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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Made a Siri Movie

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Yesterday, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted that he had teamed up with Apple “to make the biggest, coolest, sexiest, funnest (is that a word?) movie ever.” He also said the movie would drop today, and it certainly did.

Now, while The Rock may call this a movie, at under four minutes I’d call this a very well-crafted and expensive advertisement paid for by Apple. The short is called “The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day” and shows Johnson doing what he does best: on-screen action, only this time he’s relying on Siri to get him through the day.

As ads go, it’s a much more enjoyable watch than the usual content contained in such spots. It must have cost Apple millions, but then Apple has the money available to spend, and it also has the HomePod, a smart speaker that relies on Siri, launching in December. Could this spot just be the first of many Siri-focused ads in the lead-up to that launch?

It’s likely Apple will more than recoup the money this ad costs by simply selling more gadgets thanks to the PR. Johnson has a massive following, who are now more well-acquainted with Apple’s digital assistant.

The “movie” has only been on YouTube a few hours and (at time of writing) it’s already had a quarter of a million views. When America wakes up, expect that figure to quickly jump into the millions.


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9 Strategies for Memorable Advertising When Your Audience Is Chronically Distracted

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The advertising industry is big. In fact, when all the numbers from 2017 are tallied, advertising spending in the United States is projected to reach $207 billion. However, research shows that 64 percent of people find ads annoying or intrusive. A whopping 92 percent of online ads aren’t even noticed.

If you want to get results from your advertising efforts in 2018, you must adhere to certain rules. These nine definitely are worth remembering as you firm up your strategy for the new year.

1. Optimize your ads for declining attention spans.

The consistently shrinking attention span is one of advertising’s greatest challenges. Consider the following statistics:

  • In a recent study, Microsoft revealed the average attention span has decreased from about 12 seconds in 2000 to about eight seconds today.
  • A study by Jampp shows that our attention spans decline by about 88 percent every year — especially thanks to technology and mobile apps.
  • Some sources estimate we are exposed to up to 5,000 ads daily — a sharp increase from a few decades ago.

Audiences suffer from declining attention spans, but they’re bombarded with more ads than ever before. With that in mind, it’s essential to embrace the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid.

Related: How Marketing and Advertising Are Bound to Change in 2018

2. Follow the ‘Rule of Seven.’

One of advertising’s golden rules is explained by the “Rule of Seven:” Most prospects will need to see your message at least seven times before they consider your offer. Don’t expect most people to convert the first time they see your offer. Instead, use different means and channels to get the same message across to them. You’ll increase the odds they’ll respond to your offer.

3. Retarget your ads to people familiar with your brand.

According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is about 5 to 20 percent while the probability of selling to an existing customer is about 60 to 70 percent. It’s much easier to market to people who already are familiar with your brand or who have been customers in the past than it is to “sell” people who are just learning about you. Research shows that retargeting your message to people who previouly have visited your website can result in 10 times the clicks and a 70 percent increase in conversions.

4. Sensory adaptation beats CTA color.

In one of its articles years ago, Hubspot famously proclaimed that “Red beats green” in terms of colored-button performance. For a long time, experts have touted red as the best choice for a call to action (CTA). Unbounce, on the other hand, says orange leads to more conversions. Others have found green, yellow or blue to be best.

So which color, really, produces the best results? None of the above. Color psychology has taken a back seat to an even more powerful underlying principle: sensory adaptation. In basic terms, our brains ignore anything that blends in with its surruondings. A green button will convert better on a page using a red color scheme and vice versa. You should ensure your CTAs stand out. Do this, and every color will convert well for you.

Related: 11 Call to Action Hacks to Boost Clicks and Conversions

5. Segment and target.

Marketing Sherpa structured a study that compared the return on investment of targeted emails (sent to users based on their interests) with “batch-and-blast” emails (sent to everyone on the list). Segmented emails resulted in a 208 percent higher conversion rate than emails that weren’t targeted. Increasingly, advertising research emphasizes the importance of segmenting and targeting. More recently, marketing professionals are using artificial intelligence to develop sophisticated options for targeting users. 

6. Focus on retention.

A recent study from Adobe Digital Insights found that ads are getting more expensive while reaching fewer consumers. Experts expect this trend to continue as users find more ways to block ads. Meanwhile, advertising platforms will struggle to increase revenue. To get the most from your advertising efforts, consider ways to retain users. It’s more economical than paying to reach them each time. Start building a user list you can segment into groups: an email list, a push-notification list and others. 

