Tag Archives: Advertising

Taking Risks to Keep Business Growing: Nike Stands Up For Colin Kaepernick

It’s Nike and Colin Kaepernick vs NFL and The Constitution. Nike shows confidence in an emotional ad, and believing statistically that it will pay off in the long run.

Knowing that their competition can’t compete, and as they control a large percentage of sports marketing, Nike felt a urgency to take a stand for the former NFL Quarterback.

Nike is taking a stand for something that shows leadership. They are risk takers that are well known for taking risks in the past. Nike believes in succeeding through taking risks. The unemployed former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is now the new face of Nike. The ad tag line is: Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”

NikeNike knows what they are doing having had that much experience of success over many years. Nike is very predictable on production outcomes after its product have been introduced to the market. This where Nike business is invested heavily.

Nike is leading in sales in the industry and the results show quality content in advancing their product to stay ahead of competitors. The competition has to sit and take the back seat on a lot of business arrangements, not able to take control of the market for sports apparel.

Nike is testing the sports apparel industry and facing competition from companies like Under Armour. Known for thriving off competition, Nike is first in trendsetting. They first to do almost all things before their competitors. Any product Nike releases by the company is one example of top notch quality sportswear and content.

Whatever business moves Nike decides to make easily produce a profit. Because of prior experience with dominating the competition, Nike knows that their competition cannot keep up. “When you are being challenged, you get busy, you hustle, and you do everything better.” Nike signed a contract in 2018 for eight years with the NBA jerseys and Apparel.

Nike  Nike

No NBA jerseys have ever had another logo on it, except for Adidas who was forced out its contract with the NBA. There have been big promotions with the Michael Jordan line of product by the company for WNBA and NBA.

Brands like Adidas and Reebok are only doing one new thing. Nike tends to respond better in these times, by promoting their products, and by caring for people. They show some differences to people, by selling emotional benefit encouraging all to “Just Do It.”

-Antonio Thornton

Social Media Marketing in Modern Distribution of Films

The landscape of the film industries distribution strategy has changed dynamically in the last 10 years. From the perspective of windows of distribution, attention has shifted from the traditional theatres and television screens to mobile technology. The opportunity to get in front of a potential fan of a film by interacting with them through a device in their pocket is the power play of the digital age we currently living in.

Within the device, social media offers one of the most cost-efficient and strategic implementation of digital marketing channels in distribution tactics today. Production teams and executives can not only build networks for their studio brand names, but also build something similar to “personal brands” surrounding each individual project.

I’m Scott Burak, and I’m speaking from my experience of being the Co-founder of ADFly, LLC, a social media strategy and digital marketing development agency.

As the world continues to innovate and become more connected, these changes will become more frequent, and the studios have to continue to adapt to emerging technologies. This means opportunities for specialists and consultants in niche marketing channels across the ever-growing list of online content distribution platforms.

Social Media

Social Media Case Studies of Film Distribution

I’ve decide to investigate the social media strategies of two films, one launched through major film studios as well as one distributed independently.  For the sake of being festive this Halloween, I looked into two successful horror films (interestingly not released during scaring season).

Studio: Fox

Project: Devil’s Due

Distribution: 20th Century Fox

Release: January 17, 2014

Premise: American psychological horror film focusing in on a newly wed couple starting their family together. They decide to document their life and begin recording events that lead up the climax of their story. It becomes evident early that the woman is experiencing an uncommon and unpleasant pregnancy.

Strategy: Viral Video with over 54 million views on YouTube. Such a popular platform reached the mass markets without precisely targeting their audience. However by gaining a following for the film with these initial marketing efforts, they were able to parlay their foundation to find other similar people whom might enjoy their film.

Results:

  • Production Budget: $7,000,000
  • Box Office Returns: $15,800,000
  • Return on Investment: $8,800,000

Independent Film Studio Social Media Distribution

Studio: Animal Kingdom

Project: It Comes at Night

Distribution: A24

Release: June 9, 2017

Premise: American psychological horror film staged during a health crisis with a highly contagious outbreak that is wreaking havoc on across the planet. The main character and his son live deep in the woods and fight off other survivors looking for resources and shelter.

