Tag Archives: youtube

Anatomy of An Insight: Burger King Anti-Pre-Roll

Accidentally I stumbled upon two Burger King campaigns this week which were on totally opposite side of the spectrum. Whopper Sellout was a disaster, but this pre-roll campaign is great:

Insight: People hate pre-roll videos. Ironically, you probably have to watch one to see the case study above. There is nothing more annoying than seeing boring ads, when you just want to see Japanese diarrhea dance. I pretty much always skip the pre-roll, expect if it really captures my attention immediately. Kobe & Messi Selfie Shootout was probably one of the latest pre-rolls I watched from beginning to end. But what if you tailor your pre-roll message to the content your audience is going to watch?

Really simple and effective idea also tied to promotional message. It would be interesting to see some stats from the campaign as well and to compare the finishing rates to regular Burger King promotional pre-roll.  My hunch is that this execution did quite well. This is also a great example that nowadays you really cannot separate creative and channel planning. They go hand in hand.

 Content is king, but context is king kong. 

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Anatomy of An Insight: Kobe vs. Messi Selfie Shootout

Turkish Airlines taps into the selfie-phenomenon in their new ad:

Insight: Taking a selfie is about telling a story and capturing a moment. The bragging rights in holiday photos are huge. Travel photos constitute big portion of selfies, so it is great connection for airline to build on. It also continues nicely the rivalry theme from the previous ad featuring Kobe & Messi (over 100 million views). Compared to that one, the bridge to actual brand promise is actually tighter. The whole spot ends with the mention that Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline. Just brilliant.

This is a great example of utilizing celebrities in smart way and telling insightful brand story at the same time. Guaranteed to garner millions of views.

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Anatomy of An Insight: The Scarecrow

Unlike Hollywood, Internet usually does not favor sequels. Of course there are always expectations to the rule:

If you are working in advertising it has been hard to avoid the new Chipotle ad. All the praises have been duly deserved; it is really great piece of work. Seldom you get such a wide variety of feelings by watching an advertisement. Which is really refreshing. Ad made me want to cry and also to have a burrito to wipe those tears with. There is a wide range of human emotions that trigger people to buy (both positive & negative). Unfortunately, too few advertisers are venturing outside the “smiling happy people”-convention and end results are boring at best and disastrous at worst.

Insight: Often to define yourself, it is more important to state what you are not than what you are. The majority of the ad is about everything that Chipotle does not represent (or at least say they do not represent).
Like Simon Veksner pointed out in his blog, it is dramatizing the negative. Which is the only proper way for challenger brand to behave. Old habits die hard, so you need to aggressively point the problems in incumbent. Saying happily that you are alternative, is not sufficient. If you are challenger brand, you have to challenge.

Scarecrow campaign is a great example of integrated approach. The video is just the starting point to play Scarecrow-game and the loop is nicely closed when you win the burritos after you finished all the stages.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Oreo Separator Machine Series

I do not eat cookies.

But if I would eat them, they would definitely be Oreos. The 101 year old brand has been so on fire lately with their marketing activities. And their latest effort “Oreo Separator Machine” does not disappoint:

Product Insight: Oreo ads are great example of really simple but effective product insight. The product has two parts: crème & cookie. Those parts are so distinct frome each other that you are almost forced to select which part you like more. That difference can be polarizing as well and has been cause for endless arguments. Also the eating of the Oreo has own ritual for its users. The right one is of course this: Taking the top cookie off, eating it, licking the crème and finishing with the bottom cookie (mastered with Finnish Oreo knock-off Domino when I was child).
Majority of Oreo advertising has been about dramatizing either the interplay of its different parts or the ritual (typical example being this year´s super bowl ad for Oreo).

