Have you heard about the new global ad campaign of Mercedes-Benz? I guess the person who approved this banner hasn’t.

It is on the right side of this video saying ‘Grand Prix Edition – for the fastest ones’. Quick animation so you may see it 3-4 times if you watch it until the end.

Equilor Facebook adFacebook social ads. Not easy as needs a different approach. I just found an inviting ad targeted to my profile whether I want to take a free voucher to Hungary’s one and only restaurant that has one Michelin star. I think everyone wants one. And this was not the usual spammy ‘you won a car/house/USD 1M/etc’ kind of message that was translated on a very bizarre way by an online translator service, rather a nicely crafted one with good Hungarian.

  The ad doesn’t say anymore about conditions or ways of taking the opportunity or other details that help me to decide whether this is for me or no. But when I click the landing page provides the conditions that might be relevant for a very specific target audience about private financial savings.

We should all be very careful with communicating our messages on Facebook. Facebook is not about awareness it is about engagement. On Facebook you may and should target your message very consciously. Otherwise you may get CTs but no conversions. On Facebook you shouldn’t focus on CTs.

In Hungary, from 2007 to 2009 the share of display advertising in all online media spending has dropped with more than 15%. The average CTR of classic banner ads (skyscraper, leaderboards, double banners) is half than 2-3 years ago. New types of online ads appeared.

So if you ask me: Hey MDC, Is banner advertising dying? I’d say: No, I don’t think it’s dying. (Hell I so much like referring to famous quotes). Or at least not the format itself. But the old-fashioned approach of taking an offline creative and animate the object is dead.

Those advertisers using internet just for the sake of having internet in the mediamix and create the banners the way I just wrote may double-check the post-buy analysis and see for themselves that placing ad without funny, interactive, interesting content will lead to frustration. And it’s really not about only the ad formats. It’s rather the fact that planning innovative formats will not work until the content inside is an animated print creative.

Maggi recently released a new TV copy – a locally created one – in which kids help their parents cooking the lunch. The emotional hook in the copy is the little boy who irritantly priggish and consciously talks improper Hungarian. Some may say it is cute though more than 30,000 people on FB joined to groups against this TV copy.

OK, I am sure these people do not represent the TA of the communication though consider that internet connection is a filter to people who are living in the fast lane and may be more open to services that save time for them. Soooo… will you do something with this kid in a viral video on Youtube?

Over the past couple of years I have noticed that the first two months of the year are not that quiet than it was before. Advertisers wakes up faster agencies work with tighter deadlines in this period.

In February two companies released their augmented reality activation. Samsung designed this microsite for 3d visualization of notebooks. I personally find it very self-centered or rather autotelic but no doubt that it is truly an experience.

The other one is a global activation that has - Thank God! – it’s Hungarian leg too. These days if you visit a Benetton store, you got a nice postcard that has the code on it’s back. It’s pretty bad that the microsite is not localized (only English) but the text on the card is in Hungarian. Accordingly, as Hungarian special characters are not proper on the card I guess the card was localized centrally too. Though, why I really like this activation is that it goes beyond the product level. Check it out!

I hope these activations will be successful so advertisers may be more open to innovative channels that bring more fun into our (their consumers) life.

I guess if you are over some digital projects then you know the problem of creating online campaign creatives from sources that were made for an offline (TV, print) activation. Photos from which the main character cannot be cut on a proper way, illustrations where some layers are missing but need to be animated, TVCs to be used as they are for a videobanner…etc. These are usually the main reasons of lame banners that lead to failures in the online communication which may enhance brand managers that the online channel is not something worth investing in.

The creative solution I have for today is something I like very much. The agency had a 60sec TVC and by using the interactive annotations some videosharing portal provides they created side channels that made the TVC live and exciting. This is not the first time of course when an agency used this feature as a base of a commercial. But I like the way of thinking and the fact that the idea might have come after the TVC was ready. All the side channels contain narrations and texts only but it is still entertaining.

It is a pity that they couldn’t arrange putting behind this video some forum spamming activity so that the TA could find it easier. Though every second Hungarian internet user is using Youtube at least once a month they don’t use it the same way like the national videosharing portals where they go and browse the videos. As a Hungarian when you upload a video to Youtube or any other international videosharing site you may also assure that your fellow Hungarians may find it.

