online marketing psychology

October 26, 2010

Into the city and beyond

The popularity of start to run programs has got people from all over the world off their couches.

But as with most things, after a while it is hard to stay motivated and keep going. An mp3 player or even drawing out your runs on Google maps (personal tip of mine) to track your progress can help.

Take Antwerp, a campaign by Nike that is running in my hometown, helps people stay excited about running in a different way.
Running the same trail over and over again gets boring after a while. By offering runners alternative trails, running will become surprising and motivating again.
Rachel Wouters, Nike
An application on Facebook using Google maps allows users to create their own trails. Already created are trails with exciting sounding names such as the Skull, the Fries, the Diamond, the Dog, and so forth. Afterwards the maps can be printed or imported into a smartphone to help you find the right streets.

To increase awareness about the different trails, posters have been put up all over the city. The posters are equipped with a QR code which when scanned automatically like the trail and share the content on Facebook.

Outdoor poster of the Nike Take Antwerp campaign with a QR code

Nike is committed to making running exciting in other cities as well.

Take STHLM, the campaign running in Stockholm, works a bit different. Each runner is associated with a certain neighborhood of the city.  Whenever they go running, they earn kilometers for their part of town. And a map on the Nike site, shows the competition in real time. With a ranking between the neighborhoods and the individual runners.

I find it a great digital campaign mixed with a lot of user interaction. And it is more profound then clicking a Like button or becoming a follower on Twitter. It gets people out of the house and I think more connected to the Nike brand.

So what can be the possible objectives of a campaign like this? The main objective of the campaign is to associate Nike with running. By doing that the whole product portfolio is promoted. As people perceive Nike stands for innovation in running, a product which integrates running with technology, Nike+, will definitely sell better.

How can you get your hands dirty?

Your marketing should about more than just your product. Sure, your products might not be as cool as Nike's. But one thing you can learn from this is to increase the pie before claiming your piece. Nike is not pushing its products, the main focus is on getting more people to run and to keep them running.

And this has its effects on their brand. The running association is strengthened and maybe even innovation in running.

Are you about more than just your product?

The Facebook page or website offers runners a platform to come together, to engage further. And of course the shop is only one click away.

Do you have a place for to meet with your clients?

October 22, 2010

One World, One Beer?

No matter what place you visit in the world, there are always local beers, the are an essential part of any trip. And seeing people obsess why their beer brand is better than another even more so!

But even when you are in a far away place, there will always be some beer brands that you have heard of. It's all part of the World Domination Strategy from the big brewers.

What does that mean, a truly global beer brand?
Heineken is the number 1 brand around the world. They control 1.3% of the world market ( excluding sales in the Netherlands)
Budweiser has a 0.7% global market share (excluding U.S. sales)
Even though there are huge figures behind those percentages, the market shares aren't that impressive. And they will probably stay that way.

Nevertheless A-B Inbev continues its efforts to roll out Budweiser to different countries.

So while these global brands have cost advantages, the figures above show that the real games is played on a different level, the local one.

AdAge recently took a look at some local approaches by SABMiller:
External validation of Polish reasons to be proud of themselves turns out to be a big thing in Poland. That notion led SABMiller to launch a campaign for its Tyskie brand featuring Czechs lauding the Polish brew and Polish people.
Or check this ad that runs in Romania for Timisoreana beer focusing on the brewing tradition that going back centuries.

In Peru the bottle of the Cusqueña beer resembles stones of an Inca wall "to pay tribute to the elite standard of Inca craftsmanship that continues to this day in every bottle."

There are also some Brazilian companies (not beer but still interesting!) that have discovered the power of being local.

October 18, 2010

A Computer Model for Building Spaghetti Sauce

I'm a Malcolm Gladwell fanboy.

I love how he starts to tell a story and then approaches the same story from a totally different angle. What do mammographies and looking for biological weapons on satelite images have to do with each other for example.

His lastest book, What the Dog Saw is a collection of interesting articles he wrote for The New Yorker.
What the Dog saw book cover by Malcolm Gladwell review
Most of the stories offer you a view into an unknown world. I picked two stories that I really liked, both marketing related: one about marketing research and the other about copywriting.

The Ketchup Conundrum 
A story about  why it isn't enough to make the best ketchup in order to beat Heinz.

