Saturday, January 20, 2007

Creepy Popcorn Ad Has Blogosphere Buzzing

It is often quoted that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

This, obviously, is not true. Just ask Gary Hart. Or look at the summer 2005 Carl's Jr. advertising campaign with Paris Hilton (a blend of sex, eating a hamburger, and washing a car; view it here). It created a lot of buzz, but it didn't sell any burgers.

One of my favorite tools in the "new media" world is's trend tool. This allows you to see the trend of how often a phrase is mentioned in the Blogosphere.
Icerocket allows you to take an instant pulse of the online community.
Friday I addressed the creepiness of Orville Redenbacher's new ads. I was not alone. Lots of people were saying bad things about these ads. But was the important part the mere fact that we were talking about Orville Redenbacher popcorn?
Television time is very expensive. A single 30-second spot in national prime time is often more than $300,000. Thus, it is a beneficial advertising strategy to air ads that will generate their own buzz. If you can air ads just a few times to solicit people to search them out online (where viewing costs you next to nothing), then you have saved a lot of money.
As the figure here illustrates, the creepy ads created a spike in blog talk about the popcorn (blue line). For reference, I included a competitor, Jiffy Pop (red line). No such spike these. Hence, we have some evidence that the spike is due to the ads and not some national discussion about popcorn.
Yet it remains to be see the effect on sales. Using either Icerocket's search engine or Blogger's, almost every post I saw was negative. It's hard to imagine how this will translate into sales, and I know that I will specifically avoid buying Redenbacher after these ads.
I still refuse to buy Duracell batteries after their weird clay-mation ads of the mid-1990s. We'll see whether Joe Consumer will punish the popcorn giant.

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Anonymous Blake Rhodes said...

thanks for using! We also have a blog tracker you might want to try out:)

Blake Rhodes

7:27 PM  
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