Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brands are letting YOU advertise and sell to YOU

One campaign that I never saw coming was the Coke bottles with your name on. I know, the insight that people wish to be called by their name has been around from Dale Carnegie´s How to win friends and influence people and most likely further away in history than that, but it still puzzles me.

When you buy a bottle with your name on you are not getting approached by anyone, so there is simply a brand that is talking to you, not a person. But as a brand strategist I should know better... Today brands are people. They are friends, they are a part of our family. Connection with brands we love will awaken the same parts of the brain that are lit up when we think of our family; it´s a fact. I still wouldn´t have gotten the idea of Coke bottles with names, so good on the strategy people who did :) It´s been hugely successful!

In his latest blog post, Roger Dooley from Neuromarketing blog talks about how personalization is effective in direct mail. “Starting a letter with “Dear Roger” instead of “Dear Friend” responds better every time (if the recipient’s name is Roger, that is!).

One of the world´s first viral campaign was OfficeMax video generator, Elf Yourself. The site, powered by JibJab animation software, lets visitors upload a photo of one or more faces, which are then attached to dancing elves in a music video.

Dooley comments: “As crude as the animation is (it uses just one photo for the whole video), our brains are fooled by the video trickery and we find it hilarious to see ourselves and others engaged in wild dance moves. The viral success of the site is testament to how effective the personalized videos are. It’s also been a boon to OfficeMax, generating hundreds of millions of brand impressions and creating a strong, positive linkage between the brand and the light hearted site. Reportedly, just under half of the users of Elf Yourself consciously associate the OfficeMax brand with the site.” 

But I would say half of hundreds of millions is pretty good...

More from Neuromarketing blog: “An article in The Psychologist, Doppelgängers – a new form of self? by Jeremy N. Bailenson, surveys a variety of research that demonstrates how inserting a person’s image into an ad can change their behaviour: 

- To explore the consequences of viewing one’s virtual doppelgänger, we ran a simple experiment using digitally manipulated photographs (Ahn & Bailenson, 2011). We used imaging software to place participants’ heads on people depicted in billboards using fictitious brands, for example holding up a soft drink with a brand label on it. After the study, participants expressed better memory as well as a preference for the brand, even though it was obvious their faces had been placed in the advertisement. In other words, even though it was clearly a gimmick, using the digital self to promote a product is effective.” 

Research on trust always show that we trust advice from friends and family the most, so what can be even more effective - YOU telling yourself what to do and buy. Clever.

One campaign that I believed will be followed by many similar ones, shows real Australians in the TVC. The Australian insurance company AAMI invited late last year their Facebookers to star in its TV ad. The TV ad featured the Facebook profile pictures of 80 viewers, aired on 23 November during NCIS LA on Ten, and will be broadcast in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Tasmania, as well as regional NSW and Victoria.

Sibling agencies Badjar Ogilvy and DTDigital worked on the campaign. Ogilvy creative technologist Tim Devine, said to Mumbrella: “We’ve created an experience that will one day be common place; a simple engagement that seams together multiple channels. TV is still a real-world experience, as opposed to YouTube, and people still get a kick out of being broadcast around the country.”

The original ad, with actors:

When will we see Coke bottles with faces on? When will the TV be clever enough to address me personally? When will I start finding this extremely creeeeeepy....? :)

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