Wednesday, November 29, 2006

De Kijk van Van Dyck: Golf

How important it is to ride the waves of time is sadly illustrated nowadays in our small country. During the last decades Volkswagen failed to tap into consumer trends in the automotive market, and model after model sales dropped. Now Volkswagen is withdrawing the production of the VW Golf from its production facility in Vorst (Brussels). Dramatic consequences for the VW workers. Read all about the Golf histroy and marketing causes of today's drama.

Research: Babyboomers rock the music industry

Something interesting I read in The Guardian yesterday. US research shows baby boomers and beyond now account for the largest share of music buyers. Figures compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America show that consumers over 45 accounted for 25% of music sales last year, more than twice the share of any other age group, and up from 15% a decade ago. Perhaps most surprisingly, the over-50s were responsible for 24% of the music industry's online sales.

Brands: Philip Morris does NOT want its brands in movies

An interesting news item in Advertising Age (Nov. 20, 2006). Philip Morris is doing a print ad campaign to urge the entertainment industry NOT (!!) to use PM brands and imagery in their works. Philip Morris argues it does not want to influence childrens' decision to smoke.

Critics however say that the effort lacks muscle since the company didn't threaten to take any action against filmmakers who use its brands. They find the timing of the campaign a little curious because Philip Morris policy already denies all requests for permission to use its brands in movies and tv shows since 1990.

Monday, November 20, 2006

De Kijk van Van Dyck: Santa and his marketing

We're in the middle of November, but you'd think it was Christmas Eve looking the way some stores are decorated. Ad age reports that according to a survey by Big Research, 40,4% of American consumers started to shop for Christmas before Halloween this year, up from 40,1% in 2005. A lot of retailers in the US, are doing their best to be the first to get Santa in their stores.

Getting out early in the top-of-mind, at least theoretically, should help retailers log fatter margins. But Roger Adems, chief marketing officer of Home Depot, argues they want to maintain the integrity of each holiday. 'If you got too early you can violate the sensibilities of the public and people can sometimes resent that', he thinks.

And in Belgium, things are still more complicated. There's the 'Good and Holy man' who comes on December 6th, right in between Halloween and Christmas. Our 'Sinterklaas' and Santa are competitors. And they see themselves confronted with difficult marketing questions. Read all about it in this week's column.

Advertising: The keys to strategic success

Laurence Green, planning partner at Fallon London, identifies 7 key steps to stategic success in Campaign (10 Nov. 2006). She does so identifying the key parallels between the winning papers of this year's IPA Effectiveness Awards.

The key steps:
1. Sit media at the top table
Effective campaigns not only boast media thinking that delivers the communication, but that also drives it to a greater or lesser extent. E.g. Virgin Trains using media along parallel strategic tracks: the requirement to win both hearts (TV and cinema) and minds (cue surgical use of press, poster and online).

2. Don't worry 'bout the size of your budget
Spent creatively and responsibly, small budgets can trigger commercial return. The web and branded content conttribute to an increasingly 'pull' media model, instead of a 'push' media model.

3.Think long term, act short term
This year's winners show the contributing effect of short-term sales to the enduring commercial competitive advantage afforded by strong brands, and vice versa.

4. Integrate. Then integrate some more
Integration is not about using lots of media to get your message across, but it's about the disciplined aligning of the media you do use.

5. Put product centre stage
If your product or service is a powerful source of competitive advantage, shout it out.

6. Be creative in the round
Creativity is not only the creative's job, but also the strategist's and the media planner's job.

7. Get yourself a saint (or a sinner): celebrity still sells
Celebrity endorsement can have a multiplier effect.

For me, the most renewing conclusion is number 5: consumers choose for strong brands WITH strong and innovative products. The first does not go without the latter, and vice versa. A lot of brands, however, seem to forget this sometimes.

If you'd like a full version of the article, just let me know.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Research: Negative emotions work

Negative emotions do work. Research, conducted by Ameritest, shows that negative emotions, when properly used, can be a powerful driver of commercial performance.

The most engaging ads have a strong correlation with negative emotions. The ads were rated to be interesting, involving and unique. Such a correlation was not found for ads with positive emotions.

How to properly use negative emotions?
Negative emotions play an essential role in creating drama in an ad. The key to successful advertising is introducing the brand at the boundary between the negative and the positive emotion states, when emotions turn. This way the brand gets credit in consumers' minds for the change in emotions. Just like in a good old fairy tale.

