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Throughout my spring semester at TCNJ, I have worked on, what seems like, millions and millions of marketing projects. From market research to surveys, advertisements to the analytical aspects of the field, I have covered all the bases. I really think I’m starting to get a grasp of this whole marketing major thing. One of the classes I did not expect to affect my knowledge of the field, however, has been my Writing for Interactive Multimedia course. By writing this blog, keeping up with the media, and learning to market myself by building a website and staying professional, this class has given me a new perspective on the marketing and advertising industries.

My final two projects in this course were to build a portfolio website (which I talk about here) and produce an audio visual presentation about something I find interesting or intriguing. While at first I wasn’t sure how the latter related to marketing, after having finished I had a very clear idea of how useful it will be in my career. I now understand how important it is to edit. I have to edit my thoughts, words, actions, future ad campaigns, and product pitches. I have a new found respect for editors in all professional industries. It takes a lot of time (and even more patience) to review and revise a media project. Films, ads, audio visual slideshows all take a critical eye to create and perfect.

Once the pictures had been taken, interview had been conducted, revisions had been made, sound had been added, more revisions had been made, and it finally all came together, it was quite clear to me that it wasn’t necessarily the project itself that related to marketing, but rather the process. It’s all about how you do it, not necessarily what you do. At least that’s what I keep telling myself…

At the top of this post is the final product, Springtime in Princeton, a nice collection of photos from a lovely town just minutes from my school along with an interview I had with the wonderful professor I went abroad with. Please, do enjoy!

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This week there will be a new entrant into the world of advertised online music. During the popular reality music competition show The Voice, Spotify will present American music lovers with its campaign “For music.” This $10 million campaign is meant to generate awareness of Spotify and compel music fans across the country to consider downloading, and eventually paying for a subscription to the company’s online music services.

You might be thinking, “So what? This isn’t exactly the most interesting information.” Oh, but wait…none of the commercials will feature music. That’s right. A music service will run a multimillion dollar campaign with no music. Did I grab your attention?

The whole idea is to promote Spotify as the perfect place to go to find music for every moment and mood. No matter the genre, no matter your age, Spotify has the music you want, exactly when you want it. The spot shows concertgoers enjoying the energy of the show, when a narrator comes on and begins, “It’s been said that the best songs don’t give answers but instead answer questions. So, why? Why can a song change the world?” As a body-surfer makes his way over the crowd, the narrator continues, “Because music is a force for good, for change, for whatever. Because we were all conceived to a 4/4 beat. Because music cannot be stopped, cannot be contained. Because music makes us scream ‘Koo koo cachoo’ and mean it. Because music is worth fighting for. Why? Because it’s music.”

I must admit, I think the way this commercial plays out is brilliant. A commercial for a music service that has nothing but narration? Risky, but I think it will pay off. It’s unexpected and clever, and the addition of the narrator’s words (in particular, the fantastic Beatles reference) makes this an exciting spot.

Spotify is building a brand. The company’s goal is to be the place for people to go for music: no strings attached. “Find all the songs you need to get weird. And all the rest.” The idea is that Spotify is a judgment free place for music lovers no matter what their beloved genre may be. And I think that’s something we can all get behind.

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

David Ogilvy changed the world of advertising. This 20th century advertising executive understood the importance of both research and creativity when bringing a product to market. He employed unique marketing techniques and made sure to break the rules every once in a while.

During his first few months in advertising, a client looking to promote the opening of his hotel walked into Ogilvy’s office and gave him the job. The client’s budget was $500, and he would accept nothing less than a full house on opening night. Ogilvy took the money, bought $500 worth of postcards, then sent one to everyone he could find in the local telephone directory. On opening night, the hotel was packed! I’ll never underestimate the power of direct marketing!

So I thought I should pay homage to the master of marketing and advertising himself: David Ogilvy. His words can be found at the beginning of this post, and have been used by marketers and advertisers for years. My understanding of this quote is that the best advertisements make an impact and leave an impression without corrupting the value of the brand. I hope that in my future career I am able to put his wise words of wisdom to good use!

I know I told you alllll about the AMA conference I attended last weekend in my last post, but there was one takeaway that I just had to share. Peter Stern, president of Strategic Agency, was full of useful information on entering the marketing industry and what it really takes to become successful. He emphasized creativity and innovation as the way to win over clients and build a strong following for the future.

The most intriguing part of the conference (for me, at least) was when Stern showed us a case that his company has been working on lately to bring the infamous athletic Starter jackets back into popularity. Stern and the rest of Strategic Agency started pitching ideas to Starter and eventually  decided to bring the jackets to the Super Bowl: the ultimate athletic stage.

The creativity comes in when they decided to open up an ice cream shop on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and dub it “The Starter Parlor.” They represented every NFL team with its own flavor of ice cream: positively brilliant!! Coffee ice cream with java chips for the Seattle Seahawks. Gaga for Ghirardelli for the San Francisco 49ers. The combinations were endless.

