Corporate marketing

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Lesson #1: Your audience is ever more demanding!

TRUE STORY:

While watching the first football game of the World Cup:

- my father in Law: Damn this transmission has degraded, before they used to show the name of the player who has the ball and info about him, zoom into the player’s faces more when they replay, replay the goals better…

- my brother in law: Dad, this is on Playstation 2, not in ‘the real’  Fifa

Yes, we are getting more spoiled with new multimedia technologies, traditional media have to provide more information rich data, better interactivity options and more sharing opportunities. In short we want to be better informed and more involved and we expect you to do something about it!

Lesson #2: The Stakeholders Expect You to React FAST!

A day into world cup and everyone is complaining about these darn Vuvuzela’s. Three days into the world Cup and Germany filters out Vuvuzela noises to spare the fans. A couple days more Britain Joins and people start petitioning for banning the Vuvuzela( with over 300,000 fans on facebook and counting) . Add a couple of days and an app that adds vuvuzela noises to sites that filter them is created following the de-vuvuzelaing applets!

Needless to say, your clients will expect the same response rates from you!

Lesson #3: Do not forget about unexploited niches

For instant, women  have to suffer while their prince charming enjoys row after row of football matches day in day out for a whooole month.   So while everyone is gold mining the idea of the big flat screens to display the World Cup, why don’t you capitalize on the opposite – making your place a haven for football haters?

This Le Mall ad may be an attempt at just what I’m talking about, but I hate the fact that it belittles women. As a woman  I would not identify with it and will consider it an attempt to trick me into going to Le Mall and being stuck watching football, rather than showing me a clear exit path  – The “learn about football so people do not make fun of you” message VERSUS  the ” while he is watching football break loose and shop” message I would like to hear.

So you see, there is a real propitious niche there, that your competitors are not exploring. And let us not forget about children, where do people with children leave kids to go watch the games? You say grandparents, I say create a replacement product…There are a millions of ideas and campaigns buried in unrealized consumer demand in your market too-  Be creative, we’re expecting no less!

My personal favorites in this regard is the above Macy Gray video clip and this great post by Maya Zankoul.

Lesson #4: Shamelessly exploit trends?

I am not even gonna go into the myriad of brilliant and so and so ads, campaigns and offers linked to the world cup. Yes it is a good tactic. Yes, it will help you not stay behind, but if you truely wanna innovate, go back to point 3.

Lesson #5: We are watching You, and we have everything ON RECORD!

One of the first big time fxxx-ups in this world cup was the British Goalkeeper giving a slip to the ball, right after catching it. Man, it was a media circus at my in-law’s house. With the whole family lividly replaying his walk of shame and lively commenting how his career is over. And all of this replicated across millions of households in reaction to a slip of a man who by default can not catch all the balls shot at him. So Imagine what your Stakeholders will do if YOU slip up!

Have you learned any new marketing lessons from the world cup, let me know!?

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grafitti "Keep your coins, I want change"So you may have had enough of hearing this word, or are probably immune to the meaning behind it. Let’s see how powerful it would be to apply the same in the world of Advertising and Communications.

Anyone who worked in Advertising/PR will probably drone for hours about how clients think they know what s best for them , and how frustrating it is when campaigns do not generate expected results, or simply how thin the line is between a great success and miserably failed Ad.

I ve presented this solution to different Advertising/PR professionals, and it has never been met with anything less than an “AHA!” reaction. Reason being: it is simple yet profound: Change things up.

Benjamin Franklin wrote:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…

Advertising folks like to admit that they’re outside the norm. Crazy, you say? Maybe. More like non-conformists. We live by the only code which is: NO CODE.

But when it comes to generating results, attitudes are different. You can t afford to be too crazy (or Insane as Ben Franklin quotes above). Simply put, if you keep applying the same method /concept / approach you should not expect to get better/different results.

In a broad sense this has several implications for Ad folks. For example, if Brand X uses the same general platform for too long it risks two things: people get bored quickly or people simply get attached to the platform and will refuse the new platform.

Solution: Change things up.

If your research is not bringing you closer to the consumer, change your tools. Go out and be the consumer.

