This year, advertisers spent an average of $4 million per 30-second commercial aired during the Super Bowl, the most watched television broadcast of the year. Last night, 111.5 million people tuned in to watch the game.
That’s a CPM of about $35 (per thousand people), which is actually considered rather decent as far as primetime television advertising goes.
Do the commercials work, though? That depends on the goal. One analysis shows that the names of 70% of brands advertising are recalled by people after the game. Only 30% of the ads increased purchase intent, while 40% of the ads increased brand exposure. Companies who advertise during the Super Bowl tend to see increased investments in the weeks before and after the game. Movies do even better.
So, the jury is still out on that one. But they sure are fun to watch, aren’t they? Here are the “official Fletcher Prince picks” for the best commercials of the night.
1st Place: Duracell “Trust Your Power” featuring Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman | Ad Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi New York
The best commercial of the night, by a WIDE margin, was the Duracell “Trust Your Power” spot featuring Derrick Coleman. It was a triumph of an ad about a triumph of a person, with all the attributes of a great Super Bowl commercial: relevant to the game, inspiring, moving, and novel (how many of us knew this back story?) In short, it caught my attention, and its association of the brand with the deaf player’s courage and determination made me respect Duracell as a brand. I can honestly say I will be more likely to buy Duracell batteries as a result of this ad.
You know when a commercial can make a real statement, maybe even one that might change someone’s life, and still reinforce the brand, that is a dang good commercial. Awesome. Congratulations, Duracell and Saatchi and Saatchi New York, and congratulations, Derrick Coleman, on your Super Bowl win!
P.S. Here’s another cool thing Derrick Coleman did: distributing free hearing aids to New Yorkers before the Super Bowl…
2nd Place: Doritos “Time Traveler” | Ad Agency: None
Surprise! Raj Suri was one of two finalists who got to have their Doritos ad air during the Superbowl. Way to go, Raj! Smart move, Doritos!
Raj, an Intel systems analyst and Virginia Tech grad, won $1 million for the ad, which he produced with his friends for $300. The ad was inspired by his friend/director’s son, who wanted to create a time machine after he saw Back to the Future, and yep, that’s the kid in the commercial AND the kid’s dog!
Our second favorite ad of the night was a funny one that manages to tell a story and a joke — well — in 30 seconds AND reinforce the brand. Nice. I thought it was quite original and it made me laugh out loud. Quirky humor + little kid + dog. A hard-to-beat formula with a crunchy twist at the end. The last line makes me watch it again and again.
And I thought all this when I ASSUMED it was produced by some hot-shot ad agency. It blows me away now that I know the whole story! Congratulations, Frito-Lay and Raj!
3rd Place: Cheerios “Gracie” | Ad Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi New York
Saatchi & Saatchi scores another touchdown on the Fletcher Prince score card with a commercial that, like Cheerios, is just the right amount of sweet. You might remember “Gracie” as the adorable tyke that poured Cheerios on her dad to make his heart healthy. Here, she deftly negotiates for a puppy. The direction, timing, and acting in this spot was just perfect. It had the “awww” cute-kid factor without sinking into saccharine territory. Looking forward to seeing more like Gracie!
Kudos to General Mills for embracing diversity with this portrayal of an interracial family, despite some of the hateful comments they received when airing the first “Gracie” commercial in 2013. We applaud a major brand for their creativity, integrity, and vision. Congratulations, General Mills and Saatchi & Saatchi New York!
What were your favorite commercials of the night? Tell us in the comments!
…I don’t know what will! I’ve got a compelling statistic to share with you today that may change the way you communicate with your clients this holiday season.
Let me ask you a question. How many email holiday greetings did you receive from businesses, associations you belong to, and nonprofits? Okay, and now how many greeting cards did you receive from them in the mail?
Did you get more email greetings than mailed ones? Has your company opted to email holiday greetings instead of traditional cards?
Did you think that was the right decision? Well, you might want to run and buy some stamps…now!
According to a new study, people prefer traditional cards sent through the mail by businesses they frequent (86%) to emailed versions (7%). And that’s a big increase from last year in 2012 (80% vs. 12%)./ If that whopping statistic is any indication of related preferences for B2B communications — and my guess is that it is — then we all better stock up on greeting cards!
The truth is nothing really beats direct mail for impact any day of the year, and when it comes to the holidays, people still skew traditional and heartfelt.
