Hollywood secret marketing strategy

emmy marketing strategy

Hollywood have a secret marketing strategy, that almost all TV networks and movie studios use to get the awards like “Emmy“, “Oscar“, “Golden Globes” … (all these awards voters are obviously from LA -*Los Angeles is home of Holly Wood )
These awards increase the revenue for these networks and studios by at least 20-30 million dollars. They get the production and the actors tons of free press, and can create careers and blockbusters.

That’s why there’s a tough and secret market strategy that big studios employ it is called …

“the for you consideration campaigns”

What happens is that the studios, try to directly and indirectly influence the voter’s vote.

Indirectly: Case of Netflix:
To win an Emmy award, Netflix paid $50, to the neighbors of the voters, to put Netflix yard signs.
They also had free food trucks all over LA.  They won 3 Emmys that year.

Direct influence : Bribery:
It gets uglier, many studios and networks bribe voters to choose their actor or production to be nominated.
Concerts, trips to Vegas, nominees will even come to voters houses …
It can cost up to $10 million, in advertising and bribing to win an Oscar.

The Golden Globes are the champions of the “for your consideration campaign”,simply because only 87 member of Hollywood foreign press get to vote, thus they get campaigned too personally.
For example Sharon Stone team once sent gold coated watches to these foreign press members, and so she got the nomination.

In an online video Denzel Washington, kindof jokingly talks about how these globes are rigged :


Like Growth Hacking , the for your consideration campaigns, are marketing strategies that operate in a grey area, and can be considered as due what it takes to get results.

This article is not a condemnation of such practices, it’s only a clarification to a marketing branch often covered with secrecy.


Interracial couples bad choice for Ads – Should commercials and video ads feature mixed couples ?

Interracial couples bad choice for Ads

Case Europe:

Four years ago, a good friend of mine was featured in a small TV spot, for a regional state in Poland, my friend is a Nigerian guy who was married to a Polish lady, with whom he has a daughter, and used to live in Poland.

When he shared the video, i was happy for him, but somehow i stumbled on the videos few months later, and i was shocked. The audience feedback was sickening, from insulting the guy, to insulting the couple (the woman in the video is not his wife), to asking for the reason of featuring an interracial couple and some more specifically asking why it’s always a black male / white female ads !

The videos had a huge dislike rate, first one having 18 likes and 968 dislikes, the second having 54 likes and 1638 dislikes. As for the comments, the vast majority expressed negative feeling towards the videos.
Sure the video Ad concept was bad, but still, the only reason all this negativity was created was simply due to the featuring of an interracial couple.

Case USA :

All this came back to me when a controversy after Cheerios aired it’s 2014 Superbowl commercial:

The video and another one -followup, conceived as a way to standup to racism- got such a backslash that the advertising company had to disable the youtube comment section and heavily moderate the facebook feedback.
The video being aired in the USA 2013 then 2014, where mixed couples is something much more common than in Europe, one might assume that such a backslash should not take place.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people reporting that they are of two or more races reached 9 million during the 2010 U.S. census, a 32 percent increase from 2000 to 2010. There were 16 states with 200,000 or more people reporting as more than one race, including half a million or more in California, Texas and New York.

The worst choice :

But the Advertising industry have managed to get some mixed couples ads with minimum controversy, but in each and everyone of these cases, the male was white and the female was black.
Which raises the question is featuring a “black male white female” the worst choice for interracial couple?
The answer seams to be yes,  such couples create huge negativity from white men and black women, while black women and white man create much less.


Should commercials and video ads

feature mixed couples ?

I used to have a nice mixed couples forum , we defined mixed couples as having different backgrounds, for example interracial couples (White/Back/Asian/Hispanic) , but also couples with different cultures or originating from different countries.
For the sake of simplicity, i will consider mixed couples when it comes to commercials synonym to interracial couples.

So the question is, should video ads feature mixed couples?

