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.






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.



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

Let’s talk real Advertising & real Marketing!

This Blog will be the official Blog for MediaO2.
There are tons of Marketing & Advertising Blogs, so we will try to have a different approach, our approach will be focused more on the science of Advertising & Marketing than on the Buzz & Buzzwords.
In other words we will approach advertising with Psychology, sociology and crowd psychology in mind.

We will use this blog to share some other info related to MediaO2, as well as giving answers to repetitive questions we are asked.

Digital Advertising will probably take the lion’s share of the content, but we will not neglect the other types of advertising that make more sense for many types of businesses.

Hope to have you amongst our frequent readers!