Special Report: Media Campaigns Of the Year
B&C looks at the five most innovative, impactful product launches of 2010
By Jon Lafayette & Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/13/2010 12:01:00 AM
There were hundreds of pushes on behalf of products, services and content in 2010, but five stood out and earned the honors in our first annual “Media Campaigns of the Year” list. The programs we chose used innovative TV and other media to communicate a compelling message about their brands—and motivated consumers to act. They are:
• iPad’s “Meet iPad”
• Nike’s “Write the Future”
• TBS’ “Conan on TBS”
• Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man”
• HBO’s “‘Boardwalk Empire’—Season One” Here is our inside look at who was behind these campaigns, and how they did it.
Campaign Description: Introduction of Apple’s newest must-have gadget, with the kind of hip style and fun music familiar from campaigns for the iPod and iPhone.
Creative Agency: TBWA/Media Arts Lab
Media Agency: OMD
Buzz Factor: You might have heard something about this new little gadget from Apple. That came thanks to the huge buzz that built when it was at long last announced back on Jan. 27; on April 3, the first day they were available, more than 300,000 of the tablet computers were sold. By the end of the month, the tally was up to 1 million, making it arguably the product of the year.
A series of Apple’s typically stylish ads began airing in March on the Academy Awards broadcast on ABC. In the audience was Apple founder Steve Jobs, the largest shareholder of ABC owner Walt Disney Co. The first commercial, Meet iPad, featuring the tune “There Goes My Love” from the Danish band The Blue Van, stressed the many magical things the tablet can do, and the clip went viral with 2.4 million views in its first week.
By Apple’s fourth quarter, production problems held sales down to a disappointing 4.9 million units. Bigger things are expected next year, with one analyst forecasting 2011 sales of 43.7 million.
A little harder to calculate—but no less important—was the iPad’s remarkable impact in the media and on the media. Just before it went on sale, the iPad had a starring role in an episode of ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family. One of the show’s characters, Phil, has to have one for his birthday, and the rest of the family spends the episode tracking one down. Was product integration part of Apple’s campaign? The company said it doesn’t pay for product placement . . . but it did provide a pre-release iPad for the show.
The media business took notice in more hands-on ways as well. The networks—not only ABC—lined up to create apps for the iPad that will let users view primetime programming. Publishers were even more gung ho, creating iPad versions of newspapers and magazines. The product was even hailed as the savior of print. Magic indeed. —Jon Lafayette
Write the Future
Campaign Description: With the world’s attention focused on the World Cup, Nike captured soccer fans with a star-studded ad focusing on great moments in the game.
Creative Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Media Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Buzz Factor: Nike scored a goal before the World Cup even started with an epic three-minute commercial featuring soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney and Landon Donovan, plus cameos by Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant and even Homer Simpson. The ad, directed by Alejandro Inaritu, first ran online, where members of the Nike football community could get a preview of what would soon be unleashed on the world—and they weren’t just talking about vuvuzelas.
The ad was viewed 52 million times via Facebook, YouTube and other online platforms. Befitting the global nature of the tournament, Nike’s ad aired in 32 countries, including the U.S., where it appeared during coverage of matches on ESPN and Univision.
“It was really the talk of the World Cup,” says Derek Kent, media relations director at Nike. In fact, the campaign led some consumers to believe that Nike, and not Adidas, was the official sponsor of the tournament. “We consciously choose to have an impact through the players, because they’re the proving ground for our products on the field of play, and the teams themselves,” Kent says.
The result for Nike was a campaign that drove its biggest and most successful World Cup ever. “Our soccer business was up, so that’s a good indicator of connecting,” Kent adds. “And it provided a great halo effect for the entire brand because the World Cup is such a seminal moment in time, when the whole world is watching.”
As icing on the cake, the purple-and-orange Maestri soccer boots featured in the campaign were worn by Spain’s Andres Iniesta when he scored the championship-winning goal.
ConanConan on TBS
Campaign Description: Starting with the Team Coco Website, TBS took a “fans first” approach to marketing a late-night talk show that was all-new to TBS but already well-known and loved by legions of fans.
Creative Agency: Print: Blue Sky and Canyon; Digital: Breakfast and One Trick Pony; TV: TBS creative team
Media Agency: TMG (planning) and MediaVest (buying)
Buzz Factor: Most marketers focus on building a brand, taking it from something that no one knows about to—if all goes well— a household name. When TBS convinced former Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien to take his late-night seat to the network, O’Brien’s brand awareness was at an all-time high. So TBS went straight to the foundation, and targeted the Conan faithful first and foremost.