From my internet research, i noticed that mixed couples often go unnoticed or without any controversy unless one of the couples is black.Thus Asian-White , Hispanic-White, Hispanic-Asian does not seam to create negative reactions.

The data i have do not include feedback from places like Africa & Oceania , Brazil, South Africa …

It seams for some reasons, that the negative response is x times the amount of racism towards a certain ethnicity / race in a certain country.


Should we create controversy ?

Very interesting question, if featuring a interracial black M / white F couple creates controversy, should we use it for our advantage ?

Well, controversy is a very important factor in viral advertising, but viral advertising is the poor guy’s hope of getting a nationwide coverage for a fraction of the price.
From this perspective, yes controversy creates interest, and get eyeballs, but if you are not on a small budget, it is better to avoid controversy all together, especially when controversy creates negative feelings towards your brand.


Back to advertising basics!

At the end of the day, the Ad should appeal to the viewer, whether it is emotional or rational, an ad should convey feelings of:

  1. Amusement
  2. Interest
  3. Surprise
  4. Happiness
  5. Delight
  6. Pleasure
  7. Joy
  8. Hope
  9. Affection
  10. Excitement

If the video is conveying another set of emotional feelings for many people, the commercial should be put into question. A commercial or Ad should increase the sales not decrease them, thus controversy is a risky business that can backfire sales wise.






MediaO2, 10th Year Anniversary

10 years ago, around January 12th,  a guy in his dorm room -it was actually an off campus apartment , in the suburbs of Paris- decided to launch a video and web advertising company, it was a startup, not even a company, during a couple years there was no real brand name, then 2 years later we re branded to MediaO2.


It was a mistake!

Yes, it was … The new name was supposed to be Media 2.0, in reference to Web 2.0 that was being popularized since 2004-2006 …
The moment the domain was being purchased, somehow my logical brain took over the process, and instead of buying Media20.com or Media2O.com which would have made absolutely no sense, i mistakenly purchased the MediaO2 or Media Oxygen!
The mistake was a branding win, because it made us avoid confusing people with 2.0 stuff, i mean imagine you are telling a client the company name is media 2.0 , he will try to actually put a dot between the 2 and the 0 and some would have ended up with this > www.media2.0.com.


We were multinational since day 1 !!

Founder is from a country, the startup was launched in another country and moved to yet another country after just 2 years!
You can’t beat that!!
Since then we have served more than 600 clients, from more than 30 countries …


To celebrate 10 years or not to celebrate 10 years !!

We have been considering this decision since some time, as technically the re branding happened 8 years ago.
Even-though the marketing and advertising service were launched on the 12/1/2006 the re-branding happened on the 2/5/2008.
We eventually decided to go with the 10th year plan, as you know it’s only semantics … So we decided to start celebrating the 10th year end of February – beginning Mars.


Behold the new logo we’ll display until February next year:


mediao2 10 years


What will this mean for our old clients ?

Our old clients are entitled to 30% discount on our services -not renewals-, thus if you are or have been an old client of ours, you are entitled a 30% discount on all our services -with few exceptions-.

We are also launching a customer excellence program, as mentioned previously, it means we will help your business become successful.

How will we celebrate our 10th Anniversary ?

Free & discount Coupons: We will distribute coupons through a selection of partners.
Contests: We are also launching several contests and offering prizes, through our social media accounts.



Using a Cause for Advertising & Marketing

causes marketing

Cause Marketing is not new, actually it have seen a huge growth since mid 2014.
Like emotional advertising, the cause marketing appeal to the emotional brain, in other words it’s also another kind of emotional manipulation.
But unlike the emotional advertising mentioned above, cause advertising actually help a cause.
It’s true that the benefit for the company outweigh by far the benefit for the cause, but sometimes the association can be a good deal for the cause as well.

