Because of the limited trackability and sophistication of TV advertising (representing the pinnacle of brand advertising), it is now common knowledge in the industry that brand advertising can somehow survive without full accountability. The fascinating dystopia of the advertising industry, is that while many performance marketing buys are put under the microscope for the true impact on revenue and profits, when talking about brand buys, no one ever questions the impact on the business of these buys and it seems like delivery is all it matters. Disclaimer 1: due to the ever-evolving, fast-paced nature of this industry, anything stated below may not be true in a few months, or even weeks. Disclaimer 2: everything on this site is my personal opinion, and it does not represent the point of view of the company I work for etc.
Over the past 8 years, working in Digital Marketing, I saw the industry obsessing over many different metrics when talking about performance campaigns: CPM, CPC, CTR, and then finally focusing on more meaningful metrics such as CPA, ROAS, and profitability. The reason why DR online marketing is a no-brainer nowadays, is because after years of debating on which metrics were meaningful, the right tools came along to take the guesswork and the heavy-lifting away from the people buying the media, and give it to machine-learning algorithms. Products like AdWords can automatically manage bids and placements to hit the desired cost per action, return on ad spend, or profitability. And while companies are desperate to find ways to spend additional money to marginally move the needle in one of the key constituents of branding (awareness, recall, consideration, intent), SEM is getting none of that budget. Why marketers have no problem accepting such a flowed logic when doing ‘brand marketing’, but none of it when buying SEM?
As a matter of fact trying to embrace all the different elements that make Search Advertising campaign successful in one single slide (and keep it simple at the same time), is quite a challenge! So if you think you are able to represent in a nice visual way what I’m going to describe in the next few paragraphs, well my friend… we are in business!
Planning an Online Advertising Campaign: if the Theory is so Simple, Why No One Executes Properly? This week I’ve been in London to present to a group of Product Marketing Managers how to use online advertising to promote their products online, and in particular what are the metrics that they should be looking at to take data driven decisions and shape the success of their campaigns. The tricky part in all this is that most of the Product Marketing Managers thought that they had it all figured it out, but then when we then deep dived in the way the run their own advertising campaigns, they couldn’t be further from the most basic concepts and best practices (I had more than person saying that they some parts of the presentation were “too basic” for them). One thing that most people forget about when launching an online advertising campaign, is the planning and setup phase, which I believe is as critical as the managing phase and the subsequent analysis and data collection. Thinking mobile is probably the best way to understand tomorrow’s user behavior, and therefore adapt your business strategy to the ever-changing competitive environment in which it operates.
Nowadays two very common ways of social affiliation with a brand are the Facebook fan page and the Twitter followers. In both cases we can measure the change in attitude towards the brand (and therefore sales) due to an external factor (positive or negative) influencing the purchasing behaviour, but we cannot directy see the effects, if people are not going to be tested against their consideration for the brand. Most of the time, viral marketers promote the power of their iniciatives by showing the increase of awareness consequent to their projects. Upon scanning the QR code using the Snapchat app, it either says a€?callofduty is already your frienda€? (if already added) or it starts following Call of Duty on your account (if not already added). Meanwhile, the Call of Duty Snapchat account has now also released a 10 second teaser video, which you can view here. Infinity Ward has revealed via Twitter that it will be live streaming the reveal of its next Call of Duty title tomorrow, May 2nd, on Twitch.
The latest update for Call of Duty: Black Ops III is set to add microtransactions to the game.
Sledgehammer Games, the developer behind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, is currently developing a new game, the company's co-founder has revealed. Square Enix has announced that it will be localizing its Romancing SaGa 2 remake for iOS and Android, although no release date was revealed.
Sega has announced that Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X will be heading to North America (retail and PSN) on August 30th. In honor of Golden Week, Steam has launched an Anime themed sale that includes discounts for over 200 different titles. I have enough shovels and water yet I still can't get the seed from the plant in third Archipelago. In looking at another campaign that faced a similar issue in marketing a campaign for a movie was Paramount. What was before a very manual, slow, and tedious process, is now done by (some) DSPs in a fraction of a second; returns are higher and the practitioners have more time available.
The industry talks about viewability, and not everyone agrees on what should be defined as a viewable impression (e.g.
Not only that no one can accurately measure the correlation between awareness lift and sales lift, but in many cases the branding impact is given on faith.
When I showed it to a few colleagues to have some feedback on my “theories”, one of them said: ”Wow! Moreover I feel like I’ve never been blessed with a superior data visualization ability that some people have, and let’s face it… my slide is pretty horrible for the time being!

