Social media

MasterCard acceptance matters
Scene from MasterCard’s #AcceptanceMatters campaign

MasterCard’s #AcceptanceMatters campaign

a) What were the objectives of the ad from the brand’s perspective?

MasterCard wanted to create awareness of their major selling point: that MasterCard is the credit card that has been accepted in more places than any other card for 25 years (MasterCard #AcceptanceMatters n.d.) Using the theme of acceptance, established in 2013 with the #AcceptanceMatters campaign which sought to champion equality in all minority areas, they launched the their re-imagined campaign in June 2015 to coincide with the US Supreme Court’s anticipated ruling in favour of legalising gay marriage.

b) Who was the intended audience?

The intended audience was anyone, of any adult age, who supported gay marriage. This meant gay consumers as well as their families and friends – anyone who had a positive view of the anticipated Supreme Court ruling.

c) Is the ad effective? Why?

The timing of the campaign greatly enhanced its effectiveness (MasterCard #AcceptanceMatters n.d.). MasterCard “dark-posted” the video on Twitter and Facebook the day before the ruling was announced and also placed paid advertisements (a dark post is a status update that works like a targeted ad). As the news unfolded, they kept updating their hashtags to ensure they trended in news feeds. MasterCard reported 8 million impressions, 2 million engagements and 3.77 million views on social media as well as favourable feedback from consumers and traditional media outlets.

d) How would you improve the ad?

A good idea would have been to foster dialogue with consumers on social media about their stories of finding acceptance (on a moderated platform).

e) Explain the findings of a journal article and give insights into the latest academic research in the area and how this will inform future advertising in that category.

‘Brand buzz in the Echoverse’

by K Hewett, W Rand, RT Rust, & HJ van Heerde (2016)

Hewett et al. (2016, p. 11)) describe how social media has created an “echoverse” (short for an echo-chamber universe) for brands; one in which bad word-of-mouth can quickly lead to a damaging, out-of-control “negativity spiral”. This negativity spiral cuts across marketers’ desired state of brand spiraling – the offering of a uniform brand image across multiple platforms – with distracting and negative noise (Clow & Baack 2012b, p. 419). The authors documented feedback loops within business-to-consumer communications (both online and traditional) in the US financial industry to determine the strength and nature of communication flows. They analysed which communications flows were within a company’s control and which were not. The authors found that traditional media, online word-of-mouth and company-issued communications, such as press releases, all reverberated off one another in a predicted “echoverse” of competing messages (Hewett et al. 2016, p.22). The study goes some way to answering the call for greater evaluation and measurement of consumer feedback across new media (Wells et al. 2011, p.259). As Hewett et al. (2016, p. 22) note, the democratising effect of social media has given greater voice to consumers who now act as broadcasters. To counteract this, the future of online marketing is to move from broadcaster to conversationalist (generating narrowcast communication avenues on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook) (Hewett et al. 2016, p.22).

 

Business to Business advertising

Work Can Work Better

Scene from Xerox’s Work Can Work Better campaign

Xerox’s Work Can Work Better campaign

a) What were the objectives of the ad from the brands perspective?

Xerox wanted to create awareness of the brand’s reimagined image; one that had progressed from selling hardware to one that sold IT solutions to business (Maddox 2015). The campaign, by Y&R New York, also included print media, online and outdoor advertising and a redesigned website.

b) Who was the intended audience?

The television ads were slated for screening during the US Open and the audience was business

c) Is the ad effective? Why?

The ad combines great visual appeal with humour that would resonate with busy business managers who face a mountain of IT and business jargon every day. The television ad was talked about in several business media outlets and the YouTube video was watched almost 1.7 million times in four months (Kleinschmit 2016).

d) How would you improve the ad?

I would remove the scene with the coffee cup at the end and give an insight into how Xerox could make the protagonist’s life better and easier. An alternative ending would be one that created an element of surprise and jolted the audience into remembering the ad. Perhaps the executive could go into a meltdown over all the jargon being thrown at him, and a soothing person could help him to his feet and tell him he only needed one word, and that was Xerox.

e) Explain the findings of a recent journal article and give insights into the latest academic research in the area and how this will inform future advertising in that category.

