Articles of Interest

Friday, August 26, 2005


Allocates 15% of $1 Billion Budget to Online
August 25, 2005
By Jean Halliday
DETROIT ( -- Ford Motor Co.’s Ford Division will spend 30% of its estimated $1 billion-plus marketing budget this year on “targeted” media, up from 20% last year and more than triple what it spent five years ago.

Ford is allocating 30% of its budget to 'targeted' marketing and half of that is earmarked for digital advertising.

The budget moves come as the carmaker’s North American operations are trying to bounce back from a second-quarter loss of nearly $1 billion.

15% for digital
While Ford defines “targeted” approaches as direct mail, video on demand, mobile-phone ads, sponsorships, CRM and Internet marketing, it is the digital element that will benefit most. The brand will spend 15% of the budget there, according to Martin Collins, general marketing manager. “Our media spending in digital will go up because it creates more business for,” the marketer’s Web site, he said.

The online component is crucial, since some Ford dealers close one out of five deals begun via online contracts. Still, about 40% of all the industry’s Internet leads don’t get a response within 24 hours, Mr. Collins said, the equivalent of not being waited on in a department store that can result in lost business. To fix that, Ford is using a proprietary tool called Lead Response Time that monitors how long it takes Ford dealers to respond to an online lead from its site. “Leads acted on more quickly close at a rate four times higher” than slower responses, he said.

Between February and mid-June, more than 115,000 consumers who visited picked options and priced the all-new Fusion sedan, arriving this fall. Ford used that data to fine-tune the build mix for the car at launch.

Concert promotion
The marketer turned to the Web for the car’s pre-launch, tied to the title sponsorship of Fusion Flash Concerts. Consumers must register at or text “Go” to 35274 on their mobile phones to learn details about concerts in 10 cities. The Web site includes a tour blog, streaming video, music downloads and a promotion to win the 2006 Fusion, Sony electronics and VIP concert access. Cingular Wireless is a partner; its subscribers get extra perks such as premier viewing at the venues. Sony worked with Ford’s agency, WPP Group’s JWT Detroit, to create viral marketing that includes word of mouth. Ads themed “Break Free” are in Manhattan phone booths, subways and alternative newspapers.

A reorganization of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury’s U.S. marketing and sales organization takes effect Sept. 1. The change eliminates one marketing layer. Separate teams by brand have been consolidated into one for incentives, special events and auto shows. A unit dubbed “brand strategy and operations” for the three brands will be headed by Murat Yalman, formerly a global marketing manager.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Why Target's Takeover of 'The New Yorker' Was a Brilliant Move
August 22, 2005
By Jonah Bloom
The idea of a presenting sponsor taking ownership of a media channel is not new. As a tactic it enjoyed its broadcast heyday between 1930 and 1960, and has popped up periodically across all media

Jonah Bloom, executive editor of Advertising Age.
ever since. Still, as I flicked through the August 22 issue of the New Yorker it dawned on me that it’s time is now.
Top illustrators
As many will have read, that New Yorker issue had only one advertiser. Retail giant Target, abetted by Hayworth Marketing & Media and Peterson Milla Hooks, bought every ad site in the issue and then populated those spaces with exclusive images fashioned by world-renowned illustrators. The idea was that the works could have been in the magazine on artistic merit alone, but all incorporated the Target bulls-eye in one way or another, collectively giving the retailer ownership of the issue.
On a simple, immediate level, this campaign works because it is sufficiently unusual to have the disruptive, first-mover advantage that is central to many of today’s best campaigns. The smartest marketers have realized that if their advertising makes a unique statement, either in content or placement, it will spark a media and water-cooler conversation whose value will be tens or even hundreds of times the cost of the media buy.
Pack-following newsrooms
You think the folks at Dove hatched Real Beauty because they care about women’s self-esteem? No, they simply wanted to play to the pack-following newsrooms all over the country who they knew would give the campaign more media coverage than they could have bought with a decade’s worth of marketing dollars. And Target was doing the same, scoring pieces in Slate, The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle among a host of others. (As journalists we insist on church and state, but the best marketers make pawns of us without paying our publishers a dime.) Advertising-for-its-PR-value: Not new, but given today’s extreme media fragmentation, very smart.

Click below to see selected ads.
Ad 1 | Ad 2 | Ad 3 | Ad 4 | Ad 5
Even without the media coverage, the Target takeover was a better use of $1 million than a series of buys across different magazines, because it also recognizes the need to engage rather than chalk up meaningless numbers of eyeballs. While many media buyers are still paid to tick the reach and frequency boxes, such metrics look increasingly pathetic in today’s media environment because they tell marketers so little about whether they’re connecting with consumers.
New measurement vernacular
The Media Kitchen CEO Paul Woolmington says: “Magazines are still bought on average issue readership, with an acceptance that maybe half of the advertising is wasted. The truth is it’s probably way more than that. We need to de-construct the measurements and create a new vernacular that focuses on engagement.” That is exactly what Target did, focusing on depth and duration of engagement of the New Yorker reader and measuring its success based on striking up a relationship with this audience.
Even more importantly in today’s consumer-controlled, ad-savvy world, the presenting sponsor arrangement makes the marketer’s presence helpful rather than irritating: a media waiter delivering a choice morsel rather than a fly in the soup. And, in being an integral part of a positive experience, the marketer piggybacks that media outlet’s relationship with consumers to become a brand they regard as ‘one of theirs.’
Fringe benefit
Finally, a fringe benefit to presenting sponsorships: They remind consumers that ads support much of their entertainment. Coke recently bought up all the slots for several weeks on Jack FM in L.A., and ran brief commercials for Coke Zero and Minute Maid Fruit Punch. The creative: A Jack announcer comes on and says: “The people at Minute Maid Fruit Punch paid us lots of cash so you could listen to music not ads.” Not that sophisticated maybe, but wouldn’t you rather hear that than a spot that interrupts your favorite show to share the news that some teenagers want to teach the world to chill? Me, I’ll take the presenting sponsor every time.