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Former Paddy Power marketer: CMOs spending big to sponsor World Cup 'should be shot'

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Fifa boasts an almost full stable of sponsors ahead of World Cup 2018 despite these official partnerships costing as much as £100m annually. Ken Robertson, ambush marketing expert and former head of mischief at bookmaker Paddy Power believes that any CMO considering this investment "should be shot".

Russia will be ripe for ambush marketing, be it on the ground, or on social media from brands who have deemed not to invest in troubled football body Fifa's tournament. But they will have a tough time finding loopholes and vulnerabilities in Fifa's thick rule book which among other things protects its IP and the tournament's exclusivity to sponsors.

Since 2012, it has had ambush marketing on lockdown and it all comes back to a stunt from Robertson and the team at Paddy Power – starring Danish striker Nicholas Bendtner.

Denmark vs Portugal – Euro 2012

Paddy Power set up a "classic ambush" during the game. If Bendtner scored, he was to pull down his shorts and reveal his lucky Paddy Power pants.

Robertson recalls the incident wasn't quite smooth sailing. "We agreed if he scored he would unveil his lucky Paddy Power underwear but he scored the first goal and he didn't do it, we thought he bottled it.

"Ronaldo then equalised, so then true to form Bendtner goes up and scores the winner and revealed the lucky pants."

Video of Paddy Power Lucky Pants – Bendtner Euro 2012

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A pair of branded pants spurned Uefa, and by extension Fifa, to introduce severe penalties for brands intruding into the space. Bendtner was fined £80,000 and was suspended from the next fixture.

He breached a rule stating: "Players must not reveal undershirts which contain slogans or advertising. A player removing his jersey to reveal slogans will be sanctioned by the competition organiser."

Additionally, The Danish FA was sponsored by another betting company in Ladbrokes – it was not too happy with Bendtner's shenanigans.

Since this transgression, Uefa rules have changed. Fines are unlimited and are aimed at the football associations instead of the players. "That pretty much eliminated the opportunity for that kind of ambush," admits Robertson.

No longer could brands like Paddy Power – or Bavaria – cause a ruckus during the matches.

Shave the rainforest

Two years later, Robertson was looking to cause a stir at the World Cup in Brazil. With the physical stadiums effectively closed to on-the-pitch disruptions, the brand instead let social media and the press do the hard work. Robertson honed in on the issue of deforestation and created a devious piece of fake news – a not-very-good photoshop of the rainforest felled to read 'C'mon England PP'.

He says: "We saw the opportunity to shine a light on this issue by orchestrating what you would call a masterclass in fake news. We led people to believe that we had chopped down a massive swathe of the rainforest. We leaked the photographs and stepped away from it and let the whole thing percolate."

"We became part of the World Cup narrative by perpetrating this hoax and then revealing it was actually a collaboration with Greenpeace. All of a sudden, you go from sinner to saint, you elevate the brand into the narrative."

It was not all smooth sailing for the bookmaker. In 2018, with fake news an even touchier subject, it may have been a disastrous effort. In 2017, 20th Century Fox had to apologise for utilsing fake news websites in the marketing campaign publicising horror movie ‘A Cure for Wellness’.

Nonetheless, back then, viewers were somewhat more forgiving: "Until we did the rug pull we were absolutely vilified on social media. We had Hollywood actors who hadn't even heard of Paddy Power were now giving us an incredible platform in the days leading up to this event."

Video of Paddy Power – Shave the Rainforest

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While the battlegrounds, or ambush spots, for brands wanting a say in World Cup discourse may have moved, Robertson's definition holds true. "Ambush marketing, in essence, means attaching your brand to something you don't have a commercial interest in. Recently we've had to come at it more laterally."

Doing the unexpected helps elevate brands he says citing getting Dr Stephen Hawking on board to grant England the winning formula for Euro 2016. It's all part of the public's demand for "more sophisticated communications".

A warning to CMOS

This also applies to official sponsors who Robertson did not hazard particularly kind words for. "Any CMO who spends £100m on a category sponsorship at a World Cup should be shot, I think it is an appalling waste of money. It is a wallpaper logo. People expect more from brands now than seeing it on the perimeter boards during a major event. These partnerships show a lack of imagination and even some insecurity from the brand."

It may come as no surprise that official World Cup sponsor Visa disagrees with this assessment. Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer at Visa, told The Drum that the World Cup is one of the "last unchallenged bastions of appointment viewing," he added that it boasts the "the biggest audiences in the world, the events themselves stand for things that Visa stands for". Fifa estimates that the tournament will reach as many as 3.2bn people. Only about half of this figure live in households with a TV and there are only 7.6bn people on the planet – showing the sheer scale of viewership.

Similarly, AB InBev has concocted its largest ever marketing campaign to support Budweisers partnership with the Games.

Fifa has struggled to drum up sponsors for the big event in light of its corruption scandal and internal investigations. Even in Russian, sponsorship uptake was slower than expected with Gazprom joining Alfa-Bank and Rostelecom on the roster. Famously, space opened up after Continental, Johnson & Johnson and Castrol all backed out in 2015.