Great examples of Cause Marketing:

  • American Express Statue of Liberty Restoration (1983):  American Express offered to contribute 1 cent for each card transaction and $1 for each new card issued during a three-month period to restore the statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
    The offer was backed by a huge media campaign, and successfully raised $1.7 million.
    This gave huge exposure to American Express business and probably led to the creation of this new field in marketing, “the cause marketing“.
  • Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives (1999 to present): Yoplait offered to donate 10 cents to G. Komen for the Cure, breast cancer foundation, for each sticky lid mailed, it quickly became one of America’s best-known breast cancer campaigns. And consumers saved and mailed millions of sticky lids to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Since, Yoplait have continually refined the initiative and supported it with paid and earned media. The campaign have raised to date more than $26 million.
  •  1,000 Playgrounds in 1,000 Days (2005 to 2008): The Home Depot and KaBOOM offered to build within 1000 days, 1000 playgrounds for kids. Relying on employee volunteerism with this national three-year program they built play grounds for kids within walking distance of their homes.
  • Live Strong Bracelet (2004 to present): Nike teamed up with Lance Armstrong Foundation to raise funds for Armstrong’s cancer charity, this was done by selling yellow rubber bands for $1 each, the campaign was a success and the bands were worn by a lot of people. The campaign have raised to date more than $70 million.

Taking Advantage of Cause Marketing:

The last few years more and more companies and corporations, thought of taking advantage of cause marketing, without really offering anything of value, for the causes they pretend they support, i will take a few examples of the latest of these campaigns, there’s a lot, but i will just select a couple of the recent ones.

  1. The Hypocrites: Are the companies that pretend to support an idea, but in reality they don’t, they just want you to think that they are doing so, to push you to unconsciously like their brand more.
    Here’s an example: The Budweiser 2016 SuperBowl Ad . In this specific example, getting drunk means more beer sales, thus the message clearly contradicts the interest of the company …. Or does it? No, not really because the small negative effect this ad will do on sales will be compensated by the increase of sales due to : 1- Brand loyalty increase  2- Less hard alcohol more beer, when driving.
  2. The Dull: The companies that just embrace a common idea, and transform it into a cause.
    Here’s an example: The Colgate 2016 Super Bowl Ad . In this specific example, turning off the faucet is a logical behavior that most adult do, so unless this is addressed for kids, it really isn’t doing much.
  3. The Exploiters: The companies that are just taking advantage of “causes” for their own selfish and unethical gains.
    Here’s an example: PornHub marketing stunts & campaigns, like “Save the Whales”, where they pledged to donate 1 cent for every 2,000 videos viewed on their site between February 8 to 29. These stunts are controversial and click bait material, which make many publications go through with them.

The Power of Advertising

During this new year, we will share with you a series of blog posts showcasing the power of advertising ….

These posts will tackle ad, marketing and PR campaigns that were so effective that they changed our behavior, or even got integrated in our culture.

Below we will link to each of these posts, to allow easy and fast access.


Enjoy, and remember to never underestimate the power of advertising!


Advertising : The Rational & Emotional Appeal

You think you figured out advertising?

You think they show you a pretty girl (see: sex sells article), then enumerate the features of a product or a service and that’s it…
You’re wrong!

A quick look at Superbowl ads or TV and Printed ads reveal a hidden element, you realize that the above formula is not as simple as it seams, and that in most cases the ads include elements that are not related to the product/service. And if you dig a bit deeper, you notice a sort of psychological manipulation taking place (that’s the real advertising at work ).

In advertising, businesses goal when they create advertisements for magazines, newspapers, television, radio, or online,  is to convince consumers to purchase a specific product or service. To do so, they rely mainly on 2 common marketing approaches,  the Rational Appeal and the Emotional Appeal.
(Reputation appeal will be discussed another time).

Advertising : The Rational & Emotional Appeal

In every descent advertising spot or campaign, there’s either a rational appeal or an emotional appeal, and most often both.
The Form might vary, they might present the idea in a sexual way, in a humorous way, in a serious way or any other approach / Form (by authority, popularity, price, novelty etc … ), but to persuade you they need to access your emotional or rational brain or both by either Emotionally Appealing to you or Rationally doing it:

The Emotional Appeal:

By emotional appeal, we do not mean the recent emotional video advertising trend (which are basically emotionally supercharged videos with one objective: make you cry, and share, often the subject is very weakly related to the product or service, see examples here).

