My colleagues know I have argued against advertising’s ability to do “demand generation” — create need where there was none before. Instead I have always argued that advertising solves an awareness “missing link” for demand that was already there. In other words, a user has a need. Advertising puts a new product or a product that a particular user was simply not aware of before on his radar screen. And after further research, if the product fulfills that need he buys. Advertising rarely creates NEW demand. For example, we buy 4 quarts of milk per week because we have 2 kids. No amount of milk advertising will make us buy 5 quarts, because we simply don’t need it. Or, we’ve just bought a minivan. No amount of advertising, no matter how cool the family or the kids in the ad, will make us buy another mini van. If we just locked in health insurance this year, we are likely not to buy more or to switch, just because it is such a hassle. Make up more of your own examples.
But, I have to say, Carl Jr’s ad with Padma is really really making me want their bacon, barbecue sauce burger. Or is it just a bacon, barbecue sauce burger? Or wait, is there even a Carl Jr around here? hmm ….. I guess I’ll just look at the picture some more…
Padma devours fast food, Lindsay Lohan goes retro for Fornarina and vampire ads raise the stakes
March 30, 2009
-By Tim Nudd
Carl’s Jr. serves it piping hot.
When we learned in February that Padma Lakshmi was filming a commercial for Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr., it didn’t seem likely that the Top Chef host would make as big a splash as Paris Hilton did with her infamous car-wash spot for the fast-fo.od company in 2005. But Lakshmi has actually put her own impressively suggestive mark on burger advertising with the new ad, in which she makes sweet-and-savory love to a Western-bacon deluxe on the front steps of a city apartment building. Paris Hilton, please pack your knives and go.
the greater efficiencies of “digital” mean that the same amount of “advertising” can be achieved with fewer dollars because more waste can be eliminated. The decreases in ad spending in traditional media channels like newspapers will only be partially replaced by ad spending online.
For example, the dollars that used to fund newspaper classified advertising has been replaced by free online classifieds through Craigslist. While newspapers had incremental costs due to materials, printing, labor, and distribution, online classifieds have virtually no incremental cost.
Similarly print advertising, which was based on targeting ads to specific demographics of readerships are being replaced by online ads which can be more finely targeted to even more niche readerships — e.g. contextual advertising. And the revenue models based around cost per click are inherently more efficient (and thus lower cost) than the impression-based revenue models of magazines. Again for every dollar taken out of print advertising, only a few cents are needed to replace it in “digital.”
Agree with me or tell me I’m stupid @acfou
List of 2009 Superbowl spots on AdAge.com
Lift in search is a great indicator of interest. Modern consumers may be inspired by TV ads, but they usually go online to do more research for themselves, to inform their own purchase decision. The following examples show the lift in search after Superbowl commercials or for launch of products like Subway Footlongs. The use of unique, made-up words makes it easier to detect lift in search (see related post: made up words are great for tracking buzz and search volume ). There is now a correlation between offline paid advertising and online behaviors of modern consumers that can be tracked and ultimately related to sales.
What is harder to do is track lift in search from smaller TV media buys or from terms which are generic — e.g. American Express OPEN, Proctor & Gamble’s TAG (men’s deoorant), etc. And furthermore, people may or may not remember the brand name itself and may type in a more general search query — e.g. “talking baby” instead of” e-Trade” or “dancing lizards” instead of “SoBe LifeWater.” And most people usually forget to type in special URLs specified in the ads. So the opportunity is to 1) use made-up words which can be used to detect lift in search and 2) search-optimize around other more generic terms that people may search for if they remembered the ad, but did not remember the brand name itself.
key learnings include:
1. only the superbowl TV ads generates enough awareness to drive lift in search volume detectable above the noise or normal levels
2. made up words are useful in correlating paid advertising and subsequent online actions (e.g. search) because most users forget or are too lazy to type special URLs
3. is is always better to have real analytics from the site to see when paid campaigns hit; site analytics will also reveal more information about users including demographic information, what they are looking for, and even whether they “convert” to a sale or a desired action — like print off a coupon, etc.
Notice the January spikes for several of the examples below — these are their Superbowl ads in action. But also notice how sharp the spikes are — most of them go back to prior levels within 1 – 3 days (see related post: the ephemerality of the Superbowl halo )
Source: Google Insights for Search
Why the Click Is the Wrong Metric for Online Ads
There is a whole ruckus around ad networks getting too little credit for helping to drive customers’ awareness and clicks for advertisers. In the past, ad networks wanted to claim credit for type-ins (people going to an advertiser’s site by typing the URL instead of clicking on an ad). They called this “view through” and the ad networks wanted these to be attributed to their showing the ad somewhere on their network.
Now they claim that getting credit for only the last-ad is not enough — the ad the user actually clicked on to get to the advertiser’s site, the one that can actually be tracked and properly attributed.
What’s at stake is the relatively large piece of “direct” or referrer-less traffic. Analytics packages can only assign these to type-ins or bookmarks since there was no referring site to attribute them to, let alone ad creative version, etc.
But while there is demonstrable lift in click rates when display ads and search ads are running at the same time — i.e. they reinforce and complement each other — it does not mean that ad networks can or should claim credit for the lift. After all, advertising running on another network COULD also cause a lift in results of ads running on another network if they are run simultaneously.
So the bottom line is if the click or the visit is not directly attributable, it should not be attributed.