Tag Archives: Advertising

Nintendo is Switching Things Up: But How Effective is the Switch?

What’s all this commotion about a “Nintendo Switch?” If you live under a rock and haven’t heard yet, the Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s new gaming console that is both a home console and portable gaming system hybrid, allowing gamers to play games in their homes and on the go.

“Nintendo’s innovative new console lives up to the hype,” according to many websites like Vice. And they’re not wrong. Just look at the first few minutes of Nintendo Switch’s Presentation Reveal! Can you feel all that hype through all those lights, sound and that countdown?

Why is there such a hype for Nintendo’s console in the first place? Nintendo is a strong brand and has a strong fan base. Nintendo has captured the hearts of many gamers from the Nintendo 64, to the Wii, along with many of their iconic IP characters such as Mario and Link. No wonder the Switch looks successful even before its official launch!

There were many rumors about the Nintendo Switch before the official reveal. While that could be bad for the company, one wonders if those leaks were intentional. It certainly helped enhance the already existing hype for the new console. And the rumors were very detailed, stating before any crucial information about the console was officially revealed that it would be a hybrid console.

While the Wii may have been a huge success for Nintendo, its advertising campaign…wasn’t that great. And don’t let me get started on its successor, the Wii U. Even the name of the console itself wasn’t the best.

Nintendo needed to switch things up. Which is why the Switch is so perfect. It’s innovative and what the consumers want! Plus, the product itself works well, many who have already gotten the chance to hold a Switch have stated that it just feels right.

The name itself is clever and works brilliantly. It’s catchy and tells the consumer what the product is all about: switching up the gameplay. Even their advertisement as well as the Switch short animation logo are quick, simple, effective & catchy. You won’t be able to have that little animation and click sound out of your head.

The Campaign Switch!

Nintendo SwitchThe Switch’s campaign itself was fairly simple. It started out with a system reveal trailer that clearly shows what this new gaming system is all about. However, it is missing commentary and other key information such as an official game lineup and release date. The missing information may have been also used to enhance the already high hype surrounding this console.

This trailer was followed a few months later by an official one hour long Nintendo Switch Presentation which aired and was streamed worldwide live. In it, Nintendo officials showed off and explained various features and games that will be coming out the Nintendo Switch.

Many ads were also released afterwards, as well as some airing during the key time frame for American audiences: The Super bowl. Nintendo also uses a lot of social media, especially twitter to let their fans know when and how new information about the new console will be released.

The ads themselves are also well done. They aren’t too confusing, showing what the product is and its potential.

Switch up the timeline?

The most confusing aspect of Switch’s campaign, is it timeline. Why all the wait? Why was the NX (Nintendo’s Switch working title) not revealed at E3 (a summer gaming convention, known for its gaming consoles and games reveals)? Why was the Switch revealed by a short trailer with no commentary and followed with no new information for months until the presentation?

While many people argue that this is a failure of the Switch’s campaign, I see more potential in its reasoning behind it. I believe this timeline was intentional to add even more hype to the console. Since the console was surrounded by a lot of mystery and many fans, this wait made them even more excited and curious for this console. Even when rumors started surfacing that Nintendo wasn’t going to be able to make a console by March 2017 (since there was no new information regarding the console officially from Nintendo for a long time) and that the NX was already dead, everyone was getting their wallets out, excitingly waiting for any new information they could get. Carefully teasing, one by one its fans, Nintendo found a new and innovate way to hype up their new product before its launch!

The Overall Switch?

Overall the Nintendo Switch has a very effective campaign. The product itself works, its ads are simple and clear and the console is living off its hype. What about you? What do you think? Are you excited for Nintendo’s new console? Do you plan on getting it on its release, March 3 2017? Do you plan on getting it in the future? Do you think it will succeed or is it getting to much hype and will come crashing down as a disappointment?

Clara Tosi

A Marketing Campaign as Convoluted as the Plot of the Game

The Metal Gear franchise has a storied history over the past thirty years. The first release was in 1987 that redefined and created an entirely new genre of video game. The creator of this series is Hideo Kojima and he is well known for his convoluted story arcs as well as character development. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released in September of 2015 and is the most recent addition to join the modern console series since 2008 when Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was released.

