We loved the post and the hardships of a creative thinker. We thought we should share it with you…
The other day I was having a Clarity call with an entrepreneur about generating initial traction for his startup idea. The entrepreneur wanted me to share some of the strategies that we had implemented (with success) at WooThemes over the years. But he had a proviso: “I know quite a bit about many inbound and outbound marketing strategies and activities, but most of them only work when you already have visitors on …
This is a fantastic post that reflects a lot of our beliefs. We at AdNuance are currently doing a lot of stuff manually before creating our automated engine. A lot of what’s being said on how startups could scale is a very resonating message for us. We hope you enjoy this post and sound your thoughts as comments.
Facebook killed Google with Graph Search. If news media outlets and blogs were to be believed then Google should have tanked in the market and advertisers should have been fleeing to Facebook. Oh wait, nothing happened. Why did this not happen? Let us for a moment try to understand what graph se…
Growing Pains - Lessons From People Who Grew Linkedin, KISSMetrics & Livingsocial
As a startup founder it’s always a struggle to decide if a certain conference is worth your time. The growth hacker conference caught my attention with their speaker line up which was super impressive and included the likes of Chamath Palihapitiya (formerly of Facebook), Elliot Shmukler of Linkedin and Aaron Batalion, CTO of Livingsocial. To top it all, the event was organized by our fellow cohort Gagan of Udemy and hence I decided to give it a shot.
2. Beware of vanity metrics, choose your benchmarks & build your own tools
- A/B testing matters when traffic on your site / product is not a statistical blimp but an actual graph
- A/B testing is an investment for high growth companies to test features instead of actual product releases
- You cannot A/B test your product to growth without actual product vision
“Startups to businesses: We are not an extension of your creative agency” Problem
Image Source: Hongkiat.com
Offensive Foul: Do Some Ads Go Too Far?
Image courtesy of Ed Yourdon, http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/
Let’s face it: advertising ain’t easy. I take that back; good advertising isn’t easy. You’re asked to come up with something that resonates with a certain demographic, or, for the unfortunate few, something that carries supposedly universal appeal- which doesn’t exist. An easy (and some say cheap) method ad people use to get attention is shock. Done well, the outrageous can garner the kind of attention, doesn’t matter whether good or bad, that makes people talk, feign disgust, or pretend to like for the sake of trying to seem desensitized and awesome. So which ads have done it right, wrong, or some train wreck of an in-between? Let’s take a ganders at a precious few.
Offensive, Or Just Annoying?
Some of the most complained about commercials have actually been tagged as whatever the highest rating is on the annoyance factor, which makes sense. Taking offense to something is one thing, but being annoyed enough to actually call in (because people who submit complaints still use their phones to do it) takes some really deep rousing.
This KCF commercial was one of the most complained about commercials ever in the UK. Offensive? Not so much. Annoying? Very. And there’s a big difference. So we’ll move on.
Some of you may remember the Mad Men season five preview posters that were plastered all over the side of buildings a while back. These ads were magnificently simple, and featured a suited character falling in free space not unlike the opening credits to the actual show. This image led some misguided idiots to pointing out the similarities between it and 9/11. Never mind the fact that the falling man image is an homage to the movie Vertigo, which came out over 40 years before 9/11 occurred.
I can’t help but feel for the families of those affected by the events that day, but to draw comparisons between these two very different things is really reaching. I was once involved in a pretty horrific car accident. But I don’t get offended every time I see a Fast & the Furious car chase scene between Johnny Tran (Rick Yune is a good actor) & that bald dude.
Sometimes a flower is just a flower (all you Georgia O’Keefe fans know what I’m talking about).
Let’s Face it. We’re All Too Easily Offended
I’m sure many of you have seen the Comedy Central roasts, where nothing is off topic. Age, race, gender- these are just the opening quips of most of those extremely unattractive comedians. Once a year a few garden gnomes get together and collectively defecate on each other and one lucky roastee about all the supposedly off-limits topics of the day. And this is commonly accepted.
Is it because these people aren’t trying to sell us something? Or do we feel exempt because we’re the ones being talked to?