Howard Moskowitz, a famous food-testing and market-researcher, knows why. One of his first clients, Pepsi, wanted to find out the right amount of sweetener for their new Diet Pepsi. Previous research showed that anything below eight percent of sweetener wasn't sweet enough and anything above twelve percent too sweet. Moskowitz went out and created cola samples of all the different values lying in between eight and twelve. After the test results came back, the data were inconclusive. Preferences did not lean towards one percentage of sweetener. He then realized that there was no perfect Diet Pepsi, there were perfect Diet Pepsis.

In 1986 Campbell's Soup Company wanted something new for their spaghetti sauce. Their product, Prego, was thicker with diced tomatoes and stuck better to the pasta than the sauce of their competitor, Ragú. But it wasn't selling.

Instead of modifying the sauce like in the Pepsi case, Moskowitz assumed people didn't know what kind of sauce they wanted until it was in front of them. He came up with 45 varieties of sauces. Each with different characteristics such as: spiciness, sweetness, saltiness, thickness, aroma, cost of ingredients, and so forth. These samples were tested by consumers and rated on a hundred-point scale. Results again seemed all over the place but a pattern emerged. Instead of one perfect sauce, consumers could be grouped in three big groups, each with their own favorite sauce: plain, spicy, or extra-chunky. Competitor Prego didn't have this last variety and it turned out to be very successful.

Today a lot of products are available in millions of varieties. This story shows in part how we got to this large number. People are different and want different things. It also illustrates the importance of knowing who your customer is. Instead of a one perfect product for everyone, going into that niche might be a good idea!

You can read the full story here.

True colors
A story about advertising and knowing what women really want.

Shirley Polykoff, copywriter in the 50s, thought women had the right to be blond. In her work for Miss Clairol, a hair dye product that you could use at home, she supported this opinion:

"Does she or doesn't she. Only her hairdresser knows for sure."

To get away from the prejudice that all fake blondes were chorus girls or hookers, their campaign recruited girl next door beauties instead of the stars of the time.

In the 70s, L'Oreal wanted to take on Clairol, which dominated the haircolor market. Their first idea was to focus on the superiority of their product. But at the last minute the campaign got cancelled. This put the adverting agency under pressure to come up with something in a short time. New ideas were all about women coloring their hair to please others, being an object. But one of the copywriters on the campaign didn't agree with this. Ilon Specht:

"I just thought, Fuck you. I sat down and did it, in five minutes. It was very personal. I can recite to you the whole commercial, because I was so angry when I wrote it.” 
Specht sat stock still and lowered her voice: 
“I use the most expensive hair color in the world. Preference, by L’Oréal. It’s not that I care about money. It’s that I care about my hair. It’s not just the color. I expect great color. What’s worth more to me is the way my hair feels. Smooth and silky but with body. It feels good against my neck. Actually, I don’t mind spending more for L’Oréal. Because I’m” 
—and here Specht took her fist and struck her chest— 
“worth it.”

Specht took the emancipation further, it was about the woman itself.

You can read the full story here(pdf).

But there are plenty of other cool stories in the book, go check it out

No time to read books? The archives on Malcolm Gladwell's personal site are also worth it!

October 14, 2010

Energizing advertisement

This print ad for a new Reebok shoe really caught my eye.

Some things I think make it work: contrast between the red and black, the tagline: "the energy drink for your feet", the shoe sole connecting the copy in the two corners and the sole of the shoe that gives the impression of movement.

With two mentions of the shoe sole I think Reebok's point came across: showing off their new sole technology. And maybe to become a bit more hip!

Reebok Reezig shoes sole technology print advertisement

October 3, 2010

The first Belgian I-Ad

This combination of print and an app in this advertisement is really nice and clever idea. 

The advertisement doesn't try to sell a product directly. It targets existing customers of an insurance company to download an app which can help them when they have car trouble.

I found the ad on the dutch blog from Jan de Jonge and it got broken down into this:

Rough estimate of the target of the ad: existing customers of the bank/insurance company Axa + iPhone = 25 000 people. 

For a campaign that cost a good amount of money that aren't that a lot of people.

It could be that the point is to shed the very grey image thats these kind of companies have. To make it look more modern and innovative. The iPhone and cool video will have to help with this. But cool videos aren't always that effective.

Let's say the objective of the company is to become more hip, do you think this is the way to do it?

Please share your opinion in the comments!