Adam Williams

Advice for marketers and small business owners

Insights

How to use Pinterest’s user behavior to improve all of your social media content

As a brand or business, making the decision to become active on yet another social network is a big one. You have to be prepared to create a strategic approach, create frequent content, put paid media behind it, etc. So it doesn’t always make sense to enter every emerging channel such as Pinterest. Yet, you can still learn from what’s working on Pinterest and apply it to Facebook, Twitter or wherever you might be currently playing.

Here are a few examples of how you can make your content more relevant by observing Pinterest usage.

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Why Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches is better positioned than prior campaigns

On April 14, 2013, Dove took a big step along its path to changing women’s perceptions of themselves. In 2006, Dove began its crusade against the beauty industry with the much hyped short titled Dove Evolution. I want to explain why the Real Beauty Sketches campaign is better.

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McDonald’s fresh fast food ad campaign doesn’t understand consumers

McDonald's Fresh Fast Food Ad

You probably didn’t see these McDonald’s ads since they ran in Australia during the later part of 2012. At face value, they seem like pretty smart ads considering the fast food giant’s reputation for unhealthy, obesity causing foods.

The basic message says, “Hey, our food comes from the same place as your food.” McDonald’s is subtlety addressing the quality of its foods by talking about the source and not the food itself. That’s an important distinction.

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Why Mercedes-Benz’ “Soul” was the best ad of Super Bowl XLVII

There has been a lot of talk over the last two weeks about the Super Bowl ads and which ones were the best. As far as I’m concerned, the best ads are the ones that address a business need and move the sales needle.

The problem with a lot of the popular ads is just that they are funny. At times, it seems as if Super Bowl advertisers are just competing with each other to be the funniest or most talked about. Yes, that can translate into dollars but not always. Although Budweiser’s “Horse and Trainer Reunited” topped USA Today’s Ad Meter, I’m curious if it did much to move the sales needle.

(Caveat: I recognize that the creative brief for the Budweiser ad may have contained other objectives)

Mercedes-Benz’ “Soul” ad featuring Willem Dafoe was the best ad in Super Bowl XLVII because it’s designed to meet both of the criteria mentioned above.

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Blue vs. white beanies and why you should do more consumer testing and less surveying

In high school, we had a class project to introduce a new product in our school store. We decided to launch a branded beanie as the weather was turning cold and football season was in full swing.

As part of our market research, we surveyed students to determine color preferences. We showed color samples and the overwhelming response was for blue beanies with a minority wanting white.

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How ad agency mcgarrybowen and Honda Europe nailed the right consumer insight

The objective of a brand promise is to identify a key need, desire or want based on a consumer insight, and then position your brand as the solution provider.

A campaign must balance creativity and communicating the brand promise.

Along those lines, I always keep my eyes open for ads that achieve two objectives.

  1. Identify an extremely compelling reason to buy
  2. Create an emotionally engaging message

It’s rare that I’m impressed. The Honda CRV campaign created by agency mcgarrybowen, however, astounded me.

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Avoiding the “Field of Dreams” trap when launching a new product or service

Launching a product or service believing that users will simply open their wallets and hand you money just because it exists is what I call the Field of Dreams trap. It’s believing that if you build it, they will magically come.

So why do otherwise intelligent people make this mistake? Usually for one of two reasons.

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