Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rule #7: Goodby Reinvented

INTRODUCTION – “How Goodby Got Its Groove Back”

In the Rule 7 Q&A session titled “Agent Provocateur: Goodby’s Derek Robson on Reinventing the Ad Agency”, Mathieson interviews Derek Robson to learn what was required to revitalize the struggling ad agency. Prior to its need for transformation Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was famous for creating classics campaigns like “Got Milk” and the Foster Farms Chickens. The focus of the transformation was to change the agency from traditional t.v. to a digital media “multiplatform marketing machine.”

Creative Directory Jamie Barrett stated: “Our goal is to be unrecognizable twelve months from now” and it appears they did just that. After 3 years of reinventing 60% of revenue comes from digital initiatives (originally 80% traditional and less than 20% digital).

So what can MBA students studying eCommerce marketing learn about digital marketing from Robson and the Goodby transformation?


1. How do you move beyond great TV spots?

Know your consumer. Don’t just choose a channel/medium because everyone else is doing it.

“...trying to understand where people are, what they are doing, where they are consuming stuff, particularly in terms of media, then following those people and understanding how they use that media in a more in-depth and interesting way.”

2. How do you master digital marketing and where do you start?

Don’t compare your company to others. Look at yourself and what you’ve historically done well. The art of telling stories and building brands is enduring, across time and technology.

“The thing you’ve got to start with is by asking ‘What are you good at? What makes up your brand?’”.

Find new ways to do thing rather than just doing technology for technology sake. When you must use technology apply the right technology to the right project.

3. As that world changes, how do you think marketers should prepare themselves?

What marketers need to be thinking: “What have I got inside my brand that’s really interesting to communicate and that comes from a place that’s grounded in something important?”

You must strive for constant experimentation. Today’s user is driving and defining much of their experience in all the various media they participate in. “Reaching them requires an idea that is executed through the right channels, not just applying new channels and technologies.”


  • Nintendo Warrio: Nintendo teamed up with YouTube to make this innovative ad. Check it out!
  • GE Augmented Reality: Promoting the Smart Grid with a 3D hologram via webcam.Doritos
  • Doritos Hotel 626: Established in 2008 to promote Doritos by bringing two intense flavors back from the dead during Halloween. Users are trapped in a hotel and must escape through challenges using their webcam, microphone and mobile phone.
  • Hyundai Advantage Website or Commercial: 12 months of coverage with the purchase of a new vehicle. Covers involuntary unemployment, physical disability, loss of driver's license due to medical impairment, international employment transfer, self-employed personal bankruptcy, and accidental death.
  • HP Picture Book: Targets viewers who embrace photography as part of life. Great cinematography and cool scenes with people interacting with photographs.

Rule #7: Examples and Takes


Coors Light: not just a beer purchase
  • Facebook apps, maps, "brew crews"
  • MySpace pages, happy hour locations, photo uploads
Chantix: not just a smoking cessation drug purchase
  • Personalized website, progress-tracking tools
  • Support groups, on-call coaches
Webkinz: not just a stuffed animal purchase
  • Care for your pet online, play games, earn KinzCash, buy things for your pet
  • Video: girl has her Webkinz dog give you a tour of its favorite rooms built in the Webkinz world
  • Barbie's boosted this animal/virtual animal model
Special K: not just a cereal purchase
  • "Special K Challenge"
  • share weight loss frustrations and triumphs, customize meal plans, schedule telephone wake-up calls, read their "celebrity" blogger
Nokia N-Series: not just a smartphone purchase
  • viNe mobile application
  • combining GPS, camera and media player to let you leave photos, videos and songs tagged to physical locations
  • others find your tagged stuff or you can share it directly with others
TiVo: not just a DVR subscription
  • Order Domino's pizza through the TiVo and track delivery time
  • Still can't pay through TiVo, though
CBS: not just a broadcast network show to watch
  • "Social viewing rooms"
  • Video conference and chat with friends, take polls and quizzes, throw virtual objects at the screen
  • Mathieson tested social baseball game viewing with
Polar: not just a sports watch purchase
  • Like Nike+, watch records data in real time
  • Heart rate and calories burned
  • Website to upload and analyze your routine, help choose new exercises, get training programs specific to your fitness level and goals, challenge your friends, find training partners
STA Travel: not just a travel booking
  • Widgets for travel offers, packing to-do lists, weather comparisons, trip countdown
  • All widgets customizable
Butterball: not just a turkey purchase
  • Old school! Set up Turkey Talk-Line for Thanksgiving food prep advice in 1981
  • Updated to include website, blogs, mobile sites, live chats and SMS
Sprint: not just a cell phone and talk time purchase
  • This Is Now dashboard widgets
  • Things happening right now (cups of coffee being produced, 911 calls being made)
  • Voice with witty banter and odd "now" facts ("It's currently now in all time zones")
  • Buzz Meter showing what's hot online right now (Bieber Meter?)
iPod, iTunes, AppStore: no elaboration necessary


The Rule has a few very strong examples, the best of which is Nike+, a full-scale, broad-array

service offering that ties into some of the world’s biggest brands (Nike, Apple, Facebook, etc).