And thus began the Starter jacket promotion. Celebrities, athletes, and Super Bowl fans lined up to have a scoop of their favorite team’s flavor. The jackets filled the parlor and models walked the runway wearing the latest designs.

Everything about this pop-up shop was great, but the metaphorical cherry-on-top (forgive me for the ice cream pun, I simply couldn’t resist) was when Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh, the parents of the coaches in the Super Bowl, came to The Starter Parlor for a scoop or two of ice cream. What flavor would they pick? San Francisco or Baltimore? ESPN and other media outlets around the country waited for the answer. The idea of bringing in the mom and dad of the coaches facing each other in the biggest televised athletic event of the year is marketing genius. Starter gets its promotion and Strategic Agency looks really, really good.

This kind of creativity is what I aspire to. All it will take is a little persistence, a dash of luck, and a whole lot of hard work. I think I’m ready for it. How about you?

In September of last year, I promised myself I would find a way to become more involved in one of The College of New Jersey’s professional organizations. I wasn’t sure which club I would join, but I went into my college’s Student Activities Fair with an open mind, hoping something would call out to me. Luckily enough, I stumbled across the table for the American Marketing Association. I started attending meetings regularly and became involved in as many of the organization’s productions as possible. In November, the e-board held interviews for the position of sub-committee leader for TCNJ School of Business events. Long story short, I didn’t get the position…instead, the executive board decided I should be Vice President of Communications! Works for me!

So I thought that given my luck so far with AMA, I should share my excitement and give you my top 3 reasons AMA is an organization to write home about.

Professionalism

AMA is a career-oriented organization. It is a great foundation for not only marketing- minded people, but also anyone looking to learn a little bit more about the business world. With a great group of alumni linked to AMA, career opportunities are endless. Many corporate executives got their start with AMA, and many more are sure to as well!

Conferences

One of the ways AMA is able to thrive as a professional organization is through the many national events the organization sponsors. Its regional and national conferences are great networking opportunities for students looking for internships and full-time employment. Tomorrow, February 23rd, is the northeast regional conference at Pace University in New York City. I will be attending with a few other members of TCNJ’s chapter of AMA. It should be a great experience! I’ll be sure to post pictures!

Community Service

Along with the many professional opportunities provided to members through conferences and alumni, AMA remains focused on the community as well. Community service is an important part of what AMA stands for. Recently, TCNJ’s AMA worked with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to help families devastated by Hurricane Sandy. We have also partnered with a sorority on campus and a local organization called Homefront to help advertise their philanthropic mission of helping the homeless community in Trenton.

Now that I’ve given you my top 3 reasons to like AMA, I hope you go out and try to find your own! I’ll keep you all posted with pictures from the northeast regional conference in Manhattan tomorrow!

Check out the official AMA website here: http://www.marketingpower.com/Pages/default.aspx

Cheers,
Liz

The 4 P's

Here’s the situation:

You’re a freshman in college and it’s your first day of classes. It’s 8am, you have all your books lined up on one of the miniature desktops in the Business Building, and your Marketing professor walks through the door practically giddy with excitement just thinking about the infamous “4 P’s of Marketing.”

Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure every Marketing student in the history of higher education has a similar story.

But in the midst of the excitement you forgot to listen to what the 4 P’s actually are…so how about a re-cap?

Product

The term product is a kind of umbrella term for all products and services offered by a company for sale. It can be tangible, like a pair of shoes, or intangible, like the time spent by your contractor to spruce up your humble abode. Product decisions include everything from design and styling to packaging and warranty options. What do consumers think of when they think of a particular product…that’s what’s important to keep in mind when you, as head marketing executive, are leading your company’s brainstorming session to bring those cool, new running shoes to market.

Price

The American economy is based on the exchange of currency for goods. Perhaps the most crucial part of this system, however, is determining the appropriate price for the goods being sold. Is the value of the product reflected in the price it’s being offered for? Is there flexibility in the price at which it can be sold? Is the practice of price discrimination, one that has been so effective in determining the prices airlines and movie theaters charge for tickets, applicable to this particular product? Or is bundling a better option? Will the customer be inclined to buy more of this product during the Summer? Is there a surplus in the Winter that will lend itself to reduced prices? The list of questions and possible answers is endless. What is important, however, is that these questions are proposed before the price of a product is officially determined and advertised. Which brings us to the next P…

Promotion

Marketing is all about having consumers think highly of the product you’ve brought to the market. The way to do this is successfully promoting the product by way of memorable advertisements, favorable publicity, sales promotions, and countless other promotional activities. Public relations and marketing communications are crucial for the successful launch of a new product. What does the consumer know about the product? What are their thoughts on it after watching commercials, looking at advertisements, and receiving coupons in the mail? It all comes down to your consumers’ reactions.

