|Experiential Marketing Events : Rethinking What You Thought You Knew - Part 2 of Many|
|Wednesday, 09 September 2009|
Let’s begin to think about other mass channels and the current thinking applied there - let’s start with the oldest and most famous traditional mass channel - the good ole’ TV commercial!
It’s certainly been a round a long time, and when used properly, it’s certainly a great component to any integrated marketing campaign. I say this, of course, taking into consideration that a brand is working with substantial dollars, and not in a situation in which it’s working with slashed budgets. Sound familiar?
When working on a TV spot - whether a 15-, 30- or 60-second spot — the tried-and-true media planning and buying methodology will break down the cost of the spot into a few quantifiable buckets. How many buckets exactly? Lets just say that it’s about 3 to 5 separate buckets, not counting the cost for ideation.
We’re talking about the mechanics of the spot itself. (Please note that I am not a media buyer so I’m applying a beginner’s perspective to this process. I apologize in advance.) There’s the pre-production costs and all the advance work needed to kick-start the production. Site and talent scouting, procurement, scheduling, troubleshooting, etc….there’s a bunch of money set aside for these kinds of things.
Then there’s the actual filming of the commercial. If you’ve even been on the set and seen the amount of down-time that marketers pay for, you’ll know that there’s a lot more spending going on than actual filming. The guy that turns the fan on and off every time the director calls “rolling” or “cut” is a union worker, folks. He gets paid more than a grade school teacher. And we’re paying him. Please note: it’s extremely important to realize that all of these dollars are being spent before the commercial is even close to making it in front of the very first consumer.
If you want the commercial to be any good you must spend anywhere from $500,000 - $10 MM into a good spot depending on location, the talent level, special effects, post-production, etc. There’s a lot that goes into a good spot, and all of it is pretty damn expensive.
So now that we have bought a TV spot, we need to activate it. So what’s the activation budget that comes with it? This is crucial because the activational pot of money determines when and where your spot will be aired. These are critical issues because of the metrics used to measure traditional TV advertising.
Today, everyone knows that the activation budget/media buy needs to be a healthy sum of money in order to reach the intended amount of the mass audience. Especially since there are reports floating around that it takes 40-plus airings of a commercial to yield the same result of just 4 to 5 airings a few years ago. The media landscape is that much more fragmented. In any case, it is clear that there are two things that need to be taken into consideration: the quality of the spot and the quantity of the times that it runs. Both of these things require substantial spending for a chance at success.
So why spend the money? Well, common wisdom says that it’s the best way to reach the most people. But even if this is true (which I don’t think it is), is it worth the price? To many forward-thinking marketers, it might not be.
The traditionalists who are sticking to their 30-second guns dismiss event marketing as too much money for too little eyeballs (as if eyeballs was all that mattered!). But if you just looked at the amount of dollars they are throwing at an ever-elusive audience, you would be smart to rethink their reasoning.
If it takes $500,000 to create and shoot a commercial, it might take another $3 million to buy the time to air it…hoping that media buyers’ algorithms will be successful in getting the spot in front of the intended audience. In other words, for a traditional TV ad campaign, you will need to spend much more to activate a spot than to create it.
But if you built an experiential footprint to show up at events, for instance, or created a pop-up retail experience for $500,000, your activational budget is already baked into the cost of the campaign. You may have spent half-a-million bucks to reach the first consumer, but you won’t spend any more on reaching millions more afterwards. Can we say the same thing about traditional TV advertisement?
It’s often comical to see brand managers fret over a $100,000 event marketing or trade show budget line-by-line, but think nothing of approving $25,000 for craft services on a Hollywood set. The common misperception that a TV spot will get you the mass audience – while event marketing is too niche and not scalable – is totally erroneous and ridiculous.
And we’re not even going to start talking about the value of the audience interaction itself. What do you think resonates more with a consumer, a TV spot or a marketing experience? And what do you think the value of that engagement is? What leads more to purchase consideration, understanding of the brand, and word-of-mouth referrals – a TV commercial or a memorable event marketing campaign?
Right. So where’s the confusion, folks? And now we’re just getting warmed up…….Stay tuned at Chief Marketer
|< Prev||Next >|