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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Branson’

Op-Ed Rebuttal: Why Experience Marketing Will Never Die

jasonmask

Well, touché. In case you need a refresher, less than a month ago, we received our usual monthly op-ed from Huge, this time from Andrew Kessler, founder/CEO of Togather, a startup out of Huge Labs. Kessler, whose Togather operation serves as a platform that helps clients deploy event marketing programs with “the same control and measurability of a digital ad buy,” seemed to have sounded the death knell for experience marketing. Well, someone has taken issue, namely Eric Murphy, former VP of marketing/promotions at RCA Records who’s now head of his own experiential/music marketing agency, Pop2Life. Murphy has taken some issue with Kessler’s piece as you’ll see below. Carry on, sir.

“The ‘experience marketing’ trend is close to extinction.” -Andrew Kessler, founder/CEO of Togather

I’ll be honest. When I first caught wind of Kessler’s Op-Ed piece, I wanted to punch him in the face. After all, he was basically labeling the very thing that’s made my agency successful a joke … a waste of time and money. Or more specifically, nothing more
than a “dazzling physical installation,” heavy on pointless, big-budget items like “colored lights, a giant logo,” lots of “freebie swag,” and little more to measure success than a fuzzy count of gift bags and “total impressions.”

So I put on a Jason mask™, gathered a few key clients, and headed over to Kessler’s house with a truck full of colored lights and giant logos.

Just kidding.

Actually, I channeled that initial surge of outrage into some deeper thinking about how and why someone as intelligent and successful as Andrew Kessler would conclude that the best possible outcome of experience marketing was “a large crowd … lots of
product interest … [and] photo albums of smiling fans.” (Which frankly is what a lot of brands hope to accomplish with the majority of their marketing efforts, experiential or otherwise. More on that later.)

To be fair, Kessler posed some worthwhile questions regarding the value and impact of experience marketing campaigns:

-”Are we providing the right kind of value to give us a return on brand favorability?

-”What kind of action did this drive?

-”Can we deliver an experience that also lives beyond the actual event?”

All of these are excellent questions. Every marketer worth their weight in swag should apply them to every marketing investment they make. Still, proclaiming the pending extinction of a species [of marketing] that, when done right, checks off all four boxes of the ubiquitous “AIDA” acronym (Awareness | Interest | Desire | Action)  with a big fat marker seems … well … a bit un-evolved.

Here’s why.

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Thursday Morning Stir

- Richard Branson‘s health club brand Virgin Active UK has appointed London’s Karmarama as its lead agency following a review.

-Keeping with the theme, following a review, Brooklyn-based start-up Bump Water has tapped (sorry) Boston-based Proverb as its first “brand building agency.”

-TDA_Boulder has launched a new spot for FirstBank that begs the question, who says astronauts can’t be florists (above)?

-Digital agency veteran Brendan Kiernan and film/commercial producer Justin Moore-Lewy have launched bi-coastal production hub, HēLō (pronounced Hee-low.) link

-New York/San Francisco-based content creation/production company Bodega has added writer-director/creative director Robbie Norris to its roster.

Even Monsters Prefer T-Mobile

In the last few months, T-Mobile has pushed out a marketing full-court press coinciding with their iPhone 5 network coverage. Some of the spots have been unusually weird (this isn’t in English, but you should watch), while others, like this cowboy commercial from March Madness, like to add humor by subverting stereotypes. Their latest effort, “The Simple Choice,” was created by Publicis West Seattle and might teach you a thing or two about intellectual expectations when it comes to Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. The spot will run during the NBA Playoffs and will probably become one of those commercials that gets overplayed ad nauseam, even if the first view deserves an inner chuckle.

As you’ll see after watching, T-Mobile goes right after AT&T. I always like when the gloves come off, but on the Shots Fired Scale, this bland discrediting only warrants a 3 out of 10. Next time, I’d like some down and dirty defamation worthy of a negative political campaign ad. If T-Mobile really wants to make an impact, they should go Willie Horton “Weekend Passes” on AT&T. It won’t be very classy, but people will pay attention.

Virgin Mobile Phones Make People Happily Careless

Last we heard from Virgin Mobile, the brand and its agency Mother New York were regaling us with Richard Branson‘s rather whimsical life story. Now, the two parties have returned to actual product promotion by touting Virgin Mobile’s $35/month phones, which as you can see above, cause people to purposely ditch their current mobile devices in a variety of ways. In this world, the price point and lack of contract lock-ins at Virgin Mobile are deemed worthy enough to engage in a variety of “happy accidents,” whether it’s tossing your phone off a roof or into a blender. Credits after the jump.

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Virgin Mobile Was Always a Twinkle in Richard Branson’s Eye

Though he’s launched record labels, airlines and is now delving into space tourism, Richard Branson‘s always kept the concept of Virgin Mobile close to his heart. Well, that at least appears to be the story behind this new spot for the brand from Mother New York, which veers away from fake celebrity couples and other concepts for its client and instead focuses on the man behind the Virgin empire.

From the looks of it, Branson was a rock star since birth, but it was in mod-obsessed 1960′s London where he became obsessed with the idea of launching Virgin Mobile. Is it just us or did the makeup job on the actor in the advert make him resemble the Geico caveman during this era? Anyways, the spot is part of a new Virgin Mobile USA campaign/tagline called “A Higher Calling,” which is launching alongside the Virgin Mobile Live platform. As for Branson’s higher calling? Well, according to the VO at the end of the ad, it’s to “service every last one of you.” Take that as you will.

Twitter Blows Out Candles with Help from Celebs

At five years old, Twitter currently boasts over 140 million tweets per day. And, 30 billion tweets after founder Jack Dorsey posted the first on March 21, 2006, Twitter is valued at nearly an estimated $10 billion dollars, with plans for an IPO in the near future. In a social media world ruled by Facebook, Twitter is an undisputed success.

To celebrate itself (as if it wouldn’t), Twitter site up a microsite, encouraging users to “Follow Your Interests. Discover Your World.” And, who better knows how to use Twitter than the likes of Richard Branson, Snoop Dogg and Hillary Clinton? Were you shocked to hear that Serena Williams has a thing for Green Day? If you followed her on Twitter, you’d be in the loop, and on the microsite you can start hearing her opinions as they form with the click of a mouse.

So, Twitter, here’s to five more years of online celebrity worship, faceless corporations branding themselves 140 characters at a time and journalism put firmly back into the hands of anyone with an Internet connection. The only thing we’re confused about: how many people take their laptop to a hip coffeehouse and tweet using Twitter.com over some other social media dashboard? No cell phone or HootSuite represented at all? Shameful, Twitter.