Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Burberry: And I Thought It Was All Chav's

If you live in England or watch TV shows on BBC America you will probably know what the term 'Chav' refers to! A 'Chav' is a stereotypical young person in the United Kingdom. The typical "chav"- known also as a charverin Yorkshire and North East England - is said to be an aggressive teenager, typically unemployed or of white working class background who repeatedly engages in anti-social behavior, such as street drinking, drug abuse and rowdiness, or other forms of juvenile delinquency, as defined by Wikipedia. 

When I think of 'Chav', I think of Burberry like most others. However, here in the US market Burberry is seen as a luxury product in the minds of consumers and this is how Burberry strive to position the brand internationally and are successful in most markets, especially here in the US. 

So, I recently was surprised to hear that Burberry Group Plc Chief Executive Officer in the UK Angela Ahrendts said demand for the retailer’s luxury items, like a 2,395-pound ($3,700), leather-sleeved coat, show “no signs of slowing down” in the U.K., which is good to hear. I would have thought in recent years with all the 'Chavs' sporting Burberry, high income consumers would have felt the brand was tarnished and opted for another luxury brand. So perhaps the 'Chavs' have decided to opt out of buying 'fake off the lorry' Burberry apparel and have decided to bring down the name of another luxury apparel brand?

“Things are getting better every day,” Ahrendts said in an interview at the retailer’s autumn/winter fashion show in London this week. The Asian region is “very strong,” she added, while emerging markets are also showing growth.
The U.K. luxury retailer is offering lower-priced versions of its gabardine trench coats and expanding its handbag and shoe ranges to drive profit growth globally. The U.K. and Hong Kong each account for less than 10 percent of sales, according to the CEO. 
Curious to see a 'Chav' sporting some Burberry apparel? Click here. 


Good News for Marketers on Facebook

This change narrows the list of actions available to Facebook fans, and consolidates the bulk of interactions fans will have with brand content to "Like," "Comment" and "Share." Brands will still be able to communicate with opt-in users on a regular basis, but only users who have "liked" their page itself -- not just one of their updates.
The change also affects engagement ads -- the "Become a Fan" verbiage will disappear, being replaced by the simple "Like" button and thumbs up icon.
How Does This Affect Marketers? The most significant effect of the change will be the effect on marketers running engagement ads. "Liking" content comes far more naturally to the average Facebook user than becoming a fan of content, meaning that users will be more inclined to click on an ad that invites them to "Like" a brand than one that asks them to "Become a Fan" of a brand.
The language shift strengthens the value proposition of Facebook engagement ads as a method for driving fan growth, and will likely increase the number of users who arrive on a page who will subscribe to that page's updates (by "Liking" the page).
Marketers should not rely on Facebook to effectively message the change to fans, and where appropriate should update their editorial calendar accordingly, letting users know that even if they can no longer be "Fans" of a brand, they'll still be treated like fans regardless. Marketers who have integrated Facebook with their other online environments should be sure that their creative has the correct verbiage: "Find us on Facebook!" still works, but "Become a Fan On Facebook" will begin to seem dated and irrelevant .
I think this new action should work nicely to a brands advantage, as users are more likely to click on a "Like" link rather than "Become a fan". Liking something and being a fan are very different things, so this new language change initiative may work nicely for brands out there trying to engage with users. 
This may be good from the marketers standpoint, but what about the billion users out there?? How will they feel when they discover the can no longer be a 'fan' and instead have to settle for just 'like'?


Monday, March 29, 2010

L'Oreal: Is Their Spend Really Worth It?

L'Oreal is known for its famous tagline 'because you're worth it' to consumers. But taking a step back and reviewing the amount of media and marketing dollars they put behind their consumer product campaigns each year, 'because you're worth it' should be asked when reviewing their spend with their advertising and media buying agencies.  L'Oreal announced that they are "evaluating" its U.S. media buying -- a process that could result in a consolidation or shifts in the company's agency roster, according to sources.

L'Oreal spent $710 million in U.S. measured media last year, up from $660 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. Those figures do not include digital spending.

Interpublic Group's Universal McCann and Publicis Groupe's Zenith Optimedia share the buying assignment.

Multiple sources at IPG and Publicis indicated that both incumbents are participating in the current evaluation, which does not appear to include non-roster shops -- for now. Neither UM nor Zenith officials responded to calls seeking comment. L'Oreal executives and reps didn't immediately return calls.

L'Oreal markets dozens of brands including L'Oreal, Maybelline, Garnier, Kiehl's and The Body Shop.

The company reported worldwide sales of $23.3 billion for 2008, the latest figure available.

The cosmetics category has seen a lot of recent review activity. Last week, Coty opted to retain OMD (agency) after a pitch that lasted more than a year. In February, Revlon shifted its $100 million-plus assignment from Aegis Group's Carat to WPP's MediaCom.

I am seeing more and more of the big FMCG brands shifting to less glamorous and more affordable agencies. Also, more and more marketers are seeing the importance of word of mouth and social networking as key drivers in annual campaigns ROI.

Watch this space!


iTunes App Store Comes To Facebook. Finally!

Interacting with the iTunes App Store just got easier, thanks to the new App Store Facebook page.
Developed and powered by Vitrue, the new page puts the App Store inside Facebook — making it easy to search for apps, share them with friends, find out which apps are hot right now and which are deemed “essential” by the iTunes editors.

In the Featured tab on the App Store’s Facebook page, you can see top apps and view the sales charts for paid and free apps across different categories. This is the same information that you would get from iTunes or from the App Store application on your iPhone or iPod touch, but it’s all in Facebook. I'm suprised though they didn't implement this earlier!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Five Ways to Support Twestival NYC

On Thursday, March 25, the second annual Twestival Global charity event will kick off in over 175 cities across the world. Thousands of people will get together at events around the globe to help raise money for Concern Worldwide, and help the estimated 72 million children around the globe that are not enrolled in school gain access to education. If you are in New York, please come support Twestival who are donating all proceeds to internationally acclaimed Concer!! Tickets are only $20 on the Twestival website. 

