WWTT? Leap Day Fund From Stella Artois Promotes ‘Uncancelled’ Plans

Everyone does it: After a long day of work, household obligations, and more, the idea of cancelling plans to go out becomes absolute bliss. But for 2020, a year with a Leap Day, Stella Artois urged people to “uncancel” their plans for once and put the extra 24 hours to good use, supported by a Leap Day Fund.

Everyone does it: After a long day of work, household obligations, and more, the idea of cancelling plans to go out — and instead stay in with takeout, a movie or a good book, and your pajamas — becomes absolute bliss. Even more tempting when the weather is miserable out. But every cancelled plan is time lost with someone … and time is one thing that is impossible to get back once it’s gone. So for 2020, a year with a Leap Day, Stella Artois urged people to “uncancel” their plans for once and put the extra 24 hours to good use. To sweeten the deal, the Anheuser-Busch beer brand created a Leap Day Fund, and produced a short video to support the campaign.

The Leap Day Fund totals $366,000, to align with the 366 days in a Leap Year — and while the short film dramatizes the idea of receiving a reduced restaurant bill, the actual Leap Day Fund promotion functions a bit differently (but with the same focus of getting people to spend time together over a beer).

According to the Leap Day Fund promotion’s terms and conditions, consumers 21-plus can claim a portion of the fund to cover their Stella Artois purchase (up to a 24-pack) by sharing the film using the hashtag #UnCancelPromo and tagging someone else 21-plus they wanted to spend Leap Day with. Participants also needed to  be following @StellaArtois  on Twitter and/or Facebook, as well as make the beer purchase during the Leap Day period, defined as Feb. 26- Feb. 29.

Stella Artois even made it extremely easy (at least on Twitter) to take part in the promotion via the “Tweet #UnCancelPromo” as seen below:

WWTT? Stella Artois's Leap Day Fund Urges People 'Uncancel' Plans
Hit the button and your Twitter account is activated with a pre-filled tweet … you just need to tag someone!

Beyond the video and social media components, Stella Artois also had digital out-of-home ad (OOH) placements installed in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. These included  a QR code leading to the Leap Day film, along with a countdown reminding consumers to take advantage of the extra time on Leap Day to make plans and tap into the Leap Day Fund.

To be clear, this is a rebate promotion, and participants have until March 14 to submit their redemption, so while Leap Day has come and gone, sales numbers are not in yet.

I like that this campaign really puts for the idea of spending time together with the people you care about (and drinking). It reminds me a bit of Chik-Fil-A’s gift of time holiday promotion last year, just a little less family-oriented (unless that family is 21-plus, of course).

Centering it around Leap Day is clever, especially since it’s the kind of campaign you’ll only see every four years. But what do you think about the Stella Artois’s Leap Day Fund? Drop me a line in the comments!

 

WWTT? Burger King’s Moldy Whopper Ad Has People Talking … But Are They Buying?

Seeing mold on a food item usually elicits a response of disgust, followed by tossing said item as far away from you. But for Burger King, the home of the Whopper, mold is seen as a sign of beauty — of no artificial preservatives. Or at least that’s what the fast food chain’s latest moldy Whopper ad is telling us.

Seeing mold on a food item usually elicits a response of disgust, followed by tossing said item as far away from you (usually in the trash). But for Burger King, the home of the Whopper, mold is seen as a sign of beauty — and more importantly — of no artificial preservatives. Or at least that’s what the fast food chain’s latest moldy Whopper ad is telling us.

While I wouldn’t consider this imagery particularly shocking — if you’ve left something long enough in the refrigerator, you know exactly how funky and moldy food can become — putting your product front and center and letting it rot in front of a time-lapse camera is definitely not the norm for any marketer in the food business.

Burger King Moldy Whopper No Artifical Preservatives
The campaign ran in print, social media, and out-of-home (OOH), like on this transit shelter. Credit: Burger King

But Burger King doesn’t tend to play by the rules of other fast food marketers. Sure, it might not be collaborating with Crocs, but this is the brand that took the 2019 Cannes Lion Festival by storm with its Whopper Detour campaign.