“The campaign was all about letting Conan be Conan, and all about the fans who rallied to his side from the beginning,” says Jeff Gregor, CMO for TBS, TNT and TCM. TBS’ challenge was not to persuade viewers to come see something new, but to persuade them that TBS’ version of Conan would be, at its core, the same show they knew and loved.
“A lot of it started with the Team Coco Website,” says Tricia Melton, senior VP of marketing for TBS, TNT and TCM. “There already was a well of support behind Conan. We recognized that, so we wanted to give fans unprecedented access to what was going on with Conan.”
So, when anything new was happening, Team Coco got first dibs. “We’ve used social media in our campaigns as long as it’s been around, but never to this extent,” says Melton. “More than 30 commercials, four behind-the-scenes videos and one amazing trailer for theaters all were released online before they went out to more traditional forms of media.”
TBS’ plan played out: Conan premiered to more than 4 million viewers on Monday, Nov. 8, beating its broadcast network rivals among both total viewers and adults 18-49.
Smell Like a ManOld Spice
Campaign Description: TV ads take a new approach to manliness to sell body wash and deodorant, and in the process breathe fresh life into a venerable brand.
Creative Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Media Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
PR Agency: PainePR
Buzz Factor: When former NFL receiver Isaiah Mustafa said, “look at me,” millions did. As the man your man could smell like in commercials for Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice, Mustafa generated a lot of attention for deodorant and body wash—and for Isaiah Mustafa.
The “Smell Like A Man” campaign became an online sensation when Old Spice invited consumers to submit questions via Twitter and Facebook to be answered personally by the Old Spice Guy. More than 2,000 questions poured in during a 48-hour period, and 200 personalized responses were posted on YouTube, where they were watched more than 46 million times. P&G estimates it got about 1.2 billion media impressions when the campaign was featured in news stories and when Mustafa appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s and Ellen DeGeneres’ talk shows.
“That’s a great example of the connection between TV and digital going all at the same time,” says Marc Pritchard, P&G global marketing and brand building officer. “We’re selling out of Old Spice.”
The campaign ultimately pushed Old Spice into the No. 1 position in sales among body washes and deodorants, with growth in the high single/low double digits, according to P&G.
The campaign was also pretty good for Mustafa. The budding actor signed a talent deal with NBC under which he will audition for roles in the network’s current sitcoms, as well as for parts in future pilots. He also landed movie roles in Horrible Bosses (with Jennifer Aniston) and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family. No word if he’ll be on a horse in any of those pictures.
Boardwalk Empire—Season OneHBO
Campaign Description: HBO’s campaign for Boardwalk Empire refl ected the show’s lush theatrical look. Elaborate on- and off-air promotions resulted in a big opening for the premium network’s latest series.
Creative Agencies: BLT & Associates: launch key art, vintage tourism artwork & Prohibition bus shelters; Red Interactive Agency: online creative; Civic Entertainment Group: promotions & partnerships (Bloomingdale’s, Caesars, Canadian Club); Cornerstone: speakeasy promotions; HBO Creative Services: all A/V creative
Media Agency: PHD
Buzz Factor: HBO spent north of $10 million to promote the launch of Boardwalk Empire, which features the talents of Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, The Sopranos’ Terence Winter and actor Steve Buscemi in the lead role. The push got results: The beautifully shot and meticulously designed show was HBO’s highest-rated premiere in six years (since the 2004 debut of Deadwood), with 4.8 million viewers tuning in to the premiere and nearly 12 million viewers cumulatively watching the show by the end of the first week.
HBO’s primary aim was to emphasize the show’s period feel, creating elaborate promotions with brand partners to draw in viewers. In front of New York’s fl agship Bloomingdale’s store, the channel created an authentic boardwalk and adorned the windows with neo-vintage fashions from the 1920s, which also happened to be a part of Bloomingdales’ new Twenties-inspired clothing line.
Canadian Club whisky, whose historic role in Prohibition is featured in the show, sponsored promotions in upscale liquor stores across the country. And Caesars Atlantic City, in the town where the show is set, offered 1,920 hotel rooms for the price of $19.20 per night, a promotion that sold out bullet-fast.
“We wanted to allow people to escape into another world— the sexy and violent world of the Roaring Twenties,” says Chris Spadaccini, HBO VP of advertising and promotions. “We wanted to position the show as an epic crime drama and a real must-see television event. The marketing had to refl ect the scale and scope of the production.”
No related content found.
Most Popular Pages
No Top Articles