Creative leap: The great creatives in W+K combine couple of existing trends in these spots: D-I-Y tinkering (popularized by Mythbusters or Top Gear for autophiles) and Rube Goldberg Machine (Machines doing simple tasks in complicated ways. Lately popularized by Honda Cog, OK Go-This Too Shall Pass & Red Bull Athlete Machine).
These trends are combined with product insight and end-results are highly entertaining videos of how far people are going to separate the crème and the cookie:


Collaboration: These spots would not be so great, if the people doing separator machines would not be so entertaining. Nowadays doing great work is more and more about finding the new and surprising collaboration partners and giving them the brief and tools to do their own thing:


Continuum: In principle this series could last for quite long, as long as there are innovative collaborations and interest from the audience. Currently we are in fourth installment which ups the ante by involving robot butler Herb to the mix:


These ads are also refreshing, because they go against the old rule that you should not play with your brand if it is food. I think that if you get almost 4M views in YouTube for single product-centered video, the playing with food is not only allowed, but also highly recommended.

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Just Watched Every Super Bowl Commercial and Here is the Real Top 10

Super Bowl ad is a different kind of beast.

Seldom you have an audience who is actually waiting to see your ads. Also seldom you are fighting the attention with biggest sport event and the biggest performers in half-time show. In Super Bowl you have to do great entertainment just to get noticed. Seldom they actually win any advertising awards either. Super Bowl ads are the populist creativity at its fullest. You have paid big price of the attention of the people, what are you going to with that attention?

To get noticed and be loved, the recipe for succesful Superbowl ad in recent years has been the following:

Make it funny+Make it Epic+Add some Celebrities in the mix+(Add Hashtag or Facebook URL if you remember)

Although there has been great non-funny Superbowl ads, it is usually easier (not easy) to be funny in 30 seconds than to make people truly sentimental. Surprisingly this year´s Ad Meter winner was not slapstick comedy, but this tearjerker from Budweiser:

I was not that convinced so I decided to watch them all through to find better ones. It took approximately the same time than it took to watch The Master. I recommend heartily the latter more. This my top 10 list of Superbowl Ads. As  you can see, I like simple ideas and celebrity comedians.

Tide: Miracle Stain

This was the favourite of the bunch. Seriously funny and also adds some topical twist to predictable ending. Reminds me about this scetch from Mitchell and Webb.

Best Buy: Asking Amy

Great way to add funny celebrity and lots of product shots as well. Simple but effective.

GoDaddy: Your Next Big Idea

Despite the more buzz about and around the akward “Bar Rafaeli Makes out”-spot, this was actually the better one. In terms of attitude, I have to give it up for GoDaddy-marketing. Rafaeli-spot got the lowest ratings in ad-meter, but also generated most buzz. Despite the angry feedback, it was also commercially succesfully and GoDaddy had record sales after the game day.

Audi: The Prom

Mercedez-Benz: Soul

Lots of car commercials as usual, but these two were my favourites. The prom is classic aspirational story about the ego-boosting capabilities of the car with great soundtrack. In terms of making truly epic ad, Mercedez-Benz scores quite high. Willem Dafoe as the devil is not a bad start. However, the ending which actually got the price of the car to the ad, made it to my list.
Toyota, Volkswagen and Hyundai “Stuck” ads were quite funny as well, but Kia Babylandia was probably the worst. Babies and cute animals score well, but still why you do this? Missing the hamsters already. The Fiat topless ad I liked as well, but probably more because I am male and also a sucker for Isaac Hayes soundtrack (for women viewers in the same bandwagon was the controversial Calvin Klein ad)

Samsung: The Next best thing

Actually the extended version is not bad either. Good balance between the funny banter and product features. I have to still admit that this still felt more like insider joke for ad people. The industry insider jokes did not score well in Ad Meter either.

Taco Bell: Viva Mas

Refreshing to have old people instead of babies or dogs in ads. Just for that reason, this requires to be in the list.

Oreo: Whisper Fight

Dramatizing the evergoing debate around the Oreo to the fullest.

Century 21: Wedding

Good idea and the whole series around this is good. Gets better with repetition as well, Might be a campaign for years.

Doritos: Goat 4 Sale

I just love the concept “Crash the Superbowl”. Crowdsourcing and UGC seem to be more curse words nowaday, but this program has maintained its quality and interest over six years. It was tough call between this and “Fashionista Daddy”

Quite ok year, but none of the ads seems to be a true classic like this one.

