 40 times a day.
  • Over 50% of Facebook users are accessing the network via mobile device.
  • Social is not a what, it is a where things happen.
  • We have to scale platforms for two-way engagement with consumers.
  • Consumers now have the power of media and a consciousness of marketing. Consumers talk about how they know what a brand is doing with its marketing. Keep this in mind.
  • Don’t reduce the whole world of social networks to two or three social networks.
  • Consumers talk about brands as “they” rather than “it.” Brands have to figure out how to behave as people. Brands are positioned as people on social networks, so they should act like people.
  • 80% of consumers are using their phones to shop smarter, sometimes on the spot, at the shelf.
  • Learn what people are engaging with and build content to match.
  • People don’t change their TV very often, only every five to seven years. A tablet probably gets upgraded very 18 months.
  • Customers are lazy, stubborn and loyal. Don’t force them todo things they dont want to do.
  • 500 million people listen to music online illegally.
  • Viral ads are no longer a happy accident. Every campaign today needs to be interesting enough to be passed around and shared on digital networks.
  • The definition of content has changed. It used to take money and power to distribute content. Now the cost is practically none. Content distribution is happening in mass scale. It is about empowerment and democratization.
  • The challenge is now the curation of content. How do we find what is meaningful to us? We are increasingly using Facebook and other places like it: we turn to friends for what to read, listen to, watch, eat, buy, etc.
  • Social technologies change the way the stories are seen and shared.
  • Consumers are 50% more likely to remember an ad when they see a friend’s name associated with it (socially annotated ads).
  • Technology is enriching and enhancing our experiences.
  • Beer is the original social network.

March 14, 2012

Online Advertising Can Be Good

Filed under: Advertising,Digital Strategy,Online Advertising — Emily Reeves @ 3:38 pm

Too frequently our online advertising is thought of as an add-on to the campaign and is simply a hastily executed version of the television or print with little thought as to how it will be experienced differently online. Google has set out to show us that great “traditional” advertising can be great online when approached still with the same overall message and brand objectives, but with specific thought about the way a user can experience and interact with that message in the digital space. With Project Re:Brief, Google found iconic advertising and its creators, then worked with them to develop online versions of the advertising that are truly amazing.

So far, Google has released the Coca-Cola and Volvo ads, complete with a video documentary of the process and step-by-step descriptions of how the ads work through the technology. It is inspirational and educational. Check out the full site: Project Re:Brief.

(Thumbs up to Mr. Stone for sending this my way.)

March 9, 2012

Creating Content-Relevant Ads #SXSWi

Filed under: Advertising,SXSW,Technology — Emily Reeves @ 10:08 pm

{Shaking It Up}

“Blending commerce and content can build an experience that speaks to both sides of the target audience needs.” ~ Keeping Loyal Customers Engaged by Shaking Sh*t Up

Today was the first day of SXSW 2012, so it was short (cold and rainy) day of only three sessions. But in two of the three sessions I attended today, there was discussion about content-relevant advertising and how it improves the user experience.

Thrillest co-founder and CEO Ben Lerer gave a presentation titled Keeping Loyal Customers Engaged by Shaking Sh*t Up. Lerer told the Thrillest start-up story from a single site to what is now an integrated media group. At the core of the success of the Thrillest properties is advertising that complements the content, making it uber-relevant to the user consuming both that content and the advertising. To make sure this symbiotic relationship was created, Thrillest created content for its advertisers, integrating it into Thrillest’s content offerings beyond a display ad.

{Ben Lerer}

An good example of content and advertising integration on Thrillest was the launch of McDonald’s McRib sandwich. McDonald’s placed display advertising on Thrillest’s site, but Thrillest took it to the next level by creating a vintage-esque McRib tshirt in a limited quantity and sold it on the site with all proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House. It helps that the Thrillest audience is young males who dig on McRibs, so the match was a perfect one.

{Guy Kawasaki Interviews Vic Gundotra}

The second session in which this content-relevant advertising was a topic was the Fireside Chat with Vic Gundotra of Google+. Gundotra described Google+ as “a social layer across all of Google’s services.” What it turns out this really means is that Google’s goal is to make ads into content by making ads relevant and serving them at the point of commercial intent (aka, search). Gundotra described it as “marrying the best of social with the best purchase intent.” Basically, this boils down to feeding the user filtered search results based on his or her Google+ content/activity and the content/activity of his or her circles on Google+. He rattled off a quite impressive statistic to support this practice: if an ad is socially annotated (tagged with a note that a specific friend has already liked this product/service/site/etc.), there is a 5-10% click through uptick. Ultimately, Gundotra said that advertisements are going to get more relevant across all Google services because of Google+ and become part of the content the user is searching.

{Visual Notes From The Fireside Chat}

All of this is good news for advertisers: the more integrated the advertiser’s message can be with the content, the more likely a user is to pay attention to it and engage with the message. But, it means that advertisers must continue to refine their target audience definitions and recognize that one ad version doesn’t work across all channels. This can get expensive and time-consuming, but will produce better results and build favorability with the target audiences.

{Best Presentation Close Ever}

May 8, 2011

Navy SEALs Recruitment Commercial

Filed under: Advertising,Current Events,That's Just Cool — Emily Reeves @ 11:22 am

This spot gave me goosebumps, so I couldn’t resist sharing.

April 22, 2011

“You are not really an AE, are you?”

Filed under: Account Management Training,Advertising — Emily Reeves @ 7:57 am

The best compliment I could have received at the conference I attended this week was in the question above (and my new friend that asked the question endeared himself to me forever). This was a compliment in the context of this conference because I had just come off a presentation about my takeaways from SXSWi, an interactive and creative conference and not something one would expect account people to attend. Account Management (account managers, account executives, etc.) gets a bad rap in the ad agency business; there is an assumption in many agencies that they are order-takers and simply a go-between. However, the truth is that they are saddled with a lot of responsibility (at least, in our agency): communications strategy development, budget management, revenue management, deadline management, scheduling/traffic, relationship building both inside and outside, ensuring integration across the agency in the strategies we recommend for the agency, meeting leaders, proof-reading, research, maintaining knowledge of industry trends, maintaining knowledge of their clients’ business trends, and the list goes on. But they get none of the “glory” when a creative project is deemed successful, although without a good account person on the team, the project likely would not have come to its fruitful results.

Because I was the only account person at a conference of creative directors, digital strategists and media directors, I heard much complaining about the roles account people play in agencies. Some of the complaints were legitimate, some were blame-shifting (perhaps), but regardless, these conversations have inspired me to think about how to improve account management in agencies. I should be proud to be an “AE,” not flattered by a question that implies I am “better than” an AE.

I have been thinking on this challenge for several days and know that more concentrated training is in order, both for the account team and for their agency partners.

Starting in May, we will begin weekly training and sharing sessions with our account teams to not only improve their skills, but also their confidence in the roles they each play in the agency.  I am interested in any thoughts readers here have for what kind of training is needed for account people, or examples of how account people are trained in your own agencies.  I plan on sharing our training methods here in a weekly series and look forward to your feedback.

For our agency partners (creative, media, interactive, PR, production): what would be the best way to earn respect and understanding for the work that we do and the contribution that we make?