Tuesday, November 10, 2009

JWT, Japan and Kit Kat win Media Grand Prix

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 | 
CANNES (AdAge.com) — In Japan’s insanely competitive retail environment, one of the world’s most familiar confectionery products, Nestle’s Kit Kat, found an unlikely new distribution channel, earning it and its agency, JWT Japan, the Media Grand Prix today at the 56th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Kit Kat MailJWT was struck by the Japanese translation of Kit Kat — Kitto Katso means “surely win” — and the tradition of sending students good luck wishes before they take tough higher-education entrance exams. So Nestle partnered with Japan’s postal service to create “Kit Kat Mail,” a postcard-like product sold only at the post office that could be mailed to students as an edible good-luck charm.

“It was a brilliant idea, flawless execution and amazing results,” said Nick Brien, president-CEO of Mediabrands Worldwide and president of the media jury. “They created a business model that didn’t exist before.”
Competition-free environment
In innovation piled on innovation, Kit Kat Mail was available in 20,000 Japan Post outlets, creating a new, competition-free retail channel where the product was heavily promoted in a place where there were no rival products. It was also the first time Japan Post ever partnered with a private company.

Mr. Brien said Kit Kat Mail garnered $11 million worth of free publicity, and Nestle is keeping it as a permanent product. “Exams are over but people still send it to wish good luck on any occasion.”

This year’s revamped Media Lions graded heavily on effectiveness, and the jury tossed out terrific ideas they loved that didn’t rigorously address execution and proof of results. “The focus was solutions that worked,” he said. Even so, there were still a hefty number of Media Lions, 20 golds, 29 silvers and 69 bronzes, up from a total of 55 last year.
This week different juries are picking the same ads as Grand Prix contenders. The other closest candidate for the Media Grand Prix was a heartfelt effort to raise awareness of the forced-into-exile newspaper The Zimbabwean by putting a message about its plight on Zimbabwe’s worthless trillion dollar bills and using the currency as a giant poster and a brochure and other media. The outdoor portion of the campaign, by TBWA Hunt Lascaris, Johannesburg, won the Outdoor Grand Prix. In the end, The Zimababwean won gold but didn’t muster enough votes to win the Media Grand Prix, because the idea of turning money into media had been used before and so was not entirely original, Mr. Brien said.

Another jury favorite, “The Best Job in the World” for Tourism Queensland, reappeared as a gold winner in media after picking up two Grand Prix yesterday, in the Lions Direct and the new PR Lions competitions. The integrated campaign by CumminsNitro, Brisbane, to promote tourism to Australia under the guise of recruiting for a dream job as a lighthouse keeper, was a contender for the media Grand Prix, too.

Lexus’ innovative magazine work 
In all, the U.S. won four Gold Media Lions, including Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s notorious “Whopper Sacrifice” promotion for Burger King that offered each Facebook user who deleted 10 friends a free Whopper, and a campaign called “Reinventing the Magazine” for Lexus USA by Team One, El Segundo, Calif., that judges said belied frequent talk about the demise of print media. Lexus partnered with Time Inc. to customize a magazine for readers based on information they provided about themselves and multiple databases. Content was drawn from eight different Time Inc. magazines and Lexus ads were tailored to the individual reader in a series of five on-demand issues of “Mine” delivered to consumers in the print or digital form they chose.

“It was brilliant how they were able to bring that level of customization when there’s talk about the death of magazines,” said Monica Gadsby, CEO of SMG Multicultural and a Media Lions judge. “Consumers’ names are even embedded in the ads.”
The other two U.S. Gold Media Lion winners were DDB West, San Francisco, for Clorox Co.’s Green Works Natural Cleaner and a Walmart sustainability campaign by Mediavest USA, New York.

Mr. Brien succeeded in raising the bar on requiring proof of effectiveness for this year’s Media Lion winners, but is still working on a different challenge: getting more media agencies to enter the Media Lions. About two-thirds of the 20 Gold winners and the Grand Prix were entered by creative agencies such as Crispin and JWT, and only one-third by media agencies, a proportion he said was representative of the 1,840 entries this year.