According to a press release about the moldy Whopper, Fernando Machado,  Global CMO for Restaurant Brands International (Burger King’s parent company) stated:

“At Burger King restaurants, we believe that real food tastes better. That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.”

However, none of this matters if customers are turned off by the idea of a moldy Whopper, no matter what point it’s trying to make. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business Online took to Twitter to ask people what they thought of the campaign:

https://twitter.com/thatbilloakley/status/1230167233730506752?

For an audience who understands what artificial preservatives do (and how they’re not necessarily a good thing), I think this campaign will resonate with them. Sure, it’s not pretty, but it makes a very clear point. However, is this audience the normal Burger King audience? Or, is it an attempt to grow a new audience.

Burger King moldy burger OOH advertisement shows the lack of artificial preservatives
Credit: Burger King

Many consumers opt for fast food because it’s exactly that: It’s FAST. They enjoy the flavors and have favorite menu items, and even appreciate the affordability when compared to other dining options. But do they know enough about what artificial preservatives are … and more importantly, do they care?

According to AdWeek, approximately 50,000 people have taken to social media to share their disgust over the moldy burger. Mentions have soared by more than 500%, and the hashtag #MoldyWhopper has received more than 21 million impressions. So people might not like it, but they’re definitely talking about it.

Marketers, what do you think? Leave me a comment below, and have a great weekend!

WWTT? BBC Stakes a Billboard to Promote ‘Dracula’

In an out-of-home (OOH) advertising effort to promote the new series Dracula, BBC showcased a billboard covered in wooden stakes — the iconic weapon used against vampires. While the imagery was eye-catching during the day, the billboard had a surprise to share at night.

All right, so a bunch of bloody stakes in a billboard promoting BBC’s new series Dracula makes sense. Dracula is a vampire. Vampires hate wooden stakes through the chest. There’s nothing else to cover, right?

WRONG.

BBC's billboard for Dracula
Credit: BBC Creative

BBC Creative, the in-house agency for the BBC, decided that because the series is aiming to be a fresh and unusual take on Bram Stoker’s classic vampire tale, the marketing campaign should follow suit. The agency opted for an out-of-home (OOH) advertising effort, putting up two billboards: one in London and one in Birmingham. In daylight, each billboard displays the quintessential tools to use against the undead monster, along with a a glass case below containing another sharpened stake and the phrase “In case of vampires break glass.”

The billboard isn’t particularly spooky, despite the bloody stakes, though the imagery is spot on. But when the billboard truly shines is at night … literally and figuratively.

BBC's billboard for Dracula
Credit: BBC Creative

Once the sun goes down, a light attached to the side of the billboard gradually turns on, revealing that the stakes have been placed in such a way that Dracula appears in the shadow.

Olly Harnett, creative head at BBC Creative remarked upon the billboards: “Our campaign for Dracula leaves the audience in no doubt they can expect something fresh and unexpected from this extraordinary adaptation of the vampire classic. Our unique campaign is one of the most ambitious special builds we’ve ever undertaken — by day, a random assortment of stakes hammered into a billboard but by night, transformed, as the Count springs to life in the form of a looming shadow.”

Regarding the full campaign, BBC One’s Head of Marketing, Chris Hooper, said, “Coming from the makers of Sherlock, this version of Dracula is laced with dark humor and rock star swagger. We wanted our campaign to reflect Steven [Moffat] and Mark [Gatiss]’s fresh take on a classic character, so each element has been designed to surprise …”

Marketers what do you think of these billboards? Do you think they will entice BBC’s current audience to watch, as well as attract new viewers? Leave a comment below!

 

Marketers, Are You Going OOH With Data? Let Consumers Know Why

Mobile, social, and other digital media are increasingly connected to OOH advertising. One of my pet peeves is that when I’m in my home or office, or out and about, I receive real-time reminders about using my geolocation (really, a proximity). And that’s all they say. Period.

