Tag Archives: measurable

Office Pools – the epitome of compelling, measurable engagement

It’s been said that U.S. employers lose an estimated $1.8 billion in productivity during March Madness.  What is it about office pools that not only drives employees to spend so much time planning, watching, and discussing, but also drives employers to look the other way?

Whether it’s “March Madness,” college football bowl pools, or even the weekly football pick ’em, office pools are a compelling form of entertainment that provides an office common ground in a friendly, competitive environment.

The days of copying a sheet of paper and turning it in to the office pool manager have succumbed to the digital age.  One only has to type ”office pool” into Google to see page upon page of office pool variations with free and pay-to-play websites and software.  Many of these websites and software provide tips and post-pick analytics in real time, so that everyone can see the results and how they rank against the competition.

It’s a time when the office sports geeks and sports agnostics are on the same wavelength, as employees become more engaged with one another.  Water-cooler talk turns from gossip to last night’s upset and today’s Cinderella.

Maybe employers look the other way because it’s an easy way to improve employee morale, or maybe it’s just because they’re in on the action, too.  Regardless, it’s easy to see why something as compelling, measurable, and engaging as office pools continue in the work environment.

With that, feel free to join us in some compelling, measurable engagement by participating in the 2010 Kilgannon College Bowl Pool.  It’s free to play, and you could win a gift card.

— Gary Sayers, VP, Account Director

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Filed under advertising, Compelling, Engagement, Measurement

Notes from school: Your ad here.

I’m not sure whether this classifies as breakthrough media or just a bad idea, but a school district in Salem, MA will soon be putting ads on the back of written communications sent home from schools. Notices, reminders, and permission slips will feature business card-size ads – ten per sheet. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given the state of the economy. And for education systems that are already underfunded, some are taking matters into their own hands.

I wish I could say they are the first public service that has done this, but others have been implementing similar tactics for some time. Take the Georgia Department of Transportation, for instance. Its Highway Emergency Response Operator (H.E.R.O.) trucks, uniforms, and signs have been sporting State Farm logos for over a year now. The sponsorship brings $1.7 million per year for the next three years to the D.O.T. To citizens, this smacks of a government sellout. To the government agency fighting budget deficits, it’s another revenue stream. To the advertiser, it’s a savvy business decision (and a pretty smart one, I might add).

As a parent, I was a bit miffed at the notion of using children as advertising mules and turning personal moments of communication into opportunities to sell tires or spa treatments. Somehow when the D.O.T. aligns with an insurance company, it makes perfect sense, but when we’re talking about our schools, it just seems wrong. I know, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to debate such things. Public institutions would stay independent of businesses. But I also know that times have changed, and money is tight.

Setting my personal feelings aside, I also have to wonder if this is even a good idea for the advertisers in this scenario. For $300, you can have the opportunity to promote your company among nine other companies, thereby transforming your child’s permission slip into one of those ad shoppers you get in the mail every week. I don’t know about anybody else, but I throw those things away most of the time without looking at them.

Will the ad even be seen amongst the clutter contained on a letter-size sheet of paper? Will the ad be a boon to your business, or will it have a negative impact on people’s perceptions of it? One may never know until the damage is done.

Maybe if the ads and advertisers have some tie to education, and there were some incentives, like discounts on school-related stuff, it would make the whole situation palatable as well as useful to its recipients. At least it would make more sense to me.

Whether these efforts are an effective and compelling way of engaging a consumer or a complete disaster is yet to be seen. Only time will tell. In the meantime, school administrators are still developing guidelines for this program. They are planning to test it in the elementary schools first and then eventually roll it out system wide, if all goes well.

What do you think? Would you give the program an A for effort or an F for going too far?

— Kurt Miller, Associate Creative Director

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How engagement can fall short

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone; the world is changing. People are receiving up-to-the-minute information as news is happening, rather than wait for the 6 o’clock news. News stations (CNN, MSNBC, Fox News) report updates on their websites, and Facebook and Twitter posts have become the definition of “current” events. As technology continues to develop, advertising, too, must learn to reach audiences in new, compelling, and engaging ways.

The digital age is upon us, and with it comes more ways to reach audiences than ever before.  Today, audiences are targeted through social media sites, online banners, search engine optimization, and limited online TV commercials. Even though advertisers have many more venues to reach new customers than ever before, it’s a stretch for some of these media to have a discernable impact. But I came across one such campaign that was so compelling, I had to share it with everyone I could.

This campaign was intriguing, interactive, and engaging enough that I wanted to continue “playing” with it long after my first video finished. But after five minutes, could you tell me what the brand was? You may recognize the product and what it can do, but do you know the brand? (The answer is Tipp-Ex, a brand of correction fluid, owned by BIC, better known in Europe). While the concept of this campaign is incredibly strong, the execution fell just a bit short of turning an engaged audience into a new supply of consumers. And, after all, isn’t the end goal of advertising to sell products?

Here are three steps that Tipp-Ex missed that could have turned the compelling, engaging campaign into one with positive, measurable results:

  1. Continue using the product. Clearly, there are many videos that Tipp-Ex produced for this campaign. Allowing me to “use” the product in order to create a new blank would have had me interacting with the product directly. Repetition would have made me recall the brand next time I’m ordering supplies.
  2. A link to the website. There are more than 6.8 million views (at the time of this posting) to this video, but not a single clickable link to their site. Can you imagine what 6.8 million views would have looked like had they been allowed to visit a microsite or landing page? Then, Tipp-Ex would have had a targeted, active audience on THEIR site, and not just some YouTube link.
  3. A call to action. While I enjoyed interacting with the videos of this campaign, once I was done, I was done. The campaign did not provide an opportunity for me to further my involvement with the brand by offering a call to action. A simple coupon (on this yet-to-be-executed website) that could be printed and taken into any office supply retailer to be redeemed will have me asking for this brand by name next time I’m in need of correction tape.

With these three additional executions to the concept, uninterested Web surfers could have become interactive and engaged audiences and converted into measurable consumers, and perhaps loyal brand stewards.

— Jonathan Ginburg, Senior Account Executive

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Creative in the new age of measurement. It sure beats testing.

The digital age has added a new responsibility to the creative’s job. It used to be that we just had to be funny, smart, and on target. Now we have to be measurable, and we must create content with measurement in mind.

While this certainly sounds like an extra layer that can interfere with creating the best work possible, I’m actually for it when it’s employed correctly.  That’s right, a creative who’s for measurement.

Why in the heck would a creative embrace testing? Because now we can prove that the best creative is usually the most compelling and effective in the marketplace.

Back in the old days, creative measurement meant testing, and testing meant death by focus group. I’ve witnessed group dynamics ruin many perfectly good ideas.

Today, rather than spend their money on focus-group testing, a client can A/B test creative in the real world. And with the vastness of the digital space, clients can run with more than one idea and see which ones gain the most engagement.

Now, instead of reacting to what people say they will do in a monitored group situation, we actually know what they are doing and can react quickly with real-time information.

I see this as a boon for creative output and clients. Rather than argue about which creative is better, let’s put it to the test. I see this as an opportunity to produce more great work and prove its worth scientifically in the marketplace.

— Jimmy Gilmore, Senior Copywriter

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