‘Advertising to business: Does creativity matter?’

by Baack, DW, Wilson, RT, van Dessel, MM & Patti, CH (2016)

Baack et al. (2016, p.169) reviews the literature on advertising creativity and investigates the effect of such creativity on business buying centres. Buyer centres are essentially groups of people within an organisation invested with the power to make purchasing decisions. Clow & Baack (2012, pp. 89-90) define five roles within a buyer centre – users, buyers, influencers, deciders and gatekeepers – but stresses that each buyer centre will have its own configuation of these roles. Earlier in advertising history, it was considered that B2B advertising was, therefore, an appeal to a committee of automatons operating by the company book. But Baack et al.’s research emphasises that purchasing decisions are ultimately made by people – with the same limitations and proclivities as ordinary consumers (2016, p. 175). Therefore, creativity – with its captivating, memorable and persuasive element of surprise – is just as effective at appealing to a “decider” as it is to a consumer. B2B advertising in recent years shows a trend towards more visual imagery and less text-heavy appeals, and this is a trend that is likely to continue (Baack et al. 2016, p. 175; Clow & Baack 2012a, p.176).

 

Not-for-profit advertising

 

worldvision-banner
An internet ad for World Vision.

a) What were the objectives of the ad from the brands perspective?

The ad seeks an active response from consumers, placing it in the conative realm of Belch & Belch’s hierarchy of effects model (Pickton & Broderick 2005, p.131).

b) Who was the intended audience?

The words and age of the girl in the picture suggest it is aimed particularly at women of child-bearing age who are likely to feel maternal when looking at the image. It accompanied a romantic compatability quiz in an online magazine aimed at women (specifically black, Christian, American women).

c) Is the ad effective? Why?

According to the latest research , this advertisement makes an altruistic appeal  (Kim 2014). The beneficiary is clearly “others” (as opposed to the consumer), an image of a beneficiary is used (as opposed to a statistic) and the fact that the ad speaks privately to its online audience means there is an avenue of escape (Kim 2014). These are the hallmarks of an altruistic appeal to consumers with a high moral self-image. Also, America rates highly as a masculine society, where women are more likely to respond to altruistic appeals than egoistic ones (Kim 2014, p719, Geerte Hofstede ). So, overall, I would say this ad is effective in communicating with its intended audience.

d) How would you improve the ad?

This ad is one of many in World Vision’s armoury and, given its objective, strategies, placement and intended audience, I don’t think it needs improving.

e) Explain the findings of a recent journal article and give insights into the latest academic research in the area and how this will inform future advertising in that category.

‘Advertising strategies for charities: Promoting consumers’ donation of time versus money’

By Kim, N (2014)

Kim (2014) set out to identify the advertising appeals non-profit organisations could use to ask for donations. Kim stresses that non-profit and for-profit advertising differ in that the “product” that is bought with donations is intangible. Donations of time are considered “more moral” than those of money (Kim 2014, p. 708). Kim argues, based on current research, that non-profits benefit best from two broad kinds of appeal: egoistic (where donors feel rewarded) or altruistic (where another person or group benefit). Egoistic appeals work when the donor feels they would lose face or otherwise cannot “escape” without donating  – and are more likely to give money. Altruistic appeals target a donor’s moral self-image – they are more likely to donate time. Kim analysed advertisements to ascertain how charity beneficiaries should be depicted (as being needy or being helped), and how to describe beneficiaries (as statistics or as actual people). Egoistic appeals would see beneficiaries as being needy and statistics may be used. For altruistic appeals it is the opposite. Kim found age, gender, culture and self-image were markers of distinction: Students, retirees, women and people with strong moral identities were all more likely to volunteer time; while men and the time-poor preferred monetary donations. In masculine societies, men prefer egoistic appeals while in feminine societies they respond better to altruistic appeals (for women it is the opposite in each case). This research is likely to help in future studies, where even more tailored avenues of appeal could be identified.

 

 

Global advertising

Shot on iphone 6s LaneC billboard
One of the Shot on iPhone 6s billboards.

a) What were the objectives of the ad from the brands perspective?

The objective of the “Shot on iPhone 6s” ad campaign was to raise awareness of the camera’s capability on the then-new iPhone 6s. The campaign included a series of international billboards featuring 53 photographs from 41 amateur and professional photographers from all over the world. The first stage of the campaign featured landscapes, the second stage featured portraits, and the billboards featured in 85 cities across 26 countries (Raab 2016).

b) Who was the intended audience?

Anyone who currently owns an iPhone or was thinking of switching to iPhone would have the been the intended audience of the advertising campaign.

c) Is the ad effective? Why?

The ad was effective due to the simplicity of its execution and the diversity of the photographs that were sourced. Branding was discrete to suit context-heavy countries, such as Japan (Taylor & Okazaki 2015, p. 278).

d) How would you improve the ad?

