Monthly Archives: July 2014

Viral Videos – July 2014

Like a Girl

Every week Advertising Age, in conjunction with company Visible Measures, publishes a list of the top performing videos. The weekly chart highlights viral video ads that appear on online video sites. Each ad measures viewership of brand-syndicated video clips as well as social video placements that are driven by viewers around the world. True Reach™ quantifies the total audience that has been exposed to a viral video campaign.

There are three key factors for viral video success:

  1. Reaching the tastemakers.
  2. Building a community of participation.
  3. Creating unexpectedness in the video.

Regardless of the type of product or service, the country of origin, or the type of message, what matters most to companies is reaching the audience in a way the both entertains and informs. Check out this week’s top videos and discuss how they address the factors for viral success.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up Ad Age’s weekly Viral Video chart:
  2. Have students examine how the ads are measured by Visible Measures.
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select an ad on the top video chart and analyze the ad.
  4. Discuss: What is unusual? Who will it interest? What is the key message? How effective is the ad at getting the company’s brand and message across to viewers?
  5. In teams, have students design a viral video for a product of their choosing. What are the elements that are needed to go viral?

Source: Advertising Age, Visible Measures – weekly update

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The Price Is Right


Probably no other area of marketing is as critical as pricing. Pricing is both strategic and tactical and is the one factor that can make or break a business. Yet it is a factor that most companies struggle with when developing the marketing mix. Consider this: A one percent increase in pricing power far outperforms any other method (such as reducing costs or increasing efficiencies) for improving revenue.

According to The Cambridge Group, there are three key things that companies should do to create the optimal pricing structure:

  1. Understand the market you are pricing into.
  2. Within this segment, understand what are the different demand or occasions to purchase the customers have.
  3. Understand the value equation the customers are seeking.

Valuation is not always rational; there are emotional components and social benefits to consider as well. Finally, companies need to understand the order of the benefits to the customer. In other words, focus on what is most important to the customer in the target market.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1.  Show the video in class:
  2. Write the three key concepts on the board and discuss the reasoning behind these factors.
  3. Next, divide students into groups and assign a similar product to each group. Choose a product line that has multiple price points and value to different market segments.
  4. Have each group determine the benefits of the product to each segment and determine a pricing strategy.

Source: Nielsen


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No Marketing can be Good Marketing


Sometimes the best marketing is no marketing at all. Huh? This seems to go against everything we cover on this blog, so how can this approach work? New research to be published in October 2014 in the Journal of Consumer Research gives new insights into the ways that some over-bearing marketing campaigns can backfire.

Consider this: parents want kids to eat healthy and try to persuade kids to eat their veggies. The problem is the pitch itself – the research found that the best way to pitch healthy food to children was to present is without any marketing message. Just give them the food. Don’t couch the veggies with messages about health, taste, or branding. It doesn’t matter and can actual push people away from a product. No one wants to be over-marketed to.

In the research study, children were read several variations of a study about a little girl who ate Wheat Thins before going to play. The study found that the number of crackers eaten was greatest with the group who got no information at all about the taste or health benefits of the crackers. The study was repeated with carrots – and the result was the same. Marketing messages that make too many strong claims can actual water down the effectiveness of the message.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show a compilation video of food commercials aimed at kids:
  2. Discuss this study with the class. Ask students their opinions about strong claims in marketing messages. When is it effective? When isn’t it effective?
  3. Divide students into groups. Have each group come up with 10 products that they believe are over-marketed or over-hyped.
  4. Then have each group come up with 10 products that have modest or no marketing.
  5. List the two categories of products on the board. Have students vote on which products they actually buy and why.

Source: New York Times


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