Strategy: Organic social media strategy played a huge role in the marketing of this project. Regular postings leading up to the release directed at a following of people that showed initial interest in the film. Then they leveraged Facebook as a platform to identified similar demographics and interests among their core audience and implement precise awareness marketing to ideal consumers.

Results:

  • Production Budget: $2,400,000.00
  • Box Office Returns: $19,300,000.00
  • Return on Investment: $16,900,000.00

Ongoing Innovation in Digital Distribution

Obviously studios and distribution networks should not see the digital revolution as a threat, but as an opportunity. With powerful analytic technology and targeting methods, comes the potential for greater ROI with strategic planning in distribution. Ultimately meaning more bang for your buck in marketing dollars.

On the horizon, I see the incorporation of two disruptive technologies that will again reinvent the way production houses push out their content digitally. I believe virtual realty will provide a platform for endless creative projects as the technology becomes more affordable and commercialized. Not only could entire projects be produced within whatever becomes the standard VR format, but studios could also get their feet wet in by incorporating small-scale projects in marketing and promotional strategy for films that are traditionally produced and consumed.

Additionally, I believe that artificial intelligence is something that any digital savvy distributors will take advantage of especially from a marketing standpoint. Being able to program computing technology to make informed decisions by aggregating information between engagement, demographics, and messaging strategies; the most profitable, most successful strategies will become apparent through mass data manipulation. This also leads to extremely relevant marketing and messaging to hyper-segmented target audiences by better understanding the correlations between what a certain group of people like compared to another.

Even more, I predict we will see incredible, personalized experiences at the crossroads of these two technologies. Imagine how an immersive virtual realty experience that adapts to how the user is interacting with the content could change the way people consume entertainment.

Regardless of which of these technologies’ potentials becomes an actual reality, one thing is for certain; Entertainment executives and content producers need to stay on their toes and ahead of the digital curve if they want to take advantage of the future of digital distribution platforms.

-Scott Burak

Social Media Poses a Challenge to the FTC’s Advertising Guidelines

Assuming you’re not already reading this on your phone, go ahead and open up your preferred social media app. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, whichever you prefer. Scroll through and quickly count the ads you see. How sure are you that you counted them all? How did you determine they were ads? Did the post say sponsored by? How about #ad?

Unfortunately, you may have missed one or two, because a content producer didn’t disclose that they were getting paid for their posts. They might be monetizing their audience, without their audience even knowing it.

This issue is not isolated to one particular industry or level and even occurs with high profile influencers such as the Kardashians, one of ninety social media influencers and marketers who received a letter from the FTC noting their legal obligations to disclose material connections. Despite this, consumer groups are still claiming that the Kardashian/Jenner family is failing to disclose that some social media posts are possibly ads.

Social MediaBut unfortunately, the Kardashian/Jenner situation isn’t the most nefarious or outrageous when it comes to this problem. That honor falls to CSGO Lotto owners Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell.

Before we get into what these two did, we need to understand one part of the popular first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offense, otherwise known as CS:GO. CS:GO has a well known and very successful micro-transaction business model that creates unique and rare gun skins for cosmetic use inside the game. And because the developer and publisher of CS:GO, Valve, created a marketplace where players can trade in-game items for real money they quickly became a pseudo-currency that could be used for gambling on websites.

Social MediaTo have a complete and total understanding of what CS: GO skins are won’t be necessary for the rest of this article but if you want to know more here is a handy article to learn more.

But back to Martin and Cassell, both of whom are popular CSGO players on YouTube and Twitch. The pair co-owned and operated a skin gambling website called CSGOLotto in which they actively promoted on both other creator’s platforms, but their own.

(Here is one of Cassell’s videos where he gambles on his own website.)

