Well done to Stork and the agency behind its new TV ad for picking up on a progressive trend - blogging - and attempting to reach a target demographic with it. But I must agree with a friend's sentiments that they have lost out on an enormous opportunity to capitalise on the significant Web buzz created by the first few screenings of the advert.
Esteemed blogging mate Rafiq and fellow AddiCT Miguel managed to video and record the Stork blogging television ad I was raving about just the other day and upload it to Google Video
Blogging... blogging. On the Internet, Mikey set it up for me. Kids these days know everything. It's like your own website where you can speak up, play, inspire. I know, I used to find the Internet intimidating too. But this is amazing. It's... my space where I can just express myself and when you sit back and read what you've written its like, Wow! This is me. My creativity.People love blogs
Ordinary people love blogs (David Sifry's recent analysis of the State of the Blogosphere
report indicates that blogging continues to enjoy widespread adoption and usage).
Some love blogs because it gives them the opportunity to publish information, opinion and just general content to the Web in such a way that has never been offered them before. Others just want to tell their story, and blogs are an ideal medium. Others use blogs as a cost-effective marketing tool and still others use it as a money-making device.
Regardless of why you're blogging, you choose blogging because it offers you something you didn't have before - a channel, a network, a conjuit, a repository, a medium.
Stork (or at least Unilever or Stork's agency) seem to get this. They understand that there are hundreds and thousands of housewives around the world that are telling great stories online - finding an identity and occupation - through blogs. They've chosen to associate that feeling of discovery, creativity and empowerment with their product. Brilliant. But that's where it's ended.Free advice
Free advice for Stork/Unilever/the ad agency:
- Set up a blog. Tie it into the ad's message and put the URL in the ad (read: invite your consumers to participate - they'll love it) - you'll quickly identify who your customer evangelists are by their willingness to participate. This is also a sure-fire method of measuring the impact / effectiveness of the campaign.
- Empower your evangelists - provide information on your blog about how they can set up their own sites and start talking. Give the gift of a blog. Better yet, set up a blogging network for South African moms and housewives. Extend it with a cooking theme - encourage your evangelists to share their favourite Stork recipes in their blogs for a chance to be featured in the next TV ad, or even for a cash prize.
- Love the Linkers. Acknowledge the link love geek marketers across South Africa are giving your brand - people like the AddiCTS. To be frank, I'll speak on behalf of the geeks when I say that I couldn't care less about your brand (I'm not exactly a prolific baker) - but mention me online, link to me or better yet feature my blog URL in your next ad (you could flash up 5 or 6 new blog addresses scribbled on the fridge door every time the ad screens) and you'll have a dedicated Stork follower for life. Do not underestimate the power of bloggers.
- Run training sessions and workshops for Stork moms and housewives. Don't train them on how to cook - they watch Jamie Oliver for that. Train them on being Web-savvy. Give them tools to empower their families. Teach them how to set up a flickr account and share photo's with their loved ones. Teach them about del.icio.us and Newsvine and other community-driven sites that could help their kids (and God knows their husbands) with research and learning. Teach them about podcasting and how it can add value to their lives. In other words, add real value. They will love you forever.
- TRACK THE WEB! Find out who's talking about you and what they're saying. Engage your citizen marketers. Answer questions. Send out the ad so people can download it to their phones and iPods and pass it on to their mates. Interrogate Technorati and BlogPulse and Icerocket. Set up Google Alerts to alert you when your brand or the campaign is mentioned anywhere in the world. Get your bums out of the butter and get your hands dirty.
Ok, that's about all I can think of for now. I dearly hope you are at least doing a little bit of number five so that you get the most out of what could potentially be a very powerful campaign.