GBS: Ads, Brands, and ESPN


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Presentation to first year students of Columbia University's GSB on February 18, 2008 that covers some common advertising pitfalls, brand building principles, and ESPN case studies. Make sure you click the middle of the slides for hyperlinks to videos. (Mostly in full image slides)

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  • Thank you Professor Ansari. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to talk to you about what it is I do for a living.
  • GBS: Ads, Brands, and ESPN

    1. 1. Seth Gaffney February 18, 2009 Advertising + Brands + ESPN 4-eva
    2. 3. Super Bowl, anyone?
    3. 4. Wieden + Kennedy <ul><li>We’re an independent, global, full-service advertising agency founded in Portland in 1982 on April Fool’s Day. </li></ul>
    4. 5. What are we going to talk about today? <ul><li>Why most advertising sucks </li></ul><ul><li>What it takes to build a great brand </li></ul><ul><li>How we’ve helped to define the ESPN brand and develop its advertising </li></ul>
    5. 6. Part 1 Why most advertising sucks
    6. 7. A list of reasons your advertising isn’t up to snuff. <ul><li>You’re not asking the right question at the beginning: Why are we advertising? </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t know the people you want to talk with. </li></ul><ul><li>You lack insights…and ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t know what you want to say. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t really want to listen or engage. </li></ul><ul><li>You ask “users” to generate your “content” for you. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t put enough thought into the context. </li></ul>
    8. 9. “ People read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.” Howard Gossage, The Socrates of San Fran PEOPLE
    9. 10. “ The consumer isn’t a moron; she’s your wife.” David Ogilvy, The Father of Advertising
    10. 11. “ At the heart of an effective creative philosophy is the belief that nothing is so powerful as an insight into human nature, what compulsions drive a man, what instincts dominate his actions, even though his language so often camouflages what really motivates him.” Bill Bernbach, Founder DDB IDEAS & INSIGHTS
    11. 12. MESSAGE
    12. 13. ENGAGE
    13. 15. UGC
    14. 16. CONTEXT
    15. 18. A list of reasons your advertising isn’t up to snuff. <ul><li>You’re not asking the right question at the beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t know the people you want to talk with. </li></ul><ul><li>You lack insights…and ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t know what you want to say. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t really want to listen or engage. </li></ul><ul><li>You ask “users” to generate your “content” for you. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t put enough thought into the context. </li></ul><ul><li>You try to use the advertising to create the brand…instead of the other way around. </li></ul>
    16. 19. “ Advertising is a tax companies pay for being unremarkable.” Robert Stephens, CEO Geek Squad
    17. 20. Part 2 What it takes to build a great brand
    18. 22. The advertising process isn’t so different from brand-building. <ul><li>Define the problem clearly </li></ul><ul><li>Understand people, culture, and the category in which your business exists </li></ul><ul><li>Develop your strategy - the story(ies) you want to tell </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the best way(s) to connect with your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the process is on-going and often a bit messy, so act appropriately </li></ul>
    19. 23. The way you articulate your objectives impacts the output.
    20. 24. Making great advertising is never the end goal.
    21. 25. So, what is a brand? <ul><li>A brand is people’s gut feeling about your product, service or company. </li></ul><ul><li>A brand is not a logo or a product. It’s not an ad. It’s not what you, the marketer, say it is. </li></ul>
    22. 26. “ I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
    23. 27. A strong brand serves as a bond with, or promise to, people. <ul><li>Advertising is just one piece of forming and maintaining the relationship. It’s part of your communication. </li></ul><ul><li>And just like in any healthy relationship, our job is to make sure communication is open, honest, and enjoyable. </li></ul>
    24. 28. “ Brand equity is the number of people who will buy the brand with the least thinking.” Erik Du Plessis, The Advertised Mind
