Maybe there is a price ceiling for local ad spots during the big game...
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- With six business days to go until Super Bowl Sunday, the CBS TV Stations group has two to three spots left in each of its local markets for advertisers seeking to take advantage of cheaper local ad buys than coughing up $2.6 million for a national buy. To get around Anheuser-Busch's beer stranglehold on the Super Bowl in 2005, Heineken found airtime for its ad with Brad Pitt on local affilaites. According to executives on both the sales and buying side of the big game, the priciest 30-second spots are selling for around $300,000, and, not surprisingly, the most expensive local market is Chicago, as the hometown Bears are squaring off against the Indianapolis Colts. Audience levels are expected to be highest those two markets.
The American Marketing Association - Milwaukee Chapter held their January marketing luncheon at the Intercontinental Hotel with Tim Dodge as their guest speaker. It was a full house - the most I've seen at an AMA luncheon; undoubtedly encouraged by the always-engaging topic of "Brand Focus." Tim Dodge, president of Hanson Dodge Creative, gave a compelling, "unoriginal" presentation that will definitely mold my outlook on branding in the future. I write "unoriginal" only because he insisted that the presentation's material wasn't new - it was more of a collection of what he's learned from others. All in all, a fascinating lecture that I'll definitely put to use in the future.
On that note, he spoke highly of a book entitled "From Good to Great" written by Jim Collins. In it, Collins talks a lot about branding but there was one point that Dodge went over that I found interesting: the "Hedgehog Concept". The Hedgehog Concept is an ideology in which companies really tune in to their brand. I've taken an excerpt from Collins' site:
What are your 3 circles? The essential strategic difference between the good-to-great and comparison companies lay in two fundamental distinctions. First, the good-to-great companies founded their strategies on deep understanding along three key dimensions - what we came to call the three circles. Second, the good-to-great companies translated that understanding into a simple, crystalline concept that guided all their efforts - hence the term Hedgehog Concept.
More precisely, a Hedgehog Concept is a simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles:
1. What you can be the best in the world at (and, equally important, what you cannot be the best in the world at). This discerning standard goes far beyond core competence. Just because you possess a core competence doesn't necessarily mean you can be the best in the world at it. Conversely, what you can be the best at might not even be something in which you are currently engaged.
2. What drives your economic engine. All the good-to-great companies attained piercing insight into how to most effectively generate sustained and robust cash flow and profitability. In particular, they discovered the single denominator - profit per x - that had the greatest impact on their economics. (It would be cash flow per x in the social sector.)
3. What you are deeply passionate about. The good-to-great companies focused on those activities that ignited their passion. The idea here is not to stimulate passion but to discover what makes you passionate.
I recommend you visit Collins' site to learn more about the Hedgehog Concept and all of his products & services. Also, if you're in the market for an agency, I encourage you to visit Hanson Dodge Creative's site - their culture exudes greatness with a passion for marketing. I for one would love to be a part of the team.*
Taken directly from Advertising Age, a superb article on the blunder of a mega-giant. My two-cents follow.
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Coca-Cola zero isn't a loser after all -- it's the long-awaited spark to revive the flagging cola business. Internal memo According to an internal company document obtained by Advertising Age, Coca-Cola Co. plans a huge tactical push behind the brand this year -- spending $13 million advertising on NCAA games alone -- to retain cola drinkers in its franchise. Coke Zero, which has no calories but claims a taste profile similar to flagship Coke, "is critical to the health of the [Coca-Cola trademark] portfolio to transition males before they leave" the carbonated soft-drink category, reads the document. To do so, "Coke Zero will continue to be supported at even higher levels in 2007, building it into the next mega-brand," the memo reads. The brand's "performance [this] year will determine whether or when it reaches megabrand status" of 100 million or more cases, said John Sicher, publisher-editor of Beverage Digest. New packaging strategy Coca-Cola declined to comment, but it's clear from the document the company is taking no chances. This month it is rolling out new black packaging with a silver ribbon to boost shelf impact. It plans a diverse 2007 media schedule with nearly year-round national TV and digital support including the NCAA, national print around fall football and a sponsorship of Notre Dame football. In addition, it will run ads on AOL, "Grey's Anatomy," "24," MTV and late-night talk shows, along with concentrated radio buys in 20 markets in March. "Coke Zero should be a key part of every channel plan in 2007," reads the document, which indicates the Coke bottling system should place Coke Zero on every display next to Coke Classic, and in every "high-velocity" cold-drink outlet. In addition, Coke is recruiting restaurants, cinemas and club stores to carry the brand. Already, Wendy's and White Castle have signed on. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Coke spent about $23 million in measured media on Coke Zero through September, while Diet Coke received $57 million and Coke Classic received about $120 million. Zero positioning shifted Coke in the U.S. has attempted to migrate Coke Zero's position from a male drink to a positioning around its "Coke-ness," reinforcing how Coke Zero tastes more like regular Coke. New advertising extending the "Coke-ness" theme is expected to break in March via Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami. Other plans include a spring launch of Diet Coke Plus, fortified with vitamins and minerals, and Coca-Cola Cherry Zero. Despite widespread skepticism since its June 2005 launch, Coke Zero has logged five months of growth since July, steadily climbing to a 1% share, according to the document. (By comparison, the country's No. 10-selling brand, Diet Mountain Dew, holds 1.4%.) Sales volume for Coke Zero rocketed 154% in mass channels excluding Wal-Mart in the first nine months of last year, according to Beverage Digest, making it one of the best performers in the company's fizzy-drink portfolio. I'll make one comment - this was the worst product launch in the history of Coca-Cola but the best product that they've produced. Any and all success cannot be attributed to this product's marketing.
On a side note - this is now the only soft drink I consume. I look for it any and everywhere.