Basically imagine a Vegas casino owner hiring Brad Pitt to play at their casino without letting anyone know, and then sitting down at their own table and playing a few hands with house money. While this already seems bad, it’s made worse by the fact that the main audiences of all social media influencers involved are minors.

This situation has to lead to the first-ever complaint against individual social media influencers on the FTC which was settled September of 2017. With Martin, Cassell and the influencers, they paid to promote their website getting little more than a slap on the wrist from the FTC. You can see the settlement here.

“Consumers need to know when social media influencers are being paid or have any other material connection to the brands endorsed in their posts. This action, the FTC’s first against individual influencers, should send a message that such connections must be clearly disclosed so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions,” said Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting chair of the FTC, when the settlement was reached.

While there was a lawsuit over the illegal gambling which involves the CSGOLotto owners and the video game publisher Valve, there are no are legal or financial punishments for either Martin or Cassell for deceptively advertising their website.

For now, it seems, social media influencers will continue to give the FTC problems until an influencer is made an example of.

-Chase Danielson

Is GoPro Dead?

When you think of GoPro advertisements, the first thing that might pop into your mind is an ad with footage of someone on a vacation or hiking in the mountains, right? What you may not know is that GoPro didn’t make these advertisements themselves. What’s unique about GoPro is that they use their consumer’s videos for their campaigns. The question is, does user generated content effectively advertise the product and make it successful?

GoProWhen purchasing something relatively expensive we are going to want to see reviews on the product. With GoPro, you can see the quality of the camera based on the videos created with them. People may assume that since GoPro advertises with user-generated content that the videos will be low quality and shaky, but this isn’t the case. Knowing that GoPro uses user-generated content makes their advertisements seem more genuine. Consumers are able to create high quality videos and are even advertising the product themselves by sharing it online. In fact, the company more than doubled their income by saving money with user generated content. Instead of spending advertising money on video equipment, a director, and a cast they have one person do take their product, create content, and share it online.

GoProThen the company thought, since consumers are basically advertising for us, why not reward them for their work? So, they introduced GoPro Awards. Every week they would pick photographs from three different categories and the winners would receive $500.They also gave awards for video content in two different categories: $1,000 for unedited footage and $5,000 for edited footage. They created these categories so that amateurs would have a chance at winning money too. The winners of these awards have a chance at making even more money. If GoPro liked their content a lot and wanted to license it to ad agencies, the creator would receive some of that licensing money.

However, in November 2016, it was released that GoPro’s income dropped by 330% compared to the year before. They lost $84 million in three months and their stock dropped 15%. This, obviously, made a lot of their investors angry. Their CEO, Nick Woodman says the reason behind this wasn’t because they weren’t effectively advertising the product, it was because they were behind in production and couldn’t make enough GoPros to meet the demands of the consumers. See link below for more details.

After their large drop in income, GoPro created their first ever scripted TV ad. The purpose of this ad was to show people that with a GoPro you can be more “in the moment” on your adventures. We can all find ourselves hidden behind our phones while on vacations or hanging out with friends, and GoPro can help you to capture what is going on while enjoying it at the same time. But, it’s interesting that they tried to tell people to stop taking videos while taking a video. If the demand really was still high, why would they need to create this new scripted ad? See below for the ad.

I believe that user generated content effectively advertised this product at first. It was cool and exciting so see what you could all do yourself, but this soon wore off. I think that the main reason there was a downfall in 2016 was because there are many different products out there now that are cheaper and do the same thing. It seems that almost everyone has some kind of camera nowadays, so the novelty of a GoPro has worn off. Do you think that GoPro will be seeing any more success in their future, or has their time passed?

