Site   Web

November 19, 2009

Killer Campaigns Volume 1

How To Think About Webmedia

We’ve all seen Web video campaigns and television commercials that we actually enjoyed watching, not once, but over and over again. Whether it’s the Mac Versus PC ads or the thoroughly entertaining Visa Pizza Twirling Commercial, great campaigns are as memorable as great movies or television shows. When commercial presentations meet that standard, they transcend mere commercial status, and reach the level of Experiences.

Killer Campaigns is all about marketing campaigns that are memorable experiences, but why is that important; why should you care? Well if you want to grow your business, create, establish, or enhance a brand, or just plain sell more stuff on the Web, then you have to learn how to turn “advertising into content and content into an experience.”

What We’ll Show You

Each segment will feature an example of what we consider a great campaign that achieves memorable experience status. It may be a television commercial, a YouTube video, or even a video microsite, but whatever form it takes it will be worth watching, or more to the point, worth experiencing.

But just watching excellent advertising is not enough to understand why and how it works. You have to understand the technique used, and why it’s effective. In some cases we may
even show you failed examples of the same technique used, and explain why one campaign worked and one didn’t.

Our Perspective

We start with a particular point-of-view. You may agree with it or you may not, but by the time you’ve been through several segments of The Killer Campaign series you will at least
understand how to think about great marketing concepts, and you will watch webmedia from a whole new frame-of-reference, and with a more critical eye.

Our perspective is deceivingly simple: we create marketing communication, that’s video campaigns, websites, and video microsites based on the notion that Web traffic is an audience, not prospects, clients, or potential suckers, but an audience.

The Technique and Why It Worked

The analysis we use to evaluate the effectiveness of these techniques is based on the preceding perspective of treating website traffic like an audience. Why you may ask don’t we do what everybody else does, and look at the numbers? And the answer is simple: numbers lie. Numbers themselves don’t tell you the whole story.

An effective campaign may fail because of poor implementation or faulty targeting, or any number of other reasons that don’t speak to the creation and effectiveness of the media itself. After all, one of the greatest commercials ever made, the introduction of the Macintosh computer, almost never got shown because certain members of the board of directors got cold feet.

Killer Campaigns: Words & Music

As powerful and important as visual communication is, without finely crafted, supportive words and music, the visuals will fall flat; they will lack the emotional impact that connects you the advertiser, with them, the audience.

The Visa Pizza Twirler Commercial with the Morgan Freeman voice-over is a tour-de-force of commercial communication. Take a look and listen:

Visa Pizza Twirler Video with Sound

But what would this presentation be like without words and music? Here’s a video of the filming of the pizza-tossing scene without any voice-over or music. The pizza-chef is brilliant but without the words and music it’s merely a pleasant distraction without emotional or commercial relevance.

Visa Pizza Twirler Video – No Words and Music

The Web and television are both multimedia communication venues that rely on visual impact and sound design combined with the element of performance, but at least one major difference makes commercial presentation on the Web a more difficult challenge: television watching is a passive exercise, while Web surfing is a proactive activity. You’ll suffer through bad television commercials to watch your favorite program but on the Web, people won’t tolerate it. That said, there are some great commercials that do get it right.

HTC You Campaign

The HTC You Campaign hits the proverbial marketing nail right on the head. This is a company that communicates the right message in the right way, because the message is not about the phone, it’s about what you need in a phone. Just listen to the tag line: “you don’t need to get a phone, you need a phone that gets you, and you, and you, and we are HTC.”

This is a presentation that transcends commercial status. At the heart of the video are words and music that form a hypnotizing poetic social commentary on our over-stimulated hectic lives, and it provides a human solution, not a technical one. The concept is brilliant: this is not a product, it’s a life enabler, and who couldn’t use one of those. There is no discussion of features or price. ┬áIt’s not even about the phone; it’s about making life easier for you, and it does it with a brilliant script and a hypnotic musical score.

HTC You Campaign Video


In order for a commercial, a website, or a webmedia campaign to attain the level of an effective content experience, it must connect with an audience on an emotional level, the level at which decisions are made, and actions approved.

The HTC You Campaign illustrates how poetic words, delivered in an inspiring voice-over, supported by a hypnotic musical score, with associated images, turn advertising into content and content into an experience.

Does your website presentation or webmedia marketing strike this kind of cord with your audience, or are you still trying to win the hearts and minds of your audience with just another feature or price adjustment?

The Web is a different kind of communication venue. The old broadcast scenario of repeat, repeat, repeat, until they say your brand name in their sleep, just won’t work on the Web. You may only get one shot at any individual audience member, don’t screw it up.

Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design and marketing firm that specializes in Web-video Marketing Campaigns and Video Websites. Visit,, and Contact at or telephone (905) 764-1246.