Metal Gear

In December of 2012 a trailer for a game called “The Phantom Pain” was released, featuring a fake game development studio brand named Moby Dick Studios. This sparked a keen amount of interest in this game that had essentially shown off a spectacularly crafted world but no one had heard of these developers before.

Metal GearIn March of 2013 an interview was arranged between a game journalist and the CEO of Moby Dick Studios. The journalist arrived to the interview to find a man dressed in bandages over his face. His name was Joakim Mogren, and he bore a striking resemblance to one of the characters in the trailer. Joakim refused to answer any of the journalist’s questions but he did reveal that there would be a more official announcement later that month, and he showed some photos from the game indicating that it would be running on the Fox engine.

This interview had a number of journalists speculating as to what exactly happened and how strange the interaction was. Later that month the official announcement was made at the Game Developers Conference. It was unveiled by Hideo Kojima himself with a terrifying mask dressed in bandages similar to Joakim. Hideo announced MGSV: The Phantom Pain and the community surrounding the MGS series rejoiced as they eagerly began to speculate on the events leading up to and during the game’s storyline.

Metal Gear

When the release date for MGSV was announced, they also unveiled a skimpily dressed character design for Quiet which caused a fair amount of controversy. When pressed about this, Kojima mentioned that when the game was released people would regret their assumption that she was just a sex object. But in my opinion this has yet to be seen. However, the controversy more than likely helped the game’s presence in social media and increased their visibility.

Metal Gear So, the marketing team for MGSV had to rekindle the community it had once garnished with gamers to raise awareness of the upcoming release. To do this they released a playable teaser type of game that was retailed for full price in 2014 called MGSV: Ground Zeroes. In my opinion this was a very intelligent thing to do, because not only were they able to create a product that hints at a later release. But it also gauged interest and people’s willingness to purchase a full priced game that wasn’t a complete product.

Another fairly clever aspect of MGSV: Ground Zeroes is that the game is almost entirely packed with easter eggs of self-referential content as well as a huge amount of fan service that was definitely appreciated. One specific mission in the game has you pointing a special sort of flashlight at logos of Kojima Productions as well as the various titles of games that have been made in the Metal Gear franchise.

When you point your flashlight at these titles or logos a voice will say something along the lines of “this one’s not very special” or “nice job, that’s another one” depending on whether Hideo Kojima himself worked on the game. If you find all of the relevant titles Hideo Kojima himself will speak and assume that you’ve got extensive knowledge of the series. Then he will thank the player for their knowledge of the series and their support throughout the years.

Metal GearThe amount of time that this campaign took to painstakingly create some semblance of news throughout a course of 3 years is astonishing. The constant trickle of tidbits kept the fans of the series speculating and the critically acclaimed reviews of the game helped with the recommendations through word of mouth. The game itself cost $80 million to create and on the initial release date $179 million were made and a total of 6 million units had been sold in the following months. All in all, I would say that the campaign was outlandish, counterintuitive and at times completely absurd but that’s just what fans come to expect from Hideo Kojima.

Brigham Swanson

Pizzaslime: New Wave of Hip-Hop Marketing

If you’ve been on social media within the past year, you have seen the many challenges that start trending. Your friends, coworkers, and family members all start sharing the same video and it shows up on your feed about 50 different times yet, you still manage to watch it because there’s always a new variation to the challenge.

Mannequin Challenge

Since the fall of 2016, people have been involved in a challenge and weren’t even fully aware of it.

It all started with the infamous mannequin challenge. In early October, a group of students from Edward E. White High School in Jacksonville, Florida decided to pose like mannequins in awkward poses while one person walked around them and filmed the entire outcome.

Even though just about everyone has seen and/or participated in this challenge, nobody hopped onto the trend until one particular group popularized it with the help of one new marketing company.

Rae Sremmurd’s album, SremmLife 2, dropped in August of 2016 but only sold 27,000 copies compared to the 49,000 their previous album. However, in November, SremmLife 2 went from basically forgotten, to jumping 126 percent in album sales, and rising to #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart.

