Making Interesting Ads
I was going to talk about interesting yet because I think it it's actually a really natural segue way to what you brought up with the oreo thing, which is one anything could be advertisers, not just what you space you by um, but I like to think about advertisements as an opportunity to do something cool and interesting and that's, why companies hire mechanism right there like they just want a designer to make them billboards, you're not the firm they go too, but pepsi comes to you to do it super bowl commercial because they want that super bowl commercial toe resonate with popular culture so like, this is this is I think this is one of my favorite examples because it's so small and easy for anyone to do so wound like now they're on my amazon, but a few years ago they just decided like, you don't like their google adwords adds, like, on the side of the page there, like, look, those don't really make that much money it's kind of weird what if we did them in the haiku instead? And so they...
wrote them and hiking and they ran on on gmail uh, I think I have an example of one um and so this is funny, right? And and then here here's, what I notice is a media manipulator uh check out this ad that a tipster spotted in gmail uh, I bet that tipster works for right and I bet he sent an anonymous email to this reporter and said, hey, did you see those weird wood adds what's going on and then the reporter bus up his post he doesn't have the views, but I'm sure it did, you know, several thousand easy pages and now here we are would spent thirty five cents on this ad literally. And here we are talking about it as a news story, you know, five years later, it's ridiculous on dh so I respect that and I I like to acknowledge when people are doing cool things and so it got and then here, there again, you know, our wood adds funny or offensive now it's just like, ridiculous discussion about advertisements, whereas billions of dollars were spent that day on ads and that nobody remembers and had no effect. So I look at ads uh, as an opportunity to do something cool and it's like you're buying space on that website. What use are you going to put it to you on like, is that match what you you think? I think I think with us it's, like I use this term yesterday, the candy with the medicine, I mean, we approach it is like I mean there's so much content out there and yes like porn is a click away and that's probably a much more compelling people so like what do you know what we gonna bring to the table it's going to be value of value to them and for us oftentimes it's entertainment so we trying to create something that's entertaining first but the entertainment is is basically stemming from this like insight into the brand or what the brand represents and is going to resonate with the audience and we just create awesome awesome content that people will feel compelled to share on dh and I think that's a great way to approach it because at the end of day it's like yeah I mean like all these banner ads there really invisible for the most part but if you can get something to like share video with their friend I mean I know it's common sense but that's a much more meaningful interaction yeah definitely like so and the other problem with online ads on this is like I'm sure more of you are in the situation online ads rather than like billboards or television a little witchcraft perhaps but uh if you were tracking this ad on like in the ad words database, we're looking click through rain and impressions and cpc it probably did really bad because it doesn't tell you anything about the company and it doesn't make you want to buy but here because if they rejected those metrics and they thought about doing something interesting in provocative it's transferred over from ad to content so like when I design online ads for american parent, I'm thinking how does this uh what are people saying that the comments are they responding when we would return that faucet off when we stop advertising are people like what happened to the american apparel ads? Are people actually interacting and noticing levitt a re away or are they just registering them with their computer? But um so it's like it's like the ad is the opportunity to launch something on to sort of create this multimedia media experience, so to go back, we talked about the ads that I was doing for for tucker's movie one we decided okay, we don't have a huge budget the way that someone if you have a client that has a two hundred million dollar advertising budget, they could afford to get that in front of a lot of people, but if they have two hundred thousand dollars, how do they get how do they compete? Right? So what? What we thought about for this movie was, how can we use the tiny budget that we have to sort of launch this thing and then hopefully they take off from there? So what we decided to do with these ads was we're going to make deliberately offensive ads that people would complain about or get upset about or hopefully vandalized in some way on dh start protest ng so thes with though I hope they serve beer in hell ads so basically what we did we made these offensive ads that we started vandalizing them ourselves and then we uploaded photos of the internet asking how this could be happening and then wheel people started vandalizing them all over the um all over the country on dh mike and they're in new york like this group of feminists went out to vandalize the ads in the village was followed them and did a big feature article about it it became this huge sensation because we instead of thinking about ok how do we use this four by six space on the side of a building to get people to go see a movie that's like really like you have to make it amazing and like oh, I saw this I'm going straight to the theater like that just doesn't happen but if you use that I think there's an opportunity to sort of start immediate discussion or just catch people's attention one time that I think it matters and so in that case we're making our critics irrationally worked up and and and they're telling everyone about it and that's that's