Archive for April, 2007

No compassion, no mercy

April 29, 2007

Listen to the lyrics of the song in this commercial.

The funny thing is that the little tagline in french at the end means “New Jeep Compass. 4×4 reasons to love the city” (Thanks Chrys for correcting me)

Besides this one, what could be the less appropriate song for a car commercial? After a little browsing on lyrics sites, my first proposals are Car Jamming (Clash), Wheels of confusion (black sabbath) and The new pollution (Beck). Any other ideas?


Thanks for answering

April 28, 2007

Here’s a recap of my answers to the 8 questions of the Digital Marketing FAQ. 

How far should I go in the dialogue with the users? Can I accept controversy on my website? What moderation level is acceptable?

Is online advertising making sense without a decent website?

Are there examples of 2.0 initiatives made by traditional brands that went totally out of hand?

How can impressions be compared to television GRPs?

How intrusive should I be? (expandable formats, videos with sound on by default)

What does interaction rate (only available for rich media formats) tell me about the impact of my campaign?

Does the long tail change anything to the way I should communicate with my target group?

Why on earth do people use sites like second life?

You can also find excellent answers to those questions on Transmission Marketing and Minor issues. Besides Mark and Steven, I need to thank a lot of people who contributed to the answers and the diffusion of the questions: Joe Jaffe, Kris Hoet, Ann Handley, CK, Michel Vuijlsteke, Marc Collier, Marc Bresseel and (in advance) Matt Dickman.

I will come back soon with a wrap up and a powerpoint summarizing all the great contributions of those top marketeers.

I don’t swallow

April 27, 2007


At first glance, I thought the ad above was a fake, some kind of student joke… but no, it’s a real one. I admit you have to have guts to communicate with such a message and that many advertisers wouldn’t dare.

 Does that make a good ad? Well…. this reminds this quote from the movie “Les tontons flingueurs“: Les cons, ça ose tout. C’est même à ça qu’on les reconnait (“Idiots dare everything. It’s even thanks to that you recognize them“)

picture found via SHIMworld

You can hide again

April 27, 2007


All good things come to an end. Here comes the last question of the digital marketing FAQ: Why on earth do people use sites like second life? I confess that I never went to SL. I have no avatar. I’m so old-fashioned, so 20th century,… I’m not really comfortable to talk about something I didn’t really experiment but I give it a try.

Mark Goren believes that it’s all about connections. I agree with that and would add that SL is all about connections and exploration. Second Life is the closest thing to real world possible. It’s a mean to confront behaviours and social control without taking risks. For individuals it’s the opportunity to meet new people but also to experiment new territories and behaviours they wouldn’t have in real life. Why? Because you can hide again. Second Life is somewhere between RPG and social networking. On the most popular communities, you’re supposed to be transparent about the real you and the way you meet people is somehow very structured. On Second Life, it’s OK if you pretend.

Ann Handley talked about her personal experience and it might sounds in contradiction with the lines above

EVERY kid (yeah… every!) in my daughter’s 4th grade classroom of 23 has at least one Webkinz; many have more. They trade screen names at school. They meet at each other’s virtual houses after school. They buy virtual presents for each other (…) Second Life is a hog. It’s clunky, complicated, and “inelegant,” as MarketingProfs Publisher Allen Weis would say. But it’s only the start. The technology is only going to become smoother, easier to grasp, more elegant. (go to the full post)

What Ann says is totally in line with the MTV-Microsoft study about kids, teens and technology: for them, the web can be taglined as: My mates are my media. Online communication is used to deepen real friendships while adults will try to discover new people sharing the same interests.

And for the brands? We know that so far, we cannot talk about a great match between marketing in virtual world and customers’ expectations and according to Forrester research, it will not be the most growing advertising channel. I think brands shouldn’t matter about the efficiency of virtual worlds but regard it as an exploration field, just like users do.

Ikea Phobia

April 26, 2007


After Dell Hell, here comes Ikea Phobia

Between Clo and Ikea, the war is about to start… and I’m not sure Ikea is going to win. Feel free to join the fight, show the power of the global conversation and relay the case on your blog.

