WOM Campaigns (word-of-mouth marketing) as Drivers of Revenue

WOM Campaigns - social conversations

WOM Campaigns – social conversations

Ad spending budgets continue to be under scrutiny as BTL (below the line) marketing and advertising strategies like buzz marketing or word-of-mouth marketing – more specifically well planned and executed WOM campaigns – keep proving to be cost-effective and extremely successful drivers of revenue.

WOM is still a relatively small sector, but it is growing fast. Spending on word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing from 2007 to 2008 rose 14.2% to $1.54 billion, and is expected to hit $3 billion by 2013, according to a report based on extensive WOM research from PQ Media.

By category, consumer package-goods marketers spend the most on WOM campaigns. Other leading product categories are food and drink, finance, business-to-business services, electronics, telecommunications and retail.

Why the surge in WOM? The number-one way that consumers make decisions is through word of mouth. Brands realize that consumers are willing to engage with them in conversation, and they realize that they have no choice but to participate if they want to be a part of the consumer decision making process. And WOM campaigns bear huge buzz opportunities across media platforms, both online and offline. Research shows that by far most (over 90 percent) of the brand-related WOM conversations that take place occur in the offline space. Increasingly, the goal of what brands and ad agencies do is to generate word of mouth.

According to research, some 3.5 billion brand-related WOM conversations take place daily in the U.S. And because clients are interested in knowing what’s being said about their brands, they have started to listen to the online conversation more frequently. There is also a direct correlation between advertising expenditure and word of mouth. As a matter of fact, word of mouth can be seen as an early measure of ad effectiveness and, across the board, the area that is most highly associated with sales lift is word of mouth because intent to buy reveals itself in word of mouth.

word of mouth offline

word of mouth offline

These figures are an eye-opener for a lot of people and they highlight the importance for brands to understand the full range of opportunities they have to listen and engage in conversations with consumers. There are many different ways and places to stimulate WOM including, for example, the workplace, leisure areas or in-store (not just supermarkets but gyms, malls, and even parks) as well as through traditional and emerging media channels. Clearly online is a major opportunity but it is not the only one to consider.

it's the journey

it’s the journey

Buzz Marketing Twitterrific ideas

Finding a car parking space at Christmas time is an intimidating and sometimes insurmountable task just about anywhere in the world, and to help people with this Mercedes-Benz created a buzz marketing Twitterrific idea: “The Tweet Fleet” by tapping into the “Park Assist” feature. Mercedes-Benz Park Assist can automatically detect empty car spaces near you as you drive, so what if they could take that feature and provide it to anyone looking for a parking spot at Christmas?

Well, they did, and a fleet of new Mercedes-Benz cars travelling around Stuttgart in Germany, automatically tweeting empty car spaces with geo-tagging to ensure that anyone following can not only find out where the empty spaces are, but can get directions directly to them. All rigged together via an Arduino board and the Mercedes-Benz Park Assist feature.

Twitter Humor ;)

Twitter Humor 😉

attitude in life

attitude in life

Smartphone user experience: A Latina’s Perspective

Smartphone user experience: A Latina’s Perspective

As most of you know, a few weeks ago and thanks to a recommendation from my dear friend and colleague Julito Varela (@julito77) I was named Verizon Brand Ambassador. As a marketing strategist and technologist I was so excited to get to test cool gadgets I could hardly wait to begin.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer's heart.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer’s heart.

The Droid Razr 4G LTE arrived one day at noon and I took my time to open it so I could savor every part of the smartphone user experience. I wanted to capture every detail, every impression I had with the product and the service. But in order to give some you some perspective on my evaluation, let me share a bit about me.

I was a loyal Verizon Wireless customer for 11 years. The quality of their network was always what kept me with them. “Can you hear me now” was a reality for me. And then I had to choose a smartphone. I did try the original Droid and found it so hard to maneuver. I need to clarify that I am a super geek and at one time in my career I used to build LANs and WANs with my bare hands – patch panels would become pristinely organized in my presence and my networks never went down! I found the people at the Verizon local store so focused on the number of apps instead of what I wanted to know (how to use the smartphone to make a call, et my mail, etc.) that I gave up and went the Apple way. The glorious iPhone was only held by AT&T and, as a plus, I would achieve compatibility with all my Macs. I have missed the quality of the Verizon Wireless network and I actually do have to stand by a window so as not to lose the connection when I talk. The rest, I will have to say, I am very pleased with, as I find AT&T’s plans are more affordable and my experience with their customer service as outstanding.

A few months ago, my iPhone decided to go swimming and I had to take its beeping corpse to the Apple store. Deciding to take advantage of the situation (I already had to purchase a new unit) I got myself an iPhone with Verizon. I couldn’t hear anything now. I got so many dropped calls, Verizon sent out an engineer to check on the signal levels. The verdict: We need to build a new tower for you to get coverage with us. Please go back to AT&T.

I always wondered if the problem was with the network or the handset. And maybe it’s a mix of both. In my opinion, my new Droid Razr 4G LTE should help in putting this to the test.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer’s heart. When I opened the box there was the thinnest, coolest looking smartphone I have ever seen. About two thirds of the iPhone. It was also huge in dimension. It made me think that people with large hands would appreciate this – not so much small hands people. I’m average, so I can go either way. I started reading the manual to set it up as, in my opinion, this smartphone is not as intuitive as an iPhone. And I started the charging process.

The results of the test will be unveiled on my next post early next month!!

Happy Purim everybody!!

Verizon Wireless Ambassador ProgramClaudia “Havi” Goffan

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. All the opinions expressed and experiences shared on this post are personal and not Verizon’s or anybody else’s.


envy is ignorance imitation is suicide

envy is ignorance imitation is suicide

Best Latino Advertising Campaigns 2011

by Target Latino

The year is coming to an end and we decided to look for advertising campaigns in Spanish or created by Latino Ad Agencies that we consider to be the very best of 2011 and share them with you. Here is our list of the five Best Latino Advertising Campaigns 2011:

Best Latino Advertising Campaigns 2011

#5 – Campofrio Finisimas: A very original and humorous way of advertising ham.

Finísimas Campofrío humorously bets on the re-incarnation theory on its new advertising campaign. It features two frogs that explain the pros and cons of being human while they jump across a freeway packed with danger. Marcelino is the reincarnation of a government attorney and is highly concerned with his previous life health while his new friend becomes fascinated by the possibilities of being human that he commits suicide against a truck’s windshield. This campaigned broadcasted nationally and had digital, social media and movie theater and international versions.

Young frog: Flies!
Old frog: Flies… ush, bummer!
Young frog: What do you expect? We’re frogs…
Old frog: Frog, speak for yourself, this is my reincarnation, my name is Marcelino, and I used to be a government lawyer.
Young frog: What do you mean, “you were human”?
Old frog: You are born, and they give you a slap in the ass, you need to learn English so you don´t become a “loser”, you control your calories, triglycerides, intestinal transit and kapoom!
Young frog: what a chump!
Young Frog: (If I were a rich man song tone)
If I were a human, I would grow a mane and name myself Brad… To Vegas I would move and I would get a Chinese tattoo even if I don’t know what it means…
If I were a human, I would become the driver of the beach volleyball women’s team from Sweden, creative, hippie, anything not to have to work!
Young frog & Snake: I…would buy a chihuahua, a water bed and a mega ham platter… I would fall in love a looooooot!
(Spanish Guitar sound)
Old frog: Goodbye figure!
VO: You never know what you will be in the next life
Man: Hmmm… and I was living in a Pond!
VO: So take good advantage of this one, Campofrío Finissimas
Pigeon: If I were human…

Campofrio Finisimas: A very original and humorous way of advertising ham.

Campofrio Finisimas: A very original and humorous way of advertising ham.

NEXT>>  #4 H2oh! Drink by BBDO Argentina – Cannes Lions 2011 Gold winner

integrity quote

integrity quote

The story behind the Benetton WOM Campaign

Benetton, Italy’s largest clothing company, launched yesterday, November 16, 2011, a highly controversial Word-of-Mouth (WoM) campaign. They coupled this campaign with the launch of their newly founded advocacy group for tolerance, the Unhate Foundation.

The story behind the Benetton Word-of-Mouth (WOM) Campaign

The campaign content included a film promoting Unhate.org, love and tolerance; photo composite posters and wall video projections of Presidents Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez lovingly locking lips; and, social media activity including the Kiss Wall where users can upload images of themselves kissing and are randomly paired up with others thus mimicking the main campaign theme. Other featured kissing pairs include President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao; the Pope and Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the Imam of al-Azhar mosque in Egypt; the leaders of North and South Korea; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy, president of France; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Benetton Unhate Campaign – CNN Interview (subtitled in English) – Claudia Havi Goffan

The campaign was inspired by a kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German communist leader Erich Honecker in 1979. And this is just the first part of the three-part campaign. Benetton has a history of controversial advertising. Their campaigns that started on 1991, showed a black horse mating over a white one; a collage consisting of genitals of persons of various races; a priest and a nun about to engage in a romantic kiss; and the most famous of them all, a bloodied, unwashed newborn baby with umbilical cord still attached, which was featured in the reference book Guinness World Records 2000 as ‘Most Controversial Campaign.’

The White House stated that no advertising is allowed to use President Obama’s image while the Vatican condemned the campaign as well. The company’s deputy chairman, Alessandro Benetton, decided to remove it from all publications after complaints and an explanation that the campaign means not hating, and that embracing a loving attitude that can have a positive impact in the world.  The campaign is on every news site, blog, channel, all over the world. A true word-of-mouth marketing success.

The cost of such campaign via regular media purchasing methods would have meant an automatic dismissal amongst the management ranks of Benetton whose revenues had dwindled in the last quarter in Europe, where the company gets up to 80% of the total revenues. Their forecasted margins for the next few quarters look even bleaker with the expected increase in raw-material costs.

Shock tactics do work in advertising, and even though we haven’t heard much from the United Colors since their contentious ads and world take-over of their brand as one of the 90s’ most known and fashion forward, we know that Benetton has built their foundations on advertising equality and has come up with another genius concept here. We are sure there are already people reaching for their phones to complain. This is a love it or hate it campaign. Their target market is very clear though. The urban young who wants to break with stereotypes and change the world into a better and more loving and accepting place.

Benetton WOM Campaign - Obama & Chavez Poster

Benetton WOM Campaign – Obama & Chavez Poster

We all know that the worst thing that can happen to a brand is not to be mentioned. Benetton got more than its share of mentions this time. All that we have left to see is their financials at the end of the next couple of quarters to see if it really paid off. And we believe it will.


By: Claudia “Havi” Goffan – President Target Latino – CNN en Español Interview – November 16th, 2011.

Watch the CNN Footage with Full Coverage of the Un-Hate Campaign

Interview with CNN Coverage of the Un-Hate Campaign in Spanish


speak the truth

speak the truth

Hispanic Market Dog Food Launch: Beneful Healthy Fiesta

by Claudia Havi Goffan

Hispanic Market Dog Food Launch Evaluation: Beneful Healthy Fiesta

While some companies are still hesitant about tackling the Latino market; Purina goes for it, hook, line and sinker.

Last July, Purina launched a new Beneful dog food flavor to appeal to Latino dog owners called Healthy Fiesta.  Maybe these pooches have inherently acquired the Latino culture and that makes them crave tomatoes and avocados? I guess my dog, if I had one, would love to have good and juicy steaks. Oh, wait. That actually applies. Will Hispanics really choose chow for their pups based on a Latino sounding brand?

My concern with my pet’s food, Sundance (the oldest cat I know), is how healthy it is for her and not that it tastes like salsa. Well, I’d love her to be able to taste whatever she pleases but her health comes first. And to this day, pet food companies have a long way to go to earn my trust.

I still say, kudos to Purina for being so daring. But maybe next time, the research should be focused on what Hispanic dog owners’ concerns are. I may be mistaken, so I would love to hear the opinion of all of you Latino pet-parents. Would you give your puppy Beneful Healthy Fiesta? Why?

The commercial is pretty much like all of the Beneful ads and here it is for you to enjoy.

Hispanic Market Dog Food Launch: Beneful Healthy Fiesta 🙂

too funny

too funny

Multicultural Marketing for Oreo Canada

Multicultural marketing is not something that only happens in the U.S. Kraft Canada dunked its Oreo cookies in the Canadian multicultural scene with this new 30-second TV commercial. The famous Oreo cookie – which somehow seems to capture my attention and get back into my blog once again – bridges multicultural experiences in a simple and emotive way.

Multicultural marketing for Oreo Canada commercial

“Moving Day” opens with a little boy arriving at a new neighbor’s house with two glasses of milk and a bag full of Oreo cookies. He finds a boy his age who only speaks Mandarin but the two are able to communicate through the way they eat their Oreo cookies. The commercial ends with the tag line: “Only Oreo.”

Oreo needed to uniquely connect with Canadians while maintaining the integrity of their global campaign. But with no product news, making this great change would be no easy feat.


The overall concept was developed by the brand’s creative agency Draft FCB Canada, but Kraft also worked with multicultural marketing agency Kang & Lee Advertising. Kraft stated that Kang & Lee helped them understand how to make sure they could reflect the reality of what a new Canadian family moving in would be bringing with them and how they would be dressed.

