Posts tagged ‘Zag Advertising’

A note for our readers

If you are one of our six regular readers, you might have noticed that the post count has been lacking lately, but we have an excuse. Fortunately for us, all of us here at Zag have been working our tails off on other projects. And as the Blog’s manager, there are some things I have to deal with outside of the office, like attempting to pass my classes so that I can actually graduate in 17 days. I digress.

Like we were saying, Zag has been busy, so unfortunately for you, the blog will enter a short hiatus. Don’t fret; we will be back in a few weeks, after things settle down.

On another, slightly somber note, Collin, Ligia and I will not be returning to Zag in the summer. Each of us will send our regards during the hiatus through X.Y.Zag and Facebook, so keep checking back here to see what we have to say about our experience at Zag.

After the hiatus, expect to see some fresh faces. The new staff, along with Elisa and Kelsey, will continue to update you, the reader/blog stalker, about the agency’s happenings as well as their own views on the marketing world around them.

I’ll go into more detail when it’s my turn to spill my guts, but I would like to say it’s been an honor to be a member of this staff, and I simply wish the best to the incoming Zag class.

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04/22/2010 at 2:14 PM Leave a comment

The future starts now?

Christmas has come and gone, so now it’s time to take our focus off Santa and Christmas lights and turn it towards confetti and falling disco balls.

However this December 31st, we will welcome in not only a new year, but a new decade — anyone who tells me the new decade doesn’t start until 2011 needs to be welcomed to the real world. This got me wondering how close are we to the future we have seen in the movies – more specifically, in regards to advertising. Filmmakers have given us plenty of examples of how they view the future of advertising, but how close are they? Lets take a look.

1) Back to the Future Part II – Jaws 19 holograph

You couldn’t possibly expect me to write about the future without including Marty McFly’s trip to 2015. In this future full of hoverboards, power laces and yet to be discovered Elijah Woods, Marty stumbles upon an interactive ad for Jaws 19. The shark rises from the marquee, music and all, and takes a harmless swipe at McFly (to his horror).

While I love this bit, I don’t see this trend really catching on. Movie marketing is using the Internet and guerilla tactics to set themselves apart today. Plus the holographic route seems a little 1980’s to me.

2) A.I. Artificial Intelligence/Children of Men – Motion billboards

The audience only gets a quick glimpse of the future of ads; you really have to look for it but I promise it’s there. The outdoor ads in these movies stood out to me because none of them were static. Billboards, bus wraps, you name it, it’s going to be moving.

This is actually not a far-fetched idea at all. With more billboards going digital and the introduction of “electric ink” that can move, it seems only a matter of time before moving ads are a reality.

3) Minority Report – Interactive and Customized ads

In order to make the movie more realistic, director Steven Spielberg brought together a “think-tank” comprised of MIT students and asked them to imagine what advertising would be like in 2054. Furthering the whole “people from MIT are smart” theory, the group was able to produce some very good ideas.

The ads in Minority Report would either be able to recognize you personally and identify your consumer patterns or they had the ability to be manipulated by the user. We are actually seeing this from cell phone newcomer Droid, which set up an interactive ad that can be controlled by anyone who has the ability to touch a screen. Overall, I think this movie did the best job in seeing the trend of marketing to the individual a good five years before it really took off.

4) Lots of movies – Using TV spots

Be it Robocop’s attempt to sell Sunblock 5000 or I, Robot’s commercial for the new robot models, apparently TV is still the best route to take as far as advertising goes in the future.

While it still holds sway, TV is definitely NOT getting more popular as an advertising medium. For a perfect example, take a look at Pepsi. They just recently announced they will not feature an ad in the upcoming Super Bowl– to put a little context on that, they have ran Super Bowl ads for the last 23 years . If that’s not a trend, I don’t know what is.

12/28/2009 at 4:12 PM Leave a comment

The holidays — a time for the timeless

For the company holiday card, I was posed the question, “What is your favorite thing about the season?” That’s like asking me what my favorite song or movie is, and that provokes two tiny problems. There’s either the fact that the list of holiday traditions is seemingly endless or that I really didn’t have a tradition growing up — my family is from Vietnam, it’s a surprise we even celebrate the holidays.

