Lessons in Propagation Planning 2009
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Lessons in Propagation Planning 2009

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These are lessons that I have learned from studying Propagation Planning in 2009. These lessons will help you understand the philosophy, review case studies and apply the method to your communication ...

These are lessons that I have learned from studying Propagation Planning in 2009. These lessons will help you understand the philosophy, review case studies and apply the method to your communication plans.

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  • Connection Planning has been around for 10 years and has been practiced at agencies like Fallon and Chiat Day. For our agency to be a part of the next shift in industry thinking we needed to know, “what comes after connection planning?”
  • 2009 was a fantastic year for propagation planning and I would like to share with you what I have learned about the discipline and my ideas for promoting the craft
  • The new marketing landscape is paving the way for propagation planning to exist in ad agencies and communication planning shops.
  • Brandon Murphy from 22squared (along with Karen Evans and Evan Slater) talked about turning the awareness funnel upside down and creating multiplicity instead of subtraction. This philosophy was the reason that I took the job at 22squared.
  • A senior planner named Dan Pankraz from Clemenger BBDO Sydney created these slides that explain the shift in the marketing funnel even better.
  • At the Miami Account Planning Conference in 2008, Group M spoke about three types of Media: Paid, Owned and Earned (thanks to Ed Cotton from BSSP for the photo). This broader definition of media (particularly the term earned media) has been reinforced by articles in Adweek and Ad Age.
  • Universal McCaan and Keller Fay did a study where 36% of purchases were influenced by Personal Recommendations from Friends and Family. This was the highest influence compared to other paid mediums that were also available to marketers. It makes sense to bring the most powerful medium into your marketing plan.
  • “Word of mouth has potentially exponential power for a brand. What marketers are less confident about though is building this channel into plans and making it an accountable component. When the phase ‘Word of Mouth’ is bandied around, more often than not, what is being referred to is an immeasurable yet highly desirable campaign ‘side effect’. But things have moved on: the muddy and mystical times that once defined attempts at harnessing it are changing. Propagation planning - a technique capable of kick-starting, controlling and exploiting the WOM affect - is moving the area forward.” - Nikki Stammers for B&T
  • Instead of marketing directly to Older Jewish Voters, a media strategy that would have been expensive and likely to included direct mail, newspaper and television they decided to target a segment that had more influence over the prime audience... the grandchildren. The Great Schlep was born and produced and spread with zero paid media dollars.
  • W+K sent out 50 handmade boxes with items from the movie to their favorite bloggers. Coraline is an animated stop-motion fantasy film directed by Henry Sellick (The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and The Giant Peach). The Coraline boxes contain items from the highly anticipated film such as dolls, wigs, suitcase, etc. and each is housed in a one-of-a-kind handmade box.
  • Most artists that launch albums run ads in magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin, with some television ads for retailers like Target or Wal Mart. Oasis launched an album by training street performers in NYC to play their songs prior to the launch of the album. These performers went back to the streets and spread the words of the product and invited Oasis fans to see them play to learn what the new songs might be about. This launch became their second best album launch ever.
  • In a world where content can be spread and enjoyed outside of paid media space, this is not the time to pull back on production budgets. In fact, good production by itself can be propagation material. Sometimes production can be expensive and sometimes it can be inexpensive but very unique.
  • Known talent can give a nice needed push with online videos like Robert Carlyle in this Johnny Walker Whiskey video. This also had a unique production technique of capturing the footage in one take.
  • Both Dos Equis and Compare the Market do a great job on their respective Facebook pages by writing status updates in the tone and voice of the branded characters that they invented.
  • BBH won the APG award with the Prescribe the Nation campaign showing how one person in Alaska can spread word of mouth about a product that would actually help people in that environment.
