Archive | May 2012

From Football To Futbol

Americans are fascinated with Super Bowl advertisements. Some people go as far as to watch the entire game just for the commercials. Companies, especially in the auto industry, buy their 30-second spots up to a year in advance in anticipation of reaching roughly 110-115 million people. “CBS has sold more than 50% of its ad inventory for its 2013 broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII and could reach sell-out levels approaching 80% in the next few weeks,” according to the network’s head of sports ad sales (

General Motors (GM) regularly advertises during the Super Bowl but has decided to invest the advertising budget with a different sport. GM is trading football for futbol and is betting a five-year sponsorship of the Manchester United soccer club will bolster its Chevrolet line in the first test of the brand’s new global marketing strategy (

Ever since GM decided to choose UK’s media planning & buying specialist, Carat over Chicago based Starcom, industry professionals knew the company’s top priority was its global image and global sales. Of course Americans will be mad at GM after providing the company with a bailout, but what about this move as a business decision?

If GM is trying to reach millions of people, there may be no better way to do it than with the most recognizable soccer club in the world. “It’s clear that global football presented us with a significant opportunity to spread Chevrolet around the world,” Paul Edwards said, GM executive director of global marketing strategy. “We recognized that it’s not only the world’s biggest sport but also the world’s most engaged fans.”

As much as I would love to disagree with GM’s decision, I think it is a brilliant business move for the specific goal of making Chevy a global icon. Approximately 600 million people watch a regular season match between Manchester United and Manchester City. That far exceeds the 110-115 million people who watch the Super Bowl.

“GM declined to say how much the Manchester United sponsorship will cost. It allows Chevy signage in Manchester United’s stadium and access to the team for TV, print and other media for use worldwide, Mr. Edwards said. Manchester United games are broadcast in 1.15 billion homes — 80% of the world’s households with TVs, according to GM.” For GM to save $2 billion over five years and reach an exponentially  higher number of people worldwide, the company would be crazy not to.

If you were the CEO of General Motors, would you stick to Super Bowl advertising or expand into global markets and why?


A New Twist On QR Codes

Finally, a creative twist on QR codes. Recently, Guinness introduced the first product-activated QR code with its Guinness QR Cup. It may look like your standard glass, but when full of Guinness, it reveals a QR code.  When the glass is empty, you see nothing but a faint white pattern. The magic happens when you pour Guinness into the glass. The dark coloring of the beer fills in the spaces to complete the code.

As explained in an article from Adweek, , when you scan the code with your smartphone, it “tweets about your pint, updates your Facebook status, checks you in via Foursquare, downloads coupons and promotions, invites your friends to join you, and even launches exclusive Guinness content.”

This genius idea puts a new spin on QR codes and really exemplifies the potential that marketers have with these codes—which leads us to the question of whether your brand should be using QR codes and how.

An article posted by iMedia Connection gives a few simple, yet necessary tips for brands choosing to create their own code.

– Don’t leave it solely up to the QR code to gain the trust and engagement of the user. According to the article, “QR codes don’t create the engagement any more than the ‘like’ button creates the like.”  Communication is a key factor in informing and engaging the audience and enticing them to actually scan the code.

– Let your audience know where the code will take them and what it is all about. By doing so, he or she will be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to participate.

– QR codes are essentially only as good as where they take you. Make sure your code takes the audience to some place where they want to be. Taking them to more marketing material isn’t going to excite the audience. Encourage them to interact with the brand. Depending on your brand, take them to a place that may lead them to more information or even a point of purchase.

Guinness proves that there are hundreds of ways to bring life to QR codes. With the increase in the number of people using tablets and smart phones, QR codes have immense potential to bring success to a brand if it is done right.

What are your experiences with QR codes, and do you feel Guinness may be on to something useful?


You Think Social Media Is The Best Way To Advertise?

In this age of social media, especially since Facebook went public, mixing advertising, marketing, and public relations seems to be the new trend. Companies are flocking to social media sites to try to find ways to communicate their messages to mass numbers of people.

An article published on actually proves that Facebook is not a great use of the advertising budget. Statistics show that 83% of people “hardly ever/ never” click on the Facebook ads. That leaves a very dismal 17% of people who click on the ads “often/sometimes.”

Social Fresh, a social media education company, states that according to a March 2012 poll “61% of US Facebook advertisers used ads for awareness purposes. Yet a hefty 44% expected them to generate conversions.”

Generating awareness may be possible without clicking on the ads depending on what type of awareness the advertiser wants. If they advertiser wants to generate awareness for a brand name and logo, the ad may not necessarily have to be clicked on to do so. Getting the audience to engage themselves enough to generate conversation may be extremely difficult without clicking on the ad, if the ad’s purpose is to drive home a key message for products, services, events, etc.

People enter the social media realm for a number of reasons, but not to be bombarded with advertisements. The study also mentions company profile pages, but that too is not guaranteed to be effective. People click through pages to fast to be influenced by one company’s pages.

As a young advertising professional, you would think that I’d want to spend a large portion of our client’s budget on social media such as Facebook. I’m not completely sold due to the fact that the cost per click and impressions (on social media sites) are not providing a good enough ROI. Advertising is constantly evolving, and maybe I will think differently about social media advertising in the future, but right now I’ll stick to the more traditional methods of advertising that have proven ROI track records.

2012 London Summer Olympics: The Presence of Commercial Partners

BP is the Official Oil and Gas Partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. BP will provide advanced fuels and engine oils for over 5,000 vehicle and fuel contest generators.

The corporation is working with LOCOG, who is responsible for preparing and staging the London 2012 Games, to create a program that inspires young people by fueling success across the United Kingdom.

BP and the Royal Opera House are teaming up with The Olympic Museum to create a free and unique exhibition. The exhibit will tell the Olympic story through the endeavors of ancient and modern Olympians. It will include artifacts, graphics, film and audio. The exhibition promises to be a highlight of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad.

While visiting the exhibit, you can view Olympic Medals and Torches dating back to 1896.  The Hall of Champions, featuring the stories and inspirational achievements of great Olympians from the modern Games, will also be on display.

You can tour Greece through the vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the man behind the revival of the Olympic Games many centuries later. The experience will continue with the stories of some of the iconic Olympic athletes and moments of the last hundred years of Olympic history.

BP is devoted to fueling the future through its partnership with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Low-carbon BP fuel for vehicles in operation will transport athletes and officials as well as food and supplies to and from the Olympic Village, the Olympic Park and other venues across London.

Check out the video here: