Celebrity Branding

Celebrity branding is a method of advertising which uses the services of a celebrity to promote a product or service with the help of their fame and status in the society. This method has several approaches; it can involve a celebrity simply appearing in a commercial and the celebrity can be signed for attending events for promotion. Another method is to start a product line using their name as a brand. Perfume and garments are the largest product lines involving such a promotion. All the top actors, singers and models are known to give their name to a certain brand or licensed products. Jennifer Lopez started her own line of clothing a while ago which features designer clothes personally designed by her.

A customer’s buying behavior is hugely influenced by famous people. Marketing experts, using associative learning principles, analyzes the lifestyle of the celebrities to properly assign them to the brand which depicts them perfectly. Their fashion sense, appeal, awareness, fame and public image are reviewed thoroughly to assign them the right charity work or product. Repetition, blocking, CS pre-exposure, extinction, overshadowing, belongingness, and association set size are the principles on the basis of which analysis is done like the famous Miss World Aishwarya Rai of India who has very beautiful eyes was chosen to campaign for eye donation project. Some of the celebrities are known for their distinct voice. This concept led to the voice-over method in advertising. Their voices merely attract customers when used in a commercial.

Today, nearly twenty percent of the advertising industry utilizes celebrity endorsement. A celebrity is bound to endorse many products and brands over a course of time. Each time a different image of the celebrity is being projected to the public. The company should keep in mind the previous identity and play accordingly. Projecting a different person every time will sustain the interest of the customers, but at the same time the two identities shouldn’t conflict with each other. The captain of England soccer team David Beckham has endorsed many products. While advertising for Gillette, his taste for hairstyles was considered and he was given a bald look. When campaigning for Police his passion for fashion was portrayed all over and heavily jeweled David Beckham was depicted.

If a celebrity isn’t comfortable with being pictured differently each time he or she can create a graphic image or logo of their own which can be used each time they advertise for a particular product. The logo can reflect the personality of the respective celebrity, like the font can be stylish if the celebrity is fashion conscious like Jennifer Lopez who created a logo of JLO, which is used to advertise perfume and even clothing line of her own. Another advantage in this approach is that the brand can still be appealing to the crowds even after the celebrity has lost his or her looks as they won’t require visual recognition and aids in the long-term negotiations. The celebrity logo itself carries the style and attitude.

Millions of dollars are being invested by marketers to get the promotional support of super stars every year. Davie Brown Entertainment has an agency completely devoted to the purpose of choosing a celebrity for a product. They not only judge a celebrity’s caliber to affect brand affinity and consumer’s taste but also design the advertisements for the celebrities to feature in it.

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

In today’s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines it has become even easier for the customers to search for the stuff online. For a website to be successful its link should land in the first three pages which the search engine brings and the rank of the page should be high which means many visitors come to the site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy which increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.

SEO not only affects the search engine results, but also image search, video search and industry specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with people. When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links which lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in future.

In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependant on the keywords, Meta tags, and index files provided by the Webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn’t prove to be successful as some Webmasters added irrelevant Meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.

Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithm, which were difficult for the webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person.  Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated for this purpose.

Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to pay for it, which finally resulted in high quality web pages. Although investing in SEO is very fruitful, but at the same time is risky because with out any prior notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page. Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic. Search engines like Yahoo has algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is if a advertiser desires that the page containing his ad be displayed, he is expected to pay money for it. This is a point of controversy, as only the big businesses will be able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might be having a better quality page.

Google Ad Words explores ads which have words typed in the search box by the surfer. The Million Dollar Homepage started the concept of Pixel advertising, which is a graphical kind of advertising. Depending on the pixels, the space is sold to the advertiser. Keyword advertising involves advertisers who buy URLs of a site and place their ads at that location. Thus SEO is a market in its own which is yielding great results for businesses on Internet.

How to write Business-to-Business Advertisement

Business-to-business firms are those firms that sell products and services among themselves. The selling is done to a client of other company, who might use the product for intermediate purposes or so. The advertisements relating to B2B companies should not only generate interest but it should also be simply out standing despite the tough competition. In the market, there are several firms who produce the same stuff and they reach out for clients with whom they want to do business. So finding the right client isn’t a big deal, but actually getting hold of them is.

In written content, use the name of the company in the first sentence; preferably first word. It is not pleasing to start with ‘we’. Following it, give a brief introduction about the company. In todays busy world people don’t have time to waste so deliver the message right away. Using catchy adjectives will do the trick. The sentence should be framed so that the client knows about the company, what it does and how it is unique from others. Pose questions before creating the writing material, like what is that the customer will expect and do they demand high quality. Don’t hesitate to use ‘you ’ very often. The reader will feel that he is directly being referenced and it will be easier for him to relate to.

Play with customer’s psychology. Understand the difficulties faced by them and then show them how the company or the company’s product can solve it. Call of action can be given then and offer to clear their doubts. It should be more than just a helpline. The action should be really immediate. Simply don’t let the client slip away.

After the initial writing, write in detail about the product or service provided. This is in-dept information for those concerned about your company’s product. Point out the advantages of using them. Write them in a hierarchical form with numbering or bullets. If writing short paragraphs, strong sub-titles can be used as heading of individual paragraphs. Again, using adjectives will be good.

A good amount of entertainment factor should be added. This will retain the interest of the customer and will not distract him. But if lots of it is used, it will simply become shabby. It’s a nice idea to use product noun as a verb along with other adjectives.

Submit website and advertisements to search engines. Millions of people use it everyday to find what they need. If the website is search engine optimized, it will surely get lots of traffic. The name of the company and keywords should densely populate the website content. Make it a compulsion for the visitor to go through the advertisement before moving on to the registration or payment process. Some B2B websites don’t allow adding an email address or URL in the advertisement. They can be tracked in by actually spelling out dot or at in the email address or website link.

Once the customer is lured, they should be maintained. Product should be delivered on time. Quality should be maintained. Once it is done, not only will they start trusting the company but also at the same time they will spread the word about the company. They will advertise for free. Their experience with the company will motivate others to join the bandwagon.

Getting started in Advertising

Most of the professionals in the advertising industry agree to the fact that obtaining a degree isn’t a must to get started in the industry, but on the contrary all the classifieds ask for a bachelor’s degree at least. Another advantage of taking a degree is that if internship is taken during the course, it will provide the adequate experience that ad agencies and companies usually ask for. The internship director of the university can help in this regard. He may have links that could make it possible to get a break in radio, television or even in an ad agency, the choice totally depends on interest.

In case the internship director is of no help, become a part of a network and get to know people around you. This will surely land you somewhere. It wont hurt to search for an internship on your own. Check out the local newspapers for classifieds; call up local radio and television stations and even ad agencies inquiring about any vacancies. Usually there are lots of ads in the Sunday edition of newspaper, drop in a resume at their office. Best idea is to get in contact with the production manager or the news director of the company. Send them a mail; give a good reference, which can be of big help.

Usually there are lots of chances for internships in the production department. If there is any success in finding an internship, bring it to the notice of the internship director; most probably her reference can be of some advantage. If these attempts don’t work, volunteer to work for free at any local fair, functions and events. Display your creativity to the fullest. This can catch the attention of someone important sometime who can give you that jump-start.

For people who don’t opt for regular college, they can always find lots of material related to advertising on the Internet. Other than studying the theory work, try to observe the work of famous personalities in the industry. Get some ideas, mix it with some creativity and create some original work and approach the local radio station or television channel. Since there are number of shows running there will be some kind of a vacancy.

Get a chance at cross-training too. If initially a job was provided with other shows at the station, try to switch to advertising after winning impression. After getting a break into advertising, it will automatically increase the exposure to the advertising industry and even to other ad agencies. This will be a good point on the resume, as most of the employers get impressed with television experience. And when working on your first job, there will be a great chance of learning the basics, so don’t hesitate to explore the ground. But since it is easier to get a job here and there is lots of competition for that post, the returns aren’t that good and there is no job security.

After getting good experience whether it is internship or local radio or television station, resume is the next important step. Fill it up with creativity as that is the main essence of this field. Don’t forget to include past experience, even if it is small or not related exactly to the job description, recommendation, if any. The more the information added, the more strong the resume and the easier it is to maneuver to the top.

Get your creative juices flowing if you want to be an Ad Maker

Those who don’t have creativity as an in-built talent, it takes some hard work to learn the art of advertising. There are some really basic tricks involved.

First, try to put things that you have, to use i.e. the five senses along with the brain. Eyes can capture the most beautiful scenes; try remembering those that are creative. Try to observe the Mother Nature like observing the sunset, the patterns of colors like yellow, orange, red and violet. Observe greenery around, the flora and fauna. Next put your ears and mouth to use and try increasing the observation power. This can be done by walking around the neighborhood or nearby park and trying to observer new things everyday at the same location. Just seeing a thing isn’t enough, analyze the expressions of the people around you and analyze the emotions they depict. The brain can be fed with many things at once, so carry a camera along and take a lot of pictures of objects from different angles and lighting. Try to understand and capture the mood and things, which will help in creating a perfect scene. Like vanilla ice-cream will becomes more attractive when cherry and mint leave are added as topping. Play around with the lightning effects.

Take notes along with the pictures. It is like creating a blue print that will be useful in future works. Things that are important can be underlined or marked with a star. During this procedure if any question arises in your mind, note them down also, so as to find an answer for them at a later stage. This is a great learning technique. Try to listen a lot, compile those things in brain and then output it through your mind. Try to create a rhythm between works, something like poetry, but not exactly it. The fifth sense, touch can be used to learn a different perspective of life. Try closing your eyes and feel objects around you like the feel of a satin sheet is more tempting than a cotton sheet.

Develop a habit of carrying a pen and notepad all the time. It’s not only useful for taking down notes, but also it can be used as a reminder of meetings and interviews. While waiting for something or someone, scribble on your notepad. Try to draw things and apply those amazing ideas which come to mind. Go back home and then paint those ideas, if not everyday, at least on weekends. Other than painting, try doing something new on weekends like golfing, canoeing, or rock climbing. Watching television and shopping can also provide good ideas. When something is troubling the mind, don’t go to sleep until the issue is resolved. This increases the enthusiasm and determination. Again, note down points in the notepad at this time.

If there is ample time available, join courses that increase creativity like photography, painting, martial arts, etc. It need not be necessary that they be directly linked to advertising. Maintain a diary and note down daily happening, especially good things. Learn the art of humor, read books, watch people and animals and then apply it practically by trying to put a smile on faces around you. Do research about great personalities who are related to arts. Read their biographies, some of the problems you are facing may be answered and the path to be taken can be learned.

After going through all the above steps the creative instincts will start to develop. So the next time any idea clicks, trust your instincts and work on it. Don’t hesitate to try new ideas. And try to interact with people who encourage you with this and believe in you and not inhibit your thinking. After breaking the core you can approach newspapers, ad agencies with your stories, articles and original work. Whatever being learnt during the whole experience, there is no harm in sharing and teaching that with others.

Advertising in Yellow Pages

Some people believe that yellow pages do not receive response like other advertising methods do and this is true to some extent but not in totality. When talking about traditional yellow pages, there sure is a decline in number of people opting for advertising in it. According to a recent report, even the most attractive advertisement in a particular section is not getting the response from callers like they used to get before. On the contrary, the prices of placing ads in directories are on a rise, which speaks a different, story altogether.
In reality different categories are witnessing different rates of decline. Like the lawyers category is seeing the maximum decline, where as emergency service provider’s section has the same call rate. And sections like mobile phones, real estate and furniture are seeing a rise due to the increasing customer demand. Altering the size of the advertisement or changing the look cannot do wonders any more.

Experts suggest that relying on yellow pages to get customers isn’t enough. Other options should be considered as well along with it. With the Internet reaching every home, nearly half of the Internet users use the net everyday. They prefer to buy stuff online, from the comfort of their homes. Research should be done on the Internet to get reviews about the product. People, who don’t usually shop online, also are also opting to shop online as information is provided at the click of a mouse. It is easier for people to trust as customers who used the product give their feedback about the product after using it.

A relatively newer concept is the yellow pages going online. The good thing about them is that they are updated frequently unlike the printed directories and can be viewed from any part of the world. According to researches conducted, the response increased by twenty five percent every year. So those who are interested to invest in yellow pages advertising can think of going online.  Directories are submitted to search engines, which on typing a keyword or phrase bring the results. Small and local businesses, too, can land on the pages brought by the result. The cost of creating a website can be saved if all the relevant information about the company is included in the online yellow pages. Look out for the date to renew the directory listing, and if there is a need to change the advertisement, it is not a big problem on online yellow pages. Some starter websites offer to place advertisement in their yellow pages for free. Search out for such websites on the Internet.

Larger businesses can start their own websites and place links in the online yellow pages. Articles can be framed about the business and can be submitted to Ezines and websites related to the area of business. Some websites also allow posting articles for free. The purpose of the yellow pages is basically to get potential customers but that doesn’t mean that existing customers should be neglected. Steps should be taken to strengthen the relationship with them and to retain their trust by maintaining the standard of the products supplied to them. Once they are completely satisfied, the price-rise won’t bother them and they will talk about the company to people they know, which will fetch new customers.
The objective is to work smartly and select the right method of advertising. If a business isn’t using any other method for advertising apart from using yellow pages, it can cause problems and the products may not sell. Analyze how much money is spent on placing ads in directories and estimate whether the amount of customers the business gets is desirable. Whenever a call is received from a potential customer, ask them how they got to know about the enterprise. This will help to analyze which advertising method is ideal for the business. It is never late to correct the mistake and go for the right method.