Last year, Twestival helped raise over $250,000 for Charity: Water, and including last fall’s Twestival Local, the organization raised three quarters of a million dollars for charities in 2009. Over $185,000 have already been raised this year in advance of tomorrow’s event. 

Attending the New York City Twestival:
  • Adam Ostrow – Editor-in-Chief
  • Sharon Feder – Managing Editor
  • Brenna Ehrlich – Editorial Assistant
  • Lauren Rubin – Director of Advertising
  • Adam Hirsch – Chief Operating Office

Here are five ways that you can support:

1. Attend your local Twestival event around the world - www.twestival.com
2. Donate online via the Twestival Website
4. Tweet your support 
5. Listen to some tunes on Twestival FM 

Might see you there tomorrow night!!


All About Advocates

In an article by Stefan Stern of the Financial Times, I always find something thoughtful for this blog. This past week he wrote about where marketing was going (or not going) in this current economic environment. Stern was describing his conversation with the “father of modern marketing” Phillip Kotler. One part of the conversation had to do with advocacy, the mainstay of this blog. The other one was just plain funny.
Kotler was reminiscing about a book he enjoyed titled Firms of Endearment (the best title). He said that in the book they talk about how some of the most successful companies spend less on marketing than the less successful ones. Sounds counterintuitive? Kotler says, “But they used the word of mouth effect of unpaid advocates – loyal customers – to boost their reputation.” Advocates will do your marketing for you if you mobilize them, listen to them and engage them. I also find this to be the case and agree. Indeed. Kotler is apparently publishing a new book on the role of advocates in marketing titled Marketing 3.0.
What made me laugh was a statement by Kotler who is 79 years wise. He is quoted by Stern as saying, “At least it’s the finance people who are getting blamed for a change.” Marketers and communications professionals are getting by without the blame for awhile.


GaGa Sets New Record: 1 Billion Youtube Views

Video analytics company Visible Measures - curates a list of videos called the “100 Million Club.”

It includes all the web videos that have exceeded 100 million views. Lady Gaga has long been a staple of the chart, but now she’s essentially in a club all her own: She’s the first franchise to reach one billion views.

Gaga’s music videos hold three spots in the 65-video 100 Million Club — one for “Poker Face” (374,606,128), one for “Just Dance” (272,941,674) and one for “Bad Romance” (360,020,327). Add them up and you get just over one billion views. She won’t occupy the club alone for long, though; the 
Twilight saga is close behind with 980 million and Soulja Boy is at 860 million.

Gaga is primarily a hit on Vevo and YouTube25% of Vevo’s visitors only have eyes for her. The pop star has attracted Internet attention elsewhere, too. A Facebook group of more than 100,000 people initiated National Lady Gaga Day about a month ago, and her latest Internet hit is her “Telephone” music video with BeyoncĂ©.

The point is, you can’t escape Gaga on the Internet. She’s everywhere right now. We welcome speculation as to exactly why the web loves her so, so let us know in the comments if you have any ideas.


Monday, March 15, 2010

The Power of Social Media: Oooh La La GaGa

In 2010, social media has truly found its place as a function of  a company's and musical artists overall marketing strategy. It's power and reach are evident in almost all social media campaigns that companies and musical artists are engaging in. And the most important word in social media is of course, 'engaging'. 

Zero to Hero example is 'Lady GaGa' or 'GaGa' which the musical artist likes to refer to herself as.  As far as breakout musicians go, few artists have had quite the zero-awareness-to-ubiquity time-warp of  GaGa. And as far as brands go, few marketers of any kind have leveraged social media the way she has to drive sales of their core product -- in her case, albums and digital singles. GaGa has really benefited from her use of engaging with fans the world over with social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. She has over 3 million Twitter followers, 5 million Facebook fans, not to mention over 200 million views of her constantly unique and outrageous music videos. In 24 hours after the release of her new video 'Telephone' featuring Beyonce, the video had racked up over 9 million views on Youtube with over 1000 user comments. 

Old school meets new media
How did a 23-year-old singer/songwriter achieve so much in so little time? Two words: social media. Sure, Gaga had a fair share of old-school artist development -- radio play -- to become the first artist to score four consecutive No. 1 singles from a debut album. But she's also put a new-media spin on her distribution strategy. The November premiere of her video for "Bad Romance," for example, debuted on LadyGaga.com before MTV or any other outlet could play it -- resulting in a Universal Music server crash, a Twitter trending topic that lasted all week and a cumulative 110 million (and counting) views on YouTube to date, more than any viral music video of yore (OK Go, anyone?) could ever claim. Vevo, a music video site co-founded by Universal Music Group, also recently reported a whopping 20% of its traffic came from just Lady Gaga videos -- as in 1 in 5 videos streamed on the site was likely to be a song such as "Poker Face," "Just Dance" or "LoveGame."

GaGa The New Face Of...

So, in an age where majority of musical artists can't shift C.D's from the music shelves, Lady GaGa has managed to shift over 20 million records worldwide in an 18 month period. If GaGa can sell this many records in a digital age, surely she will be able to sell anything from superglue to lipstick, right? GaGa is already plugging a few of the worlds biggest brands in her new catchy and outrageous video 'Telephone', including Polaroid, Virgin, Diet Coke and Chanel. So the next few months will be interesting to see who GaGa decides to team up with. My guesses are all big marketing companies will want a piece of GaGa in order for her to shift some product. 

Stay Tuned!