Marketing: SoBe Ditches Creative Agency, Nissan Goes Experiential

The PepsiCo brand SoBe is developing a marketing strategy with digital agency Firstborn, public-relations firm Weber Shandwick and promotional group TracyLocke. “We’re not tied to the old methods,” said a brand official, noting that no creative agencies were considered as SoBe looks to content rather than advertising.PepsiCo-owned brand had been working with Arnell Group to produce TV spots that ran during the 2009 Super Bowl and last spring, but while the ads generated “a ton of awareness,” the company said they didn’t deliver the engagement the brand was looking for. “The passionate fans weren’t saying the things we thought they should be saying,” said Angelique Krembs, director-marketing for SoBe. “Going forward we needed to get to engagement. That’s why we evolved our approach.”

Nissan shifts marketing budget to experiential projects
Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is shifting its communications strategy away from traditional advertising, towards a greater emphasis on experiential marketing. It follows the marque’s decision to become the official automotive partner of The O2, replacing BMW, and the announcement that it is to set up an interactive brand centre at the East London venue.

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3DTV: Courvoisier, The Queen

Courvoisier is to become the first brand to run 3D TV advertising in the UK. The spot, which will air during Channel 4‘s ‘3D Week’ next month, will be shown during several shows, including The Queen In 3D and The Greatest Ever 3D Moments. Channel 4’s ‘3D Week’ is sponsored by Sainsbury’s, which will distribute 3D specs in its stores but will not run any 3D TV ads.
Channel 4 is hosting a week of 3D programming and advertising starting with ‘The Paul O’Grady Show‘ followed by ‘The Queen in 3D’ at 9pm. O’Grady’s show will appear in three dimensions at points during the programme, while the Queen documentary features a 3D colour newsreel of Elizabeth II, created over 50 years ago during her Coronation year and shot by cameramen Bob Angell and Arthur Wooster.

Possibly related:

3D Queen footage to be screened (news.bbc.co.uk)
UK Channel 4 set to throw some 3D programming our way (engadget.com)
Does 3D TV leave you feeling a bit flat? (guardian.co.uk)

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    Media Owner Ads: MTV vs Dunkin, ESPN vs Toshiba

    Seemingly, Comedy Central has recognized that their demo is not too likely to stick around through a commercial break, opting to fast forward through the ads or take a Twitter break instead. In fact, many young viewers only watch television commercials when someone sends them a YouTube link to one. Turning the traditional 30-second spot on its head, the titular Michaels (comedians Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter) of Michael & Michael Have Issues perform sketch ads for brands such as Palm, Dunkin Donuts, and Klondike during what would normally be commercial breaks.
    michael and michael
    To help sell Toshiba TV sets and laptops, ESPN worked with the Japanese company to create advertising that illustrates specifically how ESPN fans could use those products. The ESPN-centric campaign represents “one of our efforts to reach sports fans while they are watching their favorite team in the living room or if they are on a laptop trying to check fantasy scores,” said Eddie Temistokle, manager-corporate communications, Toshiba America. “We really want to engage the whole fan base.”
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    Branded Entertainment: In-Game, Around Programs

    By their very nature, static in-game ads may be the least effective way for marketers to engage video-game players, says game developer Kevin Slavin. At the same time, he finds that ad agencies in general don’t really understand the dramatically different process of communicating with consumers from within a video-game system. This is second part of our interview with Slavin, a former ad agency executive and co-founder of New York’s Area/Code. The 4-year-old game-design shop has created games for A&E, Discovery and MTV.
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    In television’s latest quest to discourage viewers from skipping ads, actors from NBC and ABC shows are appearing in character in commercials to interact with products in parallel story lines. This new kind of commercial further blurs the line between program and advertisement and comes as traditional product placements within shows, an early response to fast-forwarding, have become common. A series of spots that debuted this week weaves Palm Inc.‘s Pre phone more deeply into the story line of two prime-time dramas.
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    Crowdsourcing: Rocco DiSpirito, King of Shaves

    Twitter and Facebook are helping Rocco DiSpirito write his new cookbook. The media-savvy chef is turning to the social networks to help decide which dishes he should include in his new book, devoted to healthy versions of popular dishes. He’s asking fans directly for their opinions, like in this recent query: “How important is pulled pork and chocolate chip cookies to you for inclusion in my healthy food makeover cookbook?” Tweets and posts with suggestions came flowing back (with a strong pro-pork sentiment on Facebook).
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    King of Shaves is launching a £1m TV ad this week, following a three-month fundraising campaign. In June, founder Will King asked 5,000 consumers to each lend the company £1,000, with the aim of raising £5m. The TV ad, featuring Charles Darwin and a monkey, will promote the brand’s Azor razor. The campaign uses the tagline ‘Shaveolution’.
    will king of shaves
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    Branded Entertainment or Branded Utility? McCafe on Hulu

    I screengrabbed this a while ago and just got around to blogging it. I am a massive fan of brands bringing us entertainment or utility (getting away from the zero-sum value exchange, interruption etc). McCafe allegedly unleashed a “marketing blitzkrieg”, and I’m pleased they didn’t spend it all on McCafe TV ads.

    mccafe

    Hey, I am not going to knock a commercial-free Daily Show, but it would have been nice if there had been some raison d’etre (forgive my lack of circumflex) for this association. That said, I assume for a launch one of the main objectives would initially be “awareness” over “relevance” so all in all I give this a thumbs aloft.

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