  • While most people can’t remember the brand that Elf Yourself is attached to, however, what is powerful is the personal touch that EVB first developed with the ‘upload your photo’ option. This gave people a vested interest in participating with the experience and sending it on to friends. Facebook Connect is the new tool for marketers to tap into personal information that is embedded in the narrative. Campfire used this technology in their Frenzied Waters web site.
  • In recent years we have seen events that draw people to participate. We have seen the worlds largest single city flash mob with the Black Eyed Peas in Chicago and we have seen millions of people participate on Facebook and Twitter during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Branded events like this promise communal participation and the active engagement is something that fans will remember for years to come. T Mobile and Nike Human Race are brands that are tapping into this cultural shift.
  • Forsman & Bodenfors recently devised a Facebook campaign for a new Ikea store in Malmo, Sweden. People were told to be the first to tag their name on any item and they would win it. Desedo Films worked with a high end handbag designer who had a following in NYC. They placed bags all over the city and provided clues on Twitter where these bags could be found. Be the first to find it and you keep it.
  • When spreading the word has embedded good built in, the action has positive value to the person who is sharing the cause. In today’s propagation campaigns, Public Relations is a big component of making things successful. The Press is likely to pick up things that are helping other people in our society and reward brands for sponsoring such events.
  • Brands are doing a great job with providing knowledge in social networking platforms. This makes it easy for people to ask questions and it makes it easy for brands to be the solution to questions.
  • The core story or narrative should be strong enough not to depend on one platform. The Center for Digital Storytelling has a great document on this subject.
  • We Are Social out of the UK posted this great chart on their Blog that describes the role of driving people to destinations and driving people to conversations.
  • A Blog called Hit Singularity has been working on this framework that describes the role and purpose of using a community platform in your social media strategy. I’m sure some of these platforms could do more, but this is still a nice example.
  • As far as I know, only two agencies have hired people as propagation planners. Naked Communications and The Population (which I believe is a start up funded by Naked). I like how Naked describes themselves: Set in the slums of Surry Hills, Sydney, Naked Australia is carrying on the proud traditions of its British father. Since storming onto the Australia communications scene in September 2004, the agency has managed to locate (and employ) the majority of brilliant misfits working in the Australia communications industry. Surprisingly this absurd recruitment strategy has paid off and the agency is producing ground breaking work for some of the world’s biggest brands.
  • In 2008 Nikki Stammers, a propagation planner for Naked Communications wrote a Blog post on B&T about the discipline and how it was used at that agency. She sited a four step method that made propagation planners different from other Word of Mouth experts. She says that recruitment of the right people is key and that consumers are the departure point, not the end point. Nikki is now a member of The Population.
  • If I was asked to describe the role of a propagation planner in an agency today, I would say these seven things would be a part of that job description.

Lessons in Propagation Planning 2009 Lessons in Propagation Planning 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • LESSONS IN PROPAGATION PLANNING By Griffin Farley With some of the best examples from 2009
  • A BRIEF HISTORY Ivan Pollard from Naked Communications presented the theory of propagation planning at the APG Battle of Big Thinking in October of 2006. Steve Wing from The Guardian was in attendance and suggested to Ivan that he should call his theory Propagation Planning. http://theapg.typepad.com/battleofbigthinking/2006/10/thoughts_from_i.html Since then, Faris Yakob (now at McCaan NY) has been sited with the most press regarding Propagation Planning. In 2007 Faris wrote an essay on the subject that was featured in Campaign Magazine. http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/features/769167/IPA-Diploma-Presidents-Prize-Essay-Faris-Yakob/ In November of 2008 I wrote a presentation on Propagation Planning for 22squared based on a Blog post by Ivan that was posted on Naked Communications Tokyo Blog (luckily it was in English). The presentation earned me a trip to the Futures of Entertainment 3 conference at MIT where I learned more about the subject. http://nakedtokyo.blog98.fc2.com/blog-entry-1.html In December of 2008 I created a Blog called Propagation Planning where I archive articles, examples, jobs, theories and tools in propagation planning. For such a narrow subject in one year the Blog has had 300+ posts, 100+ comments and 9,000+ unique visitors from 86 countries. http://www.propagationplanning.com 2 Connection Planning has been around for 10 years and has been practiced at agencies like Fallon and Chiat Day. For our agency to be a part of the next shift in industry thinking we needed to know, “what comes after connection planning?”
