Super Bust: Ads that fell flat

There are always a few people at every Super Bowl party that only come to watch the ads. Unfortunately for them, there wasn’t much to watch in between timeouts. Even though 30-second spots cost a whopping $5 million, there seemed to be more duds and misfires compared to years past.

Granted, some companies still delivered when it counted, Doritos. But there were no dancing babies, not many talking animals and not a lot of LOL moments in the pack.  There was a puppy-monkey-baby, but that thing was by no means “cute”. It was scary.

Instead of picking our what commercials we all seemed to like, this year the Ants are highlighting four commercials we could barely sit through. One thing we all learned this year, besides that Hyundai makes some cool cars, is that even when you spend $5 million on airtime, you still have to budget for creative. So spend wisely!

4. Sofi: Loans for Great People.

super bowl blog 4After this spot aired, who else looked around the watch party and considered which people were great or not? Then immediately suggested to the list of “un-great” people that it might be their time to leave, because there’s only room for on the couch for greatness.

3. Heinz: Meet the Ketchups.

super bowl blog 3This one had all the makings of a great commercial. Wiener dogs dressed like hot dogs, a cute kid and people in funny costumes, but nothing happened. No dog tripped and caused all the others to fall, the Ketchups just stood and waited. Nothing happened. We expected the Ketchups to end up on the ground, covered in adorable wiener dogs, but no. Luckily we have the Internet. Surely we can find what we’re looking for there.

2. Doritos: Doritos Dogs.

super bowl blog 2Doritos Ultrasound was top notch. However, their second ad stunk like a wet dog. Dogs want Doritos, but they can’t enter the store because of some dog-hating manager. So, what do the dogs do? They all stand on each other and walk in disguised as a human. Oh, how original! Nobody has ever used that trick before. Hey, at least there were dogs.

1. Xifaxan: GutGuy.

super bowl blog 1Ah yes, just what everyone was thinking, “Why hasn’t there been an ad about controlling bowel movements yet?” Actually, no. No one said that, or possibly has ever said that. This ad was the biggest stinker of the bunch. As soon as the turtle-looking lower intestine came on the screen, everyone at your watch party suddenly needed to know the score of the Puppy Bowl (Team Ruff won by the way). Valeant, the company behind the drug Xifaxan, should have crumpled this one up and flushed it down the toilet.

Well, that’s it. Another year of, for the most part, disappointing Super Bowl commercials are behind us. Let’s hope that Super Bowl commercials return to their former glory next year, otherwise what are all the non-sports fans going to watch? Let us know which ads were your favorites and which ones you thought were duds in the commercials.

Insider Info: How the Ants celebrate the holidays

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently. Some families have certain traditions that others don’t partake in. For the Ant family, celebrating the holidays starts with our 12 days of Christmas.

Now in its fourth year, the 12 days of Christmas signals the start of the holiday season and also the start of dressing up, taking pictures and sharing on social media for all to see. From hat day and pajama day, to twins day and throw back Thursday, the Ants put everything on display for their clients and followers. It’s a way to show people who normally aren’t around the Ant Farm just how creative and fun we can be.

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We aren’t all fun and games. We also give back!

Women in Recovery is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Women in Recovery is a program designed to help keep non-violent women out of prison and give them the tools they need to reunite with their children and break the cycle. Oklahoma incarcerates more women per capita than any other state. Which is why this program is so important to our community. While in the program, women learn parenting and life skills, as well as learning what it takes to have a successful career and stay out of the prison system.

We support the Women in Recovery program in different ways each year. During Christmas, that means sponsoring graduates of the program and their children. This year, we sponsored 10 children and 50 women graduating from the Women in Recovery program. All from funds gathered from employees and matched by the AcrobatAnt partners.

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All these activities culminate in our Christmas party where we exchange handmade gifts to our Secret Santa recipients and have a fun and funny white elephant gift exchange. The Ants also enjoyed drinks, playing games and each other’s company at our holiday party.

From everyone at AcrobatAnt, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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Was $4.5 million worth 30 seconds at the Super Bowl?

The last minute of this year’s Super Bowl was amazing, but what about this year’s ads? There are mixed reviews. Some people say they were weak, while others believe it was a good change of pace. But we aren’t here to weigh in on whether the ads were good or not, but rather was the money spent advertising worth it. And it was a lot this year. The cost of a 30 second spot was $4.5 million, up from last year. And $9 million for a 60 second.

