Content or Commercial?

The ways and means of improving effectiveness continue to evolve - sometimes strangely. Eyemapping might fall under that sobriquet. An old idea whose time has (maybe) come again, California-based Eyetools uses a concealed camera (hidden in computer monitors) methodology to research what e-mail gets viewed, what is ignored, and maps the visual trail. Apparently we skip the word 'free' and most readers view less than half the content.

The ways and means of improving effectiveness continue to evolve – sometimes strangely. Eyemapping might fall under that sobriquet. An old idea whose time has (maybe) come again, California-based Eyetools uses a concealed camera (hidden in computer monitors) methodology to research what e-mail gets viewed, what is ignored, and maps the visual trail. Apparently we skip the word ‘free’ and most readers view less than half the content.

I always suspected no one reads much beyond the lead graph or two. Now we know. Nifty. But while measurement can confirm hunches and give forensic evidence as to where to put words, who can best tell you what the message should be? And how to reach your audience?

Tomorrow your consumer might be watching TurboNick online while playing on their Disney mobile. Or listening to a podcast they found on some indie site. And maybe they most recently saw your brand as the logo spoofed on a T-shirt some DJ made, not on the advert you ran. With no solid fix on how to most effectively reach some consumers, there seems to be a mass yearning for more personal reality checks (see ‘Are We Close Enough Yet,’ page 22.)

No wonder there’s a greater desire to anchor your efforts with something more visceral than a gadget. Some folks are trusting their guts. While chatting with Frito Lay marketing director Tony Matta after our ‘MobileNation’ conference last month, he mentioned that he learns a lot from the face time he has with kids as an occasional marketing prof. This issue in Who To Watch (see page 16), Rev brand manager Lisa Jazwinski reveals that she keeps in touch with the culture of her consumer by hanging in clubs and chatting with them online. Agencies are also conducting more ethnographic research, and there seems to be more of an appetite for applying it.

The results speak for themselves. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty was based on deep research. Maybe that’s one reason it was able to move beyond ad status to something participatory, embodying social action and cultural elements. Now it’s been immortalized in a doc by Toronto producer Telefactory. Beauty Quest, set to air on W Network July 30th, follows fashion photog Arline Malakian as she searches for the defining picture of beauty. Telefactory exec producer Leanna Crouch says the doc was inspired by the Dove Real Beauty Photography Exhibit and the breadth of research funded by the brand.

The doc spawned more content. Whether it’s branded or not is up for interp. W will air five 30-second vignettes the week of July 25, starring various W show hosts sharing their thoughts on beauty, including a Sue Johanson vignette during the Sunday Night Sex Show.

This campaign, built on personal insights, epitomizes what will deliver real value now.

It’s the kind of new marketing approach we’ll be looking at in the next strategy event – the first annual Media In Canada Forum: ‘What’s the Plan?’, taking place this September in Toronto. Thought-provoking content we’re developing includes ‘Maximize Media,’ wherein media conglom execs outline their plans for creating more integrated and relevant opps for advertisers, and ‘Take the Creative Reins,’ in which agency presidents Scott Goodson of StrawberryFrog, Brett Marchand of Lowe Roche and Media Kitchen’s Paul Woolmington debate who is best positioned to take the lead in planning dead clever campaigns. And for a closing creative stimulant, ‘Create the Big Idea,’ delivered by Capital C prexy Tony Chapman, exhorts everyone to be media neutral – and to let brilliant ideas drive the bus.

Should be interesting. Hope you can join us.

cheer,mm

Mary Maddever, VP/Editorial Director