While email greetings are terrific (especially if they include a holiday greeting video, which can increase the open rate by 50% and more), a beautifully designed card conveys the message to the sender that his or her relationship is valued by your company or nonprofit.
Your friends at Fletcher Prince would be happy to help you design a custom holiday greeting card to mail to your clients and customers this year.
Holiday Stamps for Business Greeting Cards
The whimsical Gingerbread Houses Forever stamps sheet feature images of four different gingerbread houses set against a bright blue background. The houses were designed by gingerbread house architect Teresa Layman under the direction of stamp art director Derry Noyes and were photographed by stamp artist Sally Anderson-Bruce.
Recommended Mail-By Date
Be sure to mail your greeting cards no later than December 14 to ensure holiday delivery.
Yes, you read that right! eMarketer just released the stats. 93% of marketers used video for online marketing, sales or communications in 2013, up from 81% in 2012.
Why has online video become so popular as a marketing tactic?
- It works like a voodoo charm.
- It’s unique and attention-getting.
- It is easier and less expensive to produce now than it once was.
- It plays well with others: email, ad campaigns, blogs, Facebook, websites, Twitter, and, of course, YouTube.
- And anyway you slice it, it looks pretty darn impressive.
Some of the most popular reasons marketers are turning to online video include explaining new products and services, generating sales leads, and increasing SEO, to name a few.
But what if you are still a newbie? How should you get started with online video for your company or nonprofit?
Well, in my opinion, when you are experimenting with a new marketing tactic, the best approach is to pick a low-risk project that may also be a bit fun. That doesn’t mean that you invest less than 100% in effort and planning. But while you are in the learning and experimental phase, pick something that is perhaps not critical to your marketing efforts.
That might be, for example, a holiday video, like a Thanksgiving message. It’s easy to do and it’s heart-felt. You can embed it in an email and send it to your clients or customers.
Now is an excellent time to start thinking, long-range, about your video marketing plans for 2014. I would love to have that conversation with you. And if you would like help with video production, we do that, too. Be aware that this study indicated that professionally produced video yields better marketing results than amateur productions. Our prices start at $1200/video with substantial discounts for multiple video packages. So let us lend a hand!
- Online Video Statistics That Show That Web Video Is The Next E-Marketing Frontier [Infographic] (business2community.com)
Not a huge fan of Miley Cyrus’ new image – but commentator David Johnson has a point — she and the people behind her brand crafted a strategy, carried it through, and stayed on message. That’s the PR/Marketing lesson for today.
Also interesting: Twitter played a big part in bringing her to the media forefront.
According to this author, tweet activity is a factor to sponsors and advertisers now, and MC was the topic of more tweets than any other performer during the MTV Video Music Awards program.
So, we’ve got another example of how branding works, and how to leverage Twitter. PR-wise, it works. But is everything about PR? For that matter, is everything about being successful and a household name?
Doesn’t the music still matter? Or is that a really naive thing to say? Is it really all about twerking now?
It makes me sad to think of all the musicians who have dedicated years to learning and perfecting their craft — who put all their creativity into music, making untold numbers of sacrifices along the way, and they are eclipsed by someone who wiggles their bottom.
I know the music industry is competitive and branding is nothing new to performers. Still, I have to wonder: at what price did her current success come? Will she look back at this time and have regrets about the damage she did to her credibility as a musician? Or is it all about the money?
Sometimes, I think what we learn and apply in PR and marketing can work a little too well, you know what I mean? It can take on lightning speed. Her transformation was meteoric. Perhaps that was the intent.
To illustrate, here are two videos. One is from less than a year ago, December 2012. To me, then she had an image that she could own. Her voice is not spectacular, and the song is Dolly Parton’s, but she could have built on this.
And this is Miley, today… Her look and sound seem like a formulaic, success-built hybrid of Madonna/Gwen Stefani/Lady GaGa. Her voice is still unimpressive, she can’t dance, and the video is gratuitously salacious. She has all the presence of a little girl walking around in her mama’s shoes. But she offers shock-value. She got views.
The thing is: where does she go from here? This is flash-in-the-pan marketing, and the only way to maintain it is to just keep dialing up the shock value. Musically, she has nowhere to go, unless she metamorphoses once again, because this is all packaging.
I just question whether a 20-year-old is in the position to make these kinds of life-changing decisions. Maybe she is. Someone in PR and marketing is advising her. Is this responsible? I hope they can live with the results.