Though my familial traditions are suffering, there are quite a few things that make the holidays unique to me. For one, I will only watch the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve — I simply refuse to watch it any other day of the year. Another piece of the season that I absolutely adore is the timeless nature of certain brands. Like we always say at X.Y.Zag, we can make advertising pertinent to almost anything (except for maybe the CIA, or the Patriot Act — you can never talk about that, unless you’re prepared for the consequences).

My favorite example of a brand’s Christmas campaign that holds its own year after year is Coca-Cola. The brand definitely has some things going for them (i.e. nostalgia and its pinpoint execution of, for lack of a better term, holiday goodness).

What I find interesting is that Coca-Cola had three distinct holiday campaigns when I was growing up, each carrying a different time period and overlapping one another. In the end though, whenever someone thinks about a sensory-overload inducing Christmas caravan or fun loving, CGI polar bears, they think Coke.

First there is, “The Holidays are Coming” campaign. Long been a tradition for Coke, the campaign disappeared in 2001. It was later replaced by the cuddly CGI polar bears, and, strangely enough revived in 2007 when Coca-Cola cited numerous phone calls from customers saying the campaign marks the beginning of the season for many.

Next, here are the aforementioned polar bears. Back when the campaign was introduced, it was truly state-of-the-art.

And finally, there are the nostalgic print advertisements that feature Santa. I absolutely love these because I am a fan of advertising in the 50s and 60s, where illustrations ruled.

To me, these advertisements really do epitomize the holiday season. And because of Coke’s perverse awareness throughout the world, it’s easy to assume that these ads really do enforce the brand name.

12/11/2009 at 3:16 PM Leave a comment

Guess what? The BCS isn’t good (at marketing)

It’s that time of year again: the leaves have changed, the air is cooler and colorful little lights can be seen on homes nationwide. Yep, it’s the beginning of the bowl season for college football. Today is a special day because it is the day after the BCS (Bowl Championship Series for you non-sports types) picked the 10 teams to be featured in its five bowl games.

What is special about today is that it’s the day that college football fans are the loudest and angriest. I can’t remember a year going by that hasn’t included a day where close to every sportswriter, blogger and fan unite to protest the BCS selections. Today, I join those ranks, having felt the effects of the BCS firsthand.

However, this is not going to be a blog about how TCU got hosed or how Texas v. Alabama is not what people want – there are plenty of other blogs talking about that. No, I want to talk about (surprise!) the BCS’s attempt at marketing through social media.

The BCS is a perfect example of what not to do in a lot of things, and marketing is no exception. Around mid-November, the BCS (like me) decided to get a Twitter account and a Facebook page. This was done at the behest of their PR firm who is owned and operated by former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. What immediately followed was both equal parts catastrophic and hilarious – Twitter users from all around took the BCS to town; one user even compared them to the Ku Klux Klan.

Of course they responded by repeatedly stating how their system does really work and is the only system that works; this is the main problem with their campaign. The BCS has a great opportunity to engage in constructive, one-on-one conversations with the public, but instead are using social media as another medium to NOT encourage conversation. Also, when they did respond it just comes off as vindictive, here’s how they replied to one fan:

“You all agree on a “playoff” but don’t agree on who, what, where, when and how- that’s why the +1 and MWC [Mountain West] playoff plans were dismissed.”

This is textbook, the last thing you should do when you are already unpopular and trying to get the public on your side is to attack them. History has shown this doesn’t work too well (i.e. every revolution the world has ever seen). Also, as a sidenote putting quotation marks around “playoffs” just comes off as dismissive and arrogant.

Their Facebook page is no better. The wall features over 30 updates posted by the BCS. After first looking at that, I saw a tab labeled “Just Fans,” I assumed this is for the fans to say their perspective. After clicking on it, I was met with nothing but a blank screen– there was not one post on the wall. This means either no one on Facebook had anything to say or they were all deleted, my hunch is the latter.