Marketer of the Year: Hyundai

The Carmaker Won Handily in Our Reader Poll, Besting Walmart, McDonald's, Lego and Amazon

HYUNDAI: Joel Ewanick, Dave Zuchowski, Chris Hosford and Chris Perry stand with a Genesis.
DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Consider the state of affairs when viewers tuned into the Super Bowl in February: Banks had failed, a stimulus package still hadn't been announced, and unemployment was surging toward 8%, up from 4.8% the year before. Escapism was the order of the day, and most advertisers played right along, with brands like Coke and Pepsi offering saccharine happy-happy joy-joy visions that jarred with the bleak reality.

There was one advertiser, however, that didn't. In the third quarter, in an otherwise standard-issue cars-rolling-through-landscape spot, a voice-over brought into the light of day something that ranks up there with death and erectile dysfunction as something people don't want to talk about. "Now finance or lease any new Hyundai, and if you lose your income in the next year, you can return it with no impact on your credit."

With that bold stroke, Hyundai -- yes, Hyundai -- an automaker not historically known for fearless marketing, began in earnest a frontal assault on a recession that was not dampening consumer enthusiasm but drowning it. But while its Assurance Program received heavy support, it wasn't the sole route of advance. Hyundai also took an upmarket route, with its very successful efforts to push the Genesis, its entry into the premium-car market that was also pushed during the Super Bowl as well as during the game's female-skewing equivalent, the Academy Awards, where the carmaker bought an eye-popping nine spots.

Engaging with both the broken dreams and the intact ones through high-profile ad buys that garnered plenty of positive press was in sharp contrast to the tail-between-the-legs mode of Hyundai's rivals, many of whom had slashed budgets and retreated into retail-focused advertising. An example of the opportunism: Those nine Oscar spots -- purchased when GM, then on the verge of bankruptcy, bailed out of the show. For Hyundai, the overall results were clear: Sales and market share were up, and its brand image overhauled.

Hyundai's market share jumped to 4.3% in the first ten months of 2009 from 3.1% in the same year-ago period. In September, while the industry overall suffered a 22% sales drop in a post-Cash for Clunkers hangover, Hyundai managed to increase its new-vehicle tally by 27% to 31,511 units.

Scott Fink, chairman of Hyundai's national dealer council, said he has more showroom traffic today than two years ago. And while his Newport Ritchie, Fla., dealership used to get mostly Detroit model trade-ins, he's now seeing mostly Japanese nameplates. Mr. Fink said he's getting "a lot of Auras" traded in, along with BMWs and Mercedes Benz cars, for the new Genesis. "We're really eroding other brands."

Before the recession, "these same people [that] never would have been caught dead in a Hyundai" might have worried about what their neighbors would think, said Mr. Fink. "Now people are very comfortable because the brand has been elevated. We used to be a price player, but now we're a mainstream player."
Searching for stability
A lot has been done to change a very ingrained image of Hyundai in a very short time. Hyundai entered the U.S. market in 1986 with small, affordable, entry-level models that were often the butt of jokes by late-night TV hosts. After early success with these cars, Hyundai hit a speed bump with quality. The automaker started building momentum in late 1998 after introducing the industry's first 100,000-mile warranty, repricing its lineup closer to transaction prices and slashing build combinations. In the middle part of this decade, Hyundai management ranks had a revolving door, and there was a great deal of instability at the company. Ex-Chief Operating Officer Steve Wilhite disbanded all regional dealer ad groups shortly after he signed on in 2006. That angered many dealers and slowed momentum, as the move eliminated some $300 million in regional ad spending for uniform messages, though most groups have re-formed now.

In early 2007, things began to stabilize when Joel Ewanick, Hyundai's VP-marketing, arrived from Richards Group, then Hyundai's creative and media agency, where he had been director-brand planning. In Chris Perry, the director-marketing communications who had been at Hyundai since 2000, Mr. Ewanick found an ally who thought along the same lines he did.

Mr. Ewanick said the two men "share the same mindset" when it comes to marketing, so they don't need to be at all the same meetings. That's why Mr. Perry has autonomy in many cases to make decisions for fast-track online ad deals, and "he doesn't have to wait for me," Mr. Ewanick said.