My precise location is here. Well, it was here — when I wrote this.

One of my peeves is that when I’m in my home or office, or out and about, I receive real-time reminders that this application, or that plug-in, or this website, would like to detect and use my geolocation (really, a proximity). And that’s all they say. Period.

It’s most usually a short “push notice” — combined with an “accept,” “allow,” or “OK” button to indicate my consent. Most of the time I click in the affirmative, and move on. But as a consumer, I am sometimes left curious as to why. Which is why I’m frustrated.

Notices: Give Me a Push, With a Reason to Pull

My preference would be for a slightly longer notice explaining why my location would be helpful — for the digital property to induce or invite me to send my acceptance more readily.

  • Is my known location being used to improve my user experience, by unlocking a functionality that is location-dependent?
  • Is it to serve interest-based ads on the site or app that are location-relevant?
  • Is such data shared with anyone else — and if so, why?
  • Is it a combination of these?

Sometimes, the need for geolocation is a seemingly obvious request. To use an app for maps, traffic, weather or news pertinent to my location is certainly agreeable. I get it. But if there are reasons beyond user utility, a consumer ought to know what those other purposes are. And I’m not talking about a paragraph buried in Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policies — as important as those disclosures are.

Take advertising. I actually opt for data collection to enable more relevant ads. I understand why such ads exist — and use far more free services, content, and conveniences that are paid for by sponsors and advertisers, who gain access data about me, than I would otherwise pay for myself. Most Americans — and probably most global citizens — like free stuff and increasingly understand this pragmatic, useful exchange. It just doesn’t need to be behind a curtain. There should be no mystery.

This is where self-regulation (disclaimer, I work for the Digital Advertising Alliance, DAA) and privacy-by-design step in: Just tell me why you want to use it! And let me make an informed decision regarding my consent.

Location Data Has Sensitivity — So Transparency and Choice Must Be Heightened

Location data can be sensitive. Advertising may be a helpful use — but what of stalking, civil rights, employer monitoring, government surveillance? And even advertising has a “no” factor, if an algorithm inadvertently discriminates, or a “creep” concern if you feel you’re being unwittingly followed (that is, your device) around a shopping mall or grocery store. (Even if I get a coupon offer.)

So, if we are — as we should — going to be transparent with a push notice, make it short, sweet — and explain in short copy why it is helpful to consumer experience. It only takes a phrase, or a bullet point or two, to explain how and why such data collection serves such outcomes.

That was a key point that Senny Boone, SVP of accountability for the Association of National Advertisers, explained at a recent presentation, which was sponsored by Geopath, a location-based marketing trade organization; and PMD Media, a targeted outdoor and digital advertising firm.

“Business needs to grow. New growth is based on new data and new information provided by consumer interaction, behavior, and insights,” she said, noting the rising importance of place-based information. “Consumers seek more data privacy as business and technology provide less privacy protection and more data tracking — or that is the perception.”

So are we in a conflict with the consumer here? Is this loss of privacy perception accurate?

We shouldn’t be in conflict — if we believe in transparency, she said, and have privacy and a consumer focus in our brand culture.

If you adhere to codes brought forth by our trade associations — both advertising and out-of-home — which largely have synced up in line with DAA Principles, then you are in good company, Boone said.

Give Me One Reason to Stay Here and I’ll Turn Right Back Around

This is particularly true regarding geolocation data, where enhanced notice through push notifications are required — but with a rationale as part of the push. Only then can meaningful consumer consent be given. Last month, two BBB National Programs enforcement cases, successfully resolved, highlighted the need for such enhanced notice. One case involved a fitness app specifically seeking to use location data for interest-based advertising. Takeaway: Use the enhanced notice for location data consent to explain why.

