Visa for kids

Sign of the times? The latest version of the Monopoly boardgame comes with VISA branded credit cards instead of paper money. Apparently it’s part of an international deal between Parker and VISA, which designed the mock debit card and its electronic machine. Branding opportunities…

[Via MIT AdLab]

Integrated advertising, it’s about time!

Traditional vs. new media, traditional vs. interactive advertising, television vs. internet, … it almost sounds like we’ve created 2 separate worlds. Television networks do research that proves that television still works, the research from internet companies will tell you the same about internet. Just to set things straight, I do believe the internet is underestimated in advertising, the point is that campaigns shouldn’t be about television or radio or internet… they should be integrated.

Still too much we divide our campaigns into the traditional way of advertising and new media. I don’t like to use interactive advertising – often used as the counterpart for traditional – as you can also create interactive billboards for instance, how new-media is that? But to come back to the point, why is it so hard to create fully integrated campaigns for our products, services, brands? Well, we all created a structure that makes it hard to really get to this full integration. We being the new-media guys ;-). We created online creative agencies, online media sales houses and most of all we created our own online lingo. We had to when it all started taking off, because it was new, technical and not everybody was a believer.

With this big split between the more traditional advertising agencies and the interactive/online/new-media ones, the pressures is all on the marketer. Today’s marketers need to understand the full scope of communication opportunities to consumers, which is a really big challenge. They have to define the elements needed in the campaign because from the moment an agency is working on it, you know – most of the times – which direction it’ll go to.

Think Digital, that was the theme from MSN’s sponsorship in Cannes this year. I agree, this is what we need to do more, but thinking digitally is not a separate job function (as techdirt posted a while ago). Integration of internet (and other new media) is the biggest challenge of marketers. Research in The Netherlands stated that 64% of all marketers put the integration of online in their marketing plans on top of the list of challenges.

I’m a big believer of online advertising myself and I also believe the power of the internet generated tremendous new marketing opportunities (read ‘The Ultimate Marketing Machine), but at the same time I want to understand the more traditional advertising and find out how I can make the best advantage of mixing it all in a true media-mix. My big question would be: how can we bring these 2 worlds together? Why do we still make this distinction? As I mentioned earlier, I’ve see some pretty good ‘interactive’ billboards, and the internet is not virtual anymore (it’s as real world as anything else) so why keep this split? Integrate! Recognize that we all need eachother.

Well, we still have a long way to go, and hopefully we’ll get there (eventually). I can only hope we don’t do the same with digital television, mobile, … and use the learnings from the situation we’re in today.

How to explain RSS to your grandma

This is exactly the title of a post on downloadsquad a few days ago. There are some things in life – especially in technology – that are so easy once you understand it, but boy what are they hard to explain. RSS is exactly one of those things. It couldn’t be any easier, but have you ever tried to explain it to a non-technical person? So reading the title, I thought this is it, a Real Simple Explanation for Real Simple Syndication!

RSS is a data format for syndicating content on the World Wide Web. Technically, there are a few different versions of RSS in existence and depending on who you’re talking to, RSS is an acronym for a few different things: Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary.

RSS works by taking a set of information and breaking it down into a collection of identifable items. For example, an RSS feed for a newspaper’s site might gather up the most recently published stories and break them down so the RSS file contains one RSS item for each headline. The end result is an RSS feed of the newspaper’s recently published headlines.

Well it disappointed me reading it. High hopes, but this explanation is still getting me nowhere. This is not grannie-proof! Unless we find that, I don’t believe we will be able to break this towards a bigger audience, let me know if you have found a better explanation.

Get a Girlfriend

From AXE… again. But you got to love it. Like Coolz0r says: “The fact that in the end they released the video where the AXE Dude actually got a girlfriend makes this as a whole a beautiful campaign. It just adds up to the entire strategy AXE uses, and it’s proven to be a decent and working model. Really. I love it. I love the brand and the communication. It’s perfect. Plain and simple.”

getagirlfriendaxe.jpg

Great advertising!

[Via Marketing Thoughts]

Viral | Guerrilla

Viral and guerrilla marketing are hot. They are used more and more by marketers to get customers' attention. Also, both tactics are much discussed in meetings, on blogs, … and nobody seems to know the exact magic you need to make a viral campaign a good viral campaign, or to come up with the greatest guerrilla marketing idea.

Lately both iMedia Connection and MarketingProfs.com wrote some interesting articles on the topic. 'Yes, you can predict viral marketing' reads the headline at iMedia Connection. Strong title and even though I think it's extremely hard to define the outcome of a viral campaign, there are some interesting ideas in the article making it a 'must read'. MarketingProfs.com write about 'The 10 truths of 'real' guerrilla marketers' which also provides good insights. Guerrilla is about 'something more' than 'unconventional and cheap'. Happy reading!

Marketing finder

Yesterday I played around with the search macros in Live.com. I quite often want to perform a search on marketing related stuff and then I most of the time prefer to start the search on marketing websites. Since you don’t want to go over all sites one by one to search, I used Rollyo or the search option in my RSS reader to get this marketing scope. RSS Bandit (my RSS reader) gives good results but only for more recent topics. Rollyo performs quite ok, but I don’t like the clutter on the page, there’s just too much of it.

The search macro option might just give me the result I want. I started with the top 25 marketing blogs that ‘The Viral Garden’ pulls together every week and I added some extra blogs to them. The first results are quite promising. I will play around with the macros a bit more, especially the order of the search results is something I would like to change (let me know if you know how) and I might add a few more sources to it. If you are using Live.com and you want to give this search macro a try, you can find it here.

I created another one with top advertising sites too, but especially in that one the order of the search results is something I need to change because otherwise results are almost only from AdRants. Maybe I’ll send the guys from the Live.com team this question and hope they can help me out.

Wildfire

I just got back from a presentation from Leo Burnett & Contagious Magazine called Wildfire: Ideas that spread and sell and it was definitely a good one. While showing some good examples – the usual and some new stuff – they called out to marketers to take a risk and start doing things differently. Is that new? Are they the only ones? Definitely not, but since a lot of advertisers don't get it yet, everybody who makes the call should be supported. And what I also liked is that they try to get the conversation going, which is the right way to do. So if you're curious about this, check out the Wildfire blog and see how it evolves. It's definitely worth a shot.

And just as a sidenote, it seems like LYNXjet is going to be the bigger winner this year at the festival this year… if they already aren't. Check out their campaign.

Congrats Coolz0r!

I just needed to say this. Miel – aka Coolz0r – just wrote his 1.000th post on his ‘Marketing Thoughts’ blog and I’m impressed of the stats. Not that it was a big surprise, because I know Miel is writing for a quite big international audience but still, kudos for Miel.

For me this is one of those examples where you see what passion and a lot of time can bring you today. Chasing good advertising & interactive best practices from around the globe, blogging 24/7 (almost) mixed with some good writing and with the understanding of linklove (which is not always returned), I guess this is only a beginning. Miel, I’ll talk about it to my Russian colleagues so you get that geo-dot on Moscow too ;-)

Miel also writes at InsideGoogle, InsideMicrosoft & I-Wisdom.