Special Report: Media Planning Challenge: What happens after the revolution?: Two-way TV a key element

Strategy invited media planners to take a trip into the future where the revolutionary technologies of today have become just another part of the mix.For the past three years, we have invited media planners to develop extensive and detailed media plans...

Strategy invited media planners to take a trip into the future where the revolutionary technologies of today have become just another part of the mix.

For the past three years, we have invited media planners to develop extensive and detailed media plans for invented niche market products and services as a means of demonstrating creative media thinking.

Pizzazz Pizza, Executive Airlines and a value-added service for travellers called Body Guard were the subjects of our challenges in years past.

In a fresh twist on an established theme, this year we asked our media planner participants to picture what the media world will look like in the year 2005.

The objective was to give media people an opportunity to synthesize – and put into concrete form – a lot of the speculating they have already been doing about the fast-approaching new media universe.

We deliberately tried to keep the brief as simple as possible.

We asked them to look into the future – 10 years from now – and imagine what communications vehicles they might use to market a mass market, everyday product.

The product we selected was a tube of toothpaste.

We chose toothpaste because it is a product that will surely be needed even 10 years from now, and because it represents one of those classic mass market products that has depended on mass media to establish an identity and to differentiate itself in people’s minds.

It has also been a captive of traditional retail distribution outlets.

Here was the starting point from which we asked everyone to begin:

Imagine it is the year 2005.

You are the top planning executive responsible for a media/communications program for a toothcare product (known as toothpaste back in 1995).

It is mid-March and your client is beginning to budget for the coming fiscal year.

The client is not expecting to make any hard and fast decisions yet.

You have simply been asked to present an executive summary – a quick sketch, basically – of the communications tools, new and traditional, you are considering using for the coming year with respect to the toothcare product.

Tell us how you imagine this product will be getting its message to consumers 10 years from now.

You have about 750 words.

The report includes submissions from David Cairns and Company, Genesis Media, Initiative Media, Leo Burnett, McKim Media Group, Media Buying Services and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.

The report continues to page 35.

Tom Batho is vice president, group media director at McKim Media Group in Toronto.

The launch of NoCavity premium toothprotection product in 2004 was met with tremendous consumer success.

What follows below is a review of the launch year media strategy and a preliminary examination of media alternatives to be considered for NoCavity in 2005.

Television:

Two-way tv will be evaluated to determine whether it should continue to be the lead component for NoCavity advertising in 2005.

Last year, NoCavity realized tremendous benefits through the combined use of various tiers of television ranging from full interactivity to paid and non-paid properties.

An integrated and interactive sponsorship of SuperBowl XXXVIII, which continues to be one of the few mass reaching non-paid televised events still available, marked the advertising launch of NoCavity.

This high profile launch was supplemented with television messages targeted to fully wired households with kids.

The television buy incorporated video-on-demand programs such as 60 Minutes, various sitcoms, local newscasts, Major League baseball (after yet another work stoppage) and selected pay-per-view hockey broadcasts.

The 16-week launch campaign delivered a total of 135.9 million target group impressions.

A total of 1.3 million electronic coupons were requested by viewers through tele-printers that are in about 60% of all homes.

Consumers in targeted wired households chose one of three tv spots with which they wanted to interact.

Research concluded that 50% of total commercial viewers requested to interact with the ‘NoCavity for Kids’ execution.

The popularity of this spot is attributed to the accompanying free offer for a downloadable interactive NoCavity game that is compatible with the Sega, Nintendo, Macintosh and pc platforms.

Print:

Print activity was limited to customized subscriber editions of various magazines and newspapers, which allowed NoCavity the opportunity to target readers based on their pre-determined interest in health-related editorial in a highly complementary environment.

A further Compusearch psyte filter (psyte replaced lifestyles clusters back in 1995) allowed for closer targeting to middle- and upper-income households with kids.

Despite their ability to target more closely, the print media continue to experience a slow decline in circulation.

This circulation erosion is largely attributed to the increasing popularity and accessibility of electronic information alternatives.

Internet:

Considering the above, NoCavity launched a multimedia message via the Internet (which claims Canadian household penetration of 70%).

NoCavity’s Internet execution offered a contest and a unique downloadable game via a billboard sponsorship of established magazine and selected major market newspaper web sites.

Information about the new product was also distributed within various health-related news groups and conferences.

The Internet, now considered a mass medium, has provided the ability to launch NoCavity to a large market in a compelling and involving way, which is so important to gaining trial.

At the same time, however, the Internet messages provide for precise targeting, based on interest in the category or a targeted lifestyle profile.

Approximately half a million ‘visitors’ connected to NoCavity’s own Internet site.

The site featured further general information on dental health, an electronic mail box where consumers could ask questions about dental health (and get a response within 24 hours), the ability, at the touch of an icon, to add NoCavity to a household electronic shopping list and a monthly interactive story for children that could be downloaded onto cd-rom.

Database marketing:

Positive consumer response to interactive advertising in 2004 resulted in an additional 75,000 households being added to our existing database.

These homes bring to a total of 312,000 households that now receive NoCavity’s e-mail newsletter which has been customized based on individual needs.

There are a number of new communications vehicles to consider for 2005.

Out-of-home:

With the success of NoCavity’s launch in 2004 and the resulting high awareness, it is believed that out-of-home may provide an opportunity to further strengthen brand awareness and reinforce top-of-mind.

Consideration will be given to the newly introduced VideoPosters which are now available in the major markets of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

VideoPosters have the ability to display full-motion video and, through localized digital transmitters located in high-traffic locations, to simulcast a complementary audio message.

This audio link can provide the opportunity to direct the listener to the closest retail outlet.

Currently, VideoPosters are in limited supply and we are anticipating high demand which means we will need to move quickly to secure inventory.

Radio:

Radio is viewed as a viable media alternative for NoCavity.

The launch of Digital Radio in 2005, which offers cd quality sound, on both am and fm radio frequencies, may reverse the downward audience trend.

The ability to target individual messages based on geographic location of the home or car will also be examined, and would allow for the establishment of a co-op program with participating retailers.

Summary:

The success of NoCavity in its first year is attributed largely to the use of strong communications vehicles with significant reach potential.

The year 2005 marks year two for NoCavity, always a critical time in the life cycle of any brand.

We must focus on solidifying the loyalty of our current users and driving trial.

These marketing goals will be met through the continued use of high impact communications tools which allow us the broad reach we require, while reinforcing existing consumer relationships through one-to-one channels.