I’ve asked some of my favorite bloggers to guest blog and provide us with some of their favorite creative and affordable marketing tips.
In this post, Jay Morris takes a slightly different twist with advice on finding opportunities in adversity.
For most of my career as a public relations and marketing professional, I’ve worked for organizations with fairly small communications budgets. I’ve joked that if you can afford to give me a desk, a telephone and a computer, I can do my job. The truth is, some of the best PR and marketing is done on a shoestring.
Yes, sequestration, furloughs and the gloom of austerity have darkened our doors of late, and PR folks are once again dealing with tight budgets and cutbacks. But I ask you, when have PR and marketing departments ever been flush with money?
In good times and bad, the organizations I’ve worked for have tightened their belts, reorganized and right-sized in ways that have severely impacted PR and marketing. If you want to last in this business, you truly have to be a survivor. You have to be a PR ninja, a marketing guerrilla. You have to think strategically while executing nimbly.
So here are some lessons learned from the austerity trenches:
Let go of what isn’t working or worth doing. In the 1980s, I worked for a large D.C. trade association. We were told that $1 million had to be cut from the operating budget, a lot of money back then. But in hindsight, it wasn’t enough to force us to rethink our business model or make meaningful changes. Instead, we became contortionists in our attempt to maintain member services at a reduced cost. For example, a four-page, weekly newsletter I edited and mailed to 25,000 members was “cut” by going to eight pages every two weeks. Sure, we saved a bundle of money by chopping our mailings in half, but no thought was given to the threshold question of whether we needed to continue the newsletter, much less double its issue size.
About a decade later, I was at different trade association that was suffering from a precipitous decline in membership. The axe fell again, but this time it was severe and painful. Most of my colleagues in the PR department were let go. Only two of us survived. But in building a new department from the ashes of the old one, a funny thing happened: We scrapped what wasn’t working and only focused on the essentials. We had “permission” from management and our stakeholders to reinvent public relations, albeit at a reduced level. Some of our best work came out of this period.
Jim Collins has said for years that businesses need to simplify and concentrate on what they do best. Great business leaders know when to eliminate those things that aren’t working. Sometimes those decisions are painful, but they almost always result in greater success than sticking with the status quo. Collins wrote an article for USA Today a few years ago about his annual “stop doing” list. It’s a great read and will get you thinking about what you need to really focus on in your life and career.
Leverage the resources you have. One of the organizations I worked for was a federation of about 1,000 state and local associations. In creating a nationwide network of media relations and community outreach volunteers, we were able to accomplish much more than we ever could have done on our own—and at a fraction of the cost. Collaborative thinking, strong volunteer leadership and a unified purpose helped us forge cooperative alliances with our state and local affiliates.
We developed training materials, held workshops and provided numerous “best-practice” examples of good public relations. We also recognized outstanding PR and community service initiatives through a national awards program. The training and recognition ensured that our volunteers were singing from the same songbook. In fact, we wrote the songbook, so in that way we shaped the message all across the country!
Out of adversity comes opportunity. It’s a hard truth to accept, but setbacks can become crucibles for positive change and growth. Anything that disrupts your routine, forces you to reexamine your goals or makes you change course can be a good thing in the end. Early in my career, I was reorganized out of the PR department I loved and into the government relations department. At the time I was upset and fought the change. As it turns out, I had the opportunity to work for one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. In my new role, I learned the ways of Washington, spent time on Capitol Hill, wrote testimony and issue papers, and spoke to reporters about legislative and regulatory concerns. It was a great training ground for my later job as a public affairs director.
Believe in yourself. It often seems that everyone in an organization is a PR pro—except you. Accountants, attorneys, lobbyists and IT people are accorded expert status, but the lowly PR guy gets no respect. Everyone tells him how to do his job or fails to tell him what he needs to know to do his job. Once, when I was working day and night to execute a name and logo change for an organization, the head of IT came by to see me and sketched on a piece of scrap paper the logo that he felt was the perfect solution for us. While well intentioned, his visit reminded me that outsiders tend to view our work as easy or superfluous. This mentality, unfortunately, puts PR budgets and staff at higher risk for cuts. Some of this goes with the territory, but some of it can be prevented by believing in yourself and your capabilities, doing your homework and demonstrating that PR and marketing can make important contributions to the bottom line.