Rae Sremmurd was able to rise in the charts and popularize the mannequin challenge by teaming up with a company by the name of Pizzaslime.

In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, Pizzaslime owners Stoveman and Hobin, talked about how they teamed up with their friend Gunner Safron at Interscope records. Safron needed a marketing plan for the rap duo. They needed a nontraditional method to promote Sremmurd’s album and only had a month to do so.

Pizzaslime had seen the mannequin challenge gaining traction on Twitter and knew they should aim to use that for their marketing strategy. Sremmurd members Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi decided to do the challenge that evening at their concert with all of the audience. Except, for their version they used their song Black Beatles as background music.

Once they posted the giant concert challenge online, the mannequin challenge took social media by storm. Black Beatles instantly became the most recognizable and most played song of the moment, and SremmLife 2 went from an album flop to the top.

Pizzaslime’s success with Rae Sremmurd prompted another Interscope partnership, but this time it was with Kodak Black.

Kodak Black released his song “Everything 1K” in June of 2016. However, the current most unpopular, popular, person on the internet, Danielle Bregoli, decided to put out a clothing line. During her clothing line photo shoot, the director needed Bergoli to bring more energy to the shots. In order to do bring that energy, they played one of her favorite songs, Everything 1K.

The song helped bring so much energy, they filmed a quick music video starring Bergoli. Her team sent that to Kodak Black’s team who decided to use that as an unofficial video for the time being.

Pizzaslime was part of that team that received the video. They put their name on the title credits and this is the first time we actually saw the company’s name on something.

Everything 1K instantly started jumping the charts eight months after the initial release date. The video has reached over 12 million views on YouTube and continues to rise.

Pizzaslime has capitalized on social media trends in order to promote artists, songs and albums. Songs that were basically nowhere on people’s radars, have become instant chart toppers.

It’s just a matter of time before other companies and record labels start incorporating similar tactics to get more sales.

What do you think about this new style of music marketing? Will it stick around or is it just a fad?

Kaila Pacheco

Is That a Video, or am I Tripping?: Cinemagraphs are the Next Big Thing

No you are not tripping. Well maybe you are. But what you are actually seeing is not a video, nor is it a picture. It is a cinemagraph. A cinemagraph is a little of both. It is basically a video that is partially frozen so, while parts of it are in motion, the rest is still. While I can go into great detail about the technicalities of this new art form I will be focusing on the marketing and advertising aspect of this new, engaging medium.

Cinemagraphs are perfect for capturing a quick moment of action that can be looped over and over. Though cinemagraphs have been around for a few years, they are just making a big hit in forms of advertising and branding. They are very popular on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram where users are often times overloaded with content. A cinemagraph is a way to stick out in a sea of content. Because of their automatic play and short loop they are easy to consume and hard to ignore.

cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs can be used to create suspense

We are used to seeing photos or videos and often times our minds subconsciously skip over content we know already and by playing a trick on the mind consumers are easily attracted to this new concept. In my digital advertising class we learned about how eye tracking is giving us more knowledge on how people are consuming media. We learned that banner ads are no longer effective because eye tracking research shows that people’s gaze are going directly from the url and AROUND the banner ad to continue reading an article. While I am not able to provide data for eye tracking research on cinemagraphs, it is something that would be interesting to see.

Because of their low production costs, they are great for campaigns and marketing strategies. These are not to be mistaken for a GIF. A GIF is a low quality file and is created for entertainment and humour. There is also no aesthetics to a GIF while cinemagraphs focus more on creativity and art. A cinemagraph also creates an illusion and gets people to stop and stare. That extra five seconds of looking may not sound like a lot but in today’s world marketers and advertisers five seconds is a big deal. Like I said, they are the next big thing.

cinemagraphs house of cards
House of Cards Cinemagraph Campaign

Brands are starting to take note of this new medium to create a new form of storytelling. TV shows like House of Cards are also paying attention. Recently they just promoted a new campaign consisting of cinemagraphs to create hype for their upcoming season. More from their campaign can be found here on their tumblr site. For other examples of brands incorporating cinemagraphs into their social media campaigns check out this article from ADWEEK.

Let’s look at the benefits of cinemagraphs.