what we're thinking about andi I like that approach better than uh you know, trying direct response all the time and with these I don't know if he talked about it earlier but I remember reading in your book can talk about how you kind of kicked off that I don't know basically the raids were eso eso we've analyzed these ads we yourself yeah, I wouldn't vandalize them uh we took the photos we leaked to the photos pretending that we agreed with event we're like I'm so happy that someone vandalized these ads like I hope like what do you think? That's the blogger writes it I'm I'm like they quote me as the tipster with some fake name that I made up and then real people started doing it all over on then they started protest ng and then so they started protesting so we and we'd only we only had the money to run the ads in any major way in one city so we pick chicago and that's where the movie was like premiering and so we noticed that we noticed some chatter on twitter about the ads like someone was like how could the chicago transit authority be running these ads and really offensive so we're like man what if we could get them to ban the ads? That would be really cool so we started calling the complaint line for the chicago transit authority pretending that we were outraged customers or outrage riders and we couldn't believe they were running these offensive ads and then uh I had an employee starts sending complaints to the tip email and c c and reporters for local blog's like pretending to be leaving a tip so then so then the same stroke your telling the tip line and the reporter that someone's upset and so they got all this press and what happened? What happened with chicago transit authority announced that they were pulling the ads and so they did and it became this like the chicago tribune wrote an article about you know, sort of lauding their decision to rid the city of these horrible ads so we got all this publicity and we got our money back because the ads didn't run and they were like they really we're so sorry like way had to tell the public that that you know, we never under stuff if you ever want to work with us again like please like that they were like mad that they had to give the money back but we were like so happy thank you this is amazing and we use the money somewhere else well it's interesting too because I think the core it's like you just want to create a conversation right? And like that's the the best thing you can do I mean, obviously we work with big brand someone like right arms li but like, you know it's important because if it's just if it's just an impression I mean and you aren't driving any kind of like next level of engagement odds are it's probably not really worth you don't care you want them to talk about whether the chip video is fake or real you want them to have the conversation because the conversation means they had to have that conversation somewhere with someone it is not just them seeing something in deciding whether they're going to buy it or not often times like you know, in terms of like execution a very simple way to kick this off unlike any scale like whether it's a large scale or just like something very simple is ask a question like I mean, I see this all the time and a lot of the youtube videos like what do you think about you notice how to video and it's this small thing? But it sparks that conversation and and as a result you generate lots of earned media and so it always just kind of think about like, what are those like little hooks? You can add to drive that next level of engagement because then people get invested because people are not engaged with ninety nine percent of everything else they see I was thinking more on the questions for outing, so I think I'll have one online before that for something that you and I briefly discussed and you said something to the extend of there isn't ah, huge difference between the thing that everyone is talking about in the thing that everyone is using. You can't distinguish between those two points. I'm confused. I don't remember that. Okay, I'm probably having no, I mean, if everyone is talking about it, like I think as a society, we're primed to believe that like where there's smoke, there's fire and all the treasures we're talking about here, this house, how could you, like, manufacture a little bit of smoke along with some real smoke? And then it feels like there's a huge fire and and it's like, uh, if you can use your average so we're all spending buddy out advertising because we have tio because that sort of business one oh one. Now, if you're going to whatever your budget is, you're gonna be spending it. How could you get the most for that money? And I think you do that by using it to kick off this conversation rather than spend into your hundred dollars to get to new customers. How could use that hundred dollars to start a media narrative that's gonna last far longer than those two customers ever? Well, yeah, so a lot of the anecdotes and stories of you guys have been telling have had shock or rage. You know, we've talked about controversy or catching people off guard is sort of a means to create some buzzer at this. So, brendan, can you speak a little bit, tio, you work with some large clients. So for a lot of us, I think whether it's cofounders, senior managers or investors in a lot of cases, I think there's going to be somebody or somebody's that are going to push back. Right? So I think, like you swing one because it's like it follows the same principles, but it's the opposite end of the faithful advertising vandalization, right, it's, cute and lovable and nice and surprise. Like shock and surprise. They're not that different, but if europe for your company, surprise is going to be a lot more palatable than shock. Yeah. So can you talk about some tactics you've used to, like, convince your client's in some way that the idea you had was a right way to make the ad interesting. Yeah. I mean, to be honest, I think the best thing is what we talked about. Yesterday's case studies, um, I mean, it's a new space, things are changing all the time, but, um I feel