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Listen to consumers online

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

As a marketer, it is important to listen the story of your consumers. Actually, listening to your consumers is more important than talking about yourself. Listening makes marketers get more updated information and better know your consumers. Some people think that Search and Tracking are two main types of listening tools for online marketing. I just think about that analytics tools give us smarter and convenient ways to collect data of consumers. But the problem is that what kind of data is reliable and valuable? Try to listen to your consumers like friends. Try to get their words that they write in their diaries.


 But how many people still write a diary?  Try to think about the Internet world differently. People update their status and upload photos to express what they are experiencing and thinking. However, the question is, do all of them really express themselves truly? It is likely that many people online just do something routine; rather than sharing their actual habits and preferences, they are just following a trend. For instance, someone may post something they really want to share with others, but they will still keep their deep and real thoughts in their diaries. This is a concern about the self-expression and social media. Someone put a few real “words” into heart and someone keep real words in mind. When we create websites or advertisements online, we may target consumers through different categories with various web analytics tools. But do consumers’ online behaviors convey the correct messages to us? The concept of consumer-centric encourages us to explore consumers’ needs, but what we should do is to think more deeply than consumers, explore their needs in mind and find creative ideas that can attract the target consumers.

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Google Project-Re: Brief—Technology Support Idea

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I watched this documentary film in my last advertising class. Google introduced this project as an experiment to reimagine online advertising. They chose some of the most loved ad campaigns from the ‘60s and ‘70s and brought those creative thinkers back to life for the digital age. Those scenes really moved me, which showed those “mad man” came back to New York and started to design series ads with new technology.


“This hour-long documentary follows the story of the five art directors and copywriters who made the original ads as they come out of retirement to “Re: Brief” their classic campaigns: Harvey Gabor (Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop); Amil Gargano (Volvo’s “Drive it like you hate it”); Paula Green (Avis’ “We try harder”); and Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqualina (Alka-Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”)”.

Here is the example of Coke-Cola.




Image Resource:


The first image show the classic 1971 Coke ad in which people gather on a hilltop and sing about buying the world a Coke. The other two images show that Google created an Android and iPhone app in which people could actually send people free Cokes (from specially made and strategically located vending machines) from their phone. Users could send a personalized message along with the Coke. And the most interesting part is Google takes the advantage of Google Translate to convey the message in the recipient’s language.

This project is not just about the ads themselves and new technology. It’s also about the creative process related to technology: “bringing “old school” advertising legends and technologists into the same room to create digital ads that consumers love as much as they loved the iconic campaigns of yesterday.”


Nowadays it is harder to find things which are new and attractive because technology things change our everyday life so fast. But for advertising, we still need to think more about the idea and content. Technology can provide us the different forms and channels. More and more ideas focus too much on technology tools. One thing we have to know is that technologies support ideas. We can not use ideas to support technologies.



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Effective Ads on Facebook

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Modern life is filled with a variety of advertisements. The majority of our online social networking is settled on Facebook. More and more users of Facebook are influenced by advertising. How do you think the advertising is on Facebook? What happens when these two “monsters” come together?

As a newly established advertising channel, Facebook offers different powerful marketing tools for businesses depending on their different demands. They have pages, ads, sponsored stories and platforms. These tools deliver information to Facebook users through banner ads, referral ads, sponsored ads and casual games. Currently, referral ads and sponsored ads are the two main types, such as “liking” a page, and stories coming up on friends’ news feeds. This means that through “Beacon”, Businesses can “publish actions including if a Facebook user purchases a product, signs up for a service, ads an item to a wish list and much more. This is advertising at the referral level” Moreover, Facebook users “can be aware of their friends’ actions not just on Facebook, but also across the entire web” (Facebook: Changing Advertising Forever). As Zuckerberg said in his speech, “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”

Unlike other traditional media, ads that have a Facebook Page are easy to create. In brief, you just need to upload your advertising image on Facebook. However, the important steps are about how to design your creative images and how to attract target consumers with your brief messages. There are a few steps about how to promote your business with ads recommended by Facebook:

First, “identify your goals.”