  • A new form of engaging advertising
  • Form of media that gets people’s attention
  • Cheap production costs
  • A new trend that is just beginning to take off
  • Creates higher click rate on social media sites
  • THEY’RE  F****** AWESOME!

Ad Age also recently posted a blog talking about the impacts cinemagraphs are making as well as giving some social media statistics. So now that you know a little more about this new art form you are probably going to start googling cinemagraphs, am I right? To make things simpler I am including a hyperlink to Flixel which is a program used by professionals to create visually stunning cinemagraphs. If you know After Effects or Photoshop you can even make your own. These are great for startups and bloggers to get more traffic to their site and make a little more noise in the loud advertising environment we live in.

Josh Berendes

BOOM! Storming The Beach of Advertising

Taking on an advertising campaign is like storming a beach with no clue what you will find once you land. Boom Beach, a mobile game, literally stormed the world with its large and successful advertising campaign. From showing in-game play to humorous stories and scenarios, Boom Beach and its creator Supercell, has really shown the mobile gaming world that they know how to conquer the island of mobile advertising.

Boom Beach

Boom Beach is a mobile game distributed through the App Store and the Google Play Store. Boom Beach is a free app which was released on November 11th, 2013 and was created by the company Supercell. Boom Beach is a strategy game where users invade other user’s islands and computer generated islands. Players use their island set in a tropical archipelago to defend their treasures and attack others to gain more. The main objective is to control islands that the Blackguard has taken over and defend from their attacks. Users grown their island and get better by upgrading their troops and defenses. The game uses different currencies in the game to allow upgrades but uses diamonds as a special currency that users can purchase through the game or gain for free in other ways.

(Boom Beach launch ad)

Boom Beach released their launch advertisement on March 28th of 2014. It showed game play the entire advertisement but it included people singing humorously to the background music. That ad now has over 1 million views on YouTube. Since then, Boom Beach has put out 16 official TV commercials and only 3 of those have under 1 million views on YouTube. Clearly Boom Beach and Supercell know what they are doing.

When it comes to the content of the commercials, most of them use humorous dialog that is simple and appeals to a lot of people. They refer to the user as HQ or headquarters. In my opinion, it makes the user feel very in control and gives them a sense of intelligence. They are the ones making the shot and they have to use their skills and strategy to win the island. Their tag line is ‘Come with a plan, or leave in defeat’ which really puts the pressure on the user to have a good strategy before attacking an island. In this commercial, they make fun of the user in a sense but also show the control they have.

Boom Beach’s campaign seems to have proven very successful. According to this YouTube blog post, Boom Beach’s most viewed ad on YouTube ranked at number 4 in 2015.

(Boom Beach’s most viewed and successful ad)

And according to MarketingLand.com, two of Boom Beach’s advertisements were number 8 and number 7 on their top advertisements of May in 2015. Boom Beach has been installed between 50,000,000 and 100,000,000 times from Google Play. Google Play and the App Store also have Boom Beach at a 4.5 rating out of 5. The App Store from Apple does not show numbers on how many times it has been installed.

It is pretty obvious that through their campaign they have peaked the interest of many consumers on the mobile platform. People want to see their ads even though they are silly cartoons and people want to play the game. I know from my experience that I feel a sense of accomplishment when taking over an island. I want to build my base and feel like I can make decisions in a simple game. Boom Beach has done an amazing job with attracting people and keeping them there as well.

If you have the chance to download Boom Beach and play it for a while, do it. Millions of people clearly enjoy it and I think you would too. They keep bringing people to their app every day and I think their advertisement campaign has done a lot to help it. Boom Beach definitely came with a plan and I don’t think they are leaving in defeat.

Do you think Boom Beach has had a successful campaign so far? Would you want to play Boom Beach? Do you play Boom Beach and if so what do you like or dislike the most?

Connor Kenney

From First Kiss To First Kid: ABC Family Goes Freeform

On January 12, 2016, ABC Family officially became Freeform. This change came as quite the shock to some, and normally when a network is rebranding, it is because they are failing. But, this was not the case. Despite the rebranding and change of unmistakable name, that was announced early October of 2015, the same television shows would be aired. They will even keep their 25 Days of Christmas, Harry Potter Marathons, and Disney movie showings. Apparently this evolution of the network had been in the works for 10-12 years, according to network President, Tom Asheim, and the only thing left was to drop the name that the network had outgrown.

