Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

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Marketing Strategy: Comparethemeerkat.com

May 14, 2009

Alexander Mikhailovich Orlov was a Soviet espionage administrator, who defected to the U.S. in 1938, warned Leon Trotsky of his impending assassination (read more here). Nevertheless, for the last four months “Aleksandr Orlov” the meerkat with a Russian accent broadcasts on TV in order to reassure people that they should not get confused between the two pages; comparethemarket.com and comparethemeerkat.com. He explains that lately many people have been misspelling the words when looking for price-comparison site Compare The Market in search engines and landing on his page Compare The Meerkat when trying to find a cheap car insurance. If you have not seen the TV ad yet, please see it yourself:

I remember seeing that clip for the first time and wondering a little about its sense. However, despite some doubts the ad caught my attention as well as the attention of many others. Being curious I went to investigate a bit to find out more myself. Compare The Market is a price-comparison website, which aims to provide its customers with the most beneficial and cheapest quotes from various major organisations offering car, travel or home insurances; credit cards; mortgages; loans etc. Some examples of such organisations include The AA, HSBC, Nationwide and the Post Office. Compare The Meerkat is a site founded by the Russian meerkat entrepreneur Alexandr, who claims to be a member of the Russian aristocracy and lives in Moscow. His site provides information about various meerkats, their origins, hobbies and favourite activities. A month later another clip appears, where he claims that there is a big difference between his page, comparethemeerkat.com and the price-comparison site comparethemarket.com, by playing both jingles that sound pretty much identical.

Aleksandr Orlov's Twitter Page

Aleksandr Orlov's Twitter Page

After getting lots of positive response and people liking these adverts, Aleksander did not rest on his laurels. He created an account on social networking site Twitter gaining great response within only a few days and currently has 14,935 followers (see his page here). Hence, Aleksandr took advantage craftily of the numerous branding and social networking opportunities delivered by Twitter.

Matching his character his account provides funny and light-hearted content, which is also adding value through a personal touch to the brand itself as well as and additional level of online customer support. According to Revolutionmagazine Aleksandr even encouraged his Twitter followers to leave statements on how they like the business in order to create a testimonial area on Comparethemeerkat.com with their comments and photographs (read full story here).

Aleksandr also has created a Facebook page (here you can see his profile) with stunning 409,565 “fans” where he similarly to Twitter discusses funny stories and jokes with people who have signed up for him.

Aleksandr Orlov on Facebook

Aleksandr Orlov on Facebook

Both, Twitter and Facebook show high potential for customer interaction and also very high response rate from people involved. In marketing terms that can be seen as brand management and reputation building from a funny and relaxed perspective: people start to like Aleksandr and part of their affection will be transformed to Compare The Market eventually. Moreover, there is also a profile on YouTube (see here) where people have signed up as followers and leave comments on the videos. It seems that people are highly enthusiastic in communicating with Aleksandr. On all pages high interaction between customers and “Aleksandr” is apparent, which represents an essential element for successful social networking.

With reference to George Everett, the creator of the campaign states in Marketing Magazine:

“Facebook and Twitter are fantastic media for us as they allow us to build a conversation with consumers,’ he says. ‘People only insure their cars once a year but we will be at the front of mind.”

Only recently a new character has been introduced “Sergej” the one who is responsible for IT and seems to be an important part within Aleksandr’s company – and also gives the brand another mascot. His appearance gains greater importance and he has even received a role in the newest clip, that came out two weeks ago:

Compare The Market have created a spoof on their own name and perfectly combined online with offline efforts within their marketing concept by combining above-the-line advertisement such as print, TV and radio with below-the-line advertisement such as social networks and web pages. This shows that new media are even stronger if combined with traditional methods, if applied effectively so that one can boost the other in the most efficient way.

With reference to Marketingmagazine the responsible agency VCCP had the clear brief to boost the brand name “Compare The Market” in order to generate brand awareness and to stand out in a very crowded market. Hence, return on investment has been achieved clearly as brand recall is ensured massively – I am sure that people will definitely remember the brand, as VCCP have done a great job.

In SEO terms, which is the concept of optimising the ability of others to find your brand’s online appearance best possible when using a web search engine such as Google or Yahoo, Compare The Market have also succeeded. Having an account on the most popular social networks boosts a brand in extremely high positions on web search engines. By building brand awareness via social media, this also allows them to have a direct influence towards increasing online traffic and finally their sales.

This entire campaign is a brilliant piece achieving a viral effect that does not seem to stop spreading. Definitely an outbreak in promotion by combining online and offline efforts. It shows how successful a clear marketing strategy can be, when created properly by applying currently popular tools. They took advantage of the popularity of social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in order to build a platform for interaction with their “fans”. I am sure some people may argue whether having lots of followers supports their business, but once more I believe that awareness creation, which is achieved perfectly in this case, has a long-lasting effect that will stay in mind. And if you ever should require cheap car insurance… I am sure you will remember Aleksandr and give their page a go – if this is not successful marketing, then please tell me why!

And because its so nice…here some more of Aleksandr!

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Apple vs. Blackberry – The Battle Goes On!

March 21, 2009

I have already discussed the popular “video clip battle” between Apple and Microsoft in one of my previous articles and also the fact that others take advantage of the idea and use it for their own purposes (when two quarrel the third rejoices). Thanks to my brother my attention was drawn to an article in a Swiss newspaper that reports on a new battle, but this time between RIM’s (Research in Motion) Blackberry and the iPhone, a registered trademark of Apple. Currently there is a sequence of three videos circulating.

It starts with a video in which Blackberry attacks and beats the iPhone. At the end of the clip the following slogan appears: “The world’s first touch-screen Blackberry. Nothing can touch it.”