like there aren't a lot of people in this space that necessarily have the kind of like track record of actually executing right and I think that because within social media in particular um there's a lot of people talking about it there much fewer agencies individuals whomever actually executing on campaigns and executing them successfully so um you know what we tend to do is you know, show them our case studies and then show them our ideas and I mean at the end of the day our thinking is I mean our thinking and our ideas are great and they stand on their own two legs I think so maybe what he said is water some links that other businesses that who have tried things like this that you could show them and say like look it works and the down like the risk is that you know, there there's no guarantee that this is even gonna happen so like why not just give it a shot so a lot of people are talking about this in the chat rooms and daniela is saying isn't ryan scared to share these things? I think she's I'm concerned that you're giving away all of your strategies it's where president we're talking about this yesterday we feel like we started giving this stuff away a while ago thinking like okay, we got as much mileage out of it as we could let's just give it away and because who knows maybe we'll change or whatever and now it's like three, four years later like the same strategies are working and it hasn't changed I don't know I'm not I'm not afraid because it hasn't I mean I wrote my book a year ago it's like I'm still doing the same stuff like it for whatever reason it doesn't make a difference how many clients do talk about lead you work with I'm curious if there weren't so many clients so that we just will never know that you have of course like I talk about the clients who are okay with me talking about it and that's why they're like like a client like tucker likes that everyone's horrified when we talk about this so you know, I think for me personally like I've been doing this for about as long as you had and for a long time you know, because I work at mechanism I'm not my own you know company um you know and for a while it was like, you know, we didn't necessarily talk about it but then a certain point it's like when we kind of did talk about tactics and strategies more it was almost like a you know, you kind of like raise your hand and you start to find other people in the space and then just like ups the game that much more I mean like really connected that way you just get better and better in to be honest, it's like, if you just keep your head down and you do the same thing you think you're like, you're in that space, he won't innovate. I mean, I think it's kind of nice to just be like, here you you can try it and that's awesome if you can replicate it, but then it challenges like you and I know, like, think about the next thing, right? And I think placing again, there's an infinite amount of demand to fit so it's not like we gave us away, they're like, well, we're going to close that loophole, they still have to they have to post about a lot of videos, so this helps the works? Yeah, the space changes all the time. So, like, these principles, I think are always they always implied, but if you aren't like executing on this stuff it's, like you're, you're way behind the times like a month or two later, right? Because the very specifics which are probably the most important thing, they'll change. Yeah, we're not giving you a step by step formula were saying these air strategically, how you approach it, so that never changes, so I just have a clear if clarification, question from the internet. They're going back to the youtube discussion and danielle is wondering what do you think about posting links on comments on other blog's and youtube and is that a strategy doesn't work if I mean of course any any way that you could drive users to your video is good a lot of people confuse that with spam and people which doesn't work um it's far better that you develops of relationship or ask get a commitment from someone to spread your thing for them yeah I mean I think always try and add something to the discussion don't just go on forums and message boards like hey watch my videos like that adds nothing if anything that takes away from you right here's another question coming from online and this is definitely the case blair survival mexico says they messed a lot of questions solution yeah I remember that name their survival has a survival company business really checked out his stuff yeah he's like offer survival stuff gotta shout out a free man for watching create um but uh they asked most of the mineral ads that they see our comedy based I mean should they can't shoot people capitalize on that even if their business isn't funny? I mean, I think about some of the book trailers you talked about those that were pretty heavy and a message across so does it have to be funny to resonate and go viral I don't think it has to be it definitely helps I'm humorous it's a very viral emotion yeah, yeah, I think that's it you want teo evoke on emotion humor is a great one and I think it's like er e is something people more likely I feel like and I don't know if I have any stats to back this up but it's much easier to share a funny video than some real downer what? Yeah, jody pretty found it buzz buzzfeed, which is basically all funny ice and his philosophy is no one wants to say like hey, check no what's a send a bummer to their friend and because we sit here here this ruined my day I hope yours too, but I think evoking on emotion is key, you know, identify what's appropriate for you and your brand and try and make sure that you create something that resonates and, well, the vote and I think the reason you see humor and adds is because humor is safe, we're safer than some of the stuff that I've done. Um I just and I think it's very effective, but there's other there's other things and when you're a small business and you don't have to answer to, uh like some sort of corporate board or like bureaucrats like you can, you can experiment with those other things a little bit more