A year ago, I didn’t even know who Deadpool was. (And I’m not the only one.) That all changed when Ryan Reynolds tweeted a teaser photo in his Deadpool suit à la naked Burt Reynolds on a bearskin rug.
By now you are familiar, if you weren’t already, with the Deadpool movie. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you probably haven’t tuned into TV or social media over the past 6 months. Deadpool’s marketing team saturated every platform imaginable — social media, emojis, billboards, email newsletters, TV cameos, talk show appearances, click bait ads, Comic-Con, Pornhub, 3-hour long blocks of only Deadpool ads on five networks, timely holiday-related ads, and even Tinder. Yes, Deadpool had his own Tinder profile. Because who wouldn’t swipe right for Deadpool’s witty charm and muscly spandex suit? (The answer is no one.)
Deadpool’s marketing team pushed the envelope of traditional movie marketing, exploiting their protagonist’s vulgar, comedic demeanor to promote the film in unconventional ways. Unlike typical Marvel superhero movies, 20th Century Fox primarily used the irreverent, anti-hero Deadpool character to promote himself by breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to viewers rather than utilizing typical superhero movie-based promotions. And Deadpool didn’t hold back.
It was a risky strategy, but the loud, in-your-face marketing tactics paid off. Deadpool raked in over $152 million in its opening weekend and broke numerous records, including biggest opening ever for an R-rated movie, despite being released in February, which is often considered a “dump month” for less successful movies.
So what can we learn from Deadpool’s marketing team? Stay true to your brand, or in Deadpool’s case, your main character. Be fresh. Nothing turns consumers off quite like overdone, unoriginal content. And above all — completely understand your brand and what you’re trying to sell.
It’s nearly impossible to log on to social media right now without stumbling upon mention of UVA student Hannah Graham’s disappearance. From the latest police news to timestamped maps of her suspected whereabouts the night she disappeared to Twitter hashtags supporting the search for the missing student — it’s everywhere. People wait for updates, post their own opinions and even do their own “detective work.” The public and news sources alike share information that has not always been accessible through traditional outlets.
The ease with which we can access and voice our opinions through social media allows for information to be shared quickly, freely and without filter.
Just look at the backlash aimed at the NFL this month surrounding the Ray Rice controversy. TMZ released a video of then Raven’s running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée (now wife), which created uproar stemming from the lack of discipline Rice received for the incident. Criticism is loud on social media, putting commissioner Roger Goodell in the hot seat for his neglect and passiveness in handling the domestic violence case.
Protestors even gave CoverGirl, the “official beauty partner” of the NFL, a photoshop makeover. In addition to Raven’s themed eyeshadow and manicure, the model in the “Get Your Game Face On” advertisement now sports a bruised eye. Millions have retweeted the doctored photo with hashtags like #GoodellMustGo and #BoycottNFL.
All eyes are on the NFL. But the NFL is no stranger to criminal activity and violence. Drugs, rape, assault, dog-fighting and even murder fall on NFL players’ rap sheets. So why does it seem to matter now more than before? Before social media and modern technology, you had to search for news about what’s happening. Now, you can merely open your Facebook account and watch your News Feed populate with the latest news and events.
Social media levels the playing field, giving voice to those who would otherwise go unheard.
Anyone can broadcast via social media. Small groups of people can influence others, who then join in, and movements take flight. Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, which strongly rooted itself in social media networking, changed the face of political campaigning. In 2011, Occupy Wall Street came to fruition overnight, receiving global attention with 1 in every 500 tweets representing the movement within 24 hours of park occupation. Social media was ablaze this August with real-time updates and protests surrounding the events in Ferguson, Missouri, trending worldwide with over 6 million tweets just days after unarmed teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer.
Social media has evolved from a networking site into an effective form of activism, changing how we view and engage with current events.
This shift to real-time digital news sources brings light to current issues like never before; however, with this free-flow of information, how can you trust the validity of the “truth”?
$1.5 billion – estimated boost in global advertising in 2014
$600 million – spent by top sponsors for TV presence on Brazil’s TV network
1.2 billion – minutes of World Cup ads viewed on YouTube in first week of the tournament
$75 million – average spend per top sponsor on Brazil’s TV Network
350,000 – daily tweets about World Cup
1,120 – minimum number of video insertions promoting top sponsors
451 – minimum number of 30 second TV spots promoting top sponsors
64 – soccer matches
32 – countries represented in the World Cup (and number of days in the tournament)
15 – average minutes per game dedicated to commercials
8 – top sponsors of the 2014 World Cup
3 – average length of World Cup ads in minutes
2.7 – average goals per match
1 – exclusive broadcaster per country
With such a huge global impact, it’s no wonder the 2014 World Cup is gaining traction as the world’s biggest sports event, captivating the attention of half of the world population over the span of just one month. Are you watching?
The old trend (umm, like 8 years ago) was to use the internet as a repository of sorts. A place to position your online brochure for a company or product. That was it. An online reproduction of your offline brochure. It was initially a fad. Then it became an afterthought. And then a small part of the plan. Now it’s the focal point of strategic development. 79.9% of advertisers planned to increase their digital ad spend in 2014. At the same time, advertisers plan to spend considerably less on television and radio.
With iPads, tablets, mobile devices, Hulu, Amazon Fire TV, the App Store and others, the internet is the first place people look for information and entertainment. You can make your own decisions, get information instantly, and place orders with free shipping. You can watch offline entertainment and play games with people across the globe at your own leisure. So is it any wonder clients are placing a greater emphasis on internet development than television production?