The service is built right into the product.

Polar’s approach seems similar to Nike+, but less developed. This is not inherently bad; Polar’s data, the basis of its service add, is distinct from Nike’s and very specific to the individual (heart rate, for example). Interestingly, a recent update to Polar’s wearlink+ transmitter now allows it to link to the Nike+ products.

We lump Coors Light, Chantix and Special K roughly into the same category – community-

building attempts around product and lifestyle themes. The service is complementary to, but

separate from the product itself. The service element does not enhance the product or even

product experience directly, instead enhancing a broader lifestyle aspect of it. Coors Light is

obviously more fun and shallow than the other two. Chantix’s strength is in support and support

group offerings. The Special K Challenge is kin to a watered-down Weight Watchers; both

benefit from the fact that food product purchases are built into their programs. Where Nike+

and Polar products themselves generate data for enhanced service, the service aspect in the

Coors Light, Chantix and Special K are wholly separate web properties.

STA and Sprint are similar in that they give customers simple, fun software add-ons. They’re

of modest utility, but provide a layer of fun and personality beyond the initial product/service

offering. Nokia blends the STA/Sprint style with location-based tagging and tracking for a

more interactive experience, but the closed network (viNe) likely limits participation. With

Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Flickr and others working in the same space with significantly

larger user bases, I don’t know where viNe is going.

We give Butterball huge points for an old school, event-based service add that is the Turkey

Talk-Line. Though they’ve expanded the concept into new channels, these updates are not

especially impressive. The senior VP’s quotes are classic “corporate speak,” with such cliché

offerings as: “we as a brand needed to evolve and provide expert holiday advice the way

consumers want it – online and on-the-go” and “provide helpful holiday information to Thanksgiving

cooks the way they consumer it – anytime, anywhere.” I agree they’re smart and necessary

updates, but they’re not remarkable.

CBS has formalized what’s already happening in Facebook and Twitter – real time reaction to

big broadcasts. Mathieson explicitly states that their social viewing rooms would be “much more

compelling if they integrated fan Twitter feeds.” I agree, but I like where CBS has been and

seems headed. I wonder what Google TV and Apple TV might bring to this kind of viewing


Finally, ordering pizza from the couch seems quintessentially American … in a bad way.


Do you strongly agree or disagree with any of our takes on the examples provided?

Did you think of any good product-as-service examples not mentioned in the chapter?

Would you be interested in using a CBS-style "social viewing room?" Why? With what kind(s) of programming?

Either through Google TV, Apple TV or some other yet-to-be-developed internet-based watch/talk/interact service ... will CBS's efforts be rendered obsolete, despite being visionary at the time?

What did you see, like, dislike or wonder about in Rule 7 that we missed?

Rule #7: Products are the New Services

This is the first of three or four posts about Rule #7.


In Rule 7, Mathieson moves us from rethinking the way we market the product to rethinking the product itself. The line between product and product marketing blurs when we’re able to add value, service and experience to what before was simply the “product.”

The big example provided near the top of the Rule write-up is Nike+. In the past, you’d simply choose a pair of Nike running shoes at a retail outlet, pay for them, take them home, then put ‘em on sometimes and run. Now, the same purchase provides a rich, technology-enabled experience.

Your shoes interact with your iPod and your laptop.
They provide statistics and feedback. They connect you to other runners and new routes. They feed updates to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. The product is the shoe, as well as all these integrated services.

Several new Nike+ services are in development, including performance comparison to similar runners, monitoring of shoe wear, recommendations on technique, GPS location awareness (elevation gain, speed, heading, calories burned).

Rule 7 is really this simple: the product itself is just the start. Find ways to add valuable utility. In this way, products can become “the new services.”