One major move came quickly. In April of that year, Mr. Ewanick ditched his old shop and hired Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to handle advertising duties after a two-month review.

One of the team's most important challenges was helping Hyundai to get into the driveways of more affluent drivers, something auto pundits were skeptical of. The then-new Genesis sedan started in the $30,000 range and was the automaker's most ambitious and priciest product ever. (It was the two-door coupe version that Hyundai launched during the Super Bowl this year.)

Nevertheless, Hyundai Motor America was in a funk at the end of 2008. With the U.S. auto industry in a tailspin due to the economy, the credit crunch and plummeting consumer confidence, the marketer's fourth-quarter sales dropped by 41% -- more than the total industry's 34.7%. And the company's 2008 vehicle sales slid 14% from the prior year's tally of 467,009 units -- the highest since the American arm of the South Korean carmaker started selling here in 1986. The Genesis launch, too, wasn't exactly a huge hit, as early sales targets were missed and dealers became disenchanted with Goodby's "Think About It" campaign. By fall, there were reports that the Hyundai-Goodby relationship was about to fall apart.
The genesis of Assurance
This year, however, was a different story. The automaker announced in the first week of January it was launching the Hyundai Assurance program to let buyers or lessees return their new vehicles for up to a year if they lost their jobs. The program was launched with Goodby's high-profile commercial in the Super Bowl and another in-game spot dubbed "Bosses" that touted the Genesis win as North American car of the year at the Detroit Auto Show. Hyundai scooped up sponsorship of the pre-game show, and a trio of 30-second commercials there.

"This is a recession of fear," Mr. Ewanick told Advertising Age back in February. "We realized that the elephant in the room was the fear of losing your job. I feel the same way. We all do. The idea of giving people the option to give the car back if they were struggling . . . seemed a great way to make customers comfortable and increase our market share in an economy like this."

In a recent interview, Mr. Ewanick said the Assurance program came together in 37 days from concept to ads on the air. A relatively lean, flat organization has been one of the automaker's core strengths, he said. "One of the things that have served us well is our ability to adapt quickly to the changing economy and competitive marketplace."

Nielsen's online post-game survey found 43% of participants said Hyundai's Super Bowl ads improved their opinion of the brand. Rebecca Lindland, research director of consultant IHS Global Insight's automotive group, said the Assurance plan "made people feel Hyundai cared about their situation -- that they were sympathetic, and there's a lot of human emotion sort of selling there." She said Hyundai is "certainly outpacing the market this year, gaining significant share."

Americans were apparently so wowed by the ads and press exposure of the Assurance program that consideration for new Hyundai vehicles jumped to 59% in the first two months of the year, CNW Marketing Research found.
Filling a void
Hyundai followed up its Super Bowl gambit with an ad blitz in ABC's Academy Awards broadcast, its first national play with the Oscars. The automaker's new media agency, Initiative, Irving, Calif., had alerted Hyundai to the void left by financially ailing GM as exclusive auto sponsor of the program, a vacuum Hyundai will be filling for three years after inking a deal less than two months before the broadcast. Hyundai also signed a deal with Fox to place its vehicles in "24" and advertise during the show after Ford pulled out.

In April, the marketer dropped Goodby and moved its national creative account, including digital, without a review, to Innocean Worldwide Americas, a subsidiary of Korean parent's Hyundai Motor Group. Innocean also provides media oversight, promotion and events planning for both Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors America. Jim Sanfilippo, exec VP and CEO of Innocean's Irvine, Calif., office, said Goodby was "a tough act to follow." After reviewing all the metrics, which Innocean had as media coordinator, Innocean opted to stick with the "Think About It" theme.

"We love the brand voice that Joel [Ewanick] has achieved, and that's rare in automotive these days," said Mr. Sanfilippo. Hyundai is "no longer an alternative, we're a rival."