Zildjian Bartels

Hacking the President: Marketing Mr. Robot Season 2

When it comes to marketing, the internet as we know it today has brought along countless possibilities. There are tons of different avenues to promote your new piece of content or new invention, outside of the traditional “Madison Avenue” route of the past. TV and movies are limited only by the creativity of the teams assigned to market a specific piece of media. With USA’s Mr. Robot, the marketers had to think of ways to get viewers new and old to tune in to its premiere in July of 2016. The shows technical subject matter allowed for a clear theme to push the marketing in a good direction. Here are the top assets used in the marketing and promotions leading up to Mr. Robot Season 2.

mr. robot

The first thing to consider is the show’s background. Mr Robot is a drama thriller and premiered on USA Network in June of 2015 The show is centered around the main character, Elliot Alderson and his involvement with E Corp. Elliot, who is played by Rami Malek, is a cybersecurity engineer at E Corp, but is also a hacker when he is away from work. He suffers from social anxiety and depression. The show’s marketing for season 2 was centered around technology, which makes sense given the shows subject matter. The marketing was also trying to bring Fsociety, the hacker group from the show, to life outside of Mr. Robot.

The first marketing event that happened leading up to season 2 was the claim that USA Network was hacked and the first episode of season two was leaked online. It was released on Snapchat, Twitter and even YouTube. It was later even seen on USA Networks on website, revealing that it may have been an inside job. Fsociety claimed to be the source of the leak, claiming “You deserve something new, something unexpected, something you’ve never seen before.” The episode was taken down soon after the it was “leaked” on several platforms.

mr. robotThe next big marketing ploy helped bring Fsociety to life even more. The group began doing its own live streams in July 2016, before the season premiere. They were done in thirteen different countries and teased bits and pieces of the first episode as part of the stream.

The last big tactic used by the marketing team behind Mr. Robot was the inclusion of President Obama in the show. The President is seen holding a press conference, in which he discusses Fsociety. The video was created with the help of visual effects, as well as the use of an Obama impersonator.

The marketing campaign was a success, with over 110,000 tweets surrounding the premiere. 35,000 of them were seen before the premiere, associated with excitement and anticipation of the upcoming season. The rest came after the premiere, with a total of 30% showing the excitement and anticipation for the next episodes

Chris Dummer

Moana: Disney’s Venture into New Seas, You’re Welcome?

Moana is a Maori and Hawaiian word that roughly translates to “ocean, wide expanse of water, or deep sea.” (behindthename.com). Leave it to Disney to take this translation literally and produce a marketing campaign that was equally expansive and in a sense, deep.

MoanaMoana is Disney’s latest animated feature film to come out riding strong on the so called “Frozen wave” established with the release and success of Frozen in 2013. To ensure this success, the official trailer stated that Moana was “from the creators of Frozen” to provide a credible base for the film to stand on with viewers.

Disney used a variety of marketing tactics from the traditional to pushing the boundaries of what is new. The few that I will be discussing in this post are the traditional posters, trailers, and television spots along with the new Weather Channel backgrounds and full out vessel takeovers. Much like with Tangled, this campaign had a more boy-friendly feel to it. It was filled with more action clips than a more traditional Disney campaign would include.

Firstly, it would not be a marketing campaign without trailers and posters to constantly remind us that the movie is coming. Moana had several posters created to show off the main characters, the setting, and intrigue the audience about the plot line to be followed. In addition to this, a teaser and full official trailer were created to further intrigue audiences about the film.

The recent Olympics in Rio De Janeiro also gave Disney a unique opportunity for this campaign. What better time to advertise then when it’s quite possible the whole world could be watching? Granted it most likely aired in specific markets, but there were still high volumes of audiences. Thus, producing an extended promo was a good call on the part of Disney to ensure maximum exposure with relevant audiences.

Moving on now to the newer and more unique marketing strategies that Disney perused; starting with its frequent marketing partner, The Weather Company. What this company does is offer geotargeted promotions through its Weather Channel App. These appear in the form of branded backgrounds on the current weather screens of its users.

While other movies have used these branded backgrounds, such as The Penguins of Madagascar in 2014 produced by DreamWorks Animation, Moana was the first to use the new animated backgrounds. The backgrounds that users saw were based on the current weather conditions in their area. The branded backgrounds mimicked those conditions and subtly brought them to life.