If your brief is not inspirational enough, break it down and use a different template.

If your media choice is not generating interest, explore alternative media.

If your client refuses to invest in a bigger campaign, change your selling technique or upgrade your negotiation tactics.

Simply put, same behavior generates same results.

The next time you feel inertia against a new idea by a client, just remember Ben Franklin’s statement – it is simply insane to expect your results to change if you continue doing the same things.

Go ahead. Change it up.

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BIO: Khaled Itani is an ex-AdMan with an MBA in Marketing from the American University of Beirut. With years of Advertising/Communications experience from Grey Beirut and JWT, Khaled is currently a Client Services Manager for a leading North American e-Commerce firm.

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Read Khaled Itani’s Previous Guest Posts:

And also, read other Guest Posts on the Identity Chef.

For some weird reason, I do not know how he does it, but Khaled always ends up sending emails into my inbox with precisely the answers to the questions that are on my mind, drawing from his personal experience and whatever rubbed off on him during his years as an Ad-man. Thank you Khaled for inspiring me and unknowingly satisfying my curiosities. It is an honor to share it on the Identity Chef.
So guys I am interested in what you think, what’s your perspective?

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via ivysays.comToday, IVY was giving dating advice on twitter and asking people for feedback on her make a move rose giveaway and planning a tweetup dinner.

Yesterday, at the table, we sat arguing for around 20 minutes whether IVY is real or not.

The whole week before, people were passionately interacting with IVY on twitter…

Two weeks ago, Ivy registered to attend a tweetup and blogged about it.

And the truth of the matter is that we shouldn’t care if IVY is real or not. We should be happy that companies have finally understood the language of digital natives and is creating campaigns that resonate and interact with us, as well as the other poor mere mortals. After EXOTICA’s  unexciting Different Christmas campaign, that even failed to point us to the blog on their billboards, Leo Burnett, Exotica’s ad agency,  reviewed all of its mistakes and came up with something with a phenomenal snowball effect. Yes, as I said before my friends, social media marketing is sparking to life in the middle east and you are either with us, or eaten by the competition.

Things to learn from Exotica’s IvySays Project.

1- Give and you shall receive

The IVY we have come to know and love is a giver. She started by giving us dating advise, which though we may not all apply, but we all loved and we felt compelled single people everywhere felt compelled to try out Ivy’s moves and then… Ivy slipped a rose into our hands and made it all the more easier. Think about your clients, think about what they need. And even if you are B2B business, think: Do your they need education, help, comfort, care, empowerment? All of us do, don’t we? Now how can you use all that your expertise to help them, regardless of your product?

2-Engage and you shall be engaged

Before IVY got to her first post, she got a twitter account and after that, she did not just re-tweet her own posts, she replied to people, she talked to them, shared her opinions on outside issues, gave them advice and encouragement. There was no pushing her message or asking for anything for herself. That is why, when IVY asked questions she got enormous feedback, even from those who were in doubt about her true identity. And that is value you will not be able to leverage unless you create a genuine online persona [not to be confused with a retweet bot].

3-Go where they go, do what they do!

Ivy blogged about various creeks and corners in Beirut, be in Kayan, Greedy Goose or Le Grey, and that is what made her connect and resonate with her audience. Ivy did not blog about flowers she blogged about fashion, make-up, glamor, plastic surgery, national pride, chocolate- SUGAR, SPICE and EVERYTHING NICE – and we all like nice things.  Then again, she went to twitter to reach digital natives and, mind you,  she even guest blogged and re-blogged it on her own site. Did IVY ask girls to go to EXOTICA to get the flowers? No, they went out to  the most up and coming place – Gemmayze, Achrafieh and Hamra. The only thing that could’ve been done differently would be  giving out roses all around Lebanon, and not just Beirut.

4-Empower and you shall be empowered

Even if they did not comment, retweet or send emails, thought they actively do, with every dating tip IVY empowered ladies to take actions. Girls, being the gossip machines they are, would discuss it – which means GOING VIRAL offline. And then again with every rose given out to a guy Exotica created a positive sentiment, that is teh first step to along lasting relationship, not with the guy, but with the brand. And come 2011 I expect more girls to send out flowers to beau’s, and now, not because they[roses] are free, but because it makes them feel good. And this is the golden key to any successful brand. And did I mention the publicity, Ivy’s campaign is getting from mainstream media?