Emotional Appeal, is a method of persuasion that’s designed to create an emotional response. They are considered fallacies, or errors in reasoning, because they manipulate emotions in an audience, by convincing the audience that the statements that were presented are true; solely by inducing emotional stimulation such as fear, pity and joy.
Emotional Appeal encompasses several logical fallacies, including appeal to consequences, appeal to fear, appeal to flattery, appeal to pity, appeal to ridicule, appeal to spite, and wishful thinking.

The top ten emotions inspired by the most viral content are:

  1. Amusement
  2. Interest
  3. Surprise
  4. Happiness
  5. Delight
  6. Pleasure
  7. Joy
  8. Hope
  9. Affection
  10. Excitement

Analysis of data from the IPA (the UK-based Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), which contains 1400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns submitted for the IPA Effectiveness Award competition over the last three decades,  indicated that emotional appeals tend to be 2x more effective than rational, even more effective than the combined elements of both rational and emotional appeals.


Examples of Emotional Appeal:

wwf emotional appeal

Other examples of emotional appeal, could be:
– showing you slim girls to sell diet product,
– showing you a burglary to sell you an alarm system,
– show you successful person to convince you to join a specific university,
– showing competing products failing to do the job,
– baby dolphins are dying because of plastic bags you throw away,


The Rational Appeal:

This method of persuasion, appeal to your logic to choose a product or service, rationally based on the product’s quality and usefulness. This is usually achieved by stating the product’s benefits, performing a product demonstration or citing facts or statistics.
It is is much easier to present, as it requires much less creativity than the emotional appeal.

Examples of Rational Appeal:

+ showing you a the calories and nutritive value of a diet product,
+ showing you specifications about an alarm system,
+ Giving you the stats about average salary of people graduating from a specific university,
+ showing you a product, that is 120% larger than competitor and for half the price,
+ Giving you stats about the damage caused by plastic bags,


What to choose?  Rational or Emotional Appeal ? Comparison,

It depends, on many factors,
1- Audience: see below.
2- Message: short/long term …
3- Team behind the Ad /budget: Emotional appeal is more complex, and can backfire, thus require professional teams and thus higher budgets.
But, that doesn’t mean Emotional appeal is beyond the scope of small businesses, here’s an example of the subtle difference in advertising, using both techniques:
An Ad using rational Appeal for cleaning product : show the product in use, then explains how it cleans better than competing brands and costs less.
An Ad using emotional Appeal for the same product : emphasizes the ease of cleaning, the hassle-free experience and the environmental benefits it offers.


Audience: Men VS Women:

Depending on your target audience, the Emotional Appeal can be more or less effective, according to the study mentioned above, rational appeal is less effective than the emotional one.

Understand the difference in targeting genders , based on biological differences:

  • Emotional Approach: Women typically have a larger limbic system than men, which makes them more in touch and expressive with their emotions.  Women are usually more empathic and comprehensive in thinking, while men focus on exact issues and disregard impertinent information.  Men have a difficult time understanding emotions not explicitly verbalized but can think more logically, while women have a more wholesome view of thinking & understanding but their emotions can sometimes influence decisions.
  • Rational Approach: A brain area called the “Inferior-Parietal Lobule (IPL)” is normally larger in men than women.  This area is thought to control mathematical processes, which explains why men typically can perform mathematical tasks better than women.

Thus, if the target audience is women, then they will be even more receptive to emotional appeal than average, and if the target audience is men, they might be more receptive to rational appeal than average.
This might be the reason why emotionally appealing ads are more effective, due to the simple reason that in shopping women have a much higher value, as they often spend up to 2x the time doing the shopping, and they often buy not only for themselves but for the entire family.



Customer Service Excellence & Customer Relation Program

business mentor

In a couple of month, MediaO2 will celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary.