The one distinct advantage that PR and marketing people have (or should have) over everyone else is their creativity, their willingness to think outside the box. That’s huge, and it’s our saving grace when the meat cleaver of budget cuts falls unevenly or austerity comes knocking at our door.
Jay Morris is president of Jay Morris Communications LLC, an independent marketing and PR firm in Alexandria, Va. He blogs at wayward journey.com and tweets at @JayMorCom. He also serves on the boards of PRSA-NCC and the Independent Public Relations Alliance.
Check out what Deborah Brody has to say about making the most of your business cards.
In this age of smart phone bumps and cloud-based contact lists, it may seem a bit old-fashioned to advocate for the business card. But the business card should be the ace player in your budget marketing arsenal. A business card is cheap (relatively speaking), portable and useful. It gets your information right into the hands (and hopefully, databases) of the people you connect with. Done well, a business card keeps you connected with your prospects and brings you business.
However, not any old business card will do. You should spend time (and money) to get this little piece of marketing real estate done right. If someone picks up your business card from a pile of cards, it should be immediately obvious who you are and what you do. Following are some tips to make the most of your business cards.
Spend the money to get professional graphic design. You could do this as part of a letterhead and/or logo package, if you are just starting out. You aren’t like everybody else, so why have a non-customized card? Make sure to use your colors, logo and maybe even an image.
Print your cards professionally, on good paper stock. Nothing says unprofessional more than flimsy cards printed on your ink jet printer. There are many online, digital printers that will do your cards for a fraction of the price you would pay a traditional offset printer, while making them look spectacular.
Make the best use of the space you have. This means using the back of the card, perhaps to list your services, provide your bio, offer a discount code or even have a version of your card in a different language.
Include as much information as possible, thinking of what would be relevant to someone looking to do business with you.
Information that must be on the business card includes:
- Your name and title
- Organization or business name
- Email address
- Tagline and/or short description of what your organization does (if not obvious from the name)
Other items you may consider adding:
- Twitter handle
- LinkedIn information
- Testimonials from clients
- Skype information
Finally, a word about design: Some folks get uber creative with their business cards, and in some cases, that helps to bolster their brand or show off their design chops. However, weird card shapes may be a conversation starter or be more memorable, but they are less likely to fit in conventional card holders or card scanners. Keep that in mind. Same goes for the layout. I prefer a horizontal layout, since that is how most cards are read.
As marketers, it’s important to keep our fingers on the pulse of emerging trends.
The advertising agency J. Walter Thompson — now branding itself as the marketing communications agency, “JWT” — tracks and analyzes global consumer trends. For the past seven years, they’ve been compiling an annual forecast of trends that makes for fascinating reading. Here is a quick overview
JWT Intelligence publishes a blog that has many other insights and trend reports, including this on food trends:
- “10 trends that will shape consumer mind-set and behaviour in 2013” (joannaparktonks.wordpress.com)
- Ten Trends for 2013 from JWT Intelligence [Slideshare] (endaguinan.com)
- The Top 10 Trends For Marketers, According To JWT (fastcocreate.com)
During the holidays and at the end of the year, it’s common for companies to send more email and make more special offers. But be careful with those subject lines! You want to be sure they are in compliance with the law (the CAN-SPAM Act). You also risk annoying your recipients.
As an example, I received an email solicitation from an area publication to which I subscribe. And from which I have bought advertising.
The subject line said “Thank you and a gift.”
I figured, okay, a little appreciation. Nice. I open the email. There is no gift offer. There is an offer of a discount, which is not that great actually, to subscribe for another year.
Was I annoyed? You bet. Where was my “gift?”
Does this sound innocent to you? Calling a discount a gift, well, why not? Just marketing speak, right? Well, sure. You can be cute with words in marketing for the holidays in a lot of advertising contexts, as long as you aren’t outright deceptive.
But when it comes to commercial email subject lines, the law is really clear about truth in advertising. Everyone who works in commercial email knows this now, but I’m sharing this with you, so you don’t make the same mistake.
Your subject line has to deal with the content of your message. Sure, it has to tempt the recipient to open it. BUT you have to deliver on what you promise in a subject line. For example, you cannot say in a subject line: Free cheeseburger coupon inside! and then when the reader opens it, the body of the email mentions the caveat: with the purchase of a drink and fries. Free offers — and all offers — mentioned in emai subject lines have to come with no strings attached.