This video has been on YouTube only for three and a half weeks and already has 753,762 views. (Since March 25th the video I was refering to “BlackBerry Bullet Shows Apple Who’s Boss is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Death Songs LLC and hence the views with the new one are different) According to Tagesanzeiger it did not take long before a second video came up. Or was it Apple’s answer? Nevertheless, the following clip appeared two weeks later on YouTube and finishes off with the words: “simple facts”.

There are 155,759 views after 8 days on YouTube. What until now looks like a quarrel between Apple and RIM appears to turn into an advertising campaign for the site PleaseFixTheIPhone a page that collects improvement recommendations and complaints from iphone users and lovers (the best mobile phone on Earth, ever!”) and formulates them into wishes. At the moment this page lists 2,250 wishes including 659,181 votes made by people who agree. Wishes can only be placed by people who have a Facebook account. They claim not to be affiliated with Apple and pronounce: It’s a modern love poem from iPhone fans who just want to improve their iPhone.

Listing 5,220 views on YouTube within 10 days even this one shows rising popularity. With reference to OnlinePC these clips were neither a strategy from Apple nor from RIM, but rather a hidden campaign made by the digital advertising agency Guava. Rumours are circulating that Guava may have created the clips with the objective to promote its own services as a digital marketing agency. If that were true it would be a similar move to the one by Giovanny Gutierrez from Tinsley Advertising, who filmed his girlfriend playing Nintendo Wii’s “Hula Hoop” game, only wearing knickers and a t-shirt. He stated that he didn’t intend any commercial outcome but admitted having personal interest in getting recruited by Nintendo (read more). Tagesanzeiger reports (in German) that there have been no comments from Guava regarding their involvement with these clips yet.

If it were to be the other case and the first video has been developed by RIM, it highlights the importance of monitoring and controlling the World Wide Web consistently. The first video may have caused some serious damage to Apple’s brand reputation, which could have resulted in declining sales. By responding very fast with a similar video message Apple entered the battle, took the initial glory from Blackberry and did not let its “fans” down – in addition, it provided them with material to fight back on their blogs and amongst social networks. Brands which ignore their online reputation amongst social networks, blogs and communities are taking a very large, stupid and unnecessary risk. Not only is the use of the Internet and new media for marketing purposes increasing globally, but also the importance of being interactive online as a brand in order to satisfy rising customer interest and hence demand for online interaction is of an ever increasing significance. Through active online reputation management unfavourable mentions can be minimised by monitoring and influencing conversations in blogs and social networks.

However, all these videos have created buzz in a very short time and thus show high potential for viral campaigns.  They tick all the boxes by creating electronic word-of-mouth, making people discuss the involved brands (brand awareness creation) and reaching large numbers of individuals within very short time. It also shows that there is no need to have a stunning and exceptional new idea for each campaign. Already existing ideas can be creatively turned into diverse stories with different outcomes and intentions.


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New Media for Viral Marketing

February 26, 2009

Viral marketing can be defined as a technique that encourages people to pass along a marketing message with the aim to create a potentially exponential growth in the visibility of the message and generates word-of-mouth marketing. This method relies on snowball system distribution that is characterised by a high pass-along rate between individuals. The overall growth is strongly linked to the amount of recipients and the percentage of those who forward the message to a large number of friends.

New media deliver a variety of great technology for viral marketing, given the immense speed a message can be delivered and spread around the globe.  Social networks and communities are an especially welcome target for such campaigns, due to their user concentration and information exchange rates.

In the area of B2C this strategy is often applied by start-up businesses in order to create awareness and build their corporate image. However, given the high degree of competition and creativity out there it is very difficult to succeed with such a campaign.

A prime example for the successful viral marketing application is the free web mail service Hotmail, now provided and owned by Microsoft. Each time a message is sent, Hotmail promotes its corporate commercials in the e-mail notes of the user.

Another way of viral marketing was provided by Nike in 2006. They broadcast the football legend Ronaldiño trying on a new pair of trainers and delivering an absolutely fantastic showcase of football tricks. At this time the clip has 27,496,830 views on YouTube and despite how old the video is, there are still discussions going on about it. In my case, the latest post for that video was 32 seconds ago.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsO6D1rwrKc&rel=0]

Blogstorm present a top 10 ten list of viral marketing campaigns where the Nike clip takes the leading position.

Cadbury’s are another organisation that are very successful with their campaigns for “Diary Milk” chocolates which listed as made by “A Glass and a Half Full Productions“. In reality Cadbury’s success is due to London based agency Fallon, who have done an exceptionally great job in marketing the brand. I suppose we all know the clip in which a gorilla hits the drums with such incredible passion with Phil Colins’ song In the Air Tonight (this song has been deleted form the video due to  Copyright reasons by the way. Nevertheless, the clip is now available in various other remix versions, implemented by creative non-corporate individuals). The currently new clip of Cadbury’s shows two children with freaky eyebrow moves. Initially broadcasted on TV the clip now enjoys rapid distribution on the World Wide Web and currently has 2,282,533 views.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVblWq3tDwY&rel=0]

Not only businesses know the true promise of viral marketing, but also individuals use it in order to increase their success. The British op singer Lily Allen produced a spoof of the Cadbury’s adverts that was shown on Channel 4. It is also posted on YouTube and has currently 587,106 views since the 9th of February 2009 (see video).

The inspirational comedian Judson Laipply hit the mark with promoting his show case “The Evolution of Dance”, an incredible achievement. With reference to Readwriteweb in 2007 his video was the most viewed one on YouTube and in 2008 it still reached the second position. Right now it lists 114,755,890 views. In his context, new media and social networks helped him to make his career worldwide.