Even if these two ways of affiliations are often considered similar, brands should be very careful in using them in order to channel marketing communications.
If a fan of a brand would like to have information about a brand and its news, it’s probably going to check out the company website or Twitter page rather than their own Facebook account.
First of all a Facebook fan page gives you a perfect indicator of the online reputation of your brand.
This is not a new problem since even in old-school advertising, brand loyalty and brand fidelity were easily identifiable but hardly convertible in terms of added value to the sales.
Unfortunately increased awareness by itself is not enough to qualify a successful social or viral campaign, since is nothing but the consequence of a branding initiative (by definition). In order to make a film successful is it necessary to launch a very serious campaign incorporating the entire audience? Prior to the movie being released 42 Entertainment came up with a brilliant marketing idea.
The campaign started off by creating Gotham city where the Joker started building his army. Paramount was responsible for the marketing campaign for Iron Man, which was set to come out May 2, 2008, just a couple months prior to The Dark Knight.
Modern Warfare, the video game that can be played on multiple consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation and Wii) was marketed in a different but successful way. This is understandable considering the movie has already made their money for the movie, and another movie had come out since then.
This makes look what we do so complicated that if you give this slide to a media agency, they could virtually charge any fee for their service!”. Moreover the people that show affiliation with a brand as a way of self identification, are going to be the perfect brand advocates and they should be involved in a social marketing initiative. Therefore what is often confused by viral, is nothing but a unusual and sometimes extravagant way of promoting a brand. Most notably, a mysterious Black Ops 2 update has introduced a couple of ghost icon QR code posters to the game (see image below). It certainly paid off for 42 Entertainment; they got very serious with a viral campaign ready to launch the new Batman movie in 2008. The campaign used cross media convergence, which is using more than one outlet to reach an audience.
A main focus of the movie was Ledger’s character, Joker, which caused a lot of fans to be disheartened. It only makes sense that Iron Man and The Dark Knight would be a competitor for the same audience since. The executive creator Rob Troy at the advertising agency The Ant Farm, described the thinking behind the campaign in a panel at a game marketing conference.
After researching the campaign it makes sense why it had so much success in the marketing and advertising industries. Also, even when we reduce the complexity from the media buying process, there is still much to be done to optimize the creative and the conversion funnel. The Dark Knight, one of the most anticipated films prior to the campaign was set to launch in the summer of 2008. All of which allowed the audience to really get involved in feel as though the city of Gotham needed each individual participating. This led to sending a large crowd of fans to the San Diego Comic-Con where they participated in various activities leading them to new information.
PR week published their thoughts right after the incident, “Still, no one suggests that the campaign will remain utterly unaffected. The ad agency, which has created successful advertisements before, had been working with Call of Duty since 2003. 42 Entertainment did update one of the websites they created, and showed the death of the Joker. To be able to reach a large audience is key, but then to further involve them makes it even better. When deciding who owns the landing page or the creative development process, the debate often becomes political rather than tactical. And you do, regardless of the fact that tracking mobile ads is still very hard, surveying teens is often prohibited, and registering a lift at 90% confidence level requires volumes that very few networks offer. What I’m just promoting an unconventional branding message, through what nowadays are already two (already) very commons media of mass communication. The film featured well-known actors such as, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman.

Soon after that there were other events instructing fans to find clues located in major cities across the United States.
The campaign was focused on not only the fictional reality game itself but also getting fans to pick sides between the Joker and Harvey Dent.
All eyes are on WB for the time being, and while most agree that the studio has thus far handled the situation well, with a great deal of class, it remains under immense pressure not to offend audiences. The game already had a huge buzz because of the popularity of its 2007 version, Call of Duty 4, the predecessor to Modern Warfare.
The audience played a role in helping 42 Entertainment create national and worldwide buzz about the Dark Knight. Still all the elements are there, therefore the value must be there, and it becomes acceptable to invest.
All of these characters were ready to make the movie a huge hit for the summer blockbusters of 2008. The campaign used the Internet, newspapers, and gave the audience tokens, cell phones, and other devices to help decode the game.
As the campaign continued, fans became more passionate about fighting for their side and making sure their ideas were heard. While this will not likely mean a drastic departure from the original plan, it will require the studio to avoid images or sound clips of the Joker that overtly reference death.” At the time, the continuing success of the marketing campaign was in question. Each advertising agency used different but effective techniques to grab their target audience.
Unfortunately, none of these actors actually played a role in the marketing campaign created by 42 Entertainment.
42 Entertainment created over 30 websites online to lead the participants to different locations and clues. The website was where they could submit photos of themselves dressed up as the Joker for an incentive.
Due to the success of the marketing campaign the film became the top grossing film of 2008. Even under the stress, 42 Entertainment managed to not upset any of the fans over Ledger’s death. The goal of the marketing campaign was to spread that this version would be even a better experience. All in all, we all understand why the Dark Knight did so well back in 2008 and how a viral campaign can be successful. They also created fictional newspapers such as, The Gotham Times, which included more facts about what was occurring. Those fans were then sent a copy of the fictional newspaper, which was called ‘The Gotham Times’.
The movie earnings were about $533,345,358 alone in North America and a further $469,700,000 in other countries. They also attended Comic-Con but only to show trailers and have people dressed up like Iron Man.
On the release day Activision Blizzard had a 30-second TV commercial that showed video highlights of the game to hip-hop music by Eminem. In our opinion, we believe that other products should follow in its’ footsteps, and create an interactive marketing campaign. 42 Entertainment had the idea to target the audience in the film, TV, and comic book media world involved. They had the opportunity to physically vote for Harvey Dent, take part in the different campaigns, and receive phone calls from the characters themselves. The convention took place in San Diego, where 42 Entertainment created and started The Dark Knight campaign. 42 Entertainment certainly deserved a pat on the back after executing one of the most successful viral campaigns of all time. Even though Comic Con was in San Diego, 42 Entertainment was successful in targeting an audience worldwide.
The first big film of the summer was made, Iron Man and then set the tone for all the other films being released later that summer.

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