Who watches LOST? According to the advertisers…

January 22, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Lost owned three hours of ABC primetime last night and the attention of enough fans to give it a 5.0 rating among the 18-49 age group over the two hours of new programming. (The first hour, a recap with comments from the producers, snagged a fair 3.3 rating.) Between scenes of time-jumping islanders and the desperate Oceanic Six, marketers rushed to seduce the faithful fans with a total of 112 ads in three hours. While we may not know whether Jin is dead or alive, or who the white-haired woman is, we can figure out something a little bit less mysterious: what type of people do marketers think watches Lost?


Lost Cast – Season Five

Lost Cast – Season Five

The first revelation? Lost fans must drive, and mostly upscale cars. There were 15 automobile ads during the three hours, about 13% of the total. BMW and the Lincoln MKS made repeated appearances, but Mercedes-Benz ruled the night, with five spots plus special mention as sponsor of the preview of next week’s episode.

Mercedes-Benz GLK

Mercedes-Benz GLK

Next deduction? Lost fans go to the movies! Eleven movie ads tried to entice the audience to head to the nearest theater this weekend. The breakdown skewed heavily toward the horror and action genres, with slim representation of mainstream drama.

Third, Lost fans would rather pick up food and bring it home than cook, judging from the abundance of Domino’s, Little Caesars, and Quiznos ads. The Olive Garden made a couple of appearances, as did Stouffers, so apparently marketers think Lost fans don’t spend much time in the kitchen. Maybe they’re too busy watching Lost and trying to figure it all out?

Other trends in the advertising indicate that Lost watchers use cell phones and are concerned about the safety of their banks. Hmmm, no real segmentation there! One last observation: if the pharmaceutical ads are to be believed, then Lost fans are arthritic women suffering from sinusitis and depression and uninterested in becoming pregnant. Or maybe they are just influencers of such people. Who knows? At any rate, it’s nice to see that Lost is in no danger of losing its ad support.


Change-up in Headless Ads

January 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The pharmaceutical industry sometimes presents us with some pretty strange approaches to communicating medical messages. When it comes to strange, though, you’ve really got to take your hat off – or maybe your whole head off – to the latest migraine medicine campaign from Treximet. 

Have you seen the TV spots? (Click here if you haven’t; as of this writing the first version is still showing on the brand’s Web site.) Think they’re creepy? Apparently some others do, too. Today I noticed that altered ads are airing; now instead of looking so realistic, there is a torn paper effect, as if the person were appearing on a two-dimensional sheet of paper and just the part with the head on it was torn out. No less creepy, in my opinion, because the person is still in motion, which implies life. Still, a change like this is costly, so the brand managers probably have some evidence to show that part of the target audience is being seriously turned off by the original ads.

Is it possible that the original ads were produced and aired with insufficient research into the target audience? If that was the problem, then was there possibly time to conduct tests on the new, “improved” spots? Or has Treximet rushed to tear out a bandage for the problem without making sure that the changes are heading the same direction that the audience would drive them?

It will be interesting to see the future of this campaign and this brand.

Brand Profile – Dunkin’ Donuts

January 5, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The yummy brand with the retro colors has IMC practices that are anything but retro. While maintaining its commitment to the comfort snack base of its business, Dunkin’ Donuts has added some “better-for-you” options to its menu, in keeping with current health interests.

Egg White Veggie Flatbread Sandwich

Egg White Veggie Flatbread Sandwich

At the same time, Dunkin’ has updated its mar-com strategies to incorporate emerging media such as Twitter and YouTube. Brand Marketing Officer Frances Allen will be speaking at the 2009 Annual Integrated Marketing Conference on how Dunkin’ Donuts took on Starbucks in the coffee wars of 2008. The company’s new “You Kin’ Do It!” campaign for 2009 will incorporate just about every possible medium from network television to outdoor to special events to online and beyond, according to Allen. All communications will play on the “Kin’ Do” phrase as part of the Dunkin’ Donuts name and will emphasize the positive message that “encapsulates the spirit of Dunkin’ Donuts and the brand’s understanding of what everyday folks need to keep themselves and the country running.” If executed well, this message could find a great reception among America’s battered work force, reminding those who feel unappreciated by their employers to reward themselves with coffee and a baked goodie from the local Dunkin’ Donuts.

On the other hand, the hick factor of “kin'” in “Kin’ Do” may prove to be a turnoff among the target audience. As a concept, the line is clever but risky. The company is investing over $100 million in the campaign, but I say execution will determine its success or failure. Make your predictions here! Check out this ad and comment here. What do you think will happen? 

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