It was a long and educational journey, our views, policies and strategies have changed a lot…

10 years ago, we started with the idea “Customer knows nothing“.
Our policy evolved few years later to “Customer is often wrong“.
Yet a couple years later, this changed to “Customer must be satisfied“, which led to our customers satisfaction policy.
But the last few years, we took it to an entirely new level of excellence, the latest policy that we have been adopting is “Customer must be happy“, it’s no longer satisfaction what we are looking for, but we are looking for the word “i am happy with the result” – which we get often by the way.
With our 10th anniversary approaching, the management decided to raise the bar even further, to a level where financial gains did not enter into consideration anymore, our new policy that we will start adopting with our customers is “Customer must become successful“, to do so we are willing to offer FREE of charge, consultancy and advice to our existing customers, furthermore, our customers will be getting throughout the year many services and products for FREE or for a deep discount … Makes no sense? It does to us!
We want to be your business friend, the friend you wish you have to provide advice and mentor-ship in matters related to advertising and marketing, without having to worry about paying and money all the time!!!

That’s why  we are launching our Customer Service Excellence Program , a customer relation program where we will take care of making your business successful.

Sex Sells In Advertising : But Not Always

sex sells

Study: Sex Does not Sells

In a recent study entitled “Do Sex and Violence Sell? A Meta-Analytic Review of the Effects of Sexual and Violent Media and Ad Content on Memory, Attitudes, and Buying Intentions”, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University , Brad Bushman, said “It never helps to have violence and sex in commercials, …It either hurts, or has no effect at all.”
Analyzes of results from 53 previous experiments involving 8,489 participants, suggests that Violent and sexual television programming impairs viewers’ memory because it diverts attention from the advertising.

Distinguish the ads from their surrounding

An interesting observation i found in this study in the “Cognitive interference hypothesis”, which basically point out that ads would be assimilated to their surrounding programs…

The cognitive interference hypothesis suggests that placing violent advertisements in a violent program or sexual advertisements in a sexual program impairs memory and reduces attitudes and buying intentions (Furnham, Gunter, & Walsh, 1998). Proponents of this hypothesis argue that advertisements placed in congruent contexts are susceptible to “meltdown,” a process whereby memory traces of the advertised brand fuse with the surrounding program content and make it more difficult to remember the brand (Bryant & Zillmann, 1994). Therefore, advertisements placed in in-congruent contexts are preferable because they are more likely to stand out from the surrounding program content (Furnham, Gunter, & Richardson, 2002). Several studies have found evidence for the cog-nitive interference hypothesis (Cruz & Lull, 2014; Dickinson, Hanus, & Fox, 2013; Furnham & Goh, 2014; Furnham et al., 2002; Furnham & Price, 2006). Our review will test the cognitive interference hy-pothesis using all available studies.

It is important to point 2 things in this study:
1. We are dealing with brands, meaning that people are supposed to know these brands.
2. We are focusing on “sales”, not getting the viewer’s attention, do Sex Sells?

Advertising Reality: Sex Sells !

In reality, all experienced advertisers know that sex does sells, but by that we mean it in the “Sexy” sense, rather than the traditional sense,
and we also use the term sells in the sense of capturing the attention rather than in the sense of selling products.
But here’s the interesting part, more attention captured = more product sold, and the more female nudity the more you’ll capture the attention. So basically Sex do sells!
All you have to do is check some sexy superbowl ads and compare them to some none sexy superbowl ads , it’s 2x to 20x the number of views. Now i’m no math genius, but if you capture the attention of 1000 and get 2% sales, is way better than capturing the attention of 100 and getting 4% sales!
This is not limited to video, any publisher knows that an article have a higher probability of being clicked on if it features a woman, than if it was featuring a man, and the sexier the better.

Saturation of usage and desensitization

Sure there is a saturation in the market, when everybody starts featuring sexy women, you start being captured less by these ads … this leads to becoming desensitized, and in this sense the study mentioned above might kick in … let’s say you capture the attention of 160 and get a 2% sales, it’s not as good as 4% sales and only 100 person’s attention captured.
On internet: Main Causes of desensitization are the click-bait photos, and click-bait video thumbnail.