Boone went on to say that mobile, social, and other digital media are increasingly connected to out-of-home (OOH) advertising. She pointed to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America code that says:

We support responsible use of data for advertising purposes. We recognize that mobile phone and digital technology bring benefits to consumers seeking information, way-finding, entertainment, and connection to others. Increasingly, mobile-social-and-online media are connected to OOH advertising. We encourage member companies to work with suppliers that provide appropriate notice and control for the collection of precise location data from mobile phone devices used for advertising purposes. Anticipating technological changes, OAAA will continue to monitor developments in this area.”

Yes, that digital billboard you’re standing near may be wanting to interact with you. Location-based marketing is only set to grow. So make sure to undertake a data audit, know your location data partners, adhere to laws that may exist for any jurisdiction (GDPR, CCPA, etc.) — and follow industry codes for privacy ethics and best practices.

And tell me why my location is so darn useful to me as a consumer — rather than you as the marketer — when such data is sought. Not only is such explanation respectful and ethical, it serves to educate the market about why relevant ads may be that much more engaging (rather than annoying).

Perception is reality, and right now, we need to do a lot more education to get consumers — pragmatic as we are in our behavior — to get our attitudes to match.

 

 

 

 

WWTT? Budweiser Shares Spooky Mugshots in ‘Drink Wiser’ Campaign

In celebration of the spooky season, Budweiser put a Halloween spin on its “Drink Wiser” campaign, enlisting the help of those who know how much it sucks to be arrested for irresponsible drinking.

Halloween isn’t just for trick-or-treaters, however it seems that many of the “treats” for adult revelers often involve bars, parties, and alcohol, and thus many of the tricks can be less than amusing … especially when drinking and driving are combined. So in celebration of the spooky season, Budweiser put a Halloween spin on its “Drink Wiser” campaign, enlisting the help of those who know how much it sucks to be arrested for irresponsible drinking.

The Drink Wiser campaign kicked off originally in 2018, taking on the topic of binge-drinking and alcohol-impaired driving. In the original effort, Budweiser promoted the importance of hydrating in-between beers, as well as planning ahead regarding safe transportation options home.

For Halloween, Budweiser continued to promote the same efforts, but with a season-appropriate twist for its social media and digital out-of-home (OOH) visuals: The macrobrewer worked with actual individuals who were arrested for irresponsible drinking during Halloween seasons of the past.

Budweiser 'Drink Wiser' Campaign
Credit: Budweiser

While these aren’t the actual mug shots of Sharyn W., Cesar O., or Ameneh K., Budweiser opted to re-imagine these three individuals in Halloween costumes that had clearly seen better days. With the tagline of “Don’t Let Halloween Haunt You Forever,” the campaign’s digital OOH ads will be present in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia.

For the social component of the campaign, Budweiser has advised fans to follow it on Twitter, @BudweiserUSA, as well as turn on tweet notifications to receive reminders to drink responsibly and hydrate with water between beers.

According to an Anheuser-Busch (parent company of Budweiser) press release, Budweiser has been involved in cause marketing for over a century. “Budweiser Means Moderation” was the brewer’s first responsible drinking message — dating back to over a 100 years ago — and its first responsible drinking campaign “Know When to Say When” debuted over 35 years ago.

Halloween can be quite the party holiday for many, and it’s smart of Budweiser to come out ahead of it, reminding people to consume its products responsibly. The Halloween costume-themed mug shots are a great visual to use, and hopefully have people thinking twice about drinking and driving.

We see a lot of campaigns that — rightly so — show just how horrible drinking and driving can be for all involved. But I appreciate that Budweiser mixed humor and shame together to get the point across about irresponsible drinking this Halloween.

3 Examples of Social Media-Worthy Outdoor Advertisements

It’s important to see how social media enhances outdoor advertising and vice versa. Many companies are making their ads more “shareable” and social-media friendly. Here are three examples of social media-worthy outdoor advertisements.

Many look at the relationship between outdoor advertising and digital advertising as combative. We already know that out-of-home advertising works (here’s why). However, it is important to see the ways that the digital world enhances traditional ads and vice versa.