7. Don’t ignore mobile.

Overlooking mobile users is perhaps the deadliest mistake any advertiser can make at this point in time. Mobile-only internet users outnumber desktop-only users. What’s more, research shows that engagement is higher on mobile devices than on desktop devices. If you don’t have a mobile-advertising strategy, you’re alienating more than half your potential customers.

Related: Delight (Rather Than Irritate) Your Mobile Customers Using These 5 Tips

8. Embrace the ‘less is more’ principle.

It’s easy to assume that presenting people with more options will yield a better ROI, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, psychologist Barry Schwartz argued against this in his book “The Paradox of Choice.” He cited a jam study conducted by Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper. The pair of researchers divided shoppers into two groups. They presented the first group of shoppers with a table that contained six varieties of jam. The second group of shoppers were offered a table containing 24 varieties of jam. More people viewed the table with greater options, but 10 times as many people actually purchased from the table with fewer varieties of jam. You can do the same: Provide fewer options, and you’ll see conversions increase. 

9. Use text strategically.

An image is worth a thousand words — until it isn’t. A lot has been said about the power of images to drive action and boost advertising conversion. But an increasing body of research is finding that when used properly, text is even more effective than rampant visuals. Launchbit found that text-heavy banner ads generally result in more clicks and conversions than banners that consist primarily of graphics and colors. There’s an important caveat, though: Ensure your text communicates exactly what users will gain when they click your ad.

Related: The Winning Formula for Content Creation

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Don't Get Left Behind by the New Online Advertising Standards

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Over the summer, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released its new standards for online and mobile advertisers. These new standards involve “sunsetting” a few practices — such as the giant, annoying ads that take over your screen and won’t let you click away — while also creating guidelines around new technologies such as AR, VR, 360-degree ads and emoji ads.

Entrepreneurs or independent companies that want to secure media dollars from brands and agencies need to be sure they understand the standard terms and conditions of the IAB. While these industry standard terms can seem overwhelming at first glance, they’re the best road map for anyone working on creative production or media-related activation with a major brand or agency, both domestically and globally.

The IAB’s framework also helps brands and agencies understand how to conduct business with new technologies, and the guidelines are designed to ensure media is lightweight and adaptable to various screen sizes and the creative is encrypted where needed and supportive of privacy concerns.

Related: How Marketing and Advertising Are Bound to Change in 2018

Most importantly, the IAB provides a clear road map for how media and media-led digital investments are governed and paid. Most media companies will not accept or pay for content or ads that do not follow IAB guidelines. As with any set of guidelines, some buyers will make an exception, but the standards are important because they establish a common language and best practices.

For entrepreneurs and independently held media companies looking to secure media dollars from a brand or agency, there are a few important points to consider:

1. Get the most bang for your buck.

Production fees for various ad unit sizes, rich media and ad serving can increase quickly. Determine the risk versus reward of proposing various ad units, and remember that skimping on production often does more harm than good.

Also, carefully evaluate how the creative message should best be conveyed. Is a 15-second ad going to garner more attention than a 30-second spot because the consumer is engaged? Is it worth it to create a separate or different mobile expense because smaller ad units won’t convey the message?

It’s also important to follow the IAB’s LEAN guidelines to ensure your ads can do their job. LEAN — which stands for light, encrypted, AdChoice-supported and non-invasive — was created as a way to combat the increasing use of ad blockers. By adhering to these rules, you’re reducing the risk of your ads getting blocked — thus making the most of your ad dollars.

Related: Digital Marketing Channels Are Flatlining. Here’s What to Do to Stay Afloat

2. No viewers = no money.

If creative cannot be seen by real people, it won’t make any money. One of the core reasons ads are not viewed is because they do not adapt to the proper screen or the file sizes are too large to load properly. That’s why it’s more important than ever to adhere to the IAB’s new Standard Ad Unit Portfolio to ensure the ads you’re uploading are the proper sizes. The new standards have also expanded the guidelines to new types of creative, including AR and VR, social media and mobile video.

Standing out is critical, and rich media is a key component to garnering attention, but it’s important to use the required file sizes so the content actually loads. Many times, organic content loads before advertising does, and the consumer has already moved on before he has a chance to see the creative. Also be aware of where on the page the creative is being placed, and ensure it’s actually viewable without needing to scroll.

3. Embrace the new.

High-impact opportunities (such as 360-degree ads, VR and AR) are typically much more expensive to produce, and the market has been slower to accept these types of experiences. Oftentimes, however, the engagement of these high-impact experiences can make the increased production costs of the ad placement worth it.

