exxonExxonMobil has defined and tweaked their global marketing programs to reach various minority groups with IMC strategies and promotional campaigns tailored to each segmented audience. As a global refining and supply company, ExxonMobil owns refineries in more than 25 countries and supplies petroleum products around the world, so they thrive in concentrating  their marketing efforts on regional clusters, and a no-frill kind of mentality. From their corporate Web site users can choose from 40 different countries and regional sub-sites for retail information about the supply company.

 

The ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Company has developed a large portfolio of market-specific retail formats for three powerful ExxonMobil brands- Exxon, Mobil and Esso. In 1999, the company it launched a $150 million marketing effort titled “We Are Drivers Too,” that accounted for a wide variety of cultural differences. Management believed this approach would reach their audiences more effectively, while saving them money, and employed six different casts to act out similar storylines and 25 different languages to develop voiceovers. The company produced five hours of commercial footage and made sure the ads had the same look and feel regardless of the 100 or so countries in which they appeared. Marketers even made sure actors ate with their right hands in some shots, because it is customary in some markets.

 

ExxonMobil understands its products global reach and dependency on these groups to continue to thrive in their industry. The company successfully speaks through their Websites and promotional material to a variety of non-English speaking groups. Catering to minorities, both consumers and employees, is one of the company’s priorities.


“Design is about communication, and it takes more than pixels to communicate” – Derek Powazek, veteran website developer and user interface design expert.

Web designers who think writing is not part of their job description are wrong. Text, whether it be attached to a link or a carefully crafted marketing message, is just as important, if not more important than the visual design. When it comes to experience on the web, there’s no better way to create it than to write, and write well. Web designers are more than pixels; they are creators of online experiences.

 

200428250-001Calling all web designers! Learn how to write! Developers may know user interface design and visual creativity, but what they don’t know is that marketing text is interface, too. A company’s marketing message carries as much weight on a Web site as color choice, graphics, design layout and links. Integrated marketing communications professionals understand the value of word choice, and it is time designers do the same. Web sites they develop are primary vehicles for this ever-so important and desirable text and writing it along-side the visual design of online media would ultimately enhance the user’s overall experience..

 

Consider Flickr.com as an example. If it were not for the “encouraging, happy and excited” text and random language, like “Hola! Salut! or Shalom!,” users would not grasp the “fun, friendly” personality the site embodies. Though sharing photos may facilitate some emotions, black text organized on a clean, white background connects with few users unless it inspires a feeling.


Today’s children have a tremendous ability to find, edit and manage their media experiences, and for many of them, the Internet has become a virtual playground. Advergaming, the use of Web-based games to promote popular brands and products, is reaching children faster than ever, and marketers are excited that players receive continued exposure through branded in-game quests, loading screens, brand-inspired environments, spokes-characters and downloadable content.

  

 

blackbeakgameSpokes-characters, like Froot Loops Black Beak and the Trix Rabbit, and animation, such as visual action and sound effects, have proven to increase attention in children with limited reading abilities, and produce relatively high levels of character and product/brand recognition. However, some critics, as well as parents argue that his type of advertising persuades young consumers by bypassing rational capacities, and influencing naive minds in ways that are difficult to resist. Many attribute advergaming to unethically manipulating children’s desires and encouraging confusion of the product with spokes-characters.

 

In recent years, advergames have become the most visited feature of brand Web sites, and some companies are making them the primary function of their brand media planning. Marketers like the benefits of advergaming as it promotes repeated traffic, reinforces brand awareness, encourages registration of users for sweepstakes and promotions, aids in market research, and when gamers invite their friends, they endorse viral marketing and brand word-of-mouth.

 

Check out these popular advergaming brands: Nabisco, Froot Loops, Trix, and Pillsbury.


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Technology has dramatically changed over the last few decades, and it’s amazing to consider the way daily tasks used to be completed and just how far civilization has come. Conan O’Brien hosted comedian Louis CK on October 1st, 2008 who spoke about how Generation Y and Millenials have been spoiled by technology. (Video property of NBC Universal.)

