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Audi VS Mercedes has been a battle that has been making ad agencies very happy. Audi, for some time now, has been directly competing against them in their advertisements as a way to change the perception of luxury and fun, much like Cadillac did with their new line of STS sedans.

Audi and their new campaign to one up Mercedes in my mind has been fairly successful at changing the luxury perception of Mercedes being “Old Luxury” catering to elite rich folk and Audi becoming the “New Luxury” who caters to the savvy, yet young business man.

We have all seen their advertisements but this one holds more relevance:

Audi

We have all seen the Audi “Goodnight” commercial, but this one I feel, is a bit more fun. It explicitly pokes fun at Mercedes Benz owners as gullible and snooty.

Mercedes

Mercedes responds with adverts about their vehicles but this one is a very direct product of the battle as a response to Audi’s positioning of their advertising. This ad tries to show that they can be fun, too.

Both ads have an interesting take on customer’s perception of each brand. One tries to perceive that it is fun luxury, while the other tries to change perceptions that it is just as fun. Trying to remove bias: each brand is attempting to one-up each other.

Once the Consumer is Hooked:

When the consumer enters a high involvement state (ready to buy, more cognitive processing), the consumer who is debating between Audi and Mercedes most likely being their information search, via website.

Mercedes does a great job conveying their message not only through a TV commercial, but on their website:

Mercedes capitalizes on on the brand and the image of the vehicle.

Adds pictures to the text to reinforce meaning and emotional appeal.

The Mercedes AMG website which is for their high-performance line, it has an interactive presentation and has easily accessible, raw information when the prospective buyer is looking for it.

I’m am a die-hard fan of Audi, but their website does not reciprocate the emotional and cognitive appeals from their TV advertisements compared to Mercedes, less interactive presentation.

Cluttered links, hard to find technical information and blocks of mass text looks unappealing.

Again, just below this slide show on the Audi website, mass text, nothing organized.

Further down the previous page, all text.

Bottom Line

Audi does a great job changing perceptions that it is the superior luxury brand, but for the consumers who need the raw technical specs to make a buying decision, Audi lacks.

Advertisements

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I know all of you have watched and helped Old Spice become viral. Over the past year, they have transformed a once troubled brand personality into web Dynamite. Boom!

Sure, they have brand awareness, social media implementation (genius use of Twitter and Youtube) and conversation, tons of conversation. But before I go through the low-down of what Old Spice created, watch a few parodies, then come back.

Sesame Street Parody

Scholar Grades Parody

I hope you enjoyed them! Let’s talk some sense though. If you are following social media, love social media, in the social media industry, then you know very damn well that is it difficult to measure your ROI on a social media campaign. Sounds easy to look at campaign budget, compare sales figure spreads, then formulate. No. You cannot account for conversation and other variables. In some cases you can, with new software revolutions in the industry. Maybe you can over a long term approach, but According to an Adweek blog, Ad Freak, published August 4th, just 6 months after the Red Spice campaign, stated some numbers gathered from the Wieden + Kennedy Agency, two I love and one makes me dumbfounded:

-Half the conversations came from women. (Great! The secondary target market responded!)
-The YouTube/Twitter social media response campaign was “the fastest-growing and most popular interactive campaign in history.” (Saw that coming when Old Spice Man responded to twitter questions.)

-Since the campaign launched, Old Spice Bodywash sales are up 27 percent; in the last three months up. 55 percent; and in the last month up 107 percent. (Quite a data confusion)

See, I looked at other people talking about the same mess. SymphonyIRI did some research on sales figures:

(Picture courtesy of Ad Age) Looks good for the overall but two commenter’s from Robert Paterson’s blog, also talking about Old Spice published July 27th suggests good insight:

Commenter 1: “According to PR Week sales of the product increased over 100% last month. A piece in Forbes.com uses the same SymphonyIRI study to show that sales were up 7.9% from the previous year.”

Commenter 2: “…people have got to STOP citing these SymphonyIRI numbers in reference to the Old Spice campaign. They measure the year ending June 13th, 2010, a full month BEFORE the viral/social aspect of the Old Spice campaign even started.”

Granted these results were made in July, the point stays the same. Digging some more, the media took the hook on the first results when actually the results were misleading. But something more interesting is that coupons also had a major effect on sales, Buy-one-get-one-free. In that same article from Evidence Soup, they provided a quote recorded by Ad Age on the Procter and Gamble spokesperson, Mike Norton:

“How much of Old Spice’s recent gains… come from Mr. Mustafa’s ads and how much from the coupons? It’s impossible to know.”

So now I wait for official results, if there are any, on the success of the campaign. Either way I loved the campaign, I subjectively believe that the campaign had positive ROI in addition to the mass conversation and growing viral videos. Let this be a learning experience.

I also came across Heidi Cohen’s blog where she lists out 31 well needed questions to ask about the Old Spice Campaign, number five being:

“5. Brand status. Did the campaign transform the brand making it an icon? Did the brand’s reach become part of the culture?”

Yes, and yes.

Cheers from London.

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So let me tell you a little something about biggest BANG 4 UR BUCK. OMG Agency.

An advertising agency started by college students that focuses on social media. They work to integrate social media sites together in addition to building innovative and captivating websites. They are probably the first agency to focus completely on social media.

Chad Olsen, CEO of OMG Agency said, “we have interviewed other agencies in Minneapolis and asked them about social media and what they do with it. They responded with good luck.”

With OMG, they don’t price out their services like other agencies do. They hardly have any overhead and the price is mostly a labor cost for their work. Good value, amazing work!

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