Tag Archives: research

Research for the Sake of Research

Call me old-fashioned, but when an industry group throws a spread to promote its latest research findings, shouldn’t one expect those findings to be insightful and revealing?

The Online Publisher’s Association (OPA) recently unveiled its “A Sense of Place: Why Environments Matter” study.  Some of the findings:

  • “A site’s content is strongly correlated with how its advertisers are perceived.”
  • “The more trusted, relevant, and timely the content, the greater the willingness to recommend the site to others.”
  • “The more reputable, relevant and respected are the advertised brands.” (Those brands that advertise on the site).

Not particularly surprising information, if I might opine.

Don’t environments matter in most everything we do? Doesn’t a restaurant with a pleasant ambience attract patrons to it? Don’t we want to live in a house that’s aesthetically pleasing? Or drive a car that looks nice?

Environments do matter…but, as trite as it may sound, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. If the food at the restaurant isn’t good, the patrons won’t return. If the house is a shambles inside, people won’t want to visit. And, although that car might be beautiful to look at, it may be uncomfortable to drive.

What I think the OPA was getting at was that online sites that offer both environment and content are the ones where its readers are more likely to have a higher regard for the site and for the advertisers who appear there. (Also inherent in all this is site navigability. A site with good content and an environment that a user finds difficult to navigate will affect the user’s perception of that site.)

But, isn’t that the way magazines have been positioning themselves for decades? Don’t advertisers put ads for certain products in editorial environments that will favorably reflect on them? Aren’t you known by the company you keep?  In an attempt to spur online ad sales, it seems like the OPA was stating the obvious.  But, environments and content have always mattered.

— Dave Capano, Director of Media Services

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Representing your brand; do your research

One of the more popular urban legends is how the Chevrolet  Nova sold poorly in Spanish-speaking countries because “no va,” in Spanish, literally translates to “it does not go.” Despite whether or not this story is true, or really just a legend, the moral behind the story is still as relevant as ever. Poor representation of your brand will greatly affect your sales.

I was not as disappointed with the commercials during the 2010 Super Bowl as in previous years. I commented on the smart ones, chuckled at the funny ones, and made fun of the ones that just fell flat. However, one that I believe has poorly represented its brand was Audi.

When I watched the “green” Audi commercial the first time, I thought it to be a smart approach — tackling the eco-friendly automobile industry. However, it wasn’t until the following Monday where I was reminded that the “green police” was another name for Hitler’s Police during World War II. The Green police were at the heart of numerous deportations, ghetto-clearing operations, and massacres.

So I watched it again. And perhaps I am being too sensitive, but I found it incredibly distasteful. The way the police showed up at the store arresting the consumer on the counter for choosing a plastic bag, or taking someone out of their home for using the wrong kind of light bulbs – all while having a re-recorded version of Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” as “Green Police” playing in the background. Was it not hypocritical to be wasting water by pouring it out of bottles simply because they were plastic? It just reminded me of the cruelty of the Nazis simply because they were in positions of power.

To make it even worse, Audi is a German company, owned by Volkswagen. I realize that the point wasn’t to make light of the Holocaust or even to try and emulate Hitler’s Police of the 1940s, but there is a much better way to portray your new eco-friendly, “green” automobile. How Audi approved such a concept is beyond me, but their ad agency should have done their research and been more sensitive.

All brands should be perceptive as to how to represent their brand. And German brands like Audi and Volkswagen, should know better than to associate with the “Green Police”  65 years after World War II. This misrepresentation is as bad as telling Spanish-speaking people that your vehicle simply “no va.”

— Jonathan Ginburg, Account Executive

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