Related: Why Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Will Be Important for Your Business

For example, Hong Kong Airlines created a 360-degree video ad to allow viewers to “walk” through the plane’s business class cabin and experience the luxury for themselves. The airline company created a more traditional ad, as well, but the 360-degree ad was 35 times more effective than the traditional version, according to a report from Business Insider.

Volvo took a similar approach when it released its XC90 SUV. The car manufacturer partnered with Google Cardboard so that when users downloaded the Volvo app, they could “sit” in the driver’s seat of the SUV and cruise through the picturesque countryside.

4. Put money on mobile.

Pay special attention to the mobile and tablet experience. Ad sizes should not need to be recreated because they only work on desktop, and it’s important to consider the best way to showcase content on mobile.

Everyone knows that mobile is important, but it’s now more important than ever. In 2016, more than half of Google’s search queries came from mobile devices, according to a report from media buying agency Zenith, and according to another Zenith report, 73 percent of time spent online in 2018 is predicted to be through a mobile device. Also, 60 percent of global online advertising spend is expected to come from mobile ads in 2018, so advertisers that aren’t optimizing for mobile will be missing out.

Perhaps the most important advice for an entrepreneur who is partnering with a global brand or agency is to carefully review where the investment or media fulfillment is placed on the IAB contract. Then, ensure that in addition to the most creative elements included in the program, there are multiple avenues to fulfillment that ensure the ads are viewable and can fully deliver on media impressions. Because creating ads that don’t deliver is just as harmful as not creating ads at all.

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How to Choose the Best of the 3 Facebook Ad Campaign Objectives

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The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Keith Krance and Thomas Meloche’s book Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising with guest writer Andrew Tweito. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

When it comes to ad campaigns, there are three main types that match up with the three primary parts of the sales funnel: awareness, consideration and purchase. Let’s take a quick look to see how these campaigns match up with your objectives so you can create the campaign that will work best for you.

1. Awareness campaigns

Awareness campaigns are used to make customers aware of your product or service. There are two types of awareness campaigns to choose from: brand awareness and reach. Brand awareness objectives are designed to show your ads to people who are more likely to pay attention to them, and reach objective ads are for when you want to reach the maximum number of people in your target audience and control how often they see your ads.

Even though these campaign objectives are designed more for exposure, they both have the option to include call-to-action buttons. Keep in mind that the ads in these campaigns won’t be optimized to run to people likely to click the CTA button, but it’s a nice feature to include.

If you have a local business with a physical location, the reach objective can help you drive more engagement in a geographically targeted area. By using the “Everyone in this location” selection in your audience targeting, you can target your ad to only people traveling nearby your location.

Related: 14 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Page Engagement

2. Consideration campaigns

Consideration campaigns are for prospects who are already considering a product or service like yours. There are five types of consideration campaigns: traffic, app installs, engagement, video views and lead generation.

Traffic campaign objective

The traffic objective is simply designed to get more people to your visit your website or increase engagement with your app. You’re looking for traffic, not leads or sales, so this objective can work great when you’re using a content amplification strategy to get more people consuming your content.

App installs campaign objective

The app installs objective is almost identical to the traffic objective instead of sending the clicks to a URL, you’re sending them to an app store so they can download your app. If you’ve got a killer mobile app, you’ll want to optimize your campaign for mobile traffic so your traffic will go straight to the app store and download your app to their device.

Engagement campaign objective

You would choose the engagement campaign objective when you want to get more people engaged with your page or your posts. There are three things the engagement campaign objective options allow you to do:

1. Boost your posts (post engagement)

2. Promote your page (page likes)

3. Raise attendance at an event on your page (event responses)

Page post engagement ads can be extremely effective to use in a few scenarios. First, you can use page post engagement ads to test content you want to use in conversion campaigns. It will help you determine if a piece of content resonates with your target audience, and then, you can later turn that post into another ad for conversions.

Another scenario to use page post engagement ads for is during a pre-launch phase of a new product, offer or even company. The idea is to create some buzz and excitement before your cart opens, your product becomes available or people can take the desired action you want them to.

Related: Top Tips to Create Facebook Videos to Market Your Business (Infographic)

The next type of engagement campaign objective is promoting your Facebook Page, otherwise known as a “Like” campaign. There are four main reasons why you want to be running a Facebook Like campaign:

1. You’ll be able to serve ads to your fans with twice the frequency than you can with non-fans.

2. Social proof works, and the more fans you have, the more social proof you have.

3. You’re able to create “Advanced Combinations” so you make sure that whoever sees your ad will have a friend who also likes your page.

