After nearly three years of planning and three exceedingly hectic months preparing the launch materials, our client FMC Professional Solutions launched the Verifi™ bed bug detector last week in New Orleans at PestWorld 2011. While we’ll cover the complete launch in more detail in future blogs, this blog will focus on the build up to the launch – the teaser campaign.
Bed bugs have become a global pandemic in recent years and detecting them has proven to be extremely difficult, so we knew we were in a position to generate a lot of product interest in advance of the launch date. We set out to create a campaign to build interest around this new product during the months leading up to the launch. We wanted to generate excitement for this new device while educating potential customers (in this case, pest management professionals) about the entirely new revenue stream it adds to their businesses.
The process began in mid-August with the creation of a Twitter handle (@FMCbedbug) which allowed us to establish a following of engaged users approximately a month prior to beginning the teaser campaign. Before we tweeted any teaser messages, we generated discussion about bed bug news and the challenges that bed bug detection and treatment creates for professionals.
The first piece of teaser creative appeared in mid-September. A print ad featured a large QR code made from hundreds of images of bedrooms and just a couple images of bed bugs, to demonstrate just how challenging it is to find these pests. When scanned, the QR code directed people to a microsite with a countdown to the launch date, a place to sign up for updates and a link to the @FMCbedbug Twitter account.
Press releases featuring the Twitter account and the countdown microsite were sent out and picked up by the pest industry trade media. Not by coincidence, FMC was one of the main sponsors of the North American Bed Bug Summit in Chicago at approximately the same time as the ad and microsite were released. Representatives from FMC manned a booth that featured a big screen countdown clock that attracted traffic and attention from members of the industry. Additionally, a number of highly respected bed bug researchers who were speaking at the Summit, and confidentially working with FMC on product development and testing, hinted at a revolutionary new bed bug detection device that would be launched in less than a month.
And, we were off and running. Advertising, public relations, industry media outlets, client representatives and industry researchers all working together to tease this new innovation from FMC. During the next three weeks, an email blast, direct mail, online rich media ads, updates for those who signed up at the countdown microsite and Twitter posts all continued to tease the launch of this new bed bug detection device, without so much as a mention of the name or sneak peek of the product. This all led to quite a buzz with the pest industry. Even competitors of FMC and their advertising agencies were signing up online trying to get any information they could.
The traffic in the FMC booth at PestWorld was unbelievable, but these statistics demonstrate the fever pitch of excitement as we neared the moment of the product’s debut. By all accounts, the teaser campaign and the Verifi bed bug detector launch have been major successes. In the seven days since the product launched, the Verifi bed bug detector video has been viewed more than 2,000 times and the FMC Professional Solutions website has experienced a 221.5% increase in traffic.
Let us know what you think and stay tuned for more on this launch in upcoming blogs.
So we’re Halloween shopping a couple of weeks ago and one of my boys shouts, “Look, Angry Birds!” I saw a giant red bird costume next to a giant yellow one. They did look angry. My first thought was who would want to be a big, yellow, ugly, pissed-off bird? My second thought was who would spend 50 bucks on it? End of story. Didn’t really think about the giant foam costumes till just last weekend while at Southpark Mall. A whole kiosk entirely dedicated to these Angry Birds got my attention immediately. They had stuffed animal ones (in different sizes) and shirts and hats and any other item you could stick a cute little round angry feathered friend on. Color me 44 years old but I had no idea what an Angry Bird was till the day before I wrote this. I try to stay up on things but somehow, this worldwide phenomenon slipped by my radar screen (or should I say slingshot past me?). This takes us to last Sunday. I was over my brother’s with my three boys and while I watched the Browns game (or what I like to call “field goal challenge”), they were all huddled around my brother’s brand-new Android phone. Seems Angry Birds is a bit addictive. Angry Birds, a simple puzzle-slash-touchscreen game created by a small Finnish computer game developer, immediately had all of our attention! Once I got a chance to check it out I couldn’t put it down either! I would explain the game to you but since its release in late 2009, over 300 million copies of the game have been downloaded worldwide (and need I even mention all of the merchandising?) so you probably have heard of it, seen it, or chances are even better that you have played it recently.
I have a growing problem with collecting. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized most people, not just me, have an odd habit of collecting things. Some collect furniture, others collect stamps, bottle caps, guns, badges, coasters, posters, lava lamps — not even clothing clad Chihuahua are safe from abysmal hoarding hands of mankind.
Where do these innate tendencies to collect and store things of little or no value come from? These frivolous objects will certainly outlive our squirrely existences. We can argue collecting is an obsession, but I’d rather like to think of collecting as a healthy dose of therapy.
People will collect things to inspire them, to bring joy/fulfillment to their lives, and quite possibly impress or shock other people. My own nerdtastic collection of board games has grown so large it has taken over half my closet. The worst part is that it has become self-aware and seeks to take over the rest of my den. For me, the games are a nice escape from the everyday norm, but the real beauty of it all is the fantastic artwork they contain.
Hoarders of the world unite! We all have our reasons for collecting. List yours and check out a few of our own crazy collections from Melamed Riley:
John Butler – Bushmills Irish whiskey bottles and Golden Retrievers
Bill Roddy – Racing medals, from all the marathons and races participated in
Kathleen Battin – State quarters and old advertisements from the 70s or earlier
Joseph Hughes – Vintage packaging and signage (like ‘30s through the ‘60s) to keep around as design inspiration
Darla Dackiewicz – Mystery, sci-fi, or fantasy books, currently The Dresden Files, books by Jim Butcher
Nicole Melville – I have a pretty sweet sticker collection from when I was little that includes “Where’s the beef?” puffy stickers from the original 1980’s Wendy’s campaign. I also have a complete set of “Shirt Tales” stickers, including Mr. Dinkle.
