In my humble opinion I think this is Three’s Dairy Milk moment.
Three’s extremely daring and silly Dancing Pony has caught the UK by storm. The video has topped the most shared video list while also creating a buzz around the ad that I haven’t seen since Cadbury’s drumming Gorilla.
What was very clear about the drumming Gorilla was that it was a Cadbury Dairy Milk ad. What isn’t originally clear about the Dancing Pony is who the hell the ad is promoting. Three need to tap into the buzz surrounding the video and potentially release more ‘silly’ indents to keep consumer awareness at a high; potentially supporting these viral, I’ll come on to that later, videos with promotions and actual product information.
My issue with this being a ‘viral’ hit is that it is in fact very much a paid for promotion. Three has spent millions of pounds buying traditional and digital media space so that it is basically impossible for you to miss their Dancing Pony. My question is, is why not set the Dancing Pony free to go viral, then after a set period of time start pushing the ad through traditional and digital paid for media? I tell you one thing, it would have been a much cheaper process. The same result? Probably not.
The Dancing Pony has given Three a platform to push forward, it’s down to Three, and what I imagine a very depleted budget, to rise to the challenge.
Oh, just in case you forgot…
Gold medals, world records, underdogs, legends, 9.6 seconds, Great Britain.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the above and much more of the Olympics but what has really caught my attention is how brands who aren’t official sponsors are going about keeping themselves in the public eye during the games. As we all know LOCOG have set up stringent rules and regulations regarding advertising, but what you may not have seen is how brands have gone about working around these regulations.
Paddy Power were first out the blocks. They sponsored an egg and spoon race in London, France. They then went on to put up billboard ads around London claiming to be the ‘Official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year! (Ahem, London France that is)’. LOCOG weren’t happy about this and tried to get them taken down. Paddy Power then took them to court and LOCOG retracted their request.
Nike then took the baton. With Adidas as one of the official Olympic sponsors, they had to act big to beat their rivals. They came out with the ‘Find Your Greatness’ campaign, a series of spots aimed at amateurs that ruled out the elitism of the Olympics. Narrated by Tom Hardy, the short films give Nike character and emotion - something it’s been lacking.
Beats™ by Dre were next up. Since their beginning in 2006, Beats™ by Dre have used celebrities to promote their products; ensuring well known public figures are often seen wearing their headphones. Due to LOCOG’s set rules, Beats™ by Dre couldn’t just supply the athletes with their headphones and ask them to wear them. They set up a collection point at a trendy private members club, Shoreditch House, near the Olympic Park for invited athletes to come and get their personalised headphones. The onus is then on the athlete not the company. British footballer Jack Butland tweeted: “Loving my new GB Beats by Dre #TeamGB #Beats.”
I’m just waiting to see which brand runs the final leg for the unofficial brands. It’ll be interesting to see whether the official sponsors end up walking away with Gold or Silver. I know who I’m rooting for…
We’ve all had it, that ‘what’s this song’ effect; the realisation that the song that’s currently playing amidst an advertisement is an absolute corker. I know I have.
I can remember around 5 years ago when Nike Football adverts were at their finest, the world’s best players (well, the ones sponsored by Nike) lined up for what was dubbed ‘Cage Football – The Scorpion’. The advert itself was fantastic, but what really made it was the music that went with it; Elvis Presley’s ‘A Little Less Conversation’. An already well renowned song in its own right but somehow the coupling of this song with footballers outdoing each other in a cage was magnificent.
What the agency handling Nike’s account did well was to bring the world’s best together; Elvis Presley and the most skilled footballers. More recently agencies have started incorporating new music into their adverts as opposed to classics we all know and love.
In 2011, Lucozade came out with a campaign advertising their Sport Lite drinks. Part of this campaign was a TV/Cinema spot that featured a song by DJ Fresh; ‘Louder’. At this time (May 2011) DJ Fresh was a fairly unknown commodity, he’d had one hit with ‘Gold Dust’ but that was it. What Lucozade’s advert did was not only push their advert up the shared rankings on social media but it also pushed DJ Fresh’s ‘Louder’ to the top of the charts.
In the last few weeks Microsoft has release an advert for Internet Explorer 9. What needs to be considered is Internet Explorer’s plummeting market share; Chrome, Safari and FireFox are all closing in on Microsoft’s default browser. What Microsoft/its agency have done is very clever; the advert is obviously targeted at the 16-25 age bracket. The visuals and the song go hand in hand to produce an advert very appealing to young people. The song used is by Alex Clare, ‘Too Close’. I’ve been championing this song to my friends for around a year now, and despite my efforts it’s never really taken off. What Microsoft have done is taken an unknown artist and a relatively unknown song and put them out there in the limelight. There’s been a lot of talk on the web of ‘the Microsoft song’, to have an affiliation to a song that is currently climbing the charts is great news for Microsoft and for their chances of putting Internet Explorer back in its place as king of browsers.
I think it’s clear that adverts and music fit very well together, the question is who benefits the most. Musicians have their song played to an audience they would never normally be able to reach but what if the advert itself is poor? Then their song is associated with a bad advert, but all publicity is good publicity right? Advertisers on the other hand use music to create an interest in their particular advert, as previously mentioned it does no harm having an association with a popular song. What advertisers must be careful of is their advert matching the quality of the song; if a song is brilliant and the advert is poor, the song will get all the attention and the advert will be quickly forgotten.
The combination of advertisers and musicians is great for both industries and for consumers. This successful partnership will hopefully continue long in to the future because I for one think great music adds a whole new element to advertising.
Lucozade Sport Lite: