Elections 2.0

With the government of Canada announcing a May 2nd election, it prompts me to think that there will certainly be a new type of campaign this April.

Politicians will rely heavily on social media support from their most loyal partisans and use all resources at their disposal to sway the undecided. Already, I’ve seen Ignatief and the liberals reserve the headline ad of facebook with a 30 second spot from Michael.

I will be closely following the evolution as well as the new initiatives that will certainly emerge. I doubt it will be enough to simply have a page and create a discussion. The winners will have to innovate, persuade and deliver.

Carpe diem.

The Brand Bowl

With the Super Bowl representing Television’s biggest event, ever, it creates an advertising platform that makes marketers salivate. How could I resist talking about it? 

A few stats to establish the reach; 30-second spots averaged 3M$ (roughly 100,000$/second) and the game that was watched by 100M people. Of those commercials, only 17% included Social Media influence – baffling. OK, some brands like Telecomm companies don’t want to have a social presence (can you imagine the volume of complaints?). I think the take away here is of that 17%, who did it well? Here’s a look at the auto-industry. 

Volkswagen
In my view, the clear winner for what they did before the Super Bowl even begun. Sharing their Darth Vader impersonator early, they spread the commercial through social media and hit 12M views (now at 18M) on YouTube before kick-off. They did a great job by not sharing their social addresses at the end of the commercial in my view – taste over efficiency here. 

Chrysler and Eminem 

To me this commercial dwarfed Lipton’s Brisk lengthy spot by focusing on a sense of community and featuring the story for the underdog. Their measured up favorably online as their spot was cited nearly 20,000 times online in the first hour it aired. It didn’t have built in social media, however it was rock solid it didn’t need a tweet push.   

Ford Motor Company 

Can’t remember or YouTube Ford’s commercial? You won’t. They sat out the Super Bowl in favor of reaching out to bloggers and engage over the landscape. Winner. If you think Chev did a better job, remember they friended someone before a first date and read an audio facebook feed, give me a break.

Chevrolet

I went back and forth a couple times on this one. On the one hand, they did have some solid spots but I just can’t get past their facebook feed being read by the car. This ad just ruined their commercials for me :(

To see these ads visit Ad Age . One last note, why can’t advertisers make it easy for us and provide their Facebook URLs or Twitter addresses instead of “find us on Twitter” – no way I am searching for your name from my BB ;)

Exploring Facebook Ads

In the post-secondary education realm it is extremely difficult to create awareness around the benefits of your specific product without outside influences. Students (current and future) are bombarded with ads and are used to it. These millennials are quick to move past the 5,000+ messages they see every day and continue ignoring your brand. They are experts at discerning what is relevant to them; a subject line, an impression of an image or context of the message will ostensibly be enough for them.

Here are 4 lessons I’ve learned in having your ad win the battle and your Facebook page win the war.

Targeting: Facebook has great resources on how to target your ad and reach the desired audience. No other platform will allow you to reach the new audience in a measurable, interactive way. Want to reach 16 year old males in Markham who are interested in Sports? No problem; that will be 46 cents per click, please. If you’ve targeted ads properly, you can then review your statistics and find out what all of your “clickers” had in common interests (providing new targeting insight).

Budget: We’re all on tight budgets and can’t afford to mess this up. You can customize your spending to reflect your budget, a daily spending limit, a campaign limit and suggested bid price will help you understand the price of your desired results. This process will give you a good idea of what it will take to get those 200 extra likes.

Creative: Now that you are on target and within budget, getting them to see you is crucial. You’re ad will be featured on the side of pages. You don’t need to hire a creative ad agency to develop your ad but you will want to be direct with what you say. Your immediate challenge is saying who you are and why they should click on your ad.

This ad (left) was used to attract alumni to our University’s primary page. Offering up the visual of the University’s logo provide an immediate known quantity and their attention was captured. The ads were successful as they had over 1,000 clicks and 460 fans on a limited budget (less than $200).

Your value proposition has to be the clincher, in this Free Samples ad (below), the value is clearly defined. Unfortunately, their “Wagjag.com” free samples don’t apply to my city (see: poor targeting).

Destination: Facebook ads are most efficient at promoting something housed on Facebook because they provide instant social recommendations (Your friend likes this) and a direct call to action. Posts with a social recommendation are 47% more effective in gaining clicks – of course you more likely to visit a site if your friend recommended it. The direct like button will allow users to join your page without even visiting it, increasing the likelihood of further interaction with that user. After all, the average Liker, has 2.4 times more friends than the average Facebook user.