Bon appétit

April 25, 2007

I was looking for it for a long time and found it on Reineke’s blog

KFC, McDonald, Burger King, Wendy’struth versus advertising


It’s hard to hide the truth in the conversation age.

My bitch eats soja

April 25, 2007

There was a very interesting discussion yesterday on CKs blog about cursing and incorrect vocabulary in hip hop. This inspired me a post about values carried by advertising.

I saw yesterday the TV spot below (the advertiser is Sojasun) on a major french network. It’s one (and not the worst) in a disgusting serie.

I really hate this commercial and don’t want this product in my fridge no matter what is taste. In another spot for the same brand, a father punishes his son, who hasn’t done anything wrong, just to steal his desert. This kind of communication disturbs me big time. Don’t get me wrong, I earn my salary thanks to advertising, I like disruptive communication and I’m not a politically correctness advocate but I don’t get why some values are used so much in advertising: greed, envy, jealousy, competition, revenge, humiliation, lack of citizenship, egoism, and other basic instincts. Twix (or was it rolo?) used the same mechanisms for their “too good to share” campaign.

I understand that advertising is based on archetypes and often transgression and that a 30 seconds format requires very simple messages but come on, there must be other ways.

To conclude on that point and counterbalance the anti-values, here’s a quote of the Dalai Lama : “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”

Sex sells

April 24, 2007

A little year ago, I created a youtube profile and started to upload my homemade vids. I wanted to get feedback on the music I was co-composing and on the videos I was editing. I must say I had few… (I should say “I stayed on the right side of the long tail”) and I understand now I’m not the new Brian Eno 🙂

I will very soon reach 10.000 video views because one of my vids is tagged with the following keywords: sex, girl, naked… among others. I made the vid and the song in less than an hour (while this one took me a day) and was tempted to remove it… but it’s my “star product”

Same story for my top posts. Besides the digital marketing FAQ that received a lot of echo, the posts talking about sex on second life are the most popular ones (thanks to search engine trafic).

Which marketing conclusions should I draw?

The day of the long tail

April 23, 2007

“The companies that will prosper will be those that switch out of lowest-common-denominator mode and figure out how to adress niches”… dixit Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired.

This quote is the ideal introduction to the seventh question of the FAQ: “Does the long tail change anything to the way I should communicate with my target group? “. The answer is, of course, Yes.

CK already gave her 2 cents in the comments of Kris’ blog:

The long tail…and the shift to micro-niches…may change your target group. It may change into its own little eco-system of multiple target groups. So the way you communicate, dialogue and message with them may become more specific. And, with two-way communications (Web 2.0) you can also invite more involvement (what Huba & McConnell refer to as “The Participatory Economy”) from your target audiences and you can become closer to their exact preferences, wants and needs (as marketing is about serving these).

Also you can start creating more markets, instead of just serving them because there is so much room for innovation due to so many choices (the long tail is about more choice and more niches, no longer about audiences grouped by, say, age range). All told, communications become more dynamic and rich since we’re really homing in on preferences (so it’s now “psychographics” instead of “demographics”).

I also believe that online fragmented audience is an opportunity to adapt the tone of a campaign to the various sensibilities even if you have a very mainstream product. Humor for instance is very different from country to country and from age group to age group (and even between social groups). The example of the kitkat second life advertising is an example of an ad with a quiet limited niche (but for a mainstream product). It’s clear that such a campaign will create a bigger affinity with the target group than any wide scale TV campaign.

How can you cope with that in media planning? Should you fragment your advertising budgets? In traditional campaigns, the planning happens depending on a socio-demographic target and reach is the key performance indicator. Most online campaigns will use the same KPI. Niche communication will very much depend on the objectives of the campaign and on the creation.

Honestly, I don’t think the media world today is equiped to attack the niche markets (except the online creative agencies). It’s not (yet) in the advertisers and the media planners minds and I don’t feel this will change massively on short term…. in Europe

Kudos distribution

April 22, 2007

I wanted to put two of my Microsoft Belgium colleagues in the spotlight:

Geert initiated a TV spot that could become a viral hit and have international echoes. Of course, I hate Geert since he spent 4 days with a gorgeous actress in Hollywood while I was filling in excell sheets in Brussels 😉 Anyway, visit the making of blog. I really can’t wait to see the final result and I’m convinced this will be a huge success.

