You haven't heard so much as a peep out of me all week because I am on "vacation," which involves the type of reality-show marathon-viewing that allows me to feel my brain getting lighter as my IQ drops. So, the topic of killing brain cells was already on my what's-left-of-it mind when I got this passalong story (thanks, TL Stanley!) about Absolut's interactive jukebox advertising to the tipsy.
The campaign begins today and targets college students as they celebrate Christmas, New Years and whatnot at their local watering holes/body shot dispensaries. Nifty idea and all, but I start to glaze over when the story mentions the (no pun intended) "high" ad recall (43%) among those who encounter commercials at cocktail lounges.
Absolut Gets Interactive In Bars
Absolut Vodka is teaming up with TouchTunes, which operates a network of interactive jukeboxes in bars and clubs, for a place-based ad campaign promoting its new pear-flavored vodka, Absolut Pears. The two-week campaign, set to debut Dec. 20, will appear on 10,000 of TouchTunes' 30,000 digital jukeboxes around the country. It hopes to reach a wide audience of 21- to-34-year-olds during New Year's celebrations.
The graphic element of the campaign consists of two digital "billboards" that appear repeatedly throughout the interaction. The interactive element invites the user to fill out a survey that collects data about consumer preferences and brand awareness for the Absolut Pears brand. According to TouchTunes, its digital jukeboxes attract heavy traffic--playing 1.4 million songs per day, and providing many opportunities to engage users.
There is growing interest among advertisers in using bars and clubs to reach a young, relatively affluent audience. In March, Arbitron released a study that found 50% of American adults over the age of 21, or about 105 million people, had visited a bar within the last month. Moreover, 31%--or 65 million people--had been to a bar in the last week.
According to Arbitron, they include a higher percentage of self-described "early adopters" than the population at large. Some 27% of monthly bar-goers consider themselves "early adopters," versus 18% overall.
Digital jukeboxes are a particularly popular way to reach bar-goers. TouchTunes competitor Ecast ran interactive campaigns for Miller High Life and Bacardi this summer--the latter achieving a 13% click-through rate, according to the media planners.
Another study from Arbitron, performed for Ecast, found that bar-goers had a 43% recall for advertising delivered via Ecast. Arbitron's study canvassed bar patrons in New York, Seattle and Columbus, Ohio in the summer of 2006.
I've seen mentions of this HBO Video/Virgin Megastore holiday display at a few Web sites, but not any actual footage. It's kinda neat to watch. Interacting with the screen "unwraps" the presents to reveal DVDs of The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire and other shows. The work was created by Monster Media and appears at 11 Virgin stores. Note: About 50 seconds in, the vid switches from the demo to a bunch of man-on-the-street testimonials.
As the housing market slouches further into its slump, real estate developers are the latest group to recite the experiential marketing mantra. No longer content with cheapo enticements such as street side sign twirlers and customary coffee & crumb cake at open houses, they are getting up close and personal to turn shoppers into peeping toms and prospective purchasers.
“Not a lot of people qualify [for loans] anymore, so they’ve been throwing in extra stuff such as cars, vacations, gas cards and appliances to get people to buy,” said Peterson Gonzaga, a real estate agent at Goldland Pro Realty.
But first, they’ve got to get them to look.
To publicize a mixed-use shopping/living center opening next year in Glendale, Calif., Caruso Affiliated is offering sneak peeks to shoppers at another retail complex, The Grove in Los Angeles. There, the “Windows on Americana” cyclorama mural simulates the view from a second-floor terrace apartment overlooking a vast courtyard and neighboring units. The exhibit is embedded with flat-screen monitors that pose as condo windows, so voyeurs can peep at one-minute video loops of “residents” of the Americana at Brand complex as they enjoy the comforts of home, such as valet parking, concierge services, food delivery and a gym with personal trainers. The “Brand” in the title refers to Glendale’s Brand Boulevard.
While the Thanksgiving holiday traditionally marks the end of the real estate season, The Athena Group piggybacked the rampant retail madness of Black Friday (as well as Saturday) to market what it dubbed “the ultimate impulse purchase”: a new flat at The Rob Clark. While the name is actually an amalgam of the two chi-chi streets where the Beverly Hills complex resides, “Rob Clark” has been envisioned as a playboy personality who inhabits the haunts. In the stunt, Athena sent four bathrobed babes (two guys, two gals) down Robertson—home of The Ivy, Kitson and other hot spots on the Lohan-Hilton circuit—during the busy shopping days to pass out cocktail napkin come-ons luring people back to the 105-unit complex for a drink and a looksee at “Rob’s” personal pad. The Black Friday stunt generated about 50 leads, two of which went to contract, per sales and marketing director Harry Dubin.