Free Form

So the big question is why change? ABC Family’s viewing demographic was changing and the main audience attracted was no longer those looking for the family-friendly show that the network had been so well known for. Over the past decade, the shows had been beginning to shift towards more teen and young adult content, which is part of the evolution that had been going on mentioned earlier. ABC Family decided to capitalize on the large group of millennials that make up a large part of television viewers in the country. The network’s core audience is viewers ages 14-34, which is an approximated 69 million people target audience. Can you say “Cha-ching”?

When rebranding, the network wanted to follow this huge market and keep up with the millennials as they grow older. They wanted for the network to move past this traditional family viewing and towards its target market of “Becomers”. These “Becomers” are people ages high school to thirty’s, who are asking themselves “Who am I becoming?” They decided to coin this stage of life the “Becoming” stage and those going through it “Becomers”. It is important for them to reiterate that this is a stage of life and not a generation, because they want to follow their viewers from their “first kiss” to their “first kid”.

The network had three main goals for the new name. They, first, wanted to really promote this idea if “Becomers” and the stage of life represented with Freeform. Second, they needed to capitalize on the crossing over and overlap from multiple platforms such as the many social media sites that content is discussed on or the multiple mediums and devices that viewers can use to access and watch Freeform content. The last goal for them was to really make the viewers feel something, and hopefully they would make them feel something positive, such as spark this feeling of “Be you”, “Be Bold”, “Find Yourself”, and so on. This really dives into the meaning behind the word “Freeform” and having no boundaries and making life your own.

Free Form2Of course, the biggest issue for the network was going to be brand awareness. For such a recognizable name to be changed to something completely new and unrelated is a big risk. They jumped on top of the marketing campaign right after the announcement in October and ran promotional ads heavily until January 12, especially through the 25 Days of Christmas that attracts a lot of viewers. They also pushed the social channels really hard with a hashtag to connect with millennials and a Gorilla marketing campaign that used fans’ user generated content the promote the name change for them. People are more involved than just watching the shows they love, they immerse themselves in the atmosphere and community of fans of the show through social media and networking sites by sharing opinions and favorites about the show. The fans were able to describe what the word “Freeform” meant to them to help express the representation behind the new name and what it stands for. One thing they really had to stress to people was that the stuff they loved on ABC Family would still be there. And so far, it looks like the transition has been very successful and well received by viewers.

Free Form3The last thing I found very interesting about the change is to look back and see exactly how much the channel has changed even over just the past ten years. This promo video from 2006 really promotes the family oriented shows and the feelings the occur in the shows, some of which in the video shown are Lincoln Heights, Wildfire, Beautiful People, Gilmore Girls, Fallen, and Kyle XY. This promo video previewing what Freeform will be showing in 2016 focuses more on independence and young adult storylines. Some of the shows in this video are Shadowhunters, The Fosters, Baby Daddy, Recovery Road, Young and Hungry and Pretty Little Liars. The content of the shows and the storylines have indeed evolved over the years as their core audience has changed. The shift is not something that will stop the network, because they will continue to roll with the punches, go with the flow, or you know…be #Freeform.

Ali Holtz

Are You A Hero? An Analysis of GoPro’s Marketing Strategy

GoPro. A brand name that has been associated with some of the most intense videos that we’ve ever seen on social media and television. Why is GoPro considered to be one of the fastest growing camera companies in the world, and what has helped them become what they are today? The answer is simple: GoPro’s marketing strategy. In this post I will give a brief history and introduction to GoPro, what its marketing strategy is, whether or not its strategy is effective, and then end with a question of how its strategy could be altered and what that could mean for GoPro.

GoProIn 2002, Nick Woodman returned from a surfing trip in Australia where he was disappointed because he was unable to get the footage he wanted of the trip because the required equipment was expensive and not readily available to non-professionals. After building several prototypes of a camera that could satisfy his needs, Woodman released the first GoPro Hero based on the 35mm film camera in 2005. Only a year later the Digital GoPro Hero was released. Since then, GoPro has released several models, but its most recent model is the Hero 4 Black which is capable of 4K video at 30 frames per second.