The most offensive ad is the one that doesn’t work, because then it becomes just a tasteless joke. It is no fun to sit and watch something that is flailing around desperately. Remember the Groupon Super Bowl commercial? The most offensive part of that ad was the fact that it was poorly executed. An attempt at humor quickly turned into a cringe fest. Everyone seemed to survive that ad, except Groupon, which gambled and lost. Then again, that ad was one of the most talked about commercials that Super Bowl…
So here’s the moral of the post. The next time you start to get offended by some over the line ad, turn the television off, look away, or close the page, and remember this: ads just want to get inside your head, and if you talk about them, whether good or bad, the goal has been accomplished. But here’s the important part: some just do it with a little more class. And that’s where AdNuance takes over.
An Image Is Worth 1000 Words, Do You Have One?
Image Transcends The Realms Of The Physical
Image. It’s born in the crevices of imagination, raised by the stares, the compliments, the drive-bys; and if cultivated just right, it grows up to have other-worldly appeal. It’s why people wear their shades indoors (and arguably, wear shades at all). It’s why I wouldn’t dare touch my hair, that naturally falls in soft waves, with permanent chemicals for fear it might lose its look. Image is the answer and the validation to our striving- products become the props that help get us there or make people see where we are. Image ignites the flames of style and the glowing embers of charisma. It’s on the outside, yet its staying power comes from the inside. It exudes magnetism, it’s about the intangibles, blurring the lines of physical and inner qualities. I’d argue that what brands and good advertising really sell is an image. You’re buying an outlook on life, a system of beliefs, a personality, a trait. Sell the right image and consumers will flock to your product like screaming teenage girls to Justin Bieber.
Outshine With The Gleam Of Image
Image isn’t only the perceived breadth of our surroundings, it’s within a brand and ourselves. Rooted in our minds, it’s tied to self-worth and brand value. Image is the gleam that defines a product or service and makes it stand out. Brand image is vital to success. Take celebrity endorsements. The image of the celeb shines a glaring light on the image of the product. Personal image puts on its cleats and comes into play also. The image we like is a potent mix of our fantasies, desires, and realities; and we often choose to buy based on that. I can tell you that you can snowboard just as well with a cheaper, Salomon board as all the cats with the fancy, super-expensive Burton boards; be among the fastest in track whether Nike or K-Swiss, and that skill in tennis isn’t determined by the racket. It’s really not as much about the equipment as it is about the person using it, yet it’s image that takes hold of your heart. Pro rackets help you feel like one; fancy equipment says you’re serious and possibly very good.
These Brands Aced Their Test Drive With An Image
Find Everything In Nothing
Montana: There’s Nothing Here campaign: The classic image of Montana being a state…of nothing. Instead of sulking, The Montana Office of Tourism and its agency partners milked it for all it’s worth. They targeted the traveler who appreciates the nothingness of Montana and nature. To increase awareness and travel, they used Montana’s beautiful landscape and a headline of “There’s Nothing Here.” The result? Consumers went from thinking “There’s nothing here” (sigh) to “There’s nothing here!” (happy exclamation). Montana’s awareness as a destination for travel increased 36%, intent to travel there almost doubled. To top it all off, Montana had the nation’s highest hotel occupancy rate that year. Now that’s something.
Take A Stand Against Uncertainty
Allstate’s “Our Stand” Campaign: In a gloomy world where all insurance was seen as the same and a commodity, price was the only thing to differentiate competitors. Enter Allstate swooping down, armed with a different approach- to instead change the image and perception of insurance. Image became their ammunition as Allstate took a stand that having protection against life’s uncertainties is more important than price. Their weapon of honest conversations, everyday vulnerabilities, and active protection worked. Understanding the value of being in good hands, consumers reconsidered. Allstate got new business and success. Looks like their image is in good hands too.
The Future Never Tasted So Good.
Voted #1 Vodka Of 2033 Campaign: This Swedish vodka burst onto the scene like it was all one big futuristic party, unique image in hand. With the smirk of a provocative spokesbot, it showed that it’s here to contend. Against Absolut, against everyone. It successfully fought in a crowded category, pushing away all its competition. Its muscle power was brand image. SVEDKA created a unique vision to own the future, complete with futuristic bot and tagline “Voted #1 vodka Of 2033.” Its success proved it to be the life of the party. As of 2011, it was the #3 imported vodka into the US with fast growth, shattering all internal goals and established category records. Now that’s tasty.
Image That Hits All The Right Notes
Image, it can move mountains. It’s mighty to save, or will send a product straight to the grave. Your pulse and a brand’s heartbeat moving to the rhythm of pain, strength, and glory. The core; an inner heart, shining outward. Make your pulse a beautiful sound, and your brand won’t fade like a one-hit wonder, but will last like a classic.