The echo boom (generation Y) rivals its parent’s generation (baby boomers) in size, and differs in almost every other way imaginable. They are more racially diverse, and certainly more tech-savvy having grown up in a 24-hour news cycle and two-way communication. While boomers are still trying to master Microsoft Windows 2003, their children are experts on Apple Mac’s, Blackberry’s, iPods, social networks, like Facebook, MySpace, Friendster and Twitter, blogging and more coming out of pre-school.

 

To say this generation grew up in a more media-saturated, brand-conscious world than their parents is an understatement. Not only do they respond differently to ads, they seek them out, causing marketers to send messages to new outlets that these consumers congregate at, whether it’s the Internet or mobile phones, and more importantly, open up platforms for discussion.


Brand extensions have the potential to drive market share, build awareness and more, but developing sub-brands and product lines are not always the best, or most effective, means of achieving success.

 

301131918_617533d7c9Just ten years ago in the U.K., Cosmopolitan, a women’s magazine geared toward readers interested in cosmetics, fashion and sex talk, introduced a brand extension well out of their reach- Cosmopolitan yoghurt. But this low-fat product wasn’t the only dairy they tried to milk out of the publication; they also came out with a line of light, soft cheese and fromage frasis.

 

According to the magazine, the concept behind the extension was to link food with the sex topics discussed in the pages of the magazine. Marketers gathered from an in-house survey submitted by consumers that 65 percent of Britains had used food during lovemaking. The problem was marketers didn’t bother to find out what kind of edibles were being used in the bedroom, and for some reason assumed milk-based products would build the brand.

 

It didn’t take long before the dairy line was pulled from the shelves; 18 months to be exact. Not only was the brand extension a far, far stretch from being related to the magazine, but Cosmopolitan also tried to sell the yoghurt at a premium price trying to appeal to its so-called “sophisticated audience.”

 

In Cosmo’s case, minimizing this brand extension should have been a no-brainer, but perhaps the company didn’t thoroughly examine the primary factors that lead to successful product lines.

 

A sex-driven, women’s magazine and dairy products are hardly similar. There’s little to no association between the two, and if the company really wanted to produce a product for the bedroom to complement their stories, a little more research would have provided several better options.


Traditional marketing puts products and companies in the spotlight, focusing on promotion and the benefits of choosing their brand over others. Viral marketing, on the other hand, tells a story and is often the furthest thing from an advertisement. Much like word-of-mouth, viral marketing is shared among consumers, and it is within their social networks that viral marketing campaigns grow and thrive.

 

 

When developing viral marketing videos, consider doing the unexpected and creating strong emotion with an opinion or an idea that will get noticed and be unforgettable. Once the video is on the market, make sequels by developing similar concepts, taking a look behind the scenes, adding bloopers, or blogging about the process. Also, facilitate easy sharing, downloading and embedding by taking advantage of social networks, like Digg and You Tube, linking and bookmarking to allow for better communicating among consumers.

 

Viral marketing videos are much like short films that feature a hero who wants something and takes action, but meets conflict, which leads to a climax and a resolution. Within the video, marketers focus on conveying a clear message and keep it fresh by piquing curiosity, but the simplest videos are the most effective. Typically, developed characters in conflict have strong personalities and their interaction takes place in what appears to be a “real film.”

  

Chanel No. 5 created a great marketing film featuring Nicole Kidman. This three minute, quick-cut version of a love story tells of a most famous woman (Kidman), who flees from paparazzi into a taxi where she meets a young writer (Rodrigo Santoro) who is so consumed in his own world that he does not know who she is. The two go on to share a romantic weekend high above the city lost from the world, until she returns to her the responsibilities in the public eye.

 

From a marketing standpoint, this viral video conveys the essence and lifestyle of Chanel’s brand, and illustrates the idea of glamour and fantasy, a life many women consumers would be interested in having. It appeals to emotions, specifically vulnerability, and is more focused on telling a story and promoting an image and attitude, as opposed to selling a product.

 

This entertaining film is littered with large Chanel Cs that illuminate the night, but the perfume itself does not appear, except in the final shot when a Chanel No. 5 pendent is displayed on the back of Kidman’s dress. It works for the Chanel brand, because consumers pay for a luxury good that makes them feel special, and it establishes a connection that resonates well with consumers.