At the end of the half-year mark, Hyundai posted an all-time high U.S. market share of 4.2% compared to 3.1% at the end of June 2008. Not only that, even though Hyundai's monthly June sales slid by 24% from the prior June, it outsold Chrysler Group's volume Dodge brand for the first time, boosting the brand to the sixth biggest by sales in the U.S. in the industry's worst climate in decades. June 2009 marked Hyundai's best monthly sales tally ever, even with decreased sales. June brought another accolade to the brand. Hyundai ranked fourth behind Lexus, Porsche and Cadillac, respectively, in consultant J.D. Power and Associates' annual Initial Quality Survey. In 2008, Hyundai ranked thirteenth in that survey, in which consumers rate their new vehicles at 90 days of ownership.

The Fountain Valley, Calif., automaker kept the pressure on competitors in July. Rather than advertise vehicle incentives that can damage brand image, Hyundai introduced Assurance Gas Lock, which guaranteed summer-month buyers $1.49-per-gallon for a year. The feisty marketer then jumped the gun in early July, weeks ahead of the Cash for Clunkers' program, with an ad campaign saying it was already offering the tax credits ahead of Uncle Sam's July 24 start date.
Good marks
"We saw the [clunkers] program coming, and we understood the [government's] rules, so we mobilized the program and had ads running July Fourth weekend," said Mr. Ewanick. Hyundai's messages of the early clunker rebates, along with Assurance and the Gas Lock programs, gave the marketer "a better and richer story to tell," he said.

In early October, the marketer started advertising the new HyundaiMomentum.com microsite, a place for people to see what third parties are writing about the brand's cars and trucks. Ads from Innocean will run online and during NFL TV broadcasts through November.

"We have been receiving a lot of accolades, awards and positive reinforcement from the press and consumers, and shoppers are noticing this," said Mr. Perry. "We needed to find a way to harness this momentum and offer it up in a way that is easy for the consumer to access and understand."

"Hyundai is really ahead of the game," said Mr. Spinella, and the brand has managed to capture a lot of shoppers who had Toyota on their lists. He said Hyundai is building its brand and consideration the same way Toyota did decades ago -- "with a good car at a good price and a lot of exposure with a lot of ads."

The marketer said 60% of Americans today are now aware of Hyundai and willing to buy the brand, compared to just 40% two years ago. Mr. Ewanick credited better products backed by the "Think about it" campaign. "It's a proof campaign, and we are giving people evidence about our cars and our quality and our styling, and we keep shoveling on the facts and information."
Different buyers
Mr. Ewanick admitted his budgets have been flat and will stay that way in 2010, give or take a few percentage points. This year he shifted dollars from print to online, buying more on newspaper and magazine sites. The automaker spent nearly $115 million in U.S. measured media in the first half of 2009 vs. $107 million in the same six-month period of 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Both figures are without internet spending. The marketer spent $348 million last year, including internet, TNS reported.

"Hyundai has been very successful with their new-product launches," especially the Genesis line, said Alexander Edwards, president of consultant Strategic Vision's auto group. The sedan and coupe models attract buyers with median annual household incomes of $120,000 vs. $75,000 across the rest of Hyundai, Strategic Vision data show. "Clearly the Genesis has brought in a new kind of buyer to Hyundai," Mr. Edwards said.

As for what rivals make of Hyundai's innovation streak, he said the "Bosses" Super Bowl spot showing German and Japanese-speaking car execs screaming at underlings because of Genesis' car-of-the-year win, isn't so farfetched. Competitors he wouldn't name, including mass and premium makers, are asking Mr. Edwards, "What do we have to worry about with Hyundai?"

"Everybody wants to find out what Hyundai will do next," he said.

Gerakan Sejuta Facebookers Penuhi Target

Sabtu, 7 November 2009 | 08:45 WIB
JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — Gerakan Sejuta Facebookers (pengguna layanan jejaring sosial di dunia maya, Facebook) telah mencapai target dengan menggalang 1.000.000 orang pada Sabtu (7/11) pagi pada sekitar pukul 06.30 WIB.
"Ini adalah awal," kata pemrakarsa gerakan, Usman Yasin, dalam wawancara di sebuah stasiun televisi swasta nasional di Jakarta, Sabtu pagi.

