Toyota Yaris will be sponsoring spin-off mobisodes of the series Prison Break. In additon to being featured in the shows for the tiny screen, Toyota will also have ad exclusivity toward the end of the regular season of the hit show.
It may not be a bad idea to experiment with this platform, but ultimately the success will ride on the quality of the shows. Toyota, it's agency (Saatchi) and Fox had better make sure that the shows don't end up becoming extended Yaris ads.
Gary Stein has written a very reasonablethought-provoking post on research that proves that technology empowers us to be more involved, by connecting us to others and making available vast resources that encourage the "invention of purpose".
While it may sound intuitively obvious, the emphasis on the social dimensions of technology, and also the ways it allows us to be more like ourselves (self-actualization via education) is usually downplayed. Technology is usually thought of in terms of it's inherent features, and we should really spend more time thinking about what it allows us to do, and what it promises us to potentially be. (The recent talk on Wikipedia made this point, too.)
More Connected = More Involved
believe there's a reflex built into the human mind. Give a person
technology and they immediately think "power." As in, "Think what I
could do with this!" The effects are strongest when the technology has
a built-in use, like a crossbow or a cotton gin. But what about the
computer? A computer (with an Internet connection) isn't "for"
something in the same way a cotton gin is. Computers aren't
purpose-built objects. So to provide a computer to someone means
watching him or her invent their own purpose out of their own
individual needs or desires.
invention of purpose is (to me) the most compelling part of the
research and the bit that should grab marketers' attention. Consider
the following statistic from the research: people become more involved
when they have an Internet connection:
There's an interesting article in the new issue of Business Week about P&G's strategy for new Tide detergent ads. To prevent the brand from slipping into "commodity status" they need to do whatever it takes to prevent the brand from slipping, and that means discovering the "emotional high ground" between laundry detergent and consumers. In fact, this will be a strategy that will be in play for other P&G brands, as well.
Indeed, the effort is part of a companywide strategy to reestablish
bonds between customers and all of its brands, no matter how mature or
mundane. Lynne Boyles, P&G global vice-president for advertising,
says the company is on a mission to unearth and cultivate the deep
connections people have with its products. "We are striving for that
with all of our brands."
For an iconic brand like Tide, this strategy makes sense, and is not exactly earth-shatteringly original. However, and perhaps unsurprsingly, cynics scoff at this sort of thing ( "Everybody wants to
elevate their brand to this kind of more rarefied level, but at the end
of the day detergent is detergent," warns Adam Hanft, chief executive
of Hanft Unlimited, a brand consulting firm). I'm glad P&G didn't listen to the likes of Mr. Hanft :)
Poor sheep, unwitting accomplices in one of the tackier "experiential" marketing campaigns we've come across.
We first saw these photos a couple of weeks ago; since then, a controversy has grown in Holland, home of the hapless sheep. Defending the ad placement, the chief executive of hotels.nl cited tough times for marketers trying to break through the clutter:
"As a company in modern times, you have to take some risks," Mr. Nagel
said. "You cannot be everybody's friend. Let's say 25 percent are
against this. But we can't have all the Dutch people as customers."
The World Cup is just a few weeks away, and ad critics are sure to have a field day (haha) picking apart the campaigns of major sponsors. The simmering rivalry between Nike and Adidas will be the most closely monitored, but there are a lot of other official sponsors and other brands hoping to steal some thunder.
In addition to the strong online work (nike's joga and adidas' impossible team are the two biggest), this year should also be interesting to watch as live sporting events are the best stage for TV ads to demonstrate their worth, and there are no bigger live events than the World Cup. Will the beleaguered :30 spots come out swinging with bold and risky work, or be safe and predictable? This is the time to put up or shut up, so to speak!
The Observer in the UK has a good overview of some of the campaign (we the Carlsberg Pub Team one the best ;)