A discount is not a “gift.” A gift is something that is offered for free, with no expectation of return. The subject line would have been in compliance if they had said “Special Holiday Discount for Subscription Renewals,” for example.
What is working for your holiday email marketing efforts?
- Tips to encourage a journalist to read your email (publicrelationssydney.com.au)
- Email Subject Lines (betterwritinginbusiness.com)
- The Ever Important Subject Liners, Mailer Must Do(s) and Can Spam Act (blogs4bytes.wordpress.com)
- Here’s What’s Working In Email Subject Lines (webpronews.com)
- How to create a memorable email marketing campaign (cashzilla.wordpress.com)
Saturday, December 1: Have you organized your December editorial calendar? The 12th month of the year is a fantastic time to connect with your clients and engage with your followers.
Sunday, December 2: The weekend is primetime for Facebook Page updates. Upload your seasonal Facebook Page timeline cover today. Try a different look each week! Holiday versions of corporate logos are fun, too. Ask Fletcher Prince to design these assets for you.
Monday, December 3: Time to mail holiday cards to clients and supporters. If you are having a special holiday invent, mail invitations now, too. Fletcher Prince can design your company holiday cards for you.
Tuesday, December 4: Today is National Cookie Day. Can you create a cookie with your logo? Try it — and post the photo!
At 5 p.m., the Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit by Speaker of the House John Boehner. Follow @USCapitol on Twitter.
Thursday, December 6: President Obama and the First Lady light the National Christmas Tree today at 5 p.m.
Friday, December 7: Inspired by all these Washington, DC Christmas trees? Have a tree decorating party in your office today!
Saturday, December 8: Wish your followers a Happy Hanukkah! Tonight, Hanukkah begins and is celebrated through December 16.
Sunday, December 9: The lighting of the National Menorah takes place tonight in Washington, DC.
Monday, December 10: What does your company do for good in the community? Publicize a story about your community involvement or support of a local nonprofit organization via your blog, or even an online press release. Send a short note and photos to your local newspaper. Fletcher Prince can help you with public relations efforts.
If you haven’t yet started a company goodwill effort, the holiday season is a good time to start! Consider a food drive in your office to benefit SOME (So Others Might Eat). You can follow them on Twitter @SOME_DC
Wednesday, December 12: Today is National Poinsettia Day. Why not gift your clients with pointsettias to show your appreciation? Or offer them to followers as an online give-away.
Saturday, December 15: People will be tweeting about Santarchy today! Join in the fun by posting photos of your employees in Santa hats.
Monday, December 17: Today is a good day to upload your company’s previously recorded holiday greeting video to YouTube, and send it to clients and customers via email to your permission-based contact list. Post it on your Facebook Page, Pinterest account, Twitter profile, and Google+ account to wish your supporters happy holidays. Fletcher Prince can record your holiday video.
Monday, December 24: Today is Christmas Eve. The North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks his progress each year. Follow on Twitter through @NoradSanta.
Tuesday, December 25: Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 27: Time to look back at the old year as you get ready to ring in the new! Discuss with your staff what marketing tactics worked well and what should be continued in 2013. What were your most popular blog posts? Which of your videos got the most views? Talk to Fletcher Prince about developing an actionable marketing plan for 2013.
Friday, December 28: After Christmas is a great time to blog your company annual report. Chronicle the achievements of the past year.
Sunday, December 30: Most people are in New Year’s resolutions mode. Ask your Facebook Page followers about their resolutions for the new year, throwing in your industry-specific suggestions.
Monday, December 31: Today is New Year’s Eve. Be sure to wish your clients and supporters a Happy New Year, and offer them plenty of helpful suggestions for success in 2013. This is also a good time for brave thought-leaders to make their industry 2013 predictions.
Congratulations to all of you for a successful year, and thanks for reading our blog posts and supporting Fletcher Prince. Happy New Year!
- Marketing Idea: Create a Holiday Greeting Video (with video examples) (fletcher-prince.com)
- Tips for recording a great holiday greeting video on YouTube (fletcher-prince.com)
- Grab these holiday greeting video and design deals (fletcher-prince.com)
- 5 Tips For Writing Great Holiday Cards (inspiration.vistaprint.com)
- Grab these holiday greeting video and design deals (fletcher-prince.com)
- 5 Tips For Writing Great Holiday Cards (inspiration.vistaprint.com)