Confessions also begins a discusion of “good advertising,” which Ogilvy delves much deeper into in his masterwork: Ogilvy on Advertisng. This work is more relevant than ever, because at the time of Ogilvy’s writing, print had taken a backseat to TV. One could argue, and I would, that display advertising has more similarities to print than TV.
Some of my favorite lessons include the fact that you should always put your image above your text to insure that the ad flows with the natural scan behavior of the reader. Or that new claims/uses are an effective ad method- that education can serve as the ultimate ad. Ads with “news” are recalled 22% more. For example, a new use for soup:
Ogilvy’s insights are based on extension survey methods, so his claims are facts. For example, people can’t read reverse print (white text on black background); always use black on white. And that longer ads are actually read MORE than shorter ads. Headlines are read 4 to 5 times more than body text.
His most famous ad for VW, strikes you with a one word headline, that appears to be disparaging the product in the ad. On closer read, you learn that VW’s inspection techniques are so stringent that one in 50 cars is discarded by VW engineers as a “Lemon” before leaving the factory.
To my eyes, the layout and imagery is all Apple. Steve Jobs most certainly read this book.
I love business books from the 1950s to 1980s. Very little has changed in business, and the prevailing business writing style seems to me to have been a lot more candid in those days. The insights seem unscrubbed, and time has done nothing to diminish the lessons.
On any given day or week the most viral content on BuzzFeed and I believe our network (though we have much more data coming on that) tends not to be videos. It is images, articles, list posts, and every other permutation of content.
24 Hour View
The top three items today are: a list of lyrics, an image of a funny SMS exchange, and an image. The first video actually appears as the 7th item.
On the 7-day view, item number 1 includes a video, but is much more of an elaborate guide than a standlone video. Other than that, there are no videos in the top 10. We’ll be putting out more data shortly, but I’m so frequently asked, "what goes viral other than videos," that I wanted to do a post. Heading to our public dashboard can quickly give you an idea of the stuff that works best.
I would say that lists are a highly underutilized form of content. They do remarkably well for us, partners, and advertisers, and get shared a ton. To my knowledge, we’re somewhat unique in our mega image lists (sometimes 100+ images), and it’s a format we’re encouraging brands to adopt. It’s a format that users like and like to share.
The same is true of really surprising and though-provoking standalone images, articles, guides, and audio files. Funny works but so does unexpected, curious, heartfelt, smart, etc.
Posted via email from jonsteinbergOn any given day or week the most viral content on BuzzFeed and I believe our network (though we have much more data coming on that) tends not to be videos. It is images, articles, list posts, and every other permutation of content. 24 Hour View The top three items today are: a list of lyrics, … | Comment »
I’m completely biased from a business perspective/interest in my belief that links and traffic that come via sharing activity are the most valuable
With those caveats out of the way, I’m wondering how much of the online audience is Walking Dead: click farms, zombie accounts, spyware spinning people in circles, etc. I love Twitter and am a Twitter bull, but of those 160 million users, how many are actually active in any real sense. The number is still huge, but when you’re tweeting, you’re still hitting a lot of the dead. Just a quick survey of your followers immediately makes clear that many, and potentially most, are spammers or abandoned accounts.
Jonah first raised the idea of zombie users with me, and we’ve been noodling on it for days now. He also pointed out that one of the best metrics used to counteract these unrealistically high numbers was the “active users” metric deployed by Facebook with regard to Facebook Apps.
The Walking Dead also relates to the current obsessions around micro-targeting according to cookies: “buy me pet lovers on the upper east side who have purchased a latte and a hammer in the past 3 days,” how many of these “people” are like the residents of Atlanta that officer Rick Grimes confronts in the picture above. Cookie eaters maybe, but also dead.
It should come as little surprise that:
More than 2.2 million US PCs were found to be part of botnets, networks of hijacked home computers, in the first six months of 2010… (Microsoft via BBC)
When I meet with agencies and brands, it is making increasing sense to me why the love Facebook: all the users are real. Of all my Facebook friends, I think only one to five (maybe less) are zombie accounts. Further, this is why we’re so focussed on “sharers” at BuzzFeed: it’s a real indication of pulse and human on both sides of the view and share behavior.
Over the next six to twelve months, I’m hoping and predicting the dialogue continues to move from raw views and targeting to one that includes humans vs. walking dead. We’re already beginning to see it; it’s at the very roots of “social” marketing, and I think it’s why social marketing is so important and could almost be called: “marketing to the living.”
Posted via email from jonsteinbergLet me begin this post with two admissions: I’m always looking to draw business analogies from my favorite TV show of the moment (Previously Mad Men and currently The Walking Dead on AMC) I’m completely biased from a business perspective/interest in my belief that links and traffic that come via … | Comment »
The best case for halo effects that I’m familiar with relates to Google. Google search is such a fundamental part of Internet usage - oxygen to air- that anything that drives web usage drives Googling. This is why Google wants you to be in the browser all the time, and it is the halo that justifies costly endeavors such as Android, Google Docs, Gmail, and free airport wifi at Christmas. This could be called a strategy of compliments- cheap razors to sell blades, but brand halo feels like the right term. It’s Google on our minds, Google everywhere in these free products that keeps us Googling as much as the search quality. Chris Anderson makes a similar argument in Free; give away something to sell something.
We’ve been thinking about this at Buzzfeed. We want to be the best in everything viral. From a free viral content destination, to a viral analytics product, to the best viral trends aggregation.We’re monetizing by being a viral advertising technology company. We allow brands and publishers to make their content more viral; we sell the impressions and prove our value with the earned media and the “plus” in the term “impressions plus.” But we are working to create a halo by offering a suite that solves any viral needs faced by end users and business. This also creates expertise for our teams that transfers into the revenue product; it becomes an internal halo for us.
Another type of halo exists in defining your industry, showing the importance of your industry, and then hustling to be the best player in it. If no one wants to buy tricycles, it’s hard to build your business as the best tricycle maker like Kettler does. And similar to how Google wants an open web to allow for users to navigate to google.com to do searches, we want an open and understood web for “viral.” A web where people understand the importance of viral media or shared media, and a web that is open so that we can compete to be the best in a type of marketing and lens that we worked to explain. It’s not unlike how Facebook worked to define and stress the importance of a “social graph,” in concert with striving to make the best social graph.
Posted via email from jonsteinbergThe best case for halo effects that I’m familiar with relates to Google. Google search is such a fundamental part of Internet usage - oxygen to air- that anything that drives web usage drives Googling. This is why Google wants you to be in the browser all the time, and it is the halo that justifies … | Comment »