My boyfriend is jealous of that old codger pictured on the Yahtzee box. As a child, he wanted to join the game that the adults were playing, but they turned down this request because he was “too young.” As he sat off on the card-table sidelines, the sketch of the smiling senior sporting a graduation cap seemed to be mocking him as if to say, “I’m smarter than you.” (“Yeah, well, why is he just now graduating at age 65 then?” is my conclusion, but it doesn’t seem to reassure him.)
People who overuse marketing jargon are my version of the Yahtzee Man. My impression is that executives who spout it think they are more intelligent than me, as if being tapped into this more-sophisticated strain of pig Latin is the equivalent of some secret handshake or shorthand for “I attended an expensive MBA program and you didn’t.” Other terms are more inclusive, but just plain cliche. Joyous will be the day I receive a press release within which a marketing executive isn’t quoted as being “excited,” “pleased” or “thrilled” to be “partnering with [insert brand/agency/celebrity name here].”
With the buzz, blurriness and built-in obsolescence of such terms as “experiential,” “viral” and “guerrilla” marketing running through my mind lately, I’ve got jargon on the noggin. Here are some of my least favorite terms used by marketers, and I’d like you to share yours, too:
* Due diligence: To me, this one says, “I was too lazy to do real research, but would have a hard time looking you in the eye while saying that directly”
* Cut through the clutter: This term explains what Brandweek journalists have to do as we paraphrase your quote and/or extract these four words because, collectively, they have been officially banned from our magazine
* Win-win situation: I’d bet good money that this will be the next phrase barred from our publication. Any takers?
* At the end of the day: It’s “Later,” dude
* On my plate: You are eating at the wrong restaurants if your meal is on par with any work-related assignment
* Paradigm shift: This one was semi-officially retired in late 1997 after some Internet entrepreneur realized that people weren’t absolutely squealing about the technological breakthrough that allowed them to order a pizza online
* SEM: Sounds more mysterious--and dirtier--than it is
* Out of the box, outside the box: For those who read the print mag, yes, I wrote a column called OOTB for years, but I’m not responsible for naming it. It is now known as Data Points
* Interfacing: When did we stop “talking”?
* Brand soul: Ick! Sounds like someone’s been drinking the Kool-Aid…
* Vertical integration: Gives me vertigo
* Vendors: “Get your peanuts here!”
* Turnkey solution: Ironically, these are rarely “turnkey” or a “solution” in practice
* This space: Please give me some breathing room from this term used to describe a vast entity that can’t really be comprehended, a la the Milky Way or the Internet
* Consumers: Yes, we all say it, but at the least, shouldn’t usage be limited to conversations about shopping and actual transactions, not as an all-occasions synonym for “people”? It’s easier to rationalize the implications of one’s marketing when the target is a pack of lemmings carrying ATM cards rather than actual humans
I intend to keep jargon to a minimum in this blog, as I think the readers I’ll attract would prefer that. Does marketing/business jargon give you indigestion? I’d love to hear your least favorites words and phrases. Maybe we can all make a pact and not use them. Also, wouldn’t it be fun to come up with an important-sounding yet bogus term that we can spread virally? Looking forward to “interfacing” with you in “this space” for a “win-win-WIN.”
PS: Every time you click this link an angel gets his wings
Last week, "witch legs" festively dressed with striped stockings and sparkly shoes could be seen dangling out from the perimeters of prominent buildings in New York and Los Angeles as if a tornado had plopped the shops down on the unfortunate gals. The street effort supported Sci Fi Channel's original miniseries Tin Man, an on-acid reimagined take on the already on-acid Wizard of Oz. If there's a sequel, I sure hope the marketing involves flying monkeys. (Top photo by Evans Vestal Ward)
PS: If you're not a leg man, below is some "disarming" imagery of a street campaign (this shot was purportedly taken in Amsterdam) for the DVD launch of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof flick. I found it here and you can also read about it here, which is Sam Ewen's new blog.
Brandweek's Dec. 3 cover story, Experience Necessary, takes a look at you-know-what, the "hottest thing in marketing." It's a nice snapshot of tours, pop-up shops and other experiential tactics marketers are testing to get in people's faces and spaces. Personally, I love the guy who quips this:
"If you put a bunch of jackasses in front of Grand Central Station tossing out gum and calling it experiential, you're taking the soul out of it. The idea is to have the consumer walk away from an experience and remember and talk about it--not to have gum thrown at them."