Marketing is all about people and how can you take your message/product and make it connect with them. Social media has given us as marketers the ability to communicate with our target markets better than ever. That’s what makes it work, it’s a two-way communication, somehow the BCS and Ari Fleischer missed that.

For those interested you can find the BCS on Twitter at @insidetheBCS or at facebook.com/INSIDEtheBCS.

12/07/2009 at 5:49 PM Leave a comment

The countdown to June

I may be in the minority at the moment — I’m a huge football (soccer) fan. Today was a big deal for my kind. In South Africa, celebrities and representatives gathered to present the tournament draw for next year’s World Cup — a football fan’s paradise and a glimpse of the beautiful game to a mass audience.

Honestly, I don’t understand why the draw is done nearly seven months before the tournament; I guess it’s intended to build up the hype machine for the games, and in my profession, the marketing.

The rights to broadcast the World Cup span hundreds of networks across the globe, so it’s safe to say that the month-long tournament next June will be a cash cow.

I really hope Heineken does not snag major sponsorship rights to the big dance, because their treatment of Europe’s Champion’s League drives me off the wall. Imagine this advertisement being played 15 times before and after every match — and that’s not an exaggeration.

Being a worldwide event, I’m sure there will be a diverse bunch of World Cup-themed advertisements saturating the market soon.

Here is the final draw for the 2010 World Cup. I’m definitely going to be fighting over favoritism and patriotism as England, my favorite football squad, is going to take on the United States in the first round.

Group A
South Africa
Mexico
Uruguay
France

Group B
Argentina
Nigeria
South Korea
Greece

Group C
England
United States
Algeria
Slovenia

Group D
Germany
Australia
Serbia
Ghana

Group E
Netherlands
Denmark
Japan
Cameroon

Group F
Italy
Paraguay
New Zealand
Slovakia

Group G
Brazil
North Korea
Ivory Coast
Portugal

Group H
Spain
Switzerland
Honduras
Chile

World Cup Fever will be spreading quickly next year. For my sake, I hope the tournament will serve as a breakthrough for soccer in America. Even if that means the United States has to take down England, again.

12/04/2009 at 4:21 PM Leave a comment

What an early morning…

It’s 4 a.m. and I’m in a 4-mile line wrapped outside Target waiting for the doors to open. I’ve never experienced a Black Friday quite like this. Before we could even get into the store, people were already walking out with carts full of flat-screen TV’s, toys and various electronics.

I came for one thing – a Christmas tree. It’s hard to believe a silly $25 Christmas tree could get me out of bed this early in the morning. Here’s the thing – the consistent marketing efforts of stores like Target have made it almost impossible for me to pass up a good deal.

I’m not sure if you remember the commercials put out by Target in the days leading up to Black Friday, but they were hilarious…

Needless to say, I finally got my $25 Christmas tree, with a few other things of course. Now it’s time to finish up my holiday shopping; hopefully there won’t be any more 4-mile lines.

12/02/2009 at 1:30 AM Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are only a couple more days until Thanksgiving – what a relief. I have always loved this holiday; it’s like a teaser for a movie — you get to see the entire family for a short time, eat good food, feel the “holiday cheer” and then you realize that in only a couple more weeks the real production begins, Christmas.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving seems to get overlooked by the gobs of “Black Friday” advertising that infuses our lives.

I’ll be the first to admit, I am a Black Friday shopper. I thrive on good deals, especially in this economy. It still amazes me how stores are able to lower prices such a significant amount for one very special and chaotic day. And it’s not just Wal-Mart lowering prices – Target, Best Buy and loads of others are on the list as well. Talk about incentive marketing! Black Friday wins the jackpot.

Some customers haven’t even stepped foot in one of these stores since last year’s Black Friday, which is awesome because it hits a unique target market every year; these people thrive on good deals and intense shopping.

I just wonder how the stores fare. If a look into Wal-Mart at 8 in the morning on Friday is any indication, it would like business is booming — especially for clean up crews.

Besides all of the great deals, try and enjoy some good ole’ family time this holiday season. Believe me, it’s worth it.

The Zag staff would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

11/24/2009 at 11:48 AM Leave a comment

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