~ A.Alaili

6 Rules for designing a good business flyer

distributing flyers

Often businesses are smart enough to understand the power of advertising, and decide to print and distribute flyers.
But somehow the wisdom vanishes when it comes to designing the flyers.
Here, we are sharing some tips & best practices for creating good business flyers.

6 Rules for designing a good business flyer


1. Keep the flyer simple & readable:

It’s not a thesis, and it’s not you diary! Your potential customer will not be very patient to read big paragraphs.
Don’t use extra long sentences, don’t write long paragraphs, and minimize the text to the least amount possible.
Also don’t clutter the flyer with lots of data and images, keep it readable and simple.

2. Use images and graphs:

They say an image is worth a thousand word, for flyers it’s even more. The image has the biggest factor on whether you flyer will be read or tossed in the garbage bin. Use nice images, avoid putting images of you or your company as a background, because when it comes to flyers, in most cases no one cares about you.

3. Don’t forget the essential  information:

You would be surprised, if you know how many businesses forget to include their website, email or even telephone number.
If the target people should contact a local representative, make sure to put that too.
Also make sure to enumerate your service/ product advantages when possible.

4. Invest in the flyer design:

It makes no sense to pay for printing ugly flyers, if you are going to pay to print flyers, pay a bit more and get a nice design.
These days, and due to competition, many printers offer “design for FREE”, just say no to these offers, and send your own design.
Some companies offer free basic design for customers, – we even offer free flyer design for anyone – but these offers are basic quality, they rely mostly on already created design & templates and do not reflect the spirit of the company or business.
So pay $20-$200 and get a good or even a premium design that fits your need.
Also, it’s not the time to find the artist within you, design companies are faster and can do a much better job, than you.

5. Don’t forget the call to action:

It was fun reading this flyer, but why should i act now? or ever for that matter?
A business flyer, should bring more business to your company. For that to happen, it should be done in a way that arouses the interest of your target audience.
If you have no idea what to do here, just hire an advertising company to create a marketing strategy, or at least hire them as consultants for you marketing campaign.

6. Keep the target audience in mind:

Obviously if your target are kids you would not have a flyer made in a same way as if the target were adults, if the target are doctors you won’t do a same design as if the target were lawyers …
It’s important to keep in mind the target audience and custom create the flyer with them in mind. That means that you should have an image that the target can identify with, or connect with.

7. Bonus: For enterprise & Corporations:

If the design is for a large scale campaign, make sure you have the right to use the images & avoid cheap designers. Why? because cheap designers most often do not have the right to use images. They use images they find online, and without permission, instead of buying the right for commercial use from photo sale services.  And that could lead to serious problems, when the photo owners enforce their copyright.


Disclosure: We are an advertising company and we offer design services, our services can be found at our graphic design section.





What is Growth Hacking ?

So What is Exactly Growth Hacking ?

The term Growth Hacking was introduced in 2010, it is a global term that group all the marketing techniques that might help a startup grow.
Growth hacking, can be described as a buzzword, because the term does not include any specific type of marketing, it simply create a kind of objective, which is growth.
Growth hacking works best with free services or Mobile Apps. Because the objective is growth and not sales, or direct revenue.

growth hacking teacher
Since the word was coined, the self described growth-hackers, started labeling some marketing startegies used in the past as “growth hacking techniques”.
Some examples of the so called “growth hacking techniques” are:
1. Hotmail signing the messages with  “PS I Love You” and a link for others to get the free online mail service.2. Dropbox, offering free storage for referring friends.
3. Messages sent from iPhone, signing with “sent from my iPhone”.
4. Airbnb adding automated Craigslist listing generators with the feature called “Post to Craigslist”.
5. Mobile & Facebook apps that offer digital goods in exchange of inviting friends to play.

This Post is to be continued for now!