  • OUTLINE 1. PROPAGATION PLANNING THEORY 2. PLANNING FOR PROPAGATION 3. PROPAGATION PRINCIPLES 4. PROPAGATION TOOLS + PLATFORMS 5. PROPAGATION PLANNING IN AGENCIES 3 2009 was a fantastic year for propagation planning and I would like to share with you what I have learned about the discipline and my ideas for promoting the craft
  • PROPAGATION PLANNING THEORY The new marketing landscape is paving the way for propagation planning to exist in ad agencies and communication planning shops.
  • TURN THE FUNNEL UPSIDE DOWN 5 Brandon Murphy from 22squared (along with Karen Evans and Evan Slater) talked about turning the awareness funnel upside down and creating multiplicity instead of subtraction. This philosophy was the reason that I took the job at 22squared.
  • TURN THE FUNNEL ON ITS SIDE http://www.slideshare.net/guest7e5b6a/the-new-marketing-landscape-by-dan-pankraz-presentation 6 A senior planner named Dan Pankraz from Clemenger BBDO Sydney created these slides that explain the shift in the marketing funnel even better.
  • A BROADER DEFINITION OF MEDIA 7 At the Miami Account Planning Conference in 2008, Group M spoke about three types of Media: Paid, Owned and Earned (thanks to Ed Cotton from BSSP for the photo). This broader defin of media (particularly the term earned media) has been reinforced by articles in Adweek and Ad Age.
  • 36% OF PURCHASES COME FROM WOM http://griffinfarley.typepad.com/propagation/2009/12/planning-media-that-generates-word-of-mouth.html 8 Universal McCaan and Keller Fay did a study where 36% of purchases were influenced by Personal Recommendations from Friends and Family. This was the highest influence compared to other paid mediums that were also available to marketers. It makes sense to bring the most powerful medium into your marketing plan.
  • ALL THIS BUILDS TO THE THEORY PROPAGATION PLANNING Plan not for the people you reach, but the people that they reach 9 “Word of mouth has potentially exponential power for a brand. What marketers are less confident about though is building this channel into plans and making it an accountable component. When the phase ‘Word of Mouth’ is bandied around, more often than not, what is being referred to is an immeasurable yet highly desirable campaign ‘side effect’. But things have moved on: the muddy and mystical times that once defined attempts at harnessing it are changing. Propagation planning - a technique capable of kick-starting, controlling and exploiting the WOM affect - is moving the area forward.” - Nikki Stammers for B&T
  • PLANNING FOR PROPAGATION
  • THE GREAT SCHLEP: DROGA 5 YouTube Fact Sheet PDF Facebook PRODUCT: REAL TARGET: INFLUENCER TARGET: Jewish PAC Older Jewish Voters Grandchildren of Older Jewish Voters WOM 11 Instead of marketing directly to Older Jewish Voters, a media strategy that would have been expensive and likely to included direct mail, newspaper and television they decided to target a segment that had more influence over the prime audience... the grandchildren. The Great Schlep was born and produced and spread with zero paid media dollars.
  • CORALINE THE MOVIE: W+K YouTube Direct Mail Website Facebook PRODUCT: REAL TARGET: INFLUENCER TARGET: Movie People that love Animation Bloggers Animated movies WOM 12 W+K sent out 50 handmade boxes with items from the movie to their favorite bloggers. Coraline is an animated stop-motion fantasy film directed by Henry Sellick (The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and The Giant Peach). The Coraline boxes contain items from the highly anticipated film such as dolls, wigs, suitcase, etc. and each is housed in a one-of-a-kind handmade box.
