Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thinking about the debacle about Lance.

Let’s look at the perspective from years past. It was two years ago when I read in the Miami Herald: “What is LeBron James worth to the Heat?” With the addition of superstar, Miami Heat are seen by many as the team to beat in the NBA. This may be true financially as well, with increased sponsorships, ad sales, season ticket sales, playoff revenue and more. Sports-business media has said, “LeBron is a walking, talking, free-throw-shooting stimulus plan.” How much is Lance worth as Nike et. al. abandon him?

In Marketing you need to come up with the right idea or selling concept.  That must be first. Then decide on the “celebrity” to present, sing or act. In my USC, CSUN and Pepperdine marketing and advertising classes I teach that you must remember what you are going to say in the promotion and advertising is more important than the “who.” Insist on moral clauses and “bigger, longer and fatter contracts,” began more earnestly after the Tiger Woods’ incidents. Using “alleged” instead of “convicted.”

Tiger Woods spectacular tumble prompted the loss of lucrative deals with AT&T, PepsiCo’s Gatorade. Other sponsors have distanced themselves from him, including Gillette and Tag Heuer. Nike and Electronic Arts have stood by him.

Wrigley and the California Milk Processor Board (“Got Milk”) dropped singer/actor Chris Brown as a pitchman after charges that he beat up his girlfriend, pop star Rihanna. Rapper and actor, T.I. enjoyed the spoils of the "thug" life, but it ended costing him $12 Million (his own estimate) in losing the General Motors endorsement deal and other work when he was convicted of a federal weapons charges. (Adweek, 3/8/2010)

Woody Allen says ad lawsuit is getting too personal: Actor-director Woody Allen was complaining about American Apparel, which Allen was suing for $10 million in an infringement case, has crossed a line in its request for personal information. Allen's image was used without permission in an American Apparel billboard that briefly was displayed in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times/The Associated Press, 4/15/09)

More Examples:
P&G insures star’s hair for $1M: Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu, USC Trojan) is as well-known for his flowing locks as for his crushing tackles. Polamalu is a spokesman for P&G’s Head & Shoulders, and to protect their investment. (Reuters,8/31/10)

In ’99,  Salton International signed George Foreman (Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine) to a five-year, $137.5 million deal for the use of the ex-boxer’s name and likeness. George then started another company “George Foreman Steaks.”

What experts say marketers look for? Increasing awareness and SALES, plus a winner, with marketing savvy, plus success on and off the field.

Why do marketers and advertisers use celebrity endorsements?

It's clear we do have a celebrity-crazed culture, but it's both an art and science for marketers. Let's start with Lance Armstrong who is in the news. He has been a multi-brand endorser.
  1. Can attract attention
  2. Improve company or product's image
  3. Boost company or product’s awareness
  4. Break through clutter
  5. Exploit celebrity's popularity
  6. Increase sales
  7. Increase company or product's credibility
  8. Use celebrity in your marketing and sales meetings. Star can appear in events. 
From today's "WSJ," "Brands are fleeing Lance Armstrong after doping details are released. He's lost Nike, RadioShack and Anheuser-Busch InBev after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report detailing Armstrong's use of performance-enhancing drugs. Nike said it would continue to back Livestrong, from which it licenses a clothing line, but it issued a strong statement rebuking Armstrong for misleading the company."

Major questions any brand manager or marketing manager should ask?
  1. Is the celebrity appropriate for our product or service?
  2. Does celebrity subtract from product or service?
  3. Does the celebrity add value? Or generate a good impression?
  4. It used to be about "gut feelings." Now brand managers are asking "Show me the evidence that this is the right star or celebrity."
  5. Does the celebrity add to the product's image?
  6. How much is the fee?
  7. How is the contract structured?
  8. Do you pay the celebrity their fee, which will decrease media exposure/expenses?
  9. What about the history and future of the celebrity exposure? What about "after hour" behavior, any criminal record, FTC issues? Health?
  10. Be sure celebrity uses and continues to use the product.
  11. Be sure the facts about the product are true and substantiated, before giving script to celebrity.
  12. You must disclose if the star or celebrity has considerable interest in the company or product.
  13. Q Scores: The company, Marketing Evaluations, produces a Q score (a numerical rating of a celebrity’s popularity).  It’s a calculated business risk. Past blowups have taught brand managers to do a better job of investigating the background and lifestyles. The checks may uncover something which makes you pause. 
It really is both an art and science.

Monday, October 08, 2012

More than a Hundred Twists to Oreos.

Oreo’s doing a terrific job of promoting it’s fun Oreo cookie, with its promotion, advertising, media planning/buying, social media posts and PR, plus 100 days of events ending with the Super Bowl advertising culmination.

Oreo is promoting a different cookie each day for 100 days as part of its 100 years’ anniversary.
It’s developed the “Daily Twist” campaign, from an agency team of Draftfcb New York, 360i, Weber Shandwick and MediaVest.

They have invented a cookie to match whatever is trending, rather than sticking to a prescribed schedule.

Super Ending
Mondelez International has asked Oreo’s lead agency Draftfcb and independent Wieden+Kennedy to compete in a pitch for a “cookies vs. cream”-themed Super Bowl spot. The TV spot will cap marketing around Oreo’s 100th anniversary.

What is Promotion? The communication element includes personal and non-personal communication activities.  Activities that communicate the merits of the overall product, which include:

  • Personal Selling/Sales Force. In this example, working with the grocery trade.
  • Advertising—Mass or nonpersonal selling: TV, radio, magazines, newspaper, outdoor/out-of-home (OOH), online
Advertising is structured and composed of nonpersonal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods, services) and ideas by identified sponsors through various media. (Contemporary Advertising, 13the, Arens, Weingold, Arens, 2011)

Advertising is any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. (Principles of Marketing, 14e, Kotler and Armstrong, 2012). Ads can be a cost-effective way to disseminate messages, whether to build a brand preference or to educate people.
  • Sales Promotion—Trade deals, samples, coupons, premiums, tie-ins, p-o-p, displays, sweepstakes, allowances, trade shows, sales rep contests, events/experiences and more.
  • Collateral Materials—Booklets, catalogs, brochures, films, sales kits, promotional products and annual reports.
  • Direct Marketing (also referred to as Action or Direct Response Advertising)--online, direct mail, database management, catalogs, telemarketing, and direct-response ads.
  • Interactive/Internet/web and social media
  • Events and Experiences Mondelez International and their agencies have done a great job of creating events. More than a hundred.
  • Public Relations—press releases, publicity. Securing editorial space, as opposed to paid space—usually in print, electronic or Internet media. Promote or “hype” a product, service, idea, place, person or organization, internal communication, lobbying. PR involves a variety of programs designed to promote or protect a company’s image/reputation or individual products.