There is still definitely a place for both media vehicles at dinner. Although it’s obvious the internet is no longer at the kid’s table. We are now looking at digital marketing as a whole new opportunity. Where we can interact and present our abilities in unique ways…and then let the consumer choose for themselves.
The push to digital is inevitable. It enables more of a two-way conversation between the message deliverer and the message receiver. As opposed to television, where the viewer is held captive to view the message, digital allows the viewer the opportunity to immediately click for more information, to reply or to buy.
It used to be that web development was more cost-effective than television production. Million-dollar production budgets were typical for television, with $35k enough for a nice little web presence. Times have changed, and clients need to realize this is the case. Television production has dropped in price (depending, of course, on the concept), and internet development has risen. The cost isn’t just in the development of the presence…any high schooler can now create a web site and post it. The cost is in the add-ons that surround internet development and make a web presence an effective tool. We’re talking eblasts, SEO/SEM, re-targeting, web video, blogs, eCommerce, Facebook marketing, daily updates, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and more. The use and effectiveness of the internet is only limited by your budget.
But unlimited marketing budgets, digital or traditional, still can’t solve the same old business problem – – not having a unique product/service/business concept that people want or need. An effective brand positioning, and even further, an effective business concept, is crucial to success, regardless of how or where the company advertises. A good agency will help you create your web presence. A great agency will help you create your brand and then develop the best way to communicate it to your target audience.
Stay tuned for part two…television and web: a dynamic duo
Remember sci-fi movie “Minority Report” featuring Tom Cruise? In one scene, Cruise’s character John Anderton receives retina scans upon entering the mall and is subsequently delivered ads from Lexus and Guinness, the ads calling him by name as he navigates the mall. It’s hard to believe the movie came out twelve years ago. What’s even harder to grasp is the advertising techniques depicted in the movie are actually not very far off. In fact, the reality is some of that technology exists today.
In this day and age, we’re connected 24/7 – to smartphones, tablets, laptops, the Internet. We willingly carry around tracking devices with us everywhere we go and leave digital fingerprints in our wake. Think of all the applications and services we use regularly that have access to our personal information and monitor our behaviors. Most have privacy policies you must accept before utilizing the services, but does anyone actually read them? The answer is no. Consumers, particularly younger generations, are willing to trade privacy for service gains, especially when it means something free in exchange.
Everyone loves free stuff, but is it really “free?”
Targeted advertising is commonplace, delivering us tailored ads based on our demographics and online behaviors. Ever notice an ad, featuring the TV you were eying online yesterday, pop up on the side of your favorite news site and then again on the next site you visit? That’s no accident. Malls and stores implore similar techniques, sending discounts and recommendations to our phones when we walk by or even tracking our movements within the store.
The user has become the product, and advertisers are shelling out more dollars to buy us.
More information about the user means more targeted ads and higher likelihood of reaching the targeted consumer By analyzing your information, advertisers know who you are and what you are interested in, delivering you relevant ads based on what appealed to other consumers with similar behaviors. Ultimately, they aim to know what you want before you do.
So what lies ahead in the future of advertising? A world saturated with advertisements. Advertisers reach consumers everywhere through every means possible. They can even reach you in the bathroom (I’m talking to you, smartphone in the bathroom user).
The question is, with the constant bombardment of ads, will we react to them?
Surprise! Another social media layout change is upon us. Twitter rolled out a new profile design to all of its users last week, prompting users to “Meet the new you.”
The new profile design is a 3-column layout, with your tweets taking the center of the page. You can pin tweets to the top of your profile as well as alter the content you see from those you follow. The new header and profile picture layout is practically identical to Facebook’s. Twitter is beginning to look a lot like the new Facebook.
So what’s new? Your most popular tweets, ones with retweets, replies or favorites, will appear larger and more prominent as you scroll through your profile. Tweets you favorite are also now listed at the top of your profile (so be careful what you favorite!) Users can also upload up to four pictures per tweet, which are displayed in a collage-like format.
Similar to Facebook chat, Twitter is offering real-time notifications, so you’ll know instantly if someone interacts with your tweets or sends you a direct message.
This isn’t the first update, and it certainly won’t be the last. What do you think of the new Twitter profile?
This week Google announced Android Wear, an interface tailored to mirror certain basic functions of your smartphone and keep you informed while on the go. Their latest platform? A smartwatch.
While smartwatches are unlikely to render smartphones completely irrelevant, their functionality could enhance how smartphones, and overall technology, is integrated into our lives. Instead of pulling out your phone every time you want to respond to a text, search the web or even scan your boarding pass, the smartwatch will theoretically allow you do all of that at a mere swipe of the watch screen.
This isn’t the first wearable concept launched by Google. Google Glass, still in the beta stage of development, was introduced to the market back in 2012 as a product to “share the world through your eyes.” Since then the controversial glasses have raised all sorts of issues, such as privacy rights, distracted driving, piracy in movie theaters, among other things. Early adopters of the technological glasses even garnered the nickname “glassholes” from those less than enthralled with the glasses’ potential legal ramifications.
Are smartwatches the next big game changer? It’s still too early in the development process to determine, but don’t expect the discussion on wearables to dissipate anytime soon.
What’s your opinion of wearable technology? Would you wear a smartwatch? Google Glass?