Gerakan Sejuta Facebookers itu dibuat Usman Yasin, antara lain, karena kegemasannya melihat sesuatu hal yang dinilainya sebagai sebuah bentuk ketidakadilan. Usman yang merupakan pengajar di Universitas Muhammadiyah Bengkulu itu melihat jejaring sosial seperti Facebook merupakan hal yang efektif untuk menyuarakan suara masyarakat apa adanya tanpa rekayasa. "Saya awalnya tidak menyangka akan seperti ini jadinya," katanya.
Menurut dia, penamaan gerakan dengan menggunakan angka satu juta awalnya, antara lain, untuk menarik perhatian masyarakat yang merupakan pengguna layanan Facebook tersebut. Ia juga merasa terharu karena gerakan tersebut tidak hanya mendapat respons positif dari masyarakat di dalam negeri, tetapi juga dari warga negara Indonesia (WNI) yang sedang berada di luar negeri.

Usman berharap agar gerakan ini dapat menjadi pemicu agar berbagai kasus lainnya yang lebih besar dapat segera terungkap. Gerakan Sejuta Facebookers itu sendiri baru dibuat Usman sejak tanggal 29 Oktober 2009, yang dipicu dari peristiwa penahanan dua pimpinan KPK (nonaktif), Bibit Samad Rianto dan Chandra Marta Hamzah, karena dinilai Mabes Polri menghalang-halangi penyidikan.
Namun, Bibit dan Chandra akhirnya ditangguhkan penahanannya oleh Mabes Polri sejak Selasa (3/11) malam. Kepala Divisi Humas Mabes Polri Irjen Nanan Soekarna mengemukakan, penangguhan penahanan itu dilakukan bukan karena adanya desakan dari pihak mana pun.

Lego Grows by Listening to Customers

Marketer of the Year Runner-up: Brand That Could Have Been Left Behind Creates Opportunities in Digital

Five years ago, Danish toy company Lego was bleeding money to the tune of $300 million in a year. It seemed as though reality had finally caught up with a relic of a pre-video game, pre-internet era. But by last year, Lego was posting double-digit sales increases, and in the first half of 2009, sales were up by nearly a quarter, as many rivals were floundering. How did it turn around? The 77-year-old company took on a variety of marketing and operational changes that have made it look thoroughly modern.
Lego got social media -- especially the crucial aspect of social media that involves listening to what's being said in the marketplace -- before it was fashionable. For example, part of its decision to engage adult fans came from monitoring their blogs. More broadly, Lego has gotten adept at sampling culture, understanding the desires of both its existing and potential consumers and adjusting accordingly. The most important instance is Lego's decision to make sets themed around movies like "Star Wars" or "Indiana Jones"; now those licensing deals make up more than half of sales.
Legos are made only for kids, right? Wrong. A huge adult fanbase that never got over the toys of their youth still spends large amounts of money with the company and, perhaps more important, comprises one of its biggest communities. By all accounts, it took Lego's leadership some time to understand that its product isn't used precisely the way they'd like it to be, nor is it used precisely by the people they want to use it. But that understanding did come, and now Lego engages in active outreach with the AFOL -- or Adult Fans of Lego -- community. The company gets involved in their events and has created a roster of ambassadors who regularly communicate with them. Lego even brings them in on the development of new products.

Lego never outsourced manufacturing to China. That means it avoided the lead-based-paint scare of 2007, which hurt many rivals. That's one value from which it hasn't veered. But, at the same time, Lego relaxed on a typically Scandinavian aversion to orienting the company around profitability. Now, many employees are compensated to some degree on performance. Because of those Hollywood licensing deals, it's also had to come to grips with the reality that some of its toys will have violent references.

It's easy for a toy like Lego that -- let's face it -- seems anachronistic to retrench into what it's always done well. Which is to say it could simply make plastic blocks and watch its business erode over time. Instead it's chosen to stay relevant, and a large part of that is finding different ways to distribute its core product. It's currently developing both a board game and a movie, and there's a Lego "Rock Band" video game now in stores. By year's end, there will be 47 Lego retail operations.

Not long ago, Lego had a difficult time keeping its most in-demand products on the shelf, and product development was slow, causing a negative impact on the brand with both consumers and distribution partners. In recent years, the company has sped up development, meaning that a new Lego product can get from idea to the shelf within a year. That means Lego can be more responsive to cultural trends, and, in a rapidly changing market like toys, that's all-important.