This just in from Ad Age...
In his keynote address at last week's Interactive Advertising Bureau's Social Media Conference, Forrester Research's Josh Bernoff explained how Del Monte Foods created a new pet food product in just six weeks—with the help of a little crowd-sourcing.
Seems so simple, yes? Just ask customers what they want?
Crowdsourcing is a neutral proposition that always needs to be checked against other resources. I'll bet Del Monte did a bit of homework beyond the social networking scenario, but the SN was clearly a valuable integral resource.
What do you think?
Analog television is finally over, and digital TV officially debuts in the US as of today. So what?
I'm not going to write any sappy nostalgic stories about how great things were in the "old days" when we had three network TV stations plus PBS. Plenty of folks have written about this already, and will no doubt continue to do so for some time to come.
Instead, I'd like for you to think about something. Does modern television make your life better? Do you feel a connection with the thousands of products that bombard you with thousands of barking ads each and every day? Do you like the idea of paying for the cable or satellite TV that pipe in all the unnecessary, mindless, and often untrue messages into your living room? Over the course of 10 hours, American viewers will see approximately 3 hours of advertisements, twice what they would have seen in the sixties. Feels like more.
I've been working in media-related businesses for the past 17 years, and my earlier job in ad creative & strategy was to communicate advertiser messages in order to compel you—the consumer—to buy, buy, buy. Early in my career, it was fun. Very soon I realized what a hollow proposition advertising generally is. Yes, some ads are actually informative, relevant, and helpful—but these are clearly in the minority.
In 1965, 34 percent could name a brand advertised on a TV show. Thirty years after, only 8 percent could do so. Consumers decreasingly find ads useful, informative, relevant, or differentiating brands. Did you know that only 6 percent of people believe an ad is generally telling the truth? With numbers like these, it is no wonder even established brands are failing.
Fed up with advertising over 12 years ago, I migrated toward branding & identity as a way to make meaningful connections between companies and customers—for products and services that people can feel good about. My branding agency chooses to strategize, position and represent products and services that make a positive impact on the world in some way—socially responsible companies. Products that live up to their expectations.
In addition, we now create branded experiences and branded events instead of advertising—because people enjoy experiences so much more than barking ads. As an example or a branded experience, a client of ours (anonymous for now) sponsored a river rafting event, and a climbing event with Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to scale Mt. Everest. These kinds of events involve people's lives and true interests on a meaningful level. They connect.
Contrast these kinds of experiences with "buy more burgers, blah, blah, blah" and nonsense like "this new car is actually great for the environment and is a total chick magnet." I don't know about you, but I don't need another reason to feel hungry. And not only is that car relying on pretty much the same internal combustion technology used for the past 100 years—but when you read the fine print, you'll find that the gas mileage is only marginally better that it was on the same model 30 years ago.
Six months ago we cut the tv cable at our home and went back to rabbit ears. We had enough of subsidizing irrelevant ads that try to create aspirations based on utter nonsense. And save for a few shows we found entertaining or informative, TV's programming generally lacks quality, most actors are simply bad, and the same tired old movies are rerun constantly. So now what?
Now that analog is gone, and we have a choice of (a) buying a set-top box, or (b) a new TV, or (c) getting back on cable—I think we're going for option (d) none of the above. While this may not be the end of advertising, it is the end of advertising in our living room.
Russell Volckmann is an award-winning designer, producer, creative director, branding & marketing strategist. For 17 years helping global agencies and companies tell their stories and make meaningful connections. Contact Russell at VÖLCKMANN (& friends) for more ways to connect.
The Orígami Wine Book below describes how the agency's rebrand of Gélinas Winery resulted in selling out the entire annual wine production in only 24 days—and completely pre-sold production for the following year.
See also: other wine label brand strategy, positioning and creative—plus a small sample of experimental design work.
(A click on the 2nd-from-the-right icon will go full screen.)
Have a branding success you want to share? Let us know!
By the way, I am now working with Montréal's Orígami to help spearhead the San Francisco office. I am overjoyed to be working with a great team of very creative strategic thinkers.