You should know the advertising objective that you want to accomplish. For example, you can use Facebook advertising to improve public awareness for your business, increase sales, and attract consumers.

Second, “target the right people.”

You should be very specific about what kind of person you want to target. This is the most remarkable and attractive step of creating advertisements on Facebook. The ads should be segmented to reach Facebook users. This process is like an advanced search. “You can target your consumers by location, language, age, gender, preference, connection and other factors about demographic and geographic segmentations” (Facebook Website). This function helps businesses reach their target market easily and effectively.

Third, “design an engaging ad.”

Besides using a simple, eye-catching image with clear descriptions on a piece of Facebook ad. This year, the permissible number of words businesses can use to advertise on Facebook was reduced from 135 to 90 for each ad. This shows that simplicity and accuracy are more important on Facebook. That’s why an advertisement may make limited references to Facebook in its title, body, or image for the purposes of clarifying the goal of the advertisement.

In addition, there are two more steps that businesses should pay attention to. One step is about how to manage your budget. For example, you should determine the methods of payment, cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM). The other step is to review and improve your advertisements after uploading. Getting feedback on your post advertisements will be helpful for your business to optimize marketing campaigns.

Examining the process of creating Facebook advertising, this type of advertising is more suitable and effective for some independent and small businesses with limited advertising budgets. Businesses pay more attention to the snowball effect, which is very unique to Facebook. It means once someone has clicked on your advertisement and “liked” your business page, it will show up on their wall. Businesses will get more fans with little investment. Facebook advertising is also an effective way to extend traditional Internet advertising, like webpage advertisements. It helps businesses to convey information to target consumers quickly and accurately. Meanwhile, Facebook advertising can also help businesses to test and evaluate the response of target audiences, so that they can get feedback and then invest money in the right promotion.

Which kind of advertisements are the most effective and acceptable for consumers? First of all, an attractive design with a specific target group will be much more essential and indispensable. For example, the latest style “Be Bright” of GAP, GAP shows us the clear and simple images with several bright colors. These colors can capture people’s attention immediately; the new styles are also highlighted with its amazing design. All good advertisements have their unique, smart and attractive points, but bad advertisements are always the same. Like traditional media, bad ads come with images of low quality and even offensive, vulgar, obscene or inappropriate content. For example, the title of an ad is “Where is your Girlfriend?” but they call your girlfriend a “he” in this ad. Some people may click because they still think it’s funny, but spelling mistakes often decrease credibility significantly.

As a consumer, think about Facebook just for a moment. How fantastic a place it is! Facebook is a social utility that connects people with others. Unconsciously and automatically we have been made well-known to all. They record our personal information, like where we are from, what food we like, and who our best friends are. Facebook can easily group us and show us the most relevant ads. As a marketer or advertiser, it is a rapid and convenient way to learn about how to target consumers on Facebook, by analyzing potential customers’ likes, dislikes, habits, interests, and even connections. A brilliant method is used to cut off useless information about customers by using their detailed profile, thus making it possible to find target consumers on Facebook in an easy way, instead of a lot of efforts spent doing market research before placing advertisements.

Actually, Facebook advertising still has risks, even now. The security of personal information on Facebook is always a controversial topic, especially when it is related to Facebook advertising. Furthermore, there are also some negative aspects for businesses to continue to adopt Facebook advertising as their strategy. For example, someone thinks that they cannot acquire new customers on Facebook, and some still feel that the cost of advertisements is expensive even though they have low-click rates. All these reasons make it necessary for Facebook to innovate and develop new techniques to improve its advertising market environment.

Indeed, like the two sides of a coin, pros and cons always stay together at the same time. We have all the reasons to say that social network advertising will definitely become the trend in business. As a pioneer in this field, Facebook still needs further improvement and innovation. This will give full play to its potential function as the “most appropriate, most accurate and economical way” to sell products to consumers most in need.


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