Think about it. New York City is the most photographed city in the world. Times Square explodes with colorful billboards and signage, both day and night. People flock to the displays, while taking pictures with their phones and sharing them on the web for the world to see. When advertisements are usually clever or visually appealing, viewers want to take pictures to share with their friends and followers.

Because of this, many companies are actually making their outdoor ads more social media-friendly and “share-worthy.” By being eye-catching, artistic or allowing for viewer participation, many advertisers are connecting traditional advertising with social media.

Here are three examples of advertisements that use social media “share-ability” to be more appealing or broaden their reach:

1. Delta Airlines x Tinder = The ‘Dating Wall’

Tinder and Delta Airlines teamed up to create the ultimate outdoor advertisement for social media use. The “Dating Wall,” located in Brooklyn, was comprised of images of popular travel destinations. The point? Audience members were meant to take selfies with one of the destinations as the backdrop and upload it to Tinder, creating a much more eye-catching “Tinder pic.” This campaign promoted both brands in a fun way that allowed viewer participation via social media.

2. Spotify’s ‘2018 Goals’

For its “2018 Goals” campaign that took place in 2017, Spotify used humor to appeal to its audience. The streaming company was able to use users’ listening habits to create a memorable series of hilarious and relatable outdoor ads. The campaign attracted both real-life and Internet attention, because they’re the perfect ad to share with a friend for a good laugh.

3. ‘David Bowie Subway Takeover’

social media-worthy outdoor advertisements

social media-worthy outdoor advertisements Bowie pic

Spotify is a champion of memorable ads. In 2018, the company set up a month-long art installation in an NYC subway station to celebrate the late David Bowie. The campaign featured both a photo-worthy portrait of the star and information about what he loved to do in NYC. Soon, photos of the art quickly popped up all over social media. This ad was especially appealing, because it made a normally mundane spot much more interesting.

Why Billboards Are Playing a Big Part in Digital Marketing

From Sunset Boulevard in L.A. to London here in the U.K.; the traditional billboard is experiencing a resurgence in popularity with advertisers, marketers and consumers. The billboard might be the descendant of one the oldest forms of human advertising, but the format is embracing its new role in a digital age.

It recently came to my attention that from Sunset Boulevard in L.A. to London here in the U.K.; the traditional billboard is experiencing a resurgence in popularity with advertisers, marketers and consumers. The billboard might be the descendant of one the oldest forms of human advertising, but the format is embracing its new role in a digital age.

Outdoor advertising is proving to be the perfect partner for social, and a company called Dash Two have carved out a niche as experts in both the physical and digital realms of advertising. As social media platforms tweak their algorithms and users arm their pop up blockers, many brands are finding that nobody is seeing their ads.

When I asked Dash Two founder and CEO, Gino Sesto why we are seeing this advertising evolving in this way, he advised “Outdoor advertising is a big thing because it’s tangible. Digital is intangible. With a social media post, you might see it or you might not. It comes and goes.”

The arrival of social media and its culture of artfully curated vanity has created a wealth of opportunities for billboards as brands search for new ways to bring outdoor advertising and digital together. Sure, many of us are permanently face down looking at the screens of our smartphones, to think about looking up at a soulless billboard that contains a stock photo image and slogan. But, this is why marketers need to get more creative.

A great example was the build-up to Lady Gaga’s performance at the Coachella Festival. The team at Dash Two found a local liquor store that was close to the event. They approached the owner and asked if they could put a big mural on their store with the promise that they would put the store on the map and drive Lady Gaga fans directly to their store.

When Coachella, started Lady Gaga posted on her Instagram and Twitter directing her fans to visit the liquor store and take a picture in front of the mural to get a free t-shirt. Gaga didn’t have to ask people to share it socially, her fans rushed to the area to capture the perfect Instagram moment and bragging rights that they were there.

Hundreds of people lined up to grab their picture and the images were shared thousands of times online. As for the store owner, he kept the mural up for a year after the festival as it continued to organically grow and put their store on the map.

