Merry Christmas & Marketing News 2013

christmaselephantThank you to all of our beautiful clients for your interesting projects and fabulous company this year. The last few weeks have been flat-out running social media and PR for the vast number of auctions for Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour. The experience has been amazing – testament to the power of social networks and public relations. If you’re keen to see the basics of how simple text and display ads work, check out the Google AdWords primer below. Yes, Strategic Creative is now MVMM (My Virtual Marketing Manager) with new website

Google AdWords Basic Training

In terms of effectiveness and efficiency, it’s hard to go past good ol’ Google AdWords. Google prides itself on creating positive and relevant user experiences for those using its powerful search algorithms.To create simple and effective ads that are low cost and measurable is not difficult when you get a handle on what you’re doing and how Google thinks. Read On…

Pantene #Whipit Goes Viral

If you’ve checked your Facebook News Feed in the last few days, you’ve probably seen the Pantene Philippines ad that’s causing a global sensation for its radical departure from conventional shampoo advertising. Here’s my take on why it works (partly) and how you could emulate its strategy. Read On…

Holiday Hours

The virtual office will be closing from 21st December 2013 to 06 January 2014. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season where you can relax and do the things you enjoy the most. See you in 2014.

Best wishes, Dani & the Elves.


Google AdWords Basic Training

In terms of effectiveness and efficiency, it’s hard to go past good ol’ Google AdWords.

Google prides itself on creating positive and relevant user experiences for those using its powerful search algorithms.

To create simple and effective ads that are low cost and measurable is not difficult when you get a handle on what you’re doing and how Google thinks.

Getting Started

After you log into your Google Account, you will see the Dashboard.

To create your ads, click Campaigns and then the Green button below +Campaigns.

Here you can choose the type of ad. You can reach the most people by using Search Display network and Display Select the Search Network only (meaning organic search and search partners sites) or the Display Network only.

There are a number of different types of ads you can run. This brief article will look at running simple Text Ads.

Campaign Structure

At the top we have Campaigns and under that Ad Groups and within Ad Groups we have Ads. Each Ad Group consists of one or more Ads that use the same keywords.

For example, if you are running a Summer Campaign for your swimming club, you would choose a New Campaign. You may then have various different ‘themes’ to promote, such as kids swimming lessons, squad activities, seniors swimming, and water polo. Each of these would become a separate Ad Group. Within, for example, the Water Polo Ad Group, we could then have a series of discrete Ads, such as Registration, the swim club’s equipment for sale, and a video on how to play.

We create a New Campaign, and then New +Ad Group and enter our text and keywords. There are character limits if you are running a Text Ad. Be specific. Think about what the user is directly seeking.

Targeting & Budgeting

You can also set your targeting by country and age.

You set a Daily budget and a per bid budget for each keyword. Popular keywords will cost more, but since they are generic, be sure to include very specific keywords relevant to what you do.

Display and Destination URLs
In your ad, you type in a Display URL and a Destination URL. The display shows what the link will look like, the destination is the actual page the click will direct to.

You can use a general website name in your Display URL e.g. and then the destination page to www.greenswimclub/water-polo/registration/summer

This is to reassure visitors that the link is going to a page on the Display site. If your ad goes to an external or third-party site, the Display needs to accurately represent where the link will go.

You cannot initiate a program or activate anything through the link.

How Bidding Works

Google doesn’t just place the top Ad from the highest bidder. It has refined its algorithms to try and ensure the user is going to have the bed possible user experience. Deeper pockets don’t necessarily provide this. From an advertiser perspective, Google provides you with the lowest price possible to display your ad.

To place your ads and determine the real cost, the equation is:
Maximum Bid x Quality Score = AdRank. The AdRank then determines the position of your ad and the cost.

Having a high Quality Score is really important here.

The Quality Score is mostly made of:
1. your click-through rate CTR)
2. RELEVANCE your ads keywords to your landing page
3. the LANDING page itself


How to improve your Quality Score

Here are some best practices:

Too few Ad Groups?
Google likes relevant, tightly knitted themes. It’s about being really specific, not generic. We need to think like a searcher who genuinely wants to find our solution. Do your keyword research. There are many aids within AdWords to suggest keywords, which you can select and deselect. The specificity and relevance will affect CTR.

Is the Landing page relevant to the keywords in your ad?
Your landing pages need to have content that contains keywords you are using, or the visitor is going to feel cheated. The content should be original not identical to other pages, and specific to each ad.

The Landing Page Itself
The page itself must show good navigation. Google ‘bots’ will scour the page to determine that there are means of escape for the visitor and useful, relevant information such as Privacy policies, Terms of Service, links to About and other pages.