– Geert and Kris (happy birthday, by the way) were chosen by Gavin Heaton and Drew mcLellan to be among the 100 authors of an ebook called “the age of conversation

Multitasking miracle

April 20, 2007

I found this video through The guy playing flute is also a human beatbox. Amazing!

Who said that our brains can’t do even two independent things that require conscious thought?

See me, feel me, touch me, hear me… remember me

April 19, 2007


Click through rate is dead… Long live the interaction rate. That’s what the sixth question of the FAQ is about: What does interaction rate tell me about the impact of my campaign?

I received a sectorial list of the average click through rates versus the average interaction rate from eyeblaster. Interaction rate covers several things: CTR, ad duration, custom interactions, close, full-play and replay rates. We see on this list that the average Interaction rate is more than 5 times higher than the average CTR  (5,56% versus 1,03%) and even 17 times automotive sector (8,86% versus 0,54%).

In 2006, Millward Brown concluded that interaction influences ad recall: 20% if we see, 20% if we hear, 70 if we see and hear and 85% if we see, hear and interact (I found those figures on a presentation mentionning The Millward Brown source. Unfortunatly, I couldn’t find the original report)

As a conclusion, I would say that in rich media, interaction indicates the potential of an advertising to be remembered.

Here’s a great example from Mini UK realized by Glue London. Watch the full slideshow, it’s really fun and inspiring.

I interviewed a second life avatar

April 19, 2007


Hi, what is your name? My Name is Angy Aster, isn’t that a cute name? 

Do you have a picture of yourself? Of course you See, I even have a Picture with Johnny Depp. 

What do you like in second life? Talk to people, interactions with the others, it’s a really interesting community, some people are really great, other well, as in real world you know.

What don’t you like? Nothing really, it’s a virtual world, so when I find it boring I leave. 

Are you virgin? Nop, but I have a regular boyfriend ;-), Actually, I only tried once, for fun.

What have you done in second life that you wouldn’t do in real life?  Dancing in a bar for money, but you know I needed those fabulous hair, gambling, SM sex.

Thanks Angy!

The sound of silence

April 18, 2007

The Millward Brown study and the dynamic logic data were the occasion to tell the market that the TV spot online was a highly efficient way to advertise.

I was discussing about this with a manager in a media agency who asked me: “Fine, but can you tell me the percentage of people surfing with the sound OFF?”… I must confess that I don’t have a clue.


How intrusive should I be?

April 17, 2007


For the fifth question of the FAQ, I have very few things to add to Steven’s argumentation: Creativity and empathy are key.

I received a powerpoint made by a Microsoft Creative Strategist. He uses data from a Orange UK – OMD UK study about impact versus intrusion: It appears that video MPU, skyscrapers and banner to overlay are the formats offering the best balance between impact and intrusion while the overlay is regarded as too intrusive for its impact.

But nothing is more irritating than a stupid ad, no matter the format and the medium used. I mean, a commercial like this one irritates me big time at first sight even if it don’t pop’s up at my face.

Dell Hell strikes back

April 16, 2007

I was invited for a presentation today at Zenith Optimedia Belgium. I tried hard but it was impossible to launch my Dell laptop… I had nothing but a blue screen and no print-out of the presentation I was intending to make. Some kind of poltergeist probably cause since I’m back at the office, my PC is working properly.

I presented anyway… and explained to the planners the story and the outcome so far of the digital marketing FAQ.  I focused on the first 4 questions:

  • How far should I go in the dialogue with the users? Can I accept controversy on my website? What moderation level is acceptable?
  • Is online advertising making sense without a decent website?
  • Are there examples of 2.0 initiatives made by traditional brands that went totally out of hand?
  • How can impressions be compared to television GRPs?
  • For the fourth question, I’m happy that Steven was the first to shoot since it’s not my favourite question.