Outdoor advertising is completely tangible, you can see it, touch it, take photos of it and share it online. An increasing number of artists and brands are turning their back on traditional ads and creating a destination and an experience. There is no one size fits all approach, but against the odds, physical ads coupled with digital media are proving to be the perfect partnership.

There are many other examples, where even online companies such as Netflix are combining the best of both worlds to deliver their message. In a digital mobile-first world, it seems that one of the oldest forms of media can teach the new kid on the block a thing or two about capturing the attention of consumers both offline and online.

Do you have any examples of how digital and physical marketing can compliment each other and create shareable Instagrammable experiences or moments?

9 Secrets to Award-Winning Billboard Advertisements

In this age of the Internet, there are still many old-fashioned ways to advertise outside of a computer screen. A billboard is a great way to market effectively, providing high visibility for your company. However, to guarantee your billboard is doing all it can to attract customers, here are nine things you should keep in mind.

In this age of the Internet, there are still many old-fashioned ways to advertise outside of a computer screen. A billboard is a great way to market effectively, providing high visibility for your company. However, to guarantee your billboard is doing all it can to attract customers, here are nine things you should keep in mind.

The 6-Word Rule in Out-of-Home Advertising:

When people pass a billboard, it is likely they are not going to take time to stop and read it … especially if they are driving. A billboard must rely on delivering a message using images and a minimal amount of text. As a rule, it is best to keep text to six words. Although you can go over this recommendation by a bit, if you need a lot more words to advertise your product, billboard advertising may not be for you.

Noticeable Billboards that  Don’t Cause a Huge Distraction:

Most people look at billboards while they are driving. An image that is too distracting could cause accidents, resulting in a negative perception of your brand. Avoid overly sexual or controversial images.

Know What a Billboard is For:

Billboards are a great way to promote consumer awareness. However, they will rarely lead to a direct response from customers. This is due to the fact that consumers are not likely to take the time to read the ad for a website or phone number and, if they are, they are not likely to take the time to write it down. An exception to this may be if the phone number is highly memorable or if the website or phone number is the billboard headline. Otherwise, if you are looking for direct action, you are better off relying on print advertising, television, radio, flyers, websites, and mail for promotion.

Send a Simple Message:

When advertising your company on a billboard, it’s a good idea to be creative in sending a message to customers that will really stand out. However, remember that billboards are usually sending a message to passerby’s that they need to absorb quickly. Creating a message that is overly complicated might confuse them, so it is best to stick to something that is smart, but simple.

The Billboards More the Merrier:

Every billboard has a Gross Point Rating (GRP) which is based on traffic, visibility, location, size and more. If a billboard has a GRP of 50, that means that at least 50% of the population in the area will see your billboard at least once a day. To increase exposure, its best to have several billboards. Of course, this can be expensive, but it is also effective.

Consider Using Digital Advertising

A flat billboard can be effective in promoting your business, but being creative can be a great way to make your sign really stand out. Adding moving parts and 3D elements and using a means for people to interact with your sign are all excellent ways to grab people’s attention. Signs such as these can even attract press so that the billboard can generate its own publicity … totally free!

Be Concise

Use your space wisely. Avoid repeating any sort of information, even if you are using text to explain your visual. Also, make sure your imagery pops so that you are using your advertising opportunity wisely.

Think About Your Logo Size

When creating a billboard, often companies want their logos to be as big as possible. Although we can all probably see the logic in this, it is also important to make sure the logo is in proportion to the other images that will appear on the ad. Some companies market effectively with billboards without even incorporating a logo.

Do the Arm’s Length Test:

Billboard advertising is not cheap and, if you’re going to invest, you need to make sure it’s going to be a worthwhile investment. One good way to do this is to take the ad and print it on a business card, then look at it at arm’s length. This will provide the same effect as someone passing by your billboard quickly. If the image still pops, and you feel the message it is sending is clear, then you are good to go. If not, consider tweaking some elements. Billboard advertising can be an effective way to market your company. However, it’s important to make sure your billboard gets a message out to consumers in a concise and effective way.