So what makes GoPro’s marketing strategy so special compared to similar companies? Before we define why GoPro is so successful at marketing its products, we should look at one of their most recent advertisements. The advertisement below is their most recent ad and was shown during the Super Bowl this year.

This ad and many of its ads in the past have one thing in common: they were all constructed from User Generated Content. GoPro’s customers construct their ads for them by submitting videos of themselves using the product in the field. This is genius. On one hand you accomplish the task of “showing rather than telling” in regards to advertising the product and on the other hand you don’t have to coordinate a brainstorm session for your next commercial idea; users do it for you and all you have to do is pick your favorite videos.

GoProHowever, GoPro’s marketing strategy accomplishes more than just giving the production team producing these commercials a break, it sells the idea of personal heroism. With each GoPro ad we see, we begin to see that we are capable of capturing the interesting angles that we see in our favorite professional videos of extreme sports athletes. GoPro’s name and its slogan “be a hero” all connect back to the main theme of personal heroism by allowing the user to feel as if they are a professional.

GoPro pushes the limits of story-telling and engages its audience by celebrating the adventurers who use their products by featuring them in their videos online. GoPro showcases its favorite videos submitted by their customers on their YouTube channel, which has helped GoPro become one of the most successful brands on YouTube.

Because of GoPro’s connection with its customers on many social media platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) it is able to reinforce brand loyalty by creating the opportunity for a user’s content to be used to sell the product. This connection via its user-centered marketing strategy and a product that is customizable, has a compact design, and is user-friendly is what has allowed GoPro to become one of the most successful camera companies in history.

After looking at GoPro’s marketing strategy it is easy to why GoPro is so successful and why it is a perfect example how social media can create a strong brand identity. In addition to selling its products through User Generated Content, GoPro also markets its cameras by giving them to celebrities and professional athletes. What kind of promotional content do you think has a greater influence on the target audience: content created by the average person or content created by celebrities/athletes?

Kyle Stoutenberg

Just Brand It: Nike Does It Best

It’s a Saturday Morning in your favorite college town. You wake up, put on your socks, shorts, and favorite team’s jersey. You turn the TV onto ESPN’s College Game Day before putting on your jacket and heading out to tailgate. More than likely, your day has been consumed with one major brand. Nike is everywhere in our lives, whether it be the socks you wear or the commercials you see on TV. Nike has become a part of everyday life, especially if you have anything to do with the sporting world.

NikeNike Incorporated is a clothing, footwear, sportswear, and equipment supplier Originally based in the United States. It is the world’s leading supplier of athletic shoes and apparel. It’s headquartered are located near Beaverton, Oregon and has 44,00 employers world wide. Originally it was founded as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight on January 25, 1964.

Celebrity endorsements are huge in the sports clothing branding world. Nike uses stars like LeBron James and Tiger Woods for customers and children to look up to. Nike has Hundreds of millions of dollars poured into their celebrities to sport their brand within everything they do on and off the field or court. LeBron alone signed a lifetime $500 Million contract for the brand at the end of 2015.

Nike also uses inner laziness as the enemy, and challenges you to “Just Do It.” They brand themselves via platforms through social media, sports networks, and the sports teams themselves. When reaching the everyday person, Nike wants to make them feel like the best athlete they can be. And to be the best, they have to wear the best and get outside, and get fit.

NikeOne of Nike’s most recent advertising developments targets young adults. To promote the Nike SLAM brand, they presented “Nike Pictures” where they made a full short film following kids trying to figure out who their favorite NBA stars are by living with them. They showed 30 second commercials on television for two months, driving people to watch the entire film on the Nike Slam website.

Nike has come a long way since the 60’s. The Iconic Nike Swoosh can be found everywhere. By using information gathered through everyday experiences from their customers, Nike brands itself through heroism and finding an internal fear inside their customers. Though on the surface it seems like two opposite strategies of branding, it works enough to put them in the Forbes top brands in the country.

Austin Hansen