Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Come on Singapore, take bloody risks

At The Conrad yesterday, Michelle Kristula-Green from Leo Burnett Asia Pacific shared her thoughts on Wildfire: Ideas that Spread and Sell.

She said according to an in-house study on ‘Does Award-Winning Advertising Sell?’, over 86% of award-winning advertising actually increases sales. The results were derived after Leo Burnett visited agencies and asked for the sales results of the clients which they created award-winning campaigns for.

I don’t doubt the authenticity of the results, but I still wonder why the bulk of ads that win or are submitted at award shows are still ones that we’ve never seen before. This is an age-old conundrum.

She mentioned an excellent example of a brand embracing consumer generated content, despite fears that the public would abuse the opportunity. Chevrolet ran a contest on The Apprentice, inviting visitors to create an online commercial for its Chevy Tahoe through a limited number of video clips and music tracks and writing their own copy.

Indeed, people did submit clips attacking the Tahoe’s effect on climate change but only 16% of the 22,000 ads submitted were negative and a total of 5.5 million people interacted with the site.

Neat huh? A good case study for Singapore-based marketers to learn from. We all know Singapore marketers are very well-read and very in tune with the global media developments – ie. they know what innovative techniques there are to add some zing to their marketing.

However, most of the work we actually see in our marketplace today is nothing but SAFE.

Kristula-Green says ROI can be generated by taking risks. It is about being courageous.

We can all take a leaf from Chevy’s marketing director who acknowledged consumer generated media is a double-edged sword, and that Chevy was ready to enter an honest debate using its blog to directly address criticism.

The internet is a monster that will shirk whatever restraints you put on it. The idea is to manage the bad, and embrace the good that it brings.


sarnblad said...

You're absolutely right in what you say. The endemic risk aversion in Singapore and other parts of the region is a huge frustration for me. Too often, it leads to SAFE creative decisions/solutions that position brands at the centre of convention. It's mad.


RS said...

I love statistics - you know that 78% of all statistics are made up don't you?

Leo Burnett says that over 86% of advertising actually increases sales...?

Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart have recently written a book "What Sticks: Why most advertising fails and how to guarantee your's succeeds". It looks to be a fairly comprehensive study, but the statistics they quote suggest that over 37% of advertising is a complete failure - or about $112 Billion in the US.

We can make up alot of research, but what is required for all marketing is a clear understanding of your goal, and a clear, pre-defined measurement of success on all marketing