Which got us thinking, excluding production costs, which can run upwards of $1 million, how many products would Super Bowl advertisers have to sell to cover the cost of airtime?

We worked out the numbers for some of the advertisers and found out that they would have to move a lot of units to cover the airtime. Check it out for yourself.

Superbowl3

Take the mask off.

 

There’s usually more to a logo than meets the eye. And we’re going to help reveal the meaning on some of the best designed and most well thought out logos out there. Each logo below has a hidden message. Enjoy the up-close-and-personal look at these world-renowned logos.

 

 

FedEx-Express

Most people probably already know about the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo, but did you know that when FedEx was presented with the logo, the agency chose not to tell the FedEx executives it was there. Luckily, one of the spotted it and it was chosen as the winning logo. Go figure.

 

 

logo_amazon

Amazon’s logo actually has two meaning to it, not only does the logo have a great smile, but the arrow points from A to Z. highlighting the fact that Amazon carries a wide variety of products. And the smile is just not for a happy logo, but represents their great customer service.

 

 

baskin-robbins-logo

Baskin Robbins’ hidden feature isn’t actually all that hidden. The pink parts of the BR in the middle make out the number of flavors they have. And if you don’t know, it’s 31. That’s a pretty impressive amount of flavors.

 

 

goodwill-logo

Goodwill’s logo may look like a Lego head, but it’s more than that. It is actually a big G. Which the g is taken from the Goodwill text at the bottom of the logo.

 

 

LSO-Logo-1024x682

The London Symphony Orchestra logo might be one amazing organic-looking brush stroke, but it is so much more. Not only does the line spell out LSO, but it also looks like an orchestra conductor. You might have to look at it for a few. Start from the outside and work your way in.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: When design makes you say, “What?”

What makes a design good? Maybe it’s how copy flows, or maybe how the designer pulls in a client’s colors and fonts. Or maybe it’s how the images and graphics look like they are in certain places on purpose and not just placed randomly. Maybe it’s all of the above.

To illustrate what good design is compared to bad, we had one of our designers, Cayla, take some made up copy and turn it into two flyers. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Bad

Let’s start off with the bad one first, because it’s laughable (although that picture is awesome).

Bad

Here’s where it went wrong:

  • The copy rambles.
  • There is a liberal use of gradients and interesting color combos.
  • Clip art and drop shadows.
  • The call to action asks you to call, but there is no phone number.
  • And finally there is no address for the event center.
  • It is very busy and lacks white space.

Good

This is one good-looking flyer. Take a minute to look it over and compare it to the bad flyer above.

Good

Here’s why this one is good:

  • Copy is short, sweet and to the point.
  • The colors all work well together and make sense.
  • The background is clean and simple. Copy is easy to read.
  • The call to action is clear and has a number to call.
  • The specific event center is named and place of meeting is listed.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Seven tips that lead to great copywriting.

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However simple it may sound to you, copywriting is a hard task. But with time and practice, you can be a great writer. And deliver great ads. We’ve scoured the Internet and the agency to see what causes the most frustration for designers, account executives and our proofer (thanks for having our back, Megan) when it comes to copywriting mistakes.

Here are the top seven responses:

Not including a call to action
Including a call to action (CTA) on your advertisements seems like something you learn on the first day of school, but unfortunately it can happen.  CTAs do not always have to be full sentences, they can be as simple as including a phone number. As a writer, you need to provide your audience with something to do. You have all this great copy that pumps a consumer up, but forget to give them a way to act on it. Shame on you copywriter.

False sense of urgency
Creating urgency in an ad is a skill in itself. That’s because people really just don’t like to do what you ask of them today; they’d rather complete it tomorrow. Why should I sign up for the seminar today if it’s three weeks away? In order to have a real, genuine sense of urgency, you have to provide people with reasons why they shouldn’t put off what you need them to do. Maybe you do this by telling a touching story that makes them act or maybe you give a reward to the first 100 people to register.

Use of buzzwords
Ah, buzzwords. Buzzwords are great for confusing people. And that’s about it. Do you ever read something that is full of words you think are made up or misused? Those, my friends, are buzzwords. Confusing the consumer is definitely not going to make them buy from you. In fact, they probably won’t even finish reading the ad. Use plain English. Here’s an example.