    GRP versus impressions: Both of these metrics express the advertising weight. GRPs could be used for online campaigns but the comparison is made difficult by:

    – A different relation with time: there are no time schedules in online

    – The fact that online is bought with a share of volume (SOV): Most campaigns are planned with a SOV between 15 and 30%

    – Different ways to measure audience

    – The variety of internet formats

    But the question of GRP versus impressions aims to compare the impact of online advertising and the impact of TV advertising. If you compare what’s comparable, it seems that a TV spot works better online but what about the other formats? and what’s the point to compare impressions and GRPs?

    What the advertisers and the agencies really want to know is how to make an impactful online campaign… and that’s the Achilles’ heel of the online advertising: there is no clear set of rules. Carat proposed a “Morgenzstern beta” (measuring the power of advertising per media) for online but it’s only based on a 2001 campaign, Doubleclick made some great research on best practice to maximize impact. Both show very positive results. Unfortunatly, none of those are regarded as market norms.

    Even if there is plenty of data advocating the power of online advertising, the web doesn’t comply with norms very well by nature and because of its youth.

    There’s a lot to say about those issues… Have a look a “the devil & online advertising” that proposes a great summary about our (online media owners) lack of maturity.

    But internet is the media of permanent and (almost) real time optimization. It allows the advertiser to draw conclusions out of each action and develop a tailor made best practice and I believe that’s a major argumentation to advocate our beloved medium.

    To the second degree of separation

    April 13, 2007

    One month after launching this blog, the post “thanks for asking” is by far the top post on this blog thanks to several incoming links and thanks to te interest of Steven and the post of Joseph Jaffe. The FAQ is now living its own life. Kris sent the 8 questions to top marketeers and some of them decided to blog about it. Here’s a “state of the FAQ”

    Today, I will only talk about the first question who raised the most reactions so far: How far should I go in the dialogue with the users? Can I accept controversy on my website? What moderation level is acceptable?

    You’ll notice that we all agree 🙂

    If I had to summarize all the points of view on one slide, I would say:

    • Go as far as customers demand it
    • Behave like a social networker
    • Keep it on topic
    • Be fast and reactive
    • Don’t be provocative

    For the title of this slide, I would use Mark Goren’s words: No censorship but conversationship

    The revolution will be no re-run, brothers

    April 9, 2007

    I’m going dark for a few days. Even if I don’t connect, I’ll work on the remaining 5 questions of the FAQ.

    Untill my next post, remember that:

    The revolution will put you in the driver seat
    The revolution will not be televised

    (The revolution will be online)

    Don’t let me be misunderstood

    April 8, 2007

    I had the honour to be speaker at the youth online workshop (It was a last minute replacement of my boss).

    Last friday, there was an extended summary of the workshop in a Belgian marketing magazine called PUB News.

    I started my presentation by telling that today’s young generation was born after the democratization of the internet and that they were living in an infinite media landscape. Internet changed the fact that content and information were scarce resources and that this huge offering was changing the way children are expecting to acces content. Even if children under 13 years of age keep prefering television, the way they watch it is highly influenced by the web. This behaviour is influencing the way television is currently evolving (and will continue to evolve). I also spoke about internet usage data, gaming and made a focus on messenger using a study we (Microsoft) made with MTV.

    The journalist made a great summary but I realized through the article that at some point of my presentation, when I was talking about the way children are consuming content, the journalist assumed I was talking only about TV (you know, the piece of furniture you have in your living room). I may not have been clear enough about that… I once heard the chief creative officer of FremantleMedia New Platforms (the excellent Gary Carter, also President of FremantleMedia creative networks) telling that Fremantle’s job was not to produce content for TV but to feed screens, no matter that the screens were TV screens, computer screens or mobile devices screens.

    But for many marketing and media professionals, device independant content is still science fiction. I should work again on that part of my evangelisation speech.

    Different country, same questions

    April 7, 2007

    Caroline posted yesterday a very interesting post on the Blogging for Business conference in London.

    Her summary of the different presentations is in line with my “you can never go far enough” post. I noted 2 fundamental elements I didn’t mentionned:

    – Monitoring is an essential part of the dialogue strategy

    – Social networks are coming on top of the existing today tools.

    Here is the full post