“What we were trying to do with this spot was make Oreo relevant for Canada and make sure we reflect our cultural fabric and diversity, which is what Canada is today and how it’s growing,” said Emmanuelle Voirin, senior brand manager, Oreo.

Oreo’s communication efforts must align to a global campaign, which focuses on leveraging the emotional connection of people through the ritual of the “Twist, Lick and Dunk” of the cookie.

By: Claudia “Havi” Goffan

best quotes of the week

best quotes of the week

Multicultural Is the New Mainstream

Multicultural is the New Mainstream

Multicultural is the New Mainstream

The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse, and while statistics aren’t really necessary to confirm the obvious, the soon-to-be-released 2010 U.S. Census figures likely will support the multicultural boom over the past decade.  Last week, national advertisers and marketers convened at a conference to discuss the implications of today’s broad and progressively more complex marketplace.  Identifying “best practices” for communicating with multicultural consumers, some presenters indicated that a singular insight focused on commonalities between cultural segments should drive marketing strategy; however, the voice of Hispanic-specialized agencies, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), disagrees with this one-size-fits-all approach.

“Trying to be all things to all consumers not only waters down the communication but also waters down the results,” says Jessica Pantanini, AHAA chair and COO of Bromley Communications.  “The population is definitely more multicultural but that only reinforces the need for customized, one-to-one communication.  It’s more impactful than mass marketing as evidenced by the obvious success of digital and social interactive media.  The growing diversity of the country requires even more insight and understanding of the cultural and ethnic nuances and differences that drive behavior and purchase, and connect with consumers in a unique way.”

AHAA is concerned that advertisers’ request for a holistic approach to marketing and advertising to all segments and the need for a single voice is possibly being misinterpreted to minimize the need for targeted and highly specialized communication. This type of cross-cultural approach lacks insight and understanding critical to the effectiveness of the strategy.  “If one-size-fits-all worked, then fashion designers would have it easy,” Pantanini says.  “Manufacturing costs would go way down, savings could be passed to the consumer and profitability would increase.  It’s great in theory, but it just doesn’t work in the marketplace.

The journey of a Latina Millennial mom is one example.  Her experience is very different from other cultures.  Rather than being the child who was given a trophy for every activity, which would lead her to become more ‘me’ focused; it was the hard work of her parents and the respect that she has for them that has driven her to succeed.

So, while the general market, cross-cultural approach might consider ‘me’-focused behavior the point of convergence for all Millenial moms and therefore execute one communication strategy, the approach won’t resonate with the Latina mom.  In fact, the more inspirational way of talking to Millennials may just be through the Latina insight.  “The goal should be to bring the insight to the strategy, and if the granularity demands a separate communication, so be it,” Pantanini says.  “If not, fine; but the cultural sensitivity must be part of the strategy.

“The U.S. is a salad bowl and not a mixing bowl.  Multicultural consumers are blended into the population but they retain their own unique cultural traits, behaviors and innate desires that influence their responses, purchasing and loyalty.  To ignore this in the name of cost-cutting and consolidation or leaving it to the agencies to figure it out will impact negatively advertisers’ return on investments.”

Multicultural Marketing

Multicultural Marketing

Inclusion, AHAA agrees with advertisers, is the answer; however, it requires bringing Hispanic-market or multicultural specialists in at the beginning of the marketing planning process as strategic thinkers and not just tactical implementers.  Consumer connection and cultural insight is integral to the strategy and helps build the bottom line for brands.

Savvy marketers like General Mills, McDonalds and Time Inc., understand the value of cultural marketing specialists and targeted communication, and have the profits to show for their decisions. Rudy Rodriguez, director, Multicultural Marketing for General Mills says the focus on Hispanic and African American market segments has driven growth for many of the company’s brands.  The packaged food manufacturer has increased investments in these segments progressively over the past four years and Rodriguez says they will continue to invest heavily.

AHAA agrees that the best marketing ideas should win clients’ approval, but the effectiveness of any agency — specialized or general market — relies on an environment conducive to the exchange of information and support for great ideas no matter where they emanate.  Unfortunately, some advertisers may be misguided in the approach and strategies that will achieve bottom line profits when reaching and connecting with multicultural consumers.  Targeted communication, rather than one-size-fits-all marketing, really works.  Finding a successful partnership with a quality Hispanic-specialized expert agency delivers results.


So very true

So very true


SOURCE Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies

Wendy’s Launches Hispanic Campaign

Wendy's hispanic campaign launched

Wendy’s Launches Campaign for Hispanic Consumer Market

Wendy’s International, Inc. is rolling out a new series of television and