Monday, April 14, 2008

Short Takes: 4.14.08

Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:
  • Experiential is Big at Promotion Marketing Association Conference: Brandweek has an article about the Promotion Marketing Assn.'s annual conference in Chicago, where "Experiential marketing was the flavor of the day." (I cringe when the idea of creating memorable brand-building experiences is called a "flavor of the day.") The article mentions McDonald's "The Lost Ring" program, an interactive story where players (1.5 million so far) look for clues to solve a riddle in an alternate reality game, and 7-Eleven, which made headlines by converting 12 stores into Kwik-E-Marts in partnership with The Simpsons Movie. Much focus is placed on measurement, but I couldn't agree more with Lisa Klauser, Unilever's vp-consumer and customer solutions, who notes that ROI metrics are important, but to forgo a shopper marketing campaign because there isn't yet a standard metric for in-store media could mean missing out on growth opportunities. Read the entire Brandweek article here.

  • Agency Sends RFPs to Prospects: I think the RFP is becoming the bane of marketing, so I respect what ad agency Trumpet is trying to do by reframing RFP from "Request for Proposal" to "Request for Problem." The agency sent hundreds of "Golden RFPs" to CMOs, CEOs and marketing directors, encouraging them to fill out the a survey of 19 questions designed to root out key marketing problems. The agency has received 70 responses and has used them to call prospects to clarify the RFP answers and then provide possible solutions to the companies. Check out more on Trumpet's unique RFP twist on Media Creativity.

  • Nike Goes Too Far: I've discussed on this blog how viral media usually includes an element of risk or edginess, but I have to say I think Nike crossed the not-so-thin line with their new YouTube video. Given the much-publicized case of a child injured attempting to leap over a moving car, it seems awfully unwise for Nike to be featuring a video of Kobe Bryant doing exactly the same thing. Yes, he says "Do not try this at home," but only after celebrating his successful stunt. Nike's managed to turn the tagline "Just Do It" into an almost spiritual call for self improvement; turning it into a call to risk one's life for a Jackass stunt seems to move the brand in the wrong direction.

  • Sony Invites You To Foam City: Sony recently created a unique event that's been buzzed about online. It involved a huge wall of foam let loose in Miami. The event was part of the effort to create another in the series of artful Sony spots, and the video has just hit the Web. It's eye-catching, hard to ignore, and should stand out online and on TV.

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