  • OASIS STREET PERFORMERS: BBH Website Documentary Google Maps PRODUCT: REAL TARGET: INFLUENCER TARGET: New Album People that love music Street Performers WOM 13 Most artists that launch albums run ads in magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin, with some television ads for retailers like Target or Wal Mart. Oasis launched an album by training street performers in NYC to play their songs prior to the launch of the album. These performers went back to the streets and spread the words of the product and invited Oasis fans to see them play learn what the new songs might be about. This launch became their second best album launch ever.
  • PROPAGATION PRINCIPLES
  • UNIQUE PRODUCTION PRODUCT: Evian Bottled Water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQcVllWpwGs PRODUCT: Google Chrome Web Browser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VjDuJaxkSQ 15 In a world where content can be spread and enjoyed outside of paid media space, this is not the time to pull back on production budgets. In fact, good production by itself can be propagation material. Sometimes production can be expensive and sometimes it can be inexpensive but very unique.
  • STRONG TALENT PRODUCT: Johnny Walker Whiskey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnSIp76CvUI 16 Known talent can give a nice needed push with online videos like Robert Carlyle in this Johnny Walker Whiskey video. This also had a unique production technique of capturing the footage in one take.
  • ENGAGING CHARACTERS PRODUCT: Dos Equis Beer http://www.facebook.com/DosEquis PRODUCT: Compare the Market Car Insurance http://www.facebook.com/Comparethemeerkat 17 Both Dos Equis and Compare the Market do a great job on their respective Facebook pages by writing status updates in the tone and voice of the branded characters that they invented.
  • DEMONSTRATE THE SPREAD PRODUCT: Vaseline Skin Moisturizer http://www.prescribethenation.com/ 18 BBH won the APG award with the Prescribe the Nation campaign showing how one person in Alaska can spread word of mouth about a product that would actually help people in that environment.
  • PERSONAL TOUCH PRODUCT: Office Max http://www.elfyourself.com/ PRODUCT: Discovery Channel Shark Week http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/frenzied-waters/ 19 While most people can’t remember the brand that Elf Yourself is attached to, however, what is powerful is the personal touch that EVB first developed with the ‘upload your photo’ option. This gave people a vested interest in participating with the experience and sending it on to friends. Facebook Connect is the new tool for marketers to tap into personal information that is embedded in the narrative. Campfire used this technology in their Frenzied Waters web site.
  • COMMUNAL PARTICIPATION PRODUCT: Oprah 25th Anniversary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvljD0toJmU PRODUCT: 2009 Presidential Inauguration 20 http://mashable.com/2009/01/20/cnn-facebook-inauguration-numbers/ In recent years we have seen events that draw people to participate. We have seen the worlds largest single city flash mob with the Black Eyed Peas in Chicago and we have seen millions of people participate on Facebook and Twitter during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Branded events like this promise communal participation and the active engagement is something that f will remember for years to come. T Mobile and Nike Human Race are brands that are tapping into this cultural shift.
  • REAL VALUE AND WORTH PRODUCT: Ikea Facebook http://adland.tv/commercials/ikea-facebook-tag-2009-135-sweden PRODUCT: Alice Bond Handbags http://desedo.com/blog/the-alice-bond-bag/ 21 Forsman & Bodenfors recently devised a Facebook campaign for a new Ikea store in Malmo, Sweden. People were told to be the first to tag their name on any item and they would win it. Desedo Films worked with a high end handbag designer who had a following in NYC. They placed bags all over the city and provided clues on Twitter where these bags could be found. Be the first to find it and you keep it.
  • EMBEDDED GOOD PRODUCT: Lands End Big Boston Warm Up http://creativity-online.com/work/lands-end-the-big-warm-up-personalized-video/17798 22 When spreading the word has embedded good built in, the action has positive value to the person who is sharing the cause. In today’s propagation campaigns, Public Relations is a big component of making things successful. The Press is likely to pick up things that are helping other people in our society and reward brands for sponsoring such events.