“Technology is something that is invented. If it’s any good, you use it. If it’s insanely great, it changes your life.” – Bob Greenberg, founder, R/GA (p 160)

“To give the average consumer the opportunity to order pizza while never getting up from watching Sunday football … is pretty amazing” – Rob Weisberg, BP-precision and print marketing, Domino’s Pizza (p 160)

“And I do think most of the best work has a kind of an application and a kind of utility to it” – Derek Robson, managing partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (p 163)

“If you look at most mature categories, the way you can continue to generate decent margins, and the way you can continue to deliver increased value and increase relevancy to customers is to take your products and turn them into services” – Andy Bateman, CEO, Interbrand (p 165)


"Interactive TV, in general, is the future" - Rob Weisberg, VP-procision and print marketing at Domino's Pizza Is the quote: a) right on, b) mildly insightful or c) grossly overstated? Why?

Can you think of a technology so "insanely great" that it changed your life? Tell us what and how.

Can you think of another good example of a product infused with utility such that it became a service (like Nike+)? Tell us what and how.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rule #6: it’s Good to Play Games with Your Customers

Going through this chapter the first quote that really stands out and represents the entire essence of the chapter is the quote at the very end by Mike Benson.

Paraphrased it states: “…you’ve also got to be aware of what the consumer will and will not accept. They know when they’re being sold”…”there’s an audience out there than can appreciate real creativity, and that will accept and buy an advertiser’s product if it’s done right. But if you don’t do it right, they’re going to write you off – fast.” Using this statement as a guide and going back through the rule we can come up with three types of branding that are common in games.

The first and strongest example that presents the least amount of risk to brand degradation but moderate brand recognition would be when a brand is inserted into a game previously unrelated to the brand. The game could stand alone and the branding within the game only makes the gamine experience more realistic and enriching. It borders more on advertising than total branding. Examples include billboards and signs within a game, or branded clothing which enhances the experience with realistic detail in this virtual world.

The second example that presents more risk but much higher brand recognition is when the game is produced by a company with a primary goal of branding. The game itself starts with a strong brand name and uses that name to promote and/or extenuate the experience around it. Two popular examples in the chapter are Burger King’s Xbox 360 game Big Bumpin and Dairy Queen’s DQ Tycoon. Both are successful but both risky in terms of cost vs. acceptance. Movies and television shows have utilized gaming to enhance the experience and promote an upcoming event, especially action and children movies. We believe that media has much more of a chance of success in this area. Do you agree or disagree with this assumption?

The third example is when example two does not turn out as planned. This happens when the branding itself becomes way too strong in a game that is not so good to begin with. They oversell and under perform. The end result is a commercial that went into overkill that eventually pushes everyone away and hurts the brand itself. When that negative connectivity is attached it could be very difficult for the company to release itself from the game image. Are there any games you can think of that have oversold and underperformed to the detriment of the company and the brand that developed it?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Letting Go Of The Reins

User Generated Content can be be scary but with risk comes a lot of potential reward. One of the things covered in Chapter 5: "Want control? Give it away," are some of the ways that companies have tried to control user generated content from simply being prepared for the negative along with the good to tailoring contest and campaigns to make them more appealing to the real targeted audience instead of the semi professional videographer. There are contests where people are post straight to online communities and ones where the organization is acting as a middleman sifting through all the submissions in-house. So the question remains: As marketers how much can you control user generated content? And how much should you?

Rule #5: Want Control? Give It Away

In chapter five Mathieson discusses the advantages and potential pitfalls of user-generated content. Using examples such as Heinz Ketchup’s Top This campaign and Coca Cola’s “Essence of Coke”, a compelling argument to the efficacy of allowing consumers to create content is made.

Key Takeaways:

Embrace Risk, But Ensure Reward

Encourage users to participate in content generation, however make sure that safeguards are in place to protect brand reputation. Mathieson uses the example of Chevrolet’s UCG website meant to promote the Chevy Tahoe. Users were allowed to create the commentary for a short commercial. The commercials were then open to all viewers. Hilarity ensued as rogue users created anti-suv clips (click here to jump to a article about this, replete with the original parody ad vids)

A more effective campaign was employed by Doritos, named “Free Doritos”. Users were encouraged to create commercials, which were then carefully vetted before receiving online showtime. Here's the 2009 winning ad

What would incentivize you to participate in one of these contests, other than money (you greedy scoundrels!)

It’s Not Consumer-Created If It Comes From A Pro

When allowing open, public participation in a UCG campaign, professional consumers (artist, videographers, production specialists) can essentially usurp these campaigns, which may be construed as unfair to the average consumer.

In your opinion, does professional involvement serve to motivate or discourage amateur participation?

Don’t Think User-Generated, Think User-Personalized

By narrowing the parameters in which content is generated, it becomes more of a personalization process. Mathieson uses the example of Jones Soda allowing users to create custom soda labels to order, and submitting pictures that may be used as a label for one of their products.

If you could personalize any product, what would it be?