Outside of this elite, many upstart brands may be looking at the World Cup in Russia as an opportunity to say something, whether that is condemning the political situation in Russia, its attitudes towards LGBT people and free speech – or even questioning the morals of brands who claim they are operating in a political vacuum, focused only on the football.

To these gutsy brands who may swing a punch, Robertson said: "I tip my hat to any brands willing to have a crack at the World Cup and Russia. We're working on a campaign that ticks that box. It is a fertile place for a brand to play in, it is not without risk but it plays into the very interesting narrative at the moment that is more than football and sport."

He concluded: "You can't operate detached from the political, the lines are blurry at the moment. The narrative around political stability, homophobia and more. It cannot just be football. No way."

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Marketing Day: LinkedIn redesigns Groups, Google Location History, sales funnels & more

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Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Recent Headlines From MarTech Today, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Marketing Technology:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:

The post Marketing Day: LinkedIn redesigns Groups, Google Location History, sales funnels & more appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Expanded phrase match negatives: A script for misspellings

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As paid search specialists, our strength lies in our ability to exert control over our keyword targeting. Every month or so, there are new threats to this control. We must be strong in battling this pay-per-click (PPC) kryptonite. We must build super automation to help save the world from bad PPC!

That is why we at Brainlabs (my company) have created another Google Ads script, this time to help you control the impact of negative keywords. The challenge with negative keywords is getting the balance right. Too little control, and you’ll include budget-draining mismatches. Too much, and you risk losing out on potential customers. To filter traffic for high- and low-value searches, you need just the right touch.

Getting the hang of it takes a bit of trial and error, but using a script to help you along doesn’t hurt. Today, I’m sharing an awesome script that will boost your phrase negative keyword matching by finding the ones you’re failing to catch due to misspellings.

Using negative keywords

We all know that without the right keyword, your ads won’t be triggered when a user enters a search term. Unlike preplanned keywords, search terms are liable to all sorts of inconsistencies.

Advertising platforms like Google Ads offer different ways to match keywords to search terms: broad, broad match modifier, phrase, and exact. Whichever you prefer to work with, you’ll know that planning ahead for human error can be difficult. Luckily, these match types can deal with close variants like misspellings, plurals, broad match, synonyms and related searches.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

The post Expanded phrase match negatives: A script for misspellings appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Amazon Music animates Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar and SZA in ad campaign for the service

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Amazon Music is pushing its paid streaming music service with a new campaign as a way for listeners to power their preferences by using Alexa.

The service is building on its momentum with the launch of ‘A Voice is All You Need.’ The campaign highlights the powerful vocals of notable songs while demonstrating the simplicity of voice with Alexa, featuring leading artists at launch including Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Queen and Kane Brown.

The ad creative, developed with Wieden+Kennedy, celebrates the growth of Amazon Music against rivals like Apple and Spotify, by noting its lead in voice innovation while playing off isolated vocals from notable artists in a journey through the voice experience with Alexa on Amazon Music.

In the first video, Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s All the Stars gets animated in a 30-second spot that starts off with brightly hued lips singing the lyrics. The lips then turn blue as the Lamar’s rap begins, then morphs into the Amazon arrow, which also turns into a mouth and asks Alexa to play the song as it promotes the 30-day free trial for the service.

Another ad rises high above Times Square to push Ariana Grande’s new album, Sweetener. The three-tiered digital ad starts with the ‘A Voice is All You Need’ phrase, then turns rainbow colored with a pic from the album and the text: “Alexa Play New Ariana Grande.”

Launching at a time where the number of Amazon Music hours streamed globally on Alexa-enabled devices has doubled over the past six months compared to the same time last year, ‘A Voice is All You Need’ will begin appearing today in select US cities, and will expand to the UK and Germany throughout the year across media channels including national online video, radio, and out-of-home billboard advertisements in support of upcoming new releases. Select creative from the campaign will also appear on national TV later this year.

Wieden+Kennedy: Amazon Music 'A Voice is All You Need'

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy
Client: Amazon Music
Date: August 2018

The service is building on its momentum with the launch of ‘A Voice is All You Need.’ The campaign highlights the powerful vocals of notable songs while demonstrating the simplicity of voice with Alexa, featuring leading artists at launch including Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Queen and Kane Brown.
The ad creative, developed with Wieden+Kennedy, celebrates the growth of Amazon Music against rivals like Apple and Spotify, by noting its lead in voice innovation while playing off isolated vocals from notable artists in a journey through the voice experience with Alexa on Amazon Music.
In the first video, Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s All the Stars gets animated in a 30-second spot that starts off with brightly hued lips singing the lyrics. The lips then turn blue as the Lamar’s rap begins, then morphs into the Amazon arrow, which also turns into a mouth and asks Alexa to play the song as it promotes the 30-day free trial for the service.
Another ad rises high above Times Square to push Ariana Grande’s new album, Sweetener. The three-tiered digital ad starts with the ‘A Voice is All You Need’ phrase, then turns rainbow colored with a pic from the album and the text: “Alexa Play New Ariana Grande.”

Credits:
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy
Client: Amazon Music

Tags: United States

Video of A Voice is All You Need: Amazon Music Advertising in Times Square, New York

Video of A Voice Is All You Need: Kendrick Lamar and SZA, "All The Stars," for Amazon Music

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