There is one shortcoming that I can see with this campaign thus far; it was only available in select markets within the U.S. For a complete list of these cities and markets and more information about these branded backgrounds, click here.

One more element was incorporated within this app to appeal to the consumer desire for convenience. The app allowed users to purchase tickets to Moana at local theaters through a specialized website: Moanatickets.com.

A new adventure that Disney took on across the pond, in the UK, was turning an MBNA Thames Clippers’ catamaran into a Polynesian Wayfinder vessel. Thames Clippers provide river bus and cruise services on the Thames River in London. This was MBNA’s first partnership with Disney and with any company on a theatrical release for that matter. The goal was to immerse the customers in the movie and make them inclined to see it.

Perhaps saving their best promotional tool for last at the annual D23 Conference, Disney brought out the big guns to talk about the movie: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who voices Maui in the film. It may come as a surprise, but The Rock can sing ladies and gentlemen. If you haven’t heard his song yet, please watch it below. It will hook you and have you singing for a while. Which leads me to my next and final point.

Marketing and promotion for this film extends beyond everything done before the movie’s release date. Disney has several of its own official YouTube channels, one of which is called DisneyMusicVEVO. Often these channels contain the songs and most popular clips from the animated films.

This serves as a marketing tool in two ways: one to lure new viewers into the theaters by hearing about such songs either from word-of-mouth or by stumbling across the videos. Two to catch repeat viewers who see the video and realize how much they liked the movie and return to see it again.

Disney has produced an impressive campaign to market Moana to a diverse set of audiences, while also returning to its core demographic of young females as it is a female-centric film. Personally, I have not seen the film, but am intrigued to do so since “Your Welcome” has been playing on my computer for multiple weeks now. If you are curious as to how well this campaign translated into dollars for Disney on opening weekend, click here.

What are your thoughts about the movie in general? What aspects, if any, of this campaign drew you in to see the movie? Do you think that Disney went too far in its campaign by taking over a tourist vessel or was it simply a genius marketing move on their part? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Piper Davis

Overwatch: The Next Team Fortress 2?

“It’s high noon,” is a quote by McCree who is one of my favorite characters from Overwatch. Blizzard released the game Overwatch last year and it was met with raving success. Overwatch has had stunning marketing results, but will Overwatch become a trend in the near future?

OverwatchCelebrity Terry Crews recently did a video that came out this month. He did a mock audition for Overwatch character Doomfist. People are still playing Overwatch if Terry Crews just did an endorsement deal for Blizzard right?

According to Direct Marketing News Perry Simpson, he listed five reasons Overwatch worked well: brand integrity, powerful influencers, high accessibility, UGC (user-generated content), and a high-quality product.

However, the Gamespulp website reported that Overwatch is slowing down. The website claimed that the characters are part of the reason why the game is not doing so well. The website also stated that there’s no unlocks and loot boxes don’t count. Finally, you already have unlocked all the characters and abilities. What else?

Well, in all fairness, Overwatch currently has around 20 million players according to IGN along with an almost perfect review. Blizzard made a really good game here. So why people think that a game like this be slowing down? One word: trend.

A trend is a popular style that lasts for a brief period in time. Trends usually do not last more than a year. A good example of a trend that has lasted is the word ‘cool.’ So, does that mean that Overwatch is a terrible game? No. Of course not. It’s just that some (including myself) see this game as a trend. I haven’t played Overwatch in months now and I don’t really want to.

Overwatch is like World of Warcraft or Runescape. There is a dedicated, loyal fan base for these games, but it is like a trend. World of Warcraft has gained subscribers, but has lost many subscribers over the years.

Overwatch is a fun game to play however and with twenty-two characters to choose from. A good variety of maps, weapons, abilities, and unique character’s backstories. The game is multiplayer only which might be a reason why this game is slowing down. How would a single player campaign work? I’m not sure.