I wonder whether negative emotions are as impactful for political candidates when frontally attacking their opponents, like we witnessed recently in The Netherlands, in France and in the United States.

Source: Admap

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

De Kijk van Van Dyck: The 'conservative' generation

Last week there was growing a true generations debate in the media. The new generation youngsters, now -18, would be a racist and homofobic generation. Where is the world going? Youngsters that are becoming more and more conservative?

I'd like to plead for a little bit of common sense in this debate, and not condemning this generation to being conservative without asking the right questions.

Read all about it here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Research: Market research needs to be creative

There's a shift in focus from methodology to creativity, Wout Van der Wijk (director Blauw Research) says in MarketingTribune. There's a new generation of researchers, he says. They see themselves as part of the marketing team and they want to help in taking the right marketing decisions. Market research is no longer research for the sake of doing research.

Creativity in research is the effective translation of a marketing question into a questionnaire. There's not just one road to Rome, there are different ways to reach your goal. Creativity makes the researcher's job more exciting and the client is better off.

I couldn't agree more.

(Read more about it here)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Brands: PS3

The Playstation 3 is coming. BusinessWeek's newsletter I received last week was about the new console war between Sony's new PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's XBox 360.

Sony kicked off last weekend in Japan. Introduction in Europa is foreseen for March 2007.

Sony is bound to win the war says BusinessWeek. Five reasons:
1. XBox's mindshare among gamers cannot compare to that of PlayStation, which is way higher.
2. The XBox 360 is tracking below market expectations.
3. To win the worldwide battle, one needs strong positions in North America, Europe ánd Japan. The XBox 360 was an outright failure in Japan, and despite renewed efforts Microsoft continues struggeling in Japan.
4. Blu-ray (a kind of new high capacity DVD) provides PS3 developers with much more storage space.
5. PS3 will offer full online gaming and other online features completely free from day one, while XBox is still charging for some services.

In six months time we'll probably know who will pull the longest string.

Meanwhile TBWA\Chiat Day L.A. unleashes new commercials for PS3. This is one of them:

It's a quite daring ad. Will it contribute to the success of PS3, or will it do more harm than good. What do you think? Feel free to comment.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Brands: Dove - YouTube beats Superbowl

Here you can see the newest ad for Dove: 'Evolution'.

It was shown in the US during the Superbowl, but most importantly it is heavily watched on YouTube, worldwide. YouTube created a larger traffic to Dove's website than the Superbowl.

YouTube beats the Superbowl. Remarkably, when one thinks of the heavy advertising expenditures that Unilever must have made for advertising during the Superbowl. This American football event is traditionally the heyday for advertisers to show off. And to spend a lot of money buying media space.

Source: Molblog

De Kijk van Van Dyck: Seducing children

'De Kijk van Van Dyck' is my weekly column in the Flemish newspaper: De Standaard.

Banking and insurance companies can "seduce their consumers, but they may not mislead them". Meanwhile, there are financial institutions that go after children to get hold on their parents. Seducing or misleading?

The advertising world should take up its responsability, before other do it for them. Read all about in this week's column.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Brands: Pepsi Max - UGC

UGC: User Generated Content is a hot item in the land of marketing. Pepsi Max in the UK actively taps into this trend. A beautiful case.

Pepsi Max built a YouTube channel linked with their website Web users are encouraged to create and upload video clips showing how they would 'max' their day with 1000 Pounds.

Pepsi has invested significantly in its Max brand following rival Coke's launch of Coke Zero.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Consumer: "Generation Y won't produce any great leaders"

I was surprised reading the very defensive commentaries from employers on the latest SD Worx study (De Morgen, 31 Oct. 2006) about the new generation employees. Youngsters (- 30 year-olds) would not be prepared to work hard anymore, they are running away from their responsabilities and they are not loyal anymore. This is a quite negative point of view. I think this is because they do not fully understand this new generation.

The findings of the SD Worx study confirm what we already found more than a year ago in our Youth Study. We prefer to call this new generation, 18-30 year-olds, the New Pragmatics.

We found that this generation is still prepared to work hard. In contrast with perception of some HR managers, it seems. But their spare time is at least as important to them. They want the best of both worlds. And I think they actually succeed in doing so.

Here you can find more information on our research. For more information on the New Pragmatics and their working attitudes, do not hesitate to contact us,