    25. 29. How do you start to lay the foundation for a strong brand? Company Community Competition
    26. 30. Lay’s
    27. 32. You also should get comfortable with three more C’s. Control (Lack of it) Change (Speed of it) Complexity (Growth of it)
    28. 33. “ Customers build an image of a brand as birds build nests. From the scraps and straws they chance upon.” Jeremy Bullmore, Former Chairman JWT
    29. 34. The most important thing you can do is define the following: <ul><li>What you believe in </li></ul><ul><li>What role you’re going to play in people’s lives </li></ul><ul><li>What’s your voice </li></ul>
    30. 35. “ Create advocates, not consumers.” <ul><li>Eric Ryan, Founder method </li></ul>“ We can inspire a happy, healthy home by combining style and substance.” “ Own a share of culture vs. a share of voice.” “ Brand from the inside out.” “ We are people against dirty.” BELIEFS
    31. 36. “ To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” ROLE
    32. 37. “ Nike didn’t discover the power of advertising. Nike discovered the power of its own voice, and it, for the most part, has continued to ring true...The biggest advantage you have in this business is your own voice, your own way of looking at things, thinking about things. That is where your power lies <ul><li>Dan Wieden, Founder W+K </li></ul>VOICE
    33. 38. Part 3 How we’ve helped to define the ESPN brand and develop its advertising
    34. 39. What is the ESPN brand? <ul><li>Sports with authority and personality </li></ul>The world’s biggest sports fan
    35. 41. What is our voice? <ul><li>We take sports seriously but not ourselves too seriously. </li></ul>
    36. 42. In many ways, the “This is SportsCenter” campaign has helped us hone the ESPN voice.
    37. 43. Case 1: Monday Night Football <ul><li>Challenge: Make MNF the event it once was so whether the matchup is good or not, they tune-in. </li></ul><ul><li>Truth About Fans: They have entrenched rituals for MNF that help them survive the “Monday blues.” </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy: Because it signifies the last game of the football week, show how MNF can change the way football fans see Monday and each day of the week. </li></ul>
    38. 45. Case 2: NBA <ul><li>Challenge: Firstly, fans have very little awareness or recall of when and where the NBA is on. Secondly, Turner has taken a leadership position as the most relatable and authoritative network to feature the NBA. </li></ul><ul><li>Truth About Fans: They think our talent is bland and boring; they think for our guys, the NBA is a 9 to 5 job. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy: Demonstrate how our ESPN talent lives for NBA basketball every day and brings you games on Wed, Fri, and Sunday. </li></ul>
    39. 47. Case 3: World Cup 2006 <ul><li>Challenge: Ma ke the World Cup relevant to the American sports fan. </li></ul><ul><li>Truth About Fans: While American sports fans have a general awareness of the magnitude of the World Cup, they have yet to realize what’s at stake. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy: Reposition the World Cup from the biggest soccer tournament to the highest stakes and greatest drama of sport, culture, politics, religion, and passion. </li></ul>
    40. 49. Case 4: SportsCenter Live <ul><li>Challenge: Promote a change to our morning format that was huge for us, but won’t impact fans in any way. </li></ul><ul><li>Truth About Fans: Quite honestly, could give two shits about this. In fact, they already thought the show was (at least partly) live. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy: Create entertainment rather than advertising that is interesting, imperfect, and human. And our creative solution was quite literally that...a human. </li></ul>
    41. 51. Case 5: Brand Campaign <ul><li>Challenge: Address ratings declines due to external issues by bringing more people to ESPN. </li></ul><ul><li>Truth About Fans: Their connection with sports was waning in the wake of the recount, 9/11, and other culturally significant events. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy: Remind people of the role sports plays in their lives . Show them they’re sports fans even if they don’t realize it. </li></ul>
    42. 53. Thank You
    43. 54. Get in touch <ul><li>Seth Gaffney </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Planner </li></ul><ul><li>Wieden + Kennedy NY </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    44. 55. Props <ul><li>In addition to all the people I’ve quoted, I want to thank the following planners - without whom this presentation would have still been possible, yet far worse. </li></ul>&