Omega Coaxial – quite possibly the best commercial of 2013

First, watch this commercial:

Now, please consider that Omega never really touts features or benefits… they don’t even play into lifestyle per se. This is simply an emotional piece tied to the brand’s rich legacy of elegance, luxury, accuracy and provenance.

The commercial pairs an amazing sixty seconds of CGI with an excellent score (Smiling by the British composer Harry Gregson-Williams). And this commercial would score a perfect 100 if it qualified “the most perfect mechanical watch movement in the world” with the phrase “quite possibly”. Without this qualifier, technically Omega is making a statement of opinion; which is okay; but not necessarily substantiated by data (internet folks, please correct me if I’m mistaken). I know, I’m being picky. But I don’t score many commercials anywhere near a 99/100.

What’s even more special about this commercial is that the images relate to the brand’s provenance:

  • Sailing (official time piece of America’s Cup)
  • Aston Martin (James Bond wears an Omega)
  • Cycling (official time piece of the Olympics)
  • Moon landing (astronauts landed on the moon wore Omega)

And even from the beginning, you’re able to tell it’s a commercial about a watch, even as you get lost in the magic of the animation.

Well done, Omega.

Cadillac ELR Commercial

I’ve never been a huge Cadillac fan. The brand is heavily dated and the cars were not necessarily advanced, high quality nor fuel efficient. Having said all this, I applaud the outdated brand on attempting to attract younger buyers and more tech-savvy buyers (re: the “Tesla crowd”) with their new ELR. But, even better, is the PHENOMENAL commercial featuring Neal McDonough. The commercial is very well produced, moving quickly to tell a story about hard work and the American dream, and oozes coolness – nothing I would have ever associated with Cadillac… but I suppose that’s why it only works (barely) with the ELR.

The future of Google+

Does anyone really use Google+ on a daily basis like they do with other networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn? If you look at the numbers, the answer is not really. While millions have created accounts and profiles, few return to the site with the type of voracity they do with the “big three”. Why? Well, this is not Google’s first attempt at building a social network, and it won’t be it’s last. It’s a segment of internet usage they are desperately trying to conquer, but with limited success.

So here’s my advice for Google and Google+ users:

As a user (or business), if you put content there, Google features it prominently in search results. Therefore it’s important to invest in a presence, even as an individual, especially if you are trying to build a brand. But no one actually goes there compared to other sites. Google will most likely find a good place for it, but it will go through a few more iterations until they get it right. In some sort of weird “circle of life” on the internet, I actually think it’s best served to be a personal portal – which was Yahoo’s original service and what Google aspired to NOT BE. But then Google launched its iGoogle portal years ago only to ditch it a few years later. A personalized portal that aggregates all your social stuff from other sites (like YT, Twitter and even FB), could be quite interesting. Think of it like our communities page – but for individuals. And it would have your past searches, bookmarks, calendar, docs, photos and a recommendation engine. A digital junk drawer.

How-to start up an international search marketing campaign

If you’re thinking about taking your search marketing to the international markets, my first word of caution is that what works in the USA does not necessarily translate to success overseas. There are a number of reasons for this – different types of technology (international markets may be more mobile dependent or have lower bandwidth); new competitors in the decision set; varying consumer sentiment; and so on.

So my next piece of advice is to make sure you are really good at local search. If you don’t have that locked down, reconsider going international until you do. International search simply introduces lots of complexity that you shouldn’t try to tackle until you’ve mastered search in your own back yard.

Still ready? Here are five pointers to consider:

  1. Local domains for your search ad copy and landing pages. Dave Lloyd over at Adobe penned a great article for ClickZ on the topic. Simply put, make sure your ads have a local domain extension. So if you are advertising in the UK, make sure you have a UK-familiar URL, such as myLandingPage.co.uk or similar. You can always have the funnel ultimate redirect back to your main .com; even better, to your main .com with a local directory such as myWebSite.com/uk.
  2. Have a dedicated landing page for the specific market. So using the UK example, you should have a special landing page that has the region in the meta data, header tags and body copy so that the machines, search engines and humans interacting with your landing page know without a doubt you are providing an offer to people in the UK. Make sure your headlines and copy are tailored for the market’s culture and language.
  3. Localize your search ads. When you are writing your search ad copy, make sure you use proper language consistent with the market. If you’re speaking to the UK, consider little nuances like “colour” versus “color” or “internationalisation” versus “internationalization”. And be wary of clichés, expressions and humor that might not be understood in the market. Stick to the facts and be very clear/concise in your ad copy. And, certain words have different meanings (even in the same language). Rubber typically means something different on the streets of LA than the streets of London.
  4. Display ads should be similarly tailored. Don’t assume that if it worked as a display ad in the USA, it will work elsewhere. That goes for all elements – animation, the type of people and images featured, how they appear and are positioned and even animals — all influence how different cultures interact with advertisements.
  5. Understand how locals think. My best quick advice is to start searching for your keywords using overseas search engines (google.co.uk) and see what types of ads your competitors are using. Hit their sites so you get remarketed to and then start browsing local websites to review banner ads. You’ll probably see some immediate differences. You need to understand your audience in the target market and what makes them different from your USA market. This will help you zero in on creating personalized and engaging ads (and landing pages).

And of course with any digital campaign remember the basics:

  1. Don’t start until you understand what your objective is.
  2. Don’t start until you understand how to measure the results.
  3. Test, test, test.

More on Gmail tabs

Yesterday I wrote about the interesting results of several studies on the effect of Gmail’s new “tab” features, specifically is it pertains to mobile/small-screen devices. Today, a great analysis of the 3-million user ReturnPath study came through to my own inbox by way of Ayaz Nanji at MarketingProfs.com.

Not surprisingly, fewer marketing messages were tagged as spam; instead being tagged as promotional. While that’s a slight improvement, the real victory is getting to the inbox – which now requires end-user action (setting a particular vendor’s messages as inbox-worthy).

The report also goes on to indicate that very few people message around with their tabs – demonstrating the lack of understanding of this feature among users. The whole purpose is to customize how you consume email; but users seem to be content with what Gmail defaults to – great market research by Google (probably); but also a growing gap in knowledge among consumers as gmail becomes pervasive.