Place

Finally we must think about logistics. Where will your product be sold? How will it get there? In what stores will it be displayed? What about warehouses? Will you ship via plane, train, or automobile? Will you have brick and mortar stores or will you be an online retailer? These final questions are all about how you get your product to your customer. Let’s say the price is right, your ads were catchy, and the product is riveting…how will those great running shoes make their way onto your customers feet? All is lost without a solid distribution channel, so be thoughtful when considering place.

I hope this post hasn’t brought back too many bad memories of that first semester Marketing course…almost as much as I hope a quick review of the 4 P’s will be a useful reminder of what marketing is all about!

Take a look at this awesome site I used for reference, it really breaks each layer down into its most basic elements.

http://www.netmba.com/marketing/mix/

Cheers,
Liz

As an aspiring marketing executive, I find myself looking for new organizations and newsletters and websites to give me a little more information about the industry. In one of my more recent Internet searches, I found myself deeply entranced by the articles one website had to offer. Anything and everything marketing or advertising related has its own category, neatly organized and up-to-date.

This marketing gem is known in the industry as INMA, a website made possible by the International News Media Association. INMA is “the world’s leading provider of global best practices and marketing ideas for news media companies looking to grow amid profound market change.” In other words, INMA is a leader in providing companies and individuals with the marketing and advertising knowledge to promote positive organizational growth even in these tumultuous times.

This site brings all the best marketing blogs into one, convenient location. Looking for the latest market research trends? INMA is for you! Or maybe you’re more interested in viewing a timeline of online advertising, its progression through the years with the advent of mobile phones and other advancing technologies…INMA is still for you! I have found that looking through various sources of reliable information is the best way to develop thoughts on a topic, and the way INMA brings together a wide variety of blogs into one convenient location is really exceptional.

So go ahead…you know you want to take a look at this fantastic marketing and advertising resource! And it’s all right there in one place. Could it be made any simpler? I seriously doubt it…

http://www.inma.org/

Enjoy all that INMA has to offer and stay current on the latest news in this dynamic field!

Cheers,
Liz

Here we are, one week post-Super Bowl: basically the only time the commercials are as highly-anticipated (if not more so) than the football game itself. So I took this monumental occasion as the perfect opportunity to look into a few of my favorite television commercials and share my top pick.

And the winner is…drum roll please…Coca-Cola’s ‘Security Camera’ campaign! Previously I had thought this was a Super Bowl ad from this year. Turns out I was wrong, very wrong. But I still like it enough to share it with all of you, with the hope that maybe some of you had never seen it before and will like it as much as I do!

So let’s talk about this ad, shall we? It really brings together everything we all love about Coke’s fun and catchy commercials. It keeps us singing along even after it’s over and feeling like drinking a Coke really will “open happiness.” I’m sure you’re all familiar with the classic “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” campaign from the 70s, the instant hit for Cola-lovers around the world. The company continues this trend of success through the 21st century with its newest addition to Coke’s television commercial repertoire.

I can’t help but smile when I watch each candid moment. The simplicity of the typography does not detract from the commercial, but rather adds to the scenes by describing them simply and humorously. Without focusing solely on Coke as a product, this commercial outlines a lifestyle. It depicts Coke drinkers as being caring, funny, thoughtful, and exciting individuals who know how to have a good time. I think this is what really makes the ad resonate with me…this idea of selling not only a product, but the lifestyle that is so closely associated with it.

Coca-Cola has once again proven itself as an advertising powerhouse (soda-drinking polar bears, anyone?) that is capable of depicting a life of excitement without over-selling the product. I think when other companies begin to learn Coke’s secret, they’ll realize what “open happiness” has meant all along.

Cheers,
Liz

Welcome to advantageous advertising, a blog for students, professionals, and anyone else interested in marketing who may not know where else to catch up on the latest advertising and media trends.

My name is Liz and I’ll be the one bringing you everything you ever wanted to know…and then some…about the marketing industry. From ad campaigns and branding strategies to marketing conferences and catchy commercials, there’s a whole lot more to advertising than what Mad Men leads us to believe.

But what makes me a reliable source of advertising information? As a sophomore Marketing major at The College of New Jersey, I’m learning all about what it takes to sell a product to a customer. Who is the target market? What makes this cheap bar of soap better than that one? Why do you need another bar of soap, again? The truth is: neither soap is particularly great…and you don’t need another…but those ads…

So here we are: I’ve introduced myself to you as an up-and-coming advertising executive (wishful thinking never hurt anybody, right?) hoping to keep you informed about the latest marketing trends. I’ll keep you posted with my favorite ad campaigns, innovation in the industry, and any other exciting news that seems relevant to me at the time, all while trying to remain at least mildly entertaining. That’s my promise and I’m sticking to it.

Cheers,
Liz