Navigability is key. The old squeeze page you so often used to see – the big red IMPACT script headline and no links other than a big BUY at the bottom, well, Google hates these. Google also hates pop-ups or pop-unders and considers the page load speed and will penalise a slow loader. That means making sure your site isn’t hosted too far away. For example, pages on a US server will need to travel to the Pacific Ocean in order to load.

Video Ads

Did you know you can now choose Online Video and link your AdWords account to your YouTube account (which is also owned by Google)? The video option allows you to track engagement and conversion data for your promoted videos.

Playing with Google AdWords is fun and you learn as you go.

Campaign Deconstruction: Pantene Whipit

While checking your Facebook News Feed, you may have come across the Pantene #Whipit ad that has now officially ‘gone viral’.

In case you missed it, here it is again.

 About the Pantene Ad

Filmed as a TV Commercial for the Philippines market, the Pantene ad has caused a global sensation for its radical departure from conventional shampoo advertising.

Taking a leaf from Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, (which has been tremendously successful), Pantene confronts gender bias and sexism in the corporate workplace and encourages women to shine.

#Whipit Campaign Background

The inspiration for the campaign came from an October 2013 study that revealed that women were still experiencing double standards and gender bias “even in progressive Metro Manila”

The ad features corporate females doing identical tasks (presentations, running meetings, crossing the road, working late at night) and being perceived differently (boss / bossy, dedicated / selfish).

Pantene partnered with active social news website, Rappler (in the Philippines). Rappler’s mission is to generate smart conversations through uncompromising journalism where “stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change.”

The partnership resulted in a social marketing campaign tagged #Whipit in order to try and:

a) subvert these perceptions (Rappler), and

b) make some money selling product (Pantene).

Pantene with agency BBDO Guerrero Manila took a radical departure from the standard shampoo ad script, which often makes women feel disempowered because no shampoo really creates the preternatural shine (or the fabulous good looks and attractive glances) that the ads suggest.

Instead, BBDO and Pantene have taken an empowerment approach and focused on successful women (with good hair) in corporate situations.

The titles demonstrate the faulty perceptions about females in the workforce compared to men.

It has succeeded creating a relevant, albeit tenuous, link to its haircare products and value proposition of shiny hair. Shiny hair, shine as a person. Get it? [Hmm, sort of]. Quality of the product / inequality of the situation.

The ad ran for a month or two before a mention by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg saw it rocket to worldwide popularity.

“This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen illustrating how when women and men do the same things, they are seen in completely different ways,” Sandberg wrote on her official Facebook page.

There are critics. Some say the theme conflicts with the product itself.


The results of the campaign are not available yet, as it still ricocheting through cyberspace.

It has generated thousands of tweets and nine million YouTube views.

Personally, I like the ad and for something that has only ever aired in the Philippines, it’s what I would call a ‘good spend’. I think it has generated smart conversations and created popular awareness about the differences in perceptions, including from and by women.

It also makes me think that Pantene really is a smarter product than others and reflects my self-concept, which is pretty critical when marketing things like this. Like jeans for twenty-somethings, it’s not about the denim, it’s about how you see yourself and how you want others to see you. In marketing parlance, we call it the ‘transformational appeal’ and it can be more effective than an ‘informational appeal’ as long as you can make it past the rationality hurdles.

That’s why I also like the ad from a marketing communications perspective, because it does what many brands try and fail to do well, which is successfully enter emotional and higher-order territory and favourably reflect the target market back to themselves.

Entering Emotional Territory

Apple was initially subversive (watch the famous Superbowl ad styled on Orwell’s 1984 here), now it’s creative and inspirational. Nike uses the ‘power of the individual’ (watch). Dove is ‘Real Beauty’ (this is beautiful).

Even though I find some of the quasi-spiritual underpinnings of certain fast moving consumer goods eye-rolling, they can be enormously powerful. Archetypes and storytelling; quests, ideals and journeys are universal and deeply felt.

They work because you can add have more nuts, thicker cream, a cheaper price, an easier payment system, but so can your competitors. There is no real differentiation and therefore no real loyalty. When you own emotional territory, it is very difficult for a competitor to displace this. You’re on a higher plane. You ‘connect’.

As Services businesses, it’s easier for us. There is always a deeper, laddered down benefit of what you do. Always. The hidden, but powerful value proposition may be security. Confidence. Assurance. Romance. Idealism. A means to express individual self-identity.

If you need help laddering down to your higher order benefit, send me an email.

Also what do you think of the Pantene #Whipit ad? Love it or loathe it?