Once again, because of the diversity of the billboards used in this campaign, and the simplicity of the branding to suit the international context, little could be done to improve the ad. The Apple brand is well-known across the world. The quality of the photographs used speak for themselves in creating awareness of the iPhone 6s’ camera. The ad is a good example of the “visual Esperanto”, or universal language, global marketers attempt to execute (Clow & Baack 2012a, p.175).

e) Explain the findings of a recent journal article and give insights into the latest academic research in the area and how this will inform future advertising in that category.

Taylor & Okazaki (2015) canvas research on global consumer culture theory and argue that a branding-led move towards a global advertising market is occurring. They conducted empirical research, specifically, into the differences between global and local advertising in Japan and the United States, based on the amount of time the audience was exposed to “visuals” or branding. Japanese audiences are used to slow-build narratives and minimal visuals while American audiences are used to far more branding. Advocates of global consumer culture positioning theory postulate that market segments can transcend culture when it comes to certain global brands. (ibid., p. 276). Taylor & Okazaki also argue that GCCP strategies have been increasingly deployed in ad executions since the 2000s and that advertising influences culture. Their study found the brands were indeed targeting market segments that were independent of culture and country. Because they found local advertising in both countries maintained very different timing variables, Taylor & Okazaki concluded that the similarities found in the global advertising they examined must have been due to a conscious move towards global standardisation. Such standardisation in global advertising is very likely to increase as the 21st century proceeds.

 

References

 

Baack, DW, Wilson, RT, van Dessel, MM & Patti, CH  2016, ‘Advertising to businesses: Does creativity matter?’, Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 55, pp. 169-177, viewed 20 August 2016, http://goo.gl/qIJvOG.

Beck, JT, Chapman, K & Palmatier, RW 2015, ‘Understanding relationship marketing and loyalty program effectiveness in global markets’, Journal of International Marketing, vol.23, no. 3, pp. 1-21, viewed 20 August 2016, http://goo.gl/aesGJC.

Clow, K & Baack, D 2012, ‘Buyer behaviors’ in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp. 74-103.

Clow, K & Baack, D 2012a, ‘Advertising design: Theoretical frameworks and types of appeals’, in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp. 168-195.

Clow, K & Baack, D 2012, ‘E-active marketing’ in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp. 404-431.

Geerte Hofstede, n.d., United States, viewed 27 August 2016, https://geert-hofstede.com/united-states.html.

Hewett, K, Rand, W, Rust, RT & van Heerde, HJ 2016, ‘Brand buzz in the Echoverse’, Journal of Marketing, vol. 80, pp. 1-24, viewed 20 August 2016, http://goo.gl/udQvqy.

Kim, N 2014, ‘Advertising strategies for charities: Promoting consumers’ donation of time versus money’, International Journal of Advertising, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 707-724, viewed 21 August 2016, http://goo.gl/BNz4kO.

Kleinschmit, M 2016, ‘3 Examples of successful B2B marketing campaigns’, 26 February, viewed 20 August 2016, https://goo.gl/JfQvjq.

Maddox, K 2015, ‘Xerox lobs new ad campaign at U.S. Open’, Advertising Age, 28 August, viewed 20 August 2016, http://adage.com/article/btob/xerox-lobs-ad-campaign-u-s-open/300118/.

MasterCard 2015, ‘Love matters. Happiness matters. #AcceptanceMatters’, YouTube, 26 June, viewed 20 August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYUfxSmkHNc.

MasterCard #AcceptanceMatters n.d., viewed 20 August 2016, http://shortyawards.com/8th/mastercard-acceptancematters.

Pickton, D & Broderick, A 2005, ‘Setting objectives, determining strategy and tactics’, in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp.121-166.

Raab, J 2016, ‘Apple drafts more everyday people for new Shot on iPhone campaign’, Time, January 16, viewed 27 August 2016, http://time.com/4200962/apple-shot-on-iphone6s/.

Taylor, C R & Okazaki, S 2015, ‘Do global brands use similar executional styles across cultures? A comparison of U.S. and Japanese television advertising’ in Journal of Advertising, vol. 44, no. 3, pp.276-288, viewed 27 August 2016, goo.gl/Bhx3G6.

Wells, W, Spence-Stone, R, Crawford R, Moriarty, S & Mitchell, N 2011 in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp. 227-263.

Xerox 2015, ‘Everybody’s talkin’ at me … by Xerox’, YouTube, 27 August, viewed 20 August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWTETDH2Jpc.

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