Excellence In Advertising

I was asked the other day to name my favorite advertisement. In terms of effective engagement, I think branded apps are the best combination of free-to-the-consumer utility and on-going engagement for the brand. I recently downloaded an app to help me find the closest Chevron gas station because my dealer said that their special gasoline is best for my car. It’s a single purpose app (shows you the nearest Chevron based on your phone’s location) but Chevron took to the time to add information about the gasoline and also insert a feed of online coupons that can be redeemed at their gas station.

While I was a Yahoo, I kept a running feed of links pointing to clever advertising campaigns and used those as case studies when speaking with advertisers and agencies that were always coming to Yahoo for advice and collaboration. Today I ran across this clever idea using your mobile phone to control a giant game of Pong! on a billboard in Sweden. What is unique is that it uses your phone’s web browser to find your physical location and as long as it determined that you were in the proximity of the billboard, it would let you enter a code to on the web browser to control the game.

No app. No downloads.

Engagement is measured by those that click through to the coupon screen where they get a free drink or snack at the local McDonalds. It’s not clear from the video if this coupon was just on your browser’s screen or if it get’s sent to you via SMS or email. If it’s the latter, then not only are they able to measure conversions, they are also capturing phone or email addresses for future campaigns.

Oh, if you want to browse the archive of other clever advertising campaigns of note, I have a list on my Pinboard link feed.

Peanutweeter

From a site called @peanutweeter which combines tweets with stills from Peanuts, updating the 1950’s comic strip to a commentary of our time.

“The site arose from the concept that the amusing and sometimes outrageous tweets out there would be even funnier or sometimes darker if they came from someone that everyone could identify with,” site creator T. Jason Agnello told Wired.com by e-mail.

MyBlogLog → OneTrueFan

Remember those subscriber cards you found tucked into magazines that asked questions about your income, education, sports you liked, where you traveled or what newspapers you read? The editors and advertisers of that magazine were trying to find out more about their readers. Except for the folks that took the time to write in, an editor of a print magazine knew very little about the people who read their magazine.

Imagine if Henry Luce had access to a tool which could give him an insight to the readers of Time Magazine? What if he knew not only who was reading his magazine but also which particular articles were hitting a chord? Not only that, what if he knew what else they were reading in other magazines? Which articles did his most faithful readers found elsewhere that his reporters did not cover? This type of data would have been pure gold to the late Mr. Luce.

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MyBlogLog had some of this data but it was site-specific and the service has been since scuttled by Yahoo.  The team has re-grouped and pulled another rabbit out of their hat launching Live Fan Analytics (aka: Fan-alytics) as a new approach to site metrics. MyBlogLog required site owners to install a widget on their site to reveal users that have opted in to showing up on the MyBlogLog sidebar. OneTrueFan spins that approach around and asks the readers to add an extension to their browser in order to send back their browsing behavior on any site for aggregation and show a bit of extra love for the sites they frequent.

What’s in it for the Fans? Browse the web and have at your disposal an instant view of the last 10 fans who visited the site and articles on that site that have been shared by those readers. Also look at the top fans who visit the site the most often and see what they have shared on the site. As you browse, your history (minus any sites you choose to exclude), is fed into the OneTrueFan “panel” that helps site owners and other OTF users find interesting content. It’s like being a Nielsen family for the modern age. But there’s a bit of fun too as you’ll find yourself on the leaderboard for your favorite sites vying for the title of the OneTrueFan of that site.

What’s in it for the site owners? Real-time reading behavior. If you install the widget, (as I do on this site) the activity of your readers is aggregated from not only browsers hitting your site but also sharing activity on social sites such as twitter and facebook. You get a more complete view of how your content is shared beyond your site and a sample of what your most avid readers like to read, in real-time.

If your site is publishing multiple stories a day and, as editor you are always looking for the next trending story to cover, the OneTrueFan analytics dashboard is an invaluable tool to help drive your daily editorial calendar. Most blog packages allow you to “pin” a story to the top, above the fold. The dashboard will quickly tell you which ones to push to the top and which ones to let slide down on the scroll.

As social sites begin to drive a greater portion of traffic to your site, it is vital to understand which topics resonate with your readers enough to drive them to share via these networks. OneTrueFan gives you not only quantitative stats but also the qualitative insights that you can only get from browsing the names, faces, and twitter & facebook profiles of your most avid readers. Author Kevin Kelly has a theory that any business is sustainable provided it knows how to take care of it’s most avid fans. He calls it the “1,000 True Fans” rule. OneTrueFan is a tool that will help you cultivate your true fans.