A Tale of Two Ads

This is a tale of two ads that started running on my company’s FinalCutters website from its launch in April:


The ad on the left (Killer Secrets) produced far more clicks than the ad on the right (Loader). Here are the stats for a couple of weeks:

27th April to 3rd May
Killer Secrets: 21 clicks per 1000 visits
Loader: 2 clicks per 1000 visits

4th May to 10th May
Killer Secrets: 16 clicks per 1000 visits
Loader: 1 click per 1000 visits

Very bad news for the Loader ad, so I decided to try an experiment. I reckoned that there were two things working in the favour of the Killer Secrets ad:

  1. There’s no company name so it isn’t obviously an ad (for an eBook) and could easily be seen as a link to a tutorial or some other content.
  2. It is static rather than animated. Do users really have the time or inclination to sit and wait for an ad to run round the loop?

So I remade the Loader ad to look like this:


The results were quite dramatic:

11th May to 17th May
Killer Secrets: 25 clicks per 1000 visits
Loader: 7 clicks per 1000 visits

18th May to 24th May
Killer Secrets: 19 clicks per 1000 visits
Loader: 7 clicks per 1000 visits

Yes the Killer Secrets ad is still the more striking one but even so that’s a 466% increase for clicks on the new Loader ad compared to the previous 2 week period! Job done.

What’s Missing?

The photo above is the entrance to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) offices in central London. In case you didn’t know, the DMA is “the trade assocation for the direct marketing industry. Its aim is to raise consumer confidence and trust and raise the profile of direct marketing through lobbying, events, research and development.

In other words, they defend the corner of the companies that want to send you junk mail through the post along with unsolicited emails and phone calls.

Now there’s something very ironic about these entrance doors. Can you spot what’s missing?

Apple’s Get a Mac ads are back on form

Just when it was looking like the campaign was running out of steam, there are some new Get a Mac ads that had me laughing out loud again. Apart from the great writing and performances, the thing I like most about these is the sheer audacity of it all.

There were various reports a while back that viewers empathised with the PC character more than the Mac character but looking at how Apple’s marketshare is doing, it probably doesn’t matter. The ads (and the iPhone) sure are doing the trick!


Tunnel de L’amour

At the end of last year, St Pancras International became the swanky new home of the Eurostar terminal in London after 13 years at Waterloo. Soon after the closure of the Waterloo terminal, Eurostar put up a hoarding plastered with a bunch of facts and figures on the passengers carried over the years.

I’ve been walking past this hoarding for months but only yesterday did I notice this (very Virgin Atlantic style) cheeky little figure at the bottom…

If my maths is correct, that works out at an average of one shag per hundred trains. The million dollar question is whether this figure and the one above it are somehow connected?

Microsoft Humour (1)

If you fancy a bit of light entertainment, head over to Microsoft’s latest campaign site for Vista, called The Mojave Experiment. This one is an absolute marketing classic.

The concept behind the campaign is that Windows XP users who have never used Vista (and presumably never even seen it) are asked for their opinion of the OS. We hear nothing but negative words. Then they are shown a ‘sneak peek’ of the latest Microsoft operating system, codenamed ‘Mojave’. The reactions are amazing, ecstatic, “so easy”, “so cool”. The users are then told that they’ve been using Vista. Cue shocked looks and much jaws dropping all round.

I just find it astonishing how clueless Microsoft are when it comes to marketing. Putting aside the fact that the net result of the campaign is showing the participants of the video as misinformed and wrong (psychological alarm bells are ringing here), the campaign concept feels like one big horrible back-handed compliment. Regardless of the ‘positive’ outcome at the end, the video starts with public trashing of the very product they’re promoting. That’s nothing new but coming on a Microsoft marketing message seems to validate those opinions. It just leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.

Check out the bearded guy (third row, fifth column from the right):

So what three words would you use to describe ‘Mojave’?
Easy… (long pause) Can I change easy to convenient?
[OK that’s it, show the Vista logo and end the video]