Buzzword version:
I am going to utilize my robust bandwidth to double down and be pro-active about our content.

Plain English:
I’m going to use my time to focus and write new blog posts.

See? Simplicity rules.

Longwinded descriptions
This goes along with using buzzwords. The shorter the description the better it is. The next time you go to write something, pretend that you are giving an elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet with just enough information to get your point across. Nobody is going to read paragraphs of irrelevant information about your new hospital wing or product. Just tell the consumer why they can’t live without it.

Relying on spellcheck
Spellcheck is great. But it doesn’t always catch everything. Common mistakes and misspellings are what the software excels at, but context isn’t really a strong point. Language is complicated and relying on a program to realize you used its when you meant it’s will cause errors. Take the time to read what you wrote over a few times. Run spellcheck, read it over and then read it over again.  That way you don’t have an unhappy client on your hand when you provide them an ad with simple errors.

Not writing to your audience
Finding out who your audience is and writing to that audience is one of the most important parts of copywriting. In order for your ad to be effective, you need to know who you are writing for. An easy way to figure out who your audience is and how to reach them is to do research. A quick search will give you some general information and the best ways to make a connection with them. An older audience may not be as comfortable signing up on a website as they would be calling someone, whereas a younger audience usually doesn’t want to interact with people at all. Using research will help you effectively reach the audience.

Listen to the client
When you meet with your client, go into the meeting prepared to listen and ask for clarification. Make sure you know what they are really looking for. One way to do this is by asking questions. Clients don’t mind questions at all; in fact, it can show that you are listening and interested in learning more. If your client is asking you to explain a new product to the consumer and not sell it, do just that. It might be hard not to sell, but do what they ask first.

Let us help you
If you need some help reaching your target market and getting some results, we can help. Visit our website and see how we help our clients reach their targets. And see the cool work we do at acrobatant.us. Or if you prefer talking it over in person, give us a call.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Press Release: Acrobatant Launches HC MarketSmart, The Cost-Friendly-Option for Small Hospitals.

There’s a new name in healthcare marketing: HC MarketSmart. And it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. With shrinking budgets and a need for proven success, healthcare marketing is changing. HC MarketSmart is a new business providing a mix of quality, customized, affordable advertising options in a short time frame. It’s all powered by AcrobatAnt, a local advertising and marketing agency with years of experience.

Designed with ease of use in mind, HC MarketSmart is an online marketplace that offers small to mid-size hospitals robust campaign options that easily fit within a limited budget. The campaigns are designed to get results—trackable results—so marketing directors can easily report their success. Plus the campaigns can be ready for market in far less time than developing a custom campaign. There are several campaigns for multiple service lines, and the campaigns include traditional media and online options, including custom microsites.

AcrobatAnt was founded by five advertising industry veterans, Angela Lawrence, Danny Sadler, David Downing, Diane Davis and Hal Collins. It’s a full-service, integrated marketing agency that serves a variety of national, regional and local clients, including Mazzio’s and Saint Francis Health System. The agency specializes in strategic planning, brand development, advertising, digital and media. AcrobatAnt’s work has been recognized at the international level and has also won many national, regional and local awards.

To customize your own campaign, visit HCMarketSmart.com

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Effective Social Media Tactics Part Four: Offseason Game Changers

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We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events.

You’ve presented the facts to your client and bosses, and shown that you can handle onsite events. What’s next? It’s time to start building a larger presence for next year’s event.

The time in between events can be used to not only promote the event, but also build a bigger fan base and gain influence within the event’s community. One great way to do this is to promote the event throughout all social media channels. This will help you gain followers and drive home the brand’s key messaging. This doesn’t mean to plainly tell followers when the next event is, but give followers a reason to read what you post. It could be as simple as keeping followers up-to-date on the latest news related to the industry, or posting facts about the event.

Another great way to keep the event top-of-mind during the time in between events is to host the occasional tweet chat or even a webinar. Tweet chats are a great way to interact with the event’s followers. Tweet chats also help you promote your event or brand hashtag and also gain awareness and followers. Use tweet chats to show followers that you follow what is happening in the industry even though the event is months out. If something big happens in the industry, chat about it.

The goal during the time in between events is to keep the event relevant and gain more influence within the industry and followers. This way, when it rolls around to event time, you can guarantee a larger turn out and maybe even attract new sponsors as well.