And one last thing, who thought that it was good idea that fish would sing No Diggidy?

Just asking.

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Gangnam Style: The Evolution of Popular Culture

Click the video, if you have not yet see this after 462 252 104 (and counting) views on YouTube. Otherwise proceed to text below.

It has affected South Korean tourism and the stock values of software firms. Even F1 drivers are doing it.

No doubt about it, Gangnam style has been the biggest popular culture phenomenon in 2012.

What it tells about the current state of popular culture?

1. There is always demand for a catchy pop song.
You can debate about the artistic and musical merits of PSY, but you cannot deny that structurally it is typical and effective pop song. All the elements of the perfect summer jam are there: catchy chorus, shout-outs to sexy ladies and the signature dance which you can perform even after few pints. Gangnam Style is just the Macarena for 2012. Or Ketchup Song, Lambada… You catch my drift.

This brings us also to the important point about YouTube. The Internet might have revolutionized the distribution and the traditional business model of the music. It has not as much changed people´s taste for music. Although major record labels are struggling, there is still huge demand for mainstream music. If you watch top 10 of the most watched music videos in YouTube, they are all from major label artists. PSY was huge in South Korea before Gangnam style and hardly a rookie, having released his first album already in 2001.

Gangnam style would probably be not as big hit without YouTube, but it would have been hit nevertheless. You will always have gatekeepers in popular culture. The gatekeepers just might not be the same ones as before.

2. The cultural focus shifts to Asia
If you watch any new Hollywood movie, you are more than likely to see one (or all) of the following things:

a) One or more of the characters are Asian-origin (i.e. wife of Bruce Willis is Chinese in The Looper)
b) There are cultural references to Asia (i.e. Chinese gambling dens in Premium Rush)
c) The film takes place in certain Asian country (i.e. Bourne Legacy scenes in Manila)

The main reason for this is naturally the rising importance of Asian countries as the target market for Hollywood movies. As a movie producer, you have to take Asian countries in account to maximize profits and to secure investments in the future.

This cultural exchange is not unilateral. As the western companies concentrate more on Asia to keep afloat, especially the western teenagers consume more Asian culture to find their own thing and to differentiate from their predecessors.

Peculiar thing happened few years back in Finland. The teenagers started to dig everything Japanese. Whether it was J-Pop, Manga, Anime or the weird costumes. The cultural glue was the interest to everything Japanese. The same person might go to see heavy metal and dance act on same week, as long it was Japanese.

This goes against of my traditional view of how subcultures emerge. As a teenager I consumed popular culture that was majorly from USA. However it was more about certain genres than geographical areas.

K-Pop phenomenon was already making major waves before Gangnam style and something big was bound to happen. Gangnam style was just the most western-friendly, uniquely odd and the catchiest song to break into global mainstream. As a western listener you do not necessarily know where Gangnam is, or what oppa means but you can nevertheless get into singing the chorus and doing the horse-dance.

3. Ready for remix, build for parody, made for mash-up.

There used to be app for that. Nowadays there is Gangnam Style –parody for that. Even in North Korea. Here is the Singaporean version:

With current digital tools and democratization of technology, it is easier to become active culture participant. Parody is the highest form of flattery. If it has not been remixed, it does not exist. Gangnam style is the perfect song to make mash-ups on. As the money from music business now comes from different sources than traditional record sales, you have to do more than just good songs. You have to create miniature social movements, where people can participate.

Also our view of idols has evolved. When before the idol was someone you could not reach, nowadays you can just tweet to your favorite artist. And as record sales decline, the probability is just getting higher that the idol will actually respond as well. Reflecting to that PSY, who is self-proclaimed “fat father of two”, might just be the perfect idol type for the new century. At least compared to the polished superhumans of traditional broadcast era.

Will PSY be able to match the success of Gangnam style?
Most likely not.
Has he already left a permanent mark in popular culture?
Most likely.

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