Marketing CPG products is hard. Marketing Apple products is easy. Well, not really (on both accounts), but let me explain.
Apple products—computers, phones, music players, tablets and other digital devices—are some of the most expensive products on the market. But devoted fans come out in droves to purchase the latest editions, seeming not to mind that they’re paying a premium for the mass-produced technologies. I’m not faulting them. I’m a fanboy myself, writing this article on my MacBook Pro, which is connected to Wi-Fi with Apple Airport, with my iPhone and iPad close by.
In the mid-’90s I was a teenager just entering high school. I loved computers, and the emergence of the Internet simply astounded me. I would spend hours on Prodigy, then AOL, chatting away and browsing every corner of the emerging web.
My big prediction was that there would come a day when we’d go to the mall online. We’d walk a character through the mall, entering shops where we could buy real items. Turns out it wasn’t that bold a prediction, as I wasn’t far off.
Today e-commerce has become a formidable challenger to brick-and-mortar stores, which rely on customers getting dressed (it’s harder than you think), leaving their houses, driving to the store, finding parking and dealing with store employees who are too eager or absent to be of any assistance, only to realize the item is out of stock. But in the early days of the web, it wasn’t clear that anyone would ever buy anything online. Who would you be buying from? How would you pay, and would it be safe? Did you need that item now, or could you wait six to 10 days for shipping? Why buy online when you could get everything at the mall (or so you thought) in one day? What if the items didn’t fit? What if they never arrived?
I received a sobering yet enlightening Facebook message from my aunt two weeks ago. After getting over my shock that she even knew how to use Facebook Messenger (she is not a technophile), I read her message:
Aunt: Guess what I got today? Me: What? Aunt: The iPhone 5 [cue jaw dropping]
I was reading this on my iPhone 3Gs, yet I’m the one who works at a global post-advertising agency. That’s when I knew it: Mobile has reached significant penetration and can’t be ignored by brands.
Have you heard of the second screen? If not and you’re a marketer of media, you’d better listen up and learn fast; a number of television networks and individual programs have started taking this concept seriously and are, as a result, tightly weaving audiences into a more dynamic viewing experience. If fantastic recent examples like NBC’s The Voice, CBS’s 54th Grammy Award ceremonies and WGN America’s syndication work continue to crop up, the second screen will soon enough become your new first priority.
You know Grandma Mildred’s annual holiday proclamation "Everyone is using them dang cellular telephones!"? You can say that again, Grams. And while she may still be resisting the constant influx of newfangled tech and software, almost everyone else has embraced mobile with open arms. A while back, predictions had Internet usage on mobile devices overtaking the same on desktops and laptops by 2015. We happen to think that at least for millennials, mobile may already have usurped more traditional devices, thanks in part to a number of key apps and events.
Join us as we take a look back at mobile’s massive growth this year as a way to forecast 2012: the year in which mobile takes over and rules the world.
Pinching pennies and still don't think you can afford a burger from the Dollar Menu? Then head to Sweden! McDonald's continues the trend of interactive billboards in Stockholm, entertaining potential customers and rewarding them with free food.
Print isn't dead, it's just...evolving, and the most innovative brands are finding new ways to make this old medium pop. Take Volkswagen, for example. The car maker recently transformed a page in a publication into an augmented reality test drive experience. But wait, how do you test drive a magazine?
It's been running all month but gets fresh comments daily. And the folks at AT&T are probably still smarting — especially since many of those comments come from jubilant owners of brand-new Verizon-enabled iPhones. Not to mention that those of us who switched networks have been feeling pretty ripped off — it seems we've crossed over to the dark side, given AT&T's blackout zones compared to Verizon's superior coverage. For a while, Verizon played politely in the world of advertising. But this commercial proves: no more Mr. Nice Network! So why kick 'em when they're down?
As we have evolved as a society, so too has our technology. In this past decade you could have found a digital camera that accepted 3.5" floppy disks (can you believe they're still for sale?). Rewind another decade and you probably could have hunted down a Polaroid camera with relative ease for your immediate photographic desires.
However, now the best cameras in our households are often the ones in our cell phones. The iPhone 4 boasts a 5-megapixel camera that takes pictures just as well as the Canon S90, which retails at over $350. The iPhone 4 screen itself is so high-resolution that even after a month of owning it, I still can't believe how sharp the images are.
Further proof that now, and in the future, yelling at consumers with billboards and slogans won't work: Unlogo, a new Open Source website and iPhone app, gives people the ability to remove corporate logos from their personal films. The idea is fairly simple: Have a home video that includes unwanted logos or distracting corporate billboards, or other branded signage? Upload it to unlogo.org and watch as your video becomes “un-logo-fied.” Think of it as a way to keep those treasured memories commercial-free.