We hope this series has given you the tools necessary to be an onsite all-star. And if you need anything, we are just a phone call away.

Want tips on how to pull off a successful tweet chat? Download the White Paper here.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912


Effective Social Media Tactics Part One: Event Preparation.

Event Preparation for Social Media

We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events. 

There is a lot of planning and background work that goes on during the months, weeks and days leading up to an event. Here are some of the techniques and best practices we have developed over the years to make onsite events successful.

Establish a unique hashtag for the event
A unique hashtag can be useful in many ways. Unique hashtags are useful as they allow you to easily monitor mentions of the event on social media and also track the reach and how many impressions were made on people during the event.

Identifying and interacting with key influencers
One of the first things to do when starting to plan for an event is to get to know key influencers related to the event or industry. This gives you additional information when writing and developing content for the event. Also, by searching out key influencers you will be able to familiarize yourself with the industry, gain first-hand knowledge and add valuable assets by gaining their support.

Generate buzz for the hashtag and event
Once you have established what the hashtag for the event is going to be and sought out key influencers, the next step is promoting that hashtag in social media posts before the event. This gives the hashtag exposure and at the same time provides you with more engagement during the event. Promoted Posts and Tweets could be utilized here to make sure you reach your target audience.

Boost registration and social media growth
Great event preparation combined with social media know-how can boost event registration and result in more followers and likes. A pre-event contest or promotion conducted on various social media channels can help the event gain more exposure and lead to greater likelihood of people within the industry attending the event.

Download a case study
Our case study on DistribuTECH’s “Be a WinAIR” contest has valuable insight on how a well prepared pre-event contest can boost registration and gain exposure to help make your event go off without a hitch. Download the case study here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Only Mad Men Like Advertising; Customers Want Content

4934882110_87025eb586_oMarketers who are driving growth and building stronger brand connections with their audiences are doing so by providing value outside of a purchasing need. 

 

As we’ve discussed in our last few blog posts on content marketing, consumers have crept into the driver’s seat and have virtually shut off the world of traditional marketing as we know it. It doesn’t matter whether you sell to businesses or consumers—a buyer is a consumer and vice versa; their behavior is what they’ve acquired in their retail experiences.

A consumer’s brand experience begins online.

Marketing’s dependence on mass promotional campaigns with goals of reach and frequency are being replaced by messaging, information, tools and interactions that target, position and differentiate you from your competitors. This shift in thinking is much different than the promotional marketing efforts you’ve traditionally launched to publicize your product or service or your brand as a whole.

If you remember, we defined content marketing in a recent post, Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm, as:

the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Selling needs to be kept under the radar. What you’re trying to do is build your case and establish trust with prospective buyers. Make it easy for your buyers to buy from you. Make them want to buy from you. People buy from people they know, like and trust. So get to know your customers. Be likable. And by all means, be trustworthy.

Content marketing helps you get found by the people who matter to your business.

Think about the different types of content that contribute to your buyer’s journey. How can you capture attention and inspire them?

Here’s a simple example of the difference between “promotional marketing” and “content marketing.” Let’s use healthcare marketing, which is one of the industries struggling with the move from promotional marketing to content marketing.

Which of the below scenarios is an example of content marketing?

  • Running an ad touting your joint replacement surgery center
  • Creating a video that provides tips on how to treat knee pain after jogging

The print ad is promotional marketing because it will appeal to very few people who need a specific procedure—joint replacement surgery—at the time they see your ad. The content marketing example is the knee pain video because it will connect with a far broader audience who suffer from knee pain.

Understand that content marketing as a philosophy alone will not ensure success. If you take the idea of creating a video on knee pain and run a search for “knee pain video,” it will more than likely result in over a million hits. In order to show up through all of the clutter, you have to create a relevant, compelling program that differentiates you.

How do you begin? By asking the same questions a marketer would normally ask:

  • What are our goals?
  • How do we measure success?
  • Who is our primary audience?
  • What are our differentiators?

Once you determine the answers, you will want to think in terms of providing relevant messaging and content to an audience that may not have an immediate need to buy today. Focus on driving actions unrelated to making a purchase, like signing up for a seminar, requesting information, downloading a case study or white paper, or participating in a webinar. In other words, you are striving for engagement.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Townsend via flickr