Some people collect coasters. Our very own Renée Trivett collects coasters from around the world including, England, Germany, California, New York, Massachusetts, and Key West.
Darin Hintz – Antique and vintage stuff pretty much consumes my life. I love polishing and/or refinishing various woods and metals. Have a lot of old cameras and baseball mitts. Vintage aquariums and bicycles.
Patrick Bensi – my example has to be Keystone Light case inserts, also known as case liners. When I was in college, my roommates and I collected every single one on account of us buying 2-3 cases of the stuff a week. Those case inserts have since been lost, but I just got the first in a new series of liners starring Keystone Light spokesman “Keith Stone,” and I hope to finish the collection at some point. It would bring me so much pride.
What I like best about branding and research is working with market segments. Obviously, no two people (or snowflakes) are alike, but dealing with millions of consumers individually is a bit overwhelming. So through heavy-duty statistical analysis, we classify consumers into segments or categories. People in the same segment tend to share motivations and behaviors relative to a product category.
The segment that fascinates me most is referred to as Yuppies (Young Urban Professionals).
A Yuppie is someone who is into conspicuous personal consumption usually made conspicuous by brand choice. They are obsessed with social status and considered to be vain and materialistic. They live hectic lives, chasing success and the good life.
They are fascinating to me because first, they were invented by Madison Avenue in the mid-’80s sans any research at all, so there is no way to really find them or know how many exist. Secondly, no one will admit to being a Yuppie because everyone else makes fun of them. And finally, while they were declared dead in 1987, they are not only alive and well today (our president was accused of being one of them during the 2007 campaign), but growing internationally.
Over the years, there has been much more focus on making fun of this segment than on actually marketing to them.
While the name Yuppie carries with it mostly negative and funny connotations, this is a very important segment to advertisers and their agencies. We do know for sure that demographically, they are young, affluent and upwardly mobile. For international marketers, their presence and importance are being discovered in Japan, Korea, China, Russia, Western European countries and even some of the booming nations of India, and Southeast Asia. Marketers need to get serious about this segment and that begins with a name change.
A client of ours recently found through their research, a segment that looks a whole lot like the Yuppies in the United States and many of their targeted international markets. Melamed Riley is going to be hearing a lot more about Yuppies in the near future, but the name will be changed to protect the innocent.
It’s official: food has gone mainstream. Oh sure, we’ve been feasting on the stuff since the Stone Age, but never before has what we eat played such a large role in how we fulfill our appetite for entertainment.
Cooking, baking, devouring a cheeseburger the size of a golden retriever – if it happens in the kitchen, it’s happening on your TV screen. Like pastries? Today’s television menu features 11 shows about cakes and cupcakes alone.
Even Cleveland, with its growing reputation as a “foodie town,” has been helping TV junkies satisfy their craving for food-based entertainment. Specializing in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Melt Bar & Grilled has been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives as well as Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, while Hodge Podge, a Cleveland food truck, competed on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.
But as Clevelanders, our relationship with food isn’t always “camera-friendly” – at least when it comes to personal preferences. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than here at Melamed Riley, where years of treating our lunches like science experiments has resulted in some strange concoctions that would even keep Gordon Ramsey up at night.
Following our very own Sarah Melamed’s recent appearance in the September 18th Plain Dealer feature entitled Talk with the Boss, the agency has received quite a few interesting “applications” from readers looking to join our wonderful creative department, apparently prompted by her statement that “a really good creative person can get a job easily in Northeast Ohio.”
I stand by her statement. In fact, I’ll go one further and say a really good creative person can get a job right here at Melamed Riley … if he or she is indeed a really good creative person AND they go about it the right way.
How do you prove you’re a really good creative person (as it pertains to ad agencies)?
You present a portfolio of great, relevant work. Whether it’s spec or the real deal, we need to see proof that you understand what a great advertising concept is, and that you’re actually capable of dreaming them up. Also, remember that just because an ad ran or a brochure was printed doesn’t necessarily mean it is portfolio worthy. Likewise, samples of screenplays, poetry, blog writing, paintings, and crafts don’t tell us much about how great you’ll be at coming up with the next big ad campaign. Generally speaking, we need to see great advertising examples. We need to see the kind of thinking you’d see in the pages of Communications Arts or The One Show. Personally, I like seeing a couple pieces in a book that make me say to myself, “Wow, I wish I had come up with that!”
You show a great understanding of your target audience. In this case, that audience is me as the Executive Creative Director and other management types here at the shop. As a creative ad person, one must know their audience inside and out, and then figure out how to connect with them on some emotional level. It’s hard. But if you can do it to get the job, it’ll be a good indication that you’ll be able to do it for our clients.
You don’t say you’re creative, you show it. Think about it. The coolest brands don’t tell you they are cool, they just look and behave in a way that is cool. Same goes for job candidates. How you present yourself and your work says it all. So you never want to go on and on about how creative you are and how valuable you will be to the agency. Instead, you basically need to create a campaign, starring you as the product.
That’s all there is to it. If you can do all three of these things, not only would we roll out the red carpet to have you come in to discuss open creative positions, it’s likely that most agencies around town would do so as well.