  • KNOWLEDGE WHERE I SOCIALIZE PRODUCT: Best Buy Twitter Page http://twitter.com/twelpforce PRODUCT: GAP Facebook Page 23 http://www.facebook.com/gap#/gap?v=app_115708094525 Brands are doing a great job with providing knowledge in social networking platforms. This makes it easy for people to ask questions and it makes it easy for brands to be the solution to questions.
  • PROPAGATION TOOLS + PLATFORMS
  • STORY OVER PLATFORM 25 LINK TO DOWNLOAD http://griffinfarley.typepad.com/propagation/2009/02/storytelling-in-a-digital-age.html The core story or narrative should be strong enough not to depend on one platform. The Center for Digital Storytelling has a great document on this subject.
  • DESTINATIONS + CONVERSATIONS 26 We Are Social out of the UK posted this great chart on their Blog that describes the role of driving people to destinations and driving people to conversations.
  • MOVEMENT AND PURPOSE OF TOOLS 27 A Blog called Hit Singularity has been working on this framework that describes the role and purpose of using a community platform in your social media strategy. I’m sure some of these platforms could do more, but this is still a nice example.
  • TOOLS AS ACCELERATORS 28
  • THE USUAL SUSPECTS 29 I think out of the usual suspects, Facebook will be the most compelling because 1. the consumer behavior of frequent Facebook checking 2. the creative opportunities on the platform and 3. Paid Media options which clients and agencies are comfortable purchasing.
  • SOME YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD 30 I really like Monitter’s ability to search Tweets by Zipcode
  • PROPAGATION PLANNING IN AGENCIES
  • PROPAGATION PLANNING AGENCIES 32 As far as I know, only two agencies have hired people as propagation planners. Naked Communications and The Population (which I believe is a start up funded by Naked). I like how Naked describes themselves: Set in the slums of Surry Hills, Sydney, Naked Australia is carrying on the proud traditions of its British father. Since storming onto the Australia communications scene in September 2004, the agency has managed to locate (and employ) the majority of brilliant misfits working in the Australia communications industry. Surprisingly this absurd recruitment strategy has paid off and the agency is producing ground breaking work for some of the world’s biggest brands.
  • A CONTROLLED EXPLOSION 1. RECRUITMENT OF PARTICIPANTS 2. INCREASING THEIR CONTROL 3. MOTIVATION FOR PARTICIPATION 4. MEASUREMENT OF EFFORTS http://www.bandt.com.au/blog/blogposts.asp?postid=629 33 In 2008 Nikki Stammers, a propagation planner for Naked Communications wrote a Blog post on B&T about the discipline and how it was used at that agency. She sited a four step method that made propagation planners different from other Word of Mouth experts. She says that recruitment of the right people is key and that consumers are the departure point, not the end point. Nikki is now a member of The Population.
  • A PROPAGATION PLANNERS ROLE 1. MODERATE SOCIAL NETWORKING COMMUNITIES FOR BRANDS 2. ROLE PLAY AS THE BRAND OR AS BRANDED CHARACTERS ONLINE 3. DEVISE PROPAGATION STRATEGIES FOR NEW CAMPAIGNS 4. IDENTIFY INFLUENCERS AND CONTEXTUAL COMMUNITIES 5. HELP CHOREOGRAPH THE ROLL-OUT OF REAL WORLD AND DIGITAL ASSETS 6. MEASURE AND REGULARLY REPORT ON THE EFFORTS 7. BRIEF CREATIVES ON NEW PLATFORMS AND TRENDS IN PROPAGATION 34 If I was asked to describe the role of a propagation planner in an agency today, I would say these seven things would be a part of that job description.
  • GRIFFIN FARLEY - Sr. Brand Planner GRIFFIN.FARLEY@22SQUARED.COM WWW.PROPAGATIONPLANNING.COM CONTACT