We've talked pretty exhaustively about how advertisers can make their mark with online video by providing content over an intrusive, selling way. I ran across the following study conducted by Bluefin Labs for Advertising Age concerning TV ads for Mike's Hard Lemonade. True, this isn't an online video study, but I think the information contained here is interesting to observe because one of the findings of the study is that people are willing to talk about advertisements in much the same way they would a favorite TV show. When you can get that kind of engagement, you've done your job. Let's take a look.
Bluefin's Findings For Ad Age: Mike's Hard Lemonade
First, let's take a look at the ads that have been playing on TV and of course are readily available on YouTube. The first is "Golf: Pirate:"
Then, continuing the theme of Golf, with Lotto:
And Golf: Convict:
Bluefin looked at the social media activity around Mike's Hard Lemonade before the ad campaign took place from April 18 to May 8, and then took numbers from the time the campaign hit, from May 9-22. They looked at an ad campaign that had 642 airings on 421 TV show telecasts. These generated 6.8 million comments from 1 million unique commenters, which is nearly a 7:1 ratio. Take a look at the chart:
As a commenter says later, it's kind of disappointing we don't see what happened after the campaign, but I guess we can assume by looking at how the graph behaves after the big spike, it leveled off.
Ad Age remarks that the percentage increase isn't necessarily huge, but getting people to comment about an advertisement is a way bigger challenge than a sitcom does in getting people talking about it.
The Mike's Hard Lemonade ads aren't exactly the same kind of "non-selling" ads that we've been talking about. After all, these are made-for-TV spots. And beer commercials going for sitcom-style content for a 30 second ad is hardly a new thing. But what it shows is that good content has a way of getting people talking, and you're hoping people talk about your product and remember it when they hit stores.
The online video equivalent of this is posting a video to YouTube and making content that people want to share through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. We just talked about AdWords for Video in the last section of the YouTube Advertiser Playbook, which is a sort-of equivalent to running a TV-style ad campaign on YouTube. When those ads go out and get the AdWords push, are you making content that people are going to be talking about? As always, funny, sexy, embarrassing, unusual--those kinds of triggers rule. Mike's went sort of unusual and funny here (as has been their way since they first came in on the scene), and according to the study, did quite well with it.