4. Your Facebook fans are interested in what you do and are what I would call a warm market, and a warm market always has a higher ROI.

The event responses campaign objective is terrific if you’re hosting an event and want to target people who are likely to join your event. This type of campaign objective allows you to boost awareness of your event, direct people where to sign up or join and track how many people are going.

Video views campaign objective

With the video views campaign objective, you can get your message in front of the people who are most likely to actually watch it. And people who watch videos tend to buy more. A lot more. Choosing the video views campaign objective can be a powerful way to launch a campaign introducing your product, offer, or service to a cold audience, which sets them up to move along the customer journey later in the process and gets them one step closer to becoming a customer.

Lead generation campaign objective

If getting leads for your business is a top priority, then testing out lead generation campaigns should be high on your list. This campaign objective allows you to capture information from Facebook users without the user ever leaving the Facebook ecosystem. Your ad looks just like any other ad except when someone clicks the CTA button on the ad, it opens up a form right inside Facebook that gets auto populated with their contact information already mostly filled in! Not losing a prospect from the time they click your ad until the time they opt-in mean no bounce rate here.

Related: The Starter Guide to Facebook Groups for Business

3. Conversion campaign objectives

Conversions are the holy grail of Facebook marketing. The ultimate goal is to convert prospects to paying customers. There are three types of conversion campaign objectives to choose from: conversions, product catalog sales and store visits.

Let’s start with store visits. The store visits campaign objective combines your physical location(s), geo-targeting and people with location services enabled on their cell phones. You decide the radius around your location that you want to serve the ad to and choose CTA buttons for your ad.

The conversion campaign objectives are when you want to be able to track and measure conversions on your website, Facebook or mobile app. When you use the conversion campaign objectives, you’re basically telling Facebook, “Put my ad in front of people who are highly likely to convert.”

If you have an online store or are an ecommerce company, then the product catalog campaign objective is for you. This campaign objective is simply designed to get people to purchase more of your products.

This objective really shines with dynamic ads. With the dynamic ad feature in the product catalog objective, you create an ad template that automatically uses images and details from your product catalog that you would like to advertise.

Using this campaign objective gives you a few advantages if you’re in ecommerce or you have multiple items you’re selling (like travel). You can promote your product catalog with unique ads without manually configuring each ad. You can show the most relevant products from your catalog based upon products people have viewed on your website. Best of all, you can reach people anywhere. This objective runs on all Facebook advertising platforms.

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Ikea Is Asking Women to Pee on This Ad, and We've Got Questions

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There are probably some odd things that people would do for a good discount, but this is a new one. In Sweden, furniture maker and meatball purveyor Ikea has released its first magazine advertisement of 2018, and the company has included some, let’s say interesting, technology in the ad.

The advertisement is meant for expectant families, as it features a stylish black crib and reads “peeing on this ad may change your life.” Yep, if you’re a pregnant lady and you pee on the paper, a reduced price for the crib will be revealed as part of the Ikea Family Discount.  

Related: Ikea Designers Using Mars Simulator for Ideas Understand a Secret About Creativity

The process was developed by Swedish advertising firm Åkestam Holst and biotech startup Mercene Labs. And apparently, Ikea is not the first company to go for a first pee-oriented advertisement. Back in 2001, to promote a dog awards show, Animal Planet placed ads that had dog urine scent at the base of lamp posts to get a canine’s, and, by extension, a human’s attention.

Ostensibly you can then bring in the coupon to purchase a new crib. And so far, the response seems to be positive — at least from fellow creatives in the ad world, who even think the pee ad is an innovative move. “With digital media prone to tying itself into knots of complexity, this ’traditional media’ print ad shows how to do interactivity powerfully,” The Core Agency founder Jon Skinner told Adnews.com.

This ad seems to be the most recent in a long line of offbeat promotions — like commissioning of a peregrine falcon statue made of Allen wrenches to open a store in Sheffield, England or the company’s response to Balenciaga’s $2,145 leather version of it’s blue bag. Clearly Ikea isn’t taking itself too seriously.

Still, we have some questions and concerns regarding…logistics.

Related: IKEA’s ‘Open Platform’ Embraces Furniture Hacking

Chiefly, think of the poor cashiers and and sales personnel who might have to handle the coupon. Will there be plastic bags and latex gloves involved to get it to the store? Can you redeem it online? There has to be a better way to get a furniture discount. We’re all for ingenuity and innovation, but mostly, our main question is, why?

We’ve reached out to Ikea for clarification and will update with any additional information.

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