5-Going against the current and bringing the currents together

There are two stakeholders in any relationship – MAN & WOMAN. Exotica’s outdoors visuals empowered men, by teasing them with images of women they could have had in 2o09 if only they were brave enough. While Ivy, took a less traditional approach, and she looked to empower women. Mind you, women are not traditionally the ones we think first of when we think about selling flowers, right? But then again, I have seen countless times flowers being delivered to men at our offices from girlfriends, wives or wanna-bes. And then again, think of it, if a girl gives a guy one rose before valentine, and the guy likes the girl, on Valentine he will get her no less than a bouquet and what will his 1st choice be? Certainly EXOTICA. So you see, by bringing people together and spreading love Exotica may actually have record sales on February 14.

Finally,  I want to congratulate Exotica on the Brilliant Initiative and hope that IVY , whoever she is, continues blogging even after February 14, otherwise the digital natives all around, both those who think IVY is Real and Fake, will feel beguiled and disappointed.

Googling I found this song called IVY SAYS, I wonder if it had anything to do with the origin of the campaign.

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Haven’t we all got used to the “one page of content / one page ad” ratio in all our periodicals. Most of the time you start subconsciously to focus only on the left hand side pages, completely ignoring the sponsored content. Sometimes we just glance at the photos, as a visual distraction to text and completely ignore any content. As a believer in new media I often wonder about the returns of ads in print media. Do they really justify the costs? Don’t get me wrong, I love the print, the glitter of colors on pulp, the slithering of leaves… * But it does not get as many eyeballs as it did before. Your executive / target buyer is really buying the magazine for content, he has no time, he reads the content he wants to read and then goes off to his emails, rss feeds, reports… even fashionista’s are not so easy to seduce these days…

Oh well, I have veered from the subject, the second best way to get people engaged in your ad, besides giving them a freebie or a discount, creating a teaser ad. Curiosity is a drive and people will readily flip to the next spread just to see what’s going on. Works on all of us, even the snobbiest execs. And this what EFG Hermes are counting on.

Now, Tell me what you think!

{some see aim for the top}

{We consider it as our launching point}

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* But the environmentalist in me wants the print dead or at least wants to see it be more sustainable, and the rationalist in me says that digital natives will take over the world in the upcoming 20 years which will drastically change the Print Media. But of course the consumerist in me LOVES the Print as it knows far too well all the intricacies of what it takes to Print and to Print well.

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Just give marketers an occasion, and they’ll carve out a product for that. And what better festivity o leverage than Christmas? Even in these hard economic times, people will willingly part with their money for a dream of happiness. And apparently, this year, happiness is all about the freedom of choice of investment and liquidity.

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HSBC world's local bank business adHSBC world's local bank business ad

Check out the previous installment where HSBC addresses the traveler in you.

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Mastercard installation ad in istambul airport

This goes to show that even if you work in marketing, even if you are remotely involved in any of its functions, your mind gets rewired. And now you are always on the lookout for how others are grasping their branding opportunities. At around 6 in the morning, after a 3 hour flight to Istanbul, while my prince charming was simply looking for our bag, which would later turn out to be lost somewhere in the hidden dungeons of Turkish Airlines’ storage facilities…I was thinking of how to get a good snap of this installation to put on my back then non-existent blog…And now that i’m frantically jamming that same suitcase for an impeding trip to Jordan, I thought I’d break my silence and, hopefully, entertain you. :)

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toshiba

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Malik's

 I believe thea bove now explains further the banner ad featured Beirut NTSC’s still, I do agree with Tarek, the idea needs further development, it doesn’t emotionally appeal to the public. It makes me feel as if they are abusing their subject rather than paying him a tribute.

 

Maliks_bookshop_-_Jackson_tribute
Image via Beirut NTSC

I can’t help but mention, that I always wonder how Tarek is able to shoot all of these banner, even if I’m not driving Im not able to snap them & I try to find them online. I admire his commitment to the subject matter!

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