What can Blizzard do since Overwatch is kinda-of looked at as being a trend? Well, Blizzard could patch the game, maybe add new maps, add new characters, and perhaps a single player campaign. Will they do this? Again, I’m not sure.

Other than Overwatch being rumored as a trend, I want to look more in-depth of the game’s marketing. Let’s compare Valve’s Team Fortress 2 to Overwatch due to the similarities. Overwatch seems to have a similar art style, character style, and general map rotation.

According to PCGamesN, Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s game director expressed his thoughts on the Team Fortress 2 comparison from a fan’s question during Blizzcon. He said, “Team Fortress 2 is one of my favorite games of all time, but we’re going in a different design direction than they are. If people want to compare Overwatch to Team Fortress 2, we would take that as the world’s greatest compliment,” said Kaplan.

Sure, Overwatch is not a complete copy of Team Fortress 2, but there are many similarities. Not to mention how Valve marketed Team Fortress 2. For example, Valve marketed and showed off Team Fortress 2 characters just like Overwatch. They made one video for each of their characters.

Blizzard has even reached out to a popular film channel on YouTube known as RocketJump formerly known as FreddieW. The video came out October 2016. They advertised Heroes of the Storm more, but they do have Overwatch character Tracer in it. It sounds like Blizzard is still trying to keep Overwatch relevant.

What are your thoughts on Overwatch? Do you think Blizzard implemented a marketing genius game or will people lose interest in this game very soon? Tell me in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post with your friends. Thank you!

Kyle Konigsmark

10 Cloverfield Lane: Infecting Fans with Viral Marketing

10 Cloverfield Lane and its predecessor, Cloverfield became cult favorites not only because of the films themselves, but in large part due to the mystery and speculation that accumulated around their respective viral marketing campaigns. Cloverfield of course wasn’t the first film to utilize viral marketing as a way of generating buzz (most people would likely point to The Blair Witch Project for that title), but it’s fair to say that the marketing for the original Cloverfield perfected the strategy.

The first teaser trailer for what would eventually be known as Cloverfield was shown in front of screenings of the first Transformers film. The trailer didn’t even include the title of the film, only a release date. From there, the mysterious journey began. Interested fans soon unearthed several websites connected to the release date and other details from the trailer (none of which can be linked to currently because most were running on an outdated version of flash which is no longer supported by almost all computers.)

Once these websites were discovered and decoded, word spread to various film blogs, news, and entertainment sites. The intrigue around this project grew and grew up until the day it was released. Eventually, the first Cloverfield was produced on a $25 Million budget, and made $170 Million at the box office worldwide.

The first teaser for 10 Cloverfield Lane was released during the super bowl in February of 2016, with a release date showing the film was going to come out only one month later. With its connection to the original Cloverfield, fans of the film knew there was more to the story. They unearthed an official full trailer as well as an electronic correspondence between two of the film’s characters. All of this immense detail was revealed without ruining anything regarding the plot of the film itself. 10 Cloverfield Lane went on to earn $108 Million at the box office on a $15 Million budget.

Utilizing a strategy of viral marketing on the first Cloverfield was an extremely risky move. Cloverfield wasn’t an established brand and had no recognition whatsoever. There was no guarantee viewers would find, or even be interested in finding, the secret websites set up to advertise the film, however both of these films were great successes. Why? J.J. Abrams famously describes his method of storytelling as the “mystery box” where the filmmaker keeps as many elements as secret as he or she can so as to amaze the audience when the mystery is finally revealed. Creating a campaign of viral marketing around a film or other piece of media made with this “mystery box” mentality brings viewers deeper into the mystery itself, often revealing more questions than answers. This makes viewers invested in the story and the film before it’s even released, virtually guaranteeing that their interest will translate into ticket sales.

Cloverfield

We’ve seen since the late 90s that viral marketing can be a great way to cheaply create buzz and excitement around a low budget film through word of mouth and free publicity. With its intricate and interconnected branches of its marketing strategy, Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield perfected the art of essentially spending as little money as possible for the greatest reward.

Olivia Guns