Not Just for the Kids

February 25, 2009

Coraline Box

Have you gone to see the animated feature, Coraline yet? I finally did. Admittedly, I’m a little late on the bandwagon but it was still great. While the charming 3D animation is fantastic, it’s not the only innovation that should be celebrated. The film’s mash up of traditional Hollywood movie promotion and some very smart “pinwheel” marketing concepted by Wieden+Kennedy, proved to be very successful in more than just the kiddie market.

With Phil Knight, founder of Nike, heading up the film’s promotion and pushing the distribution company, Focus Features, to launch the campaign a little differently, Coraline was able to bring in $7 million more than was originally projected. If you’re interested in finding out how a 70-yr-old billionaire founder of a shoe company got involved, click here.

What particularly caught my eye was the innovative marketing tactics that I started following on the web about a month ago. Wieden+Kennedy has the uncanny ability to be able to get the consumer engaged and people talking. The campaign for Coraline was no different. They understood the fact that this movie could appeal to an older generation with it’s emotional core and used this to reach out directly to niche markets that included toy makers and design geeks. The agency sent 5o of their favorite blogs a handcrafted box filled with original pieces from the production(such as Coraline’s wigs or her hand knitted sweaters). Each box was individually unique and brought great curiosity about the film to their recipients. Many of them can be seen here.

What a clever way to get influencers to talk about a mainstream children’s movie. It’s good to see the importance of design culture recognized and the power of word of mouth in action.

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U2 Lands on Letterman

February 13, 2009
U2+CBS=$

U2+CBS=$

We’ll file this post under “innovative use of media” (which is nothing new for U2).  The band has announced that it will appear on CBS’s The Late Show for an entire week to promote the release of its new album.

Given the consistent slide of music sales in the US—a 45 percent decline in the number of albums sold since 2000 (src: NYT.com) it’s not surprising that bands and labels are looking for innovative ways to promote their products (Radiohead’s “name-your-own-price Internet release,” the proposed Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger, guest judges and audience members on “American Idol,” etc.).

What’s interesting about these types of arrangements is that they mirror a more broad marketing strategy—integrating a product into the world of the audience (the old “integrate vs. interrupt” approach).  Whether it’s getting a single track included on EA’s “Madden NFL” or licensing your music for commercial use as Moby and Sting have done, it’s apparent that the old play book is being updated for the digital age (regardless of the product being promoted).

The new paradigm seeks to obtain respect from the audience, and looks for ways to align a product with an interest, whether the forum be on Facebook or “Friends.”


Did You Know ??

February 10, 2009

A very interesting piece from a SONY-BMG conference that uses statistical data to explore how the world around us is changing every minute—and what the long-term implications will be.  If nothing else, it underscores the need for long-term thinking and planning (personally and professionally).

From the video’s creator Karl Fisch (the director of technology at a high school in Colorado):

…I still passionately believe that we need to reexamine formal education as it’s currently being experienced by our students and that we owe it to our children to do everything we can to improve. If the presentation draws even a few folks into asking questions and getting involved in the conversations either locally or globally, then I’ll consider it a success.

Seen an alternative version of the video here

Read the rest of this entry »


Puma Pounces

February 4, 2009

Puma CityPuma has launched a new retail concept store called “Puma City.”  It consists of 24 steel shipping containers that stack on top of each other to create an 11,000-sq.-ft retail space and lounge area.  It was build to support Puma’s participation in the Volvo Ocean Race and will tour the globe (next stop–Boston,  April 2009).

Smart, innovative, well-designed, and modern.  Great attributes to have associated with your brand.  Puma has found a way to make its brand, products, and retail experience appear to be both exclusive and conveniently located.  Additional photos can be found here.


Data Offered to Google TV Advertisers

February 2, 2009
Now Available With Tracking

Now Available With Tracking

In a move that is likely to make creative and media teams cringe, Google will be offering viewing data to advertisers who have purchased television media time through “Google TV Ads.”

Advertisers who place television advertising via the “Google TV Ads” system can “… be provided impression data for ads that appear during shows that consumers record using a DVR. The data [may] shed light on how frequently specific ads are actually played back or skipped over by DVR users” (read full Google posting here).

Advertisers could use such data to determine which creative spots are less prone to fast-forwarding and which networks perform better for certain brands.

Although Google TV represents only a small percentage of the overall television audience, this move represents another shift in the measurability of advertising effectiveness.  Agencies would be well advised to continue leading the discussions with clients on the most effective ways to invest their media dollars, and the messages that resonante with their target audience.


Maybe Print Isn’t Dead?

February 2, 2009

Blogger Gate

I ran across an interesting article last week in the Start-Ups section of The New York Times. A company in Chicago will be reprinting blog posts on regular paper for free distribution in big cities. The Printed Blog will feature topics diligently covered by locals with advertising surrounding the editorial.

This innovation is a perfect merging of new 2.0 philosophy and tried and true old school media. Because all of the content is “recycled” from bloggers, the weekly will be able to cut one of the biggest expenses that currently have traditional newspapers in a bind – reporters. Instead, they share some of their ad revenue with the bloggers they publish.

It’s a novel idea – especially since advertisers will pay much more for print over online (it’s an even trade off, as they can take advantage of the fact that the papers will be super localized).  Whether The Printed Blog will manage to prove a success, will depend on if the public accepts the bloggers as a dependable source for news and opinion.  These sages of the online world have struggled for validation among professional editorial writers since the web first went 2.0.  Is this newspaper the next step in getting it?  And have advertisers found an effective new media channel?  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The first issues are scheduled to be released tomorrow in San Francisco and Chicago.