Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tweet this

In its new Twitter Causation Study, Nielsen Research has found that twitter activity had a statistically significant impact on the ratings of programs 29% of the time. And, according to the study there's a reciprocal relationship:
“Using time series analysis, we saw a statistically significant causal influence indicating that a spike in TV ratings can increase the volume of Tweets, and, conversely, a spike in Tweets can increase tune-in,” said Paul Donato, Chief Research Officer, Nielsen.
So when more people watch a show they tweet more about it and when more people tweet about a show more people watch it.

Thus, when someone tweets, "Dude, are you watching #Sharknado?!!" a few more people tune in and when more people tune in, more people tweet about the awesome awfulness that is Sharknado.

This is good news for TV networks and for marketers because it's hard evidence that Twitter works as a word of mouth platform to a degree.

The challenge is nobody talks or tweets about ordinary things. You have to be remarkable to get the conversation started. In Sharknado's case, the show was remarkably bad, in a fascinating "I can't turn away even if I wanted to" kind of way.

So to set the twitterverse afire you need a killer product, a surprising and relevant marketing event, or a great story worth sharing.

Because while people are tweeting about a tornado that transports sharks, the unreal acts of real housewives, and backstabbing top chef/designer/model competitions, nobody's tweeting about a documentary of vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Time waits for no brand

Just because your brand is relevant today, doesn't guarantee it will matter to people tomorrow.

Technologies change. Tastes change. Your competitors change. If you don't adapt your brand to keep up with the changes, it will die.

Indy racing thrived as a series where manufacturers proved the durability of their products by pushing them hard for 500 miles. But now that even the cheapest cars are expected to run for 100,000 miles with barely a tune up, the series has little relevance to everyday drivers and the stands are empty.

Flip phones were all the rage when portability and style were the relevant benefits in mobile technology. But with the introduction of mobile email, web browsing, video and other location based services, smart phones have taken over, and today a flip phone is about as relevant as a land line.

Light lagers from a handful of brewers dominated the market until beer drinkers discovered that beer actually could have flavor and their long steady decline began.

People may love you today, but don't get too comfortable. Someone or something will come along soon and that easy chair you're sitting in will become a hot seat.

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's all branding

It amazes me that a leading publication in the advertising industry still doesn't get it.

It's all too clear based on this headline on

I'm going to say this very slowly to make sure they understand:

Branding is not a logo;
it's everything a company does.
Especially the product.

The fact that McDonald's can create ads showing just the product with very few other visual cues only demonstrates how strong their brand is. They've managed to differentiate it right down to the two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles on a sesame seed bun...

If you want to see how strong your brand really is, this is a great exercise. Go ahead, create an ad without a logo. If you can't recognize it as yours, neither will your consumer. That's a signal you should get to work on making your product, your packaging and everything else unique so that it expresses your brand. That'll make your "branding" work a hell of a lot harder.

Here are images from the "unbranded" campaign in question.