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.

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When Consumers Pay for Advertising

September 30, 2008 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In my last entry, I posed the question, “would you mind seeing a logo all over your game if it were fun and free?” Many companies wonder about the answer to this question, too, as many “branded” mobile games are provided for free rather than for sale. This means that companies are pouring significant money into game development in hopes that consumers will take advantage of a free download and immerse themselves in the brand environment.

Some brands, though, have achieved the recognition and coolness factor required to charge for the brand experience. Think you would never pay to be advertised to? Let me ask you this: do you own a Harley-Davidson jacket? A LOST T-shirt? Companies do give away promotional items like John Deere caps and bank pens, but some companies have the brand clout to draw consumers in willingly. If you are ever in Atlanta and want to see a branding phenomenon, go to the New World of Coca-Cola Museum. Not only do people stand in line to pay admission – $15 for an adult – to be surrounded by Coca-Cola history and memorabilia for a couple of hours. Granted, there is the sample room, where you can enjoy limitless samples of Coke beverages from all over the world, including some unusual selections like mango fizz. What I really want you to notice, however, is the gift shop behavior. People pore over selections of Coke branded playing cards, picnic sets, clocks, and especially T-shirts, then shell out the money to take the brand home with them and display it for friends and family to see.

Other companies have succeeded in this brand fascination, too, such as Aflac, which in response to requests began selling stuffed ducks that quacked “Aflac” on its Web site. The proceeds – over $75,000 – went to a Children’s Cancer Center, while consumers all over North America played with plush brand quackers.

So how does a brand get to be so beloved? Are there any brands that could bring you to part with your money for more than just the product or service? Would you pay for an Aflac ringtone? Would you buy a Volkswagen Beetle T-shirt? Would you go pay admission to a Purina Pet Park? I’m eager to hear your opinions!

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