2009: A good year for online marketers. Even though our original business plans might not have been met this year brought us more attention. Due to the shift in the marketing communication towards direct sales support, measuring results has become more important. Here in Hungary more CT-based campaigns were ordered than anytime before. Coca-Cola Hungary has created a digital marketing professional role (with real decision-making power) and get a local online expert for this position. The most popular local advertising magazine‘s editors have heavily been using Facebook to promote their latest articles while it’s forum is finally become live and the amount of online-related content has also been growing significantly.

The last quarter’s (some might say the year’s) biggest communication failure was also an online-driven one that was covered in all types of offline media.

But the most important  change I feel is that brand managers, marketing managers and marketing directors listen much more to us than before. They really want to know more about the opportunities digital channels may provide.

Our task in 2010 is to live with this possibility. There is no need to sell the digital ideas with rich garnish and formats that serves only to sell the idea. In 2010 I believe we’ll have much more freedom in creativity therefore I expect higher quality level of Hungarian digital works. Over the past years the most common answer to the growing ad noise was bigger, stronger, harder. I expect that in 2010 it will be: smarter.

My fellow Hungarian online marketing colleagues, be partner in that!

Over the past few years I have experienced many times classic ad agencies’ creative teams coming out with online execution ideas. Most of the cases the biggest problem was that they raped the ATL concept to fit into the online creative formats or their directions was just simply not executable due to technical limitations.

This time it’s much more interesting. ATL agency, Akció-NXS created a concept for the web, called Észpénz (something like mind your finances) for people who are not experts on this field but the financial crisis affected their budget very much. And they advertise it online with very simple display creatives.

Unfortunately, they have seriously underestimated the site architecture planning and the UAT parts of the project. After the content itself the second most important thing is how you structure it. When you identify how your visitors arrive your portal you should plan decently the customer journey. How they enter your site and how you want them to leave it.

This is what they forgot. When I enter I don’t know where I am, where and what to start with and what I may benefit if I consume their content. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think an ATL agency should be well aware of the facts I collected above, but they should consult it with an expert of the field because I am pretty sure if it comes to entry page conversion rate of this portal (visitors may perform any action on the portal after they entered the site) it sucks.

See it for yourself here (if you understand the language) or watch the short video of the navigation:

Most of the times I have the feeling that creative agencies don’t have any submission to try understanding online specialities. It’s a very special and complex field I know and my mission is to point this out and make it more conscious in order to always provide a better user experience.

Have you ever heard about Windows Live Agents? OK, if you haven’t and don’t wanna read a whole Wikipedia page, in one sentence: Windows Live Agents are chatbots that in different topics provide info/entertain users that want to chat with them. They look like they are AI but they aren’t. They are programmed to respond automatically for certain type of questions.

Now this is really something unique, and congratulations to any agency who may sell a creative idea like that to an advertiser. Most of them would never understand what such type of communication stands for. In addition, WL Messenger has close to 1M UV per day which makes it one of the most visited online medium.

Coca-Cola Hungary has released an agent to support it’s online-based loyalty program, Take it, test it! It promotes all the services of Coke.hu that is focusing on music. Unfortunately, the chatbot is too simple, concentrates only for the promotion, you can’t really talk with it for a longer period of time which would really make it an experience. I hope it will be a success and Coca-Cola Hungary may invest in it because these kind of activations had a strong effect on brand love through the experience. I”m afraid at these times it’s not easy to remember how important that is.

If you liked it anyhow, click on the first link of this post that lists some very good chatbot examples and see for yourself how rich such an experience can be.

No, it’s not an interstitial – but almost. Have you ever measured the dwell time on a social networking portal entry page? Not much, especially not if you are a frequent visitor. Your focus is on typing your password correctly – and after hitting enter that’s it, you are in and entry page is gone.

Now, you may play around with the message reflecting on the only activity you do on an entry page and that may grab the visitor’s attention but placing any contextless game there is a waste of money. Lot of money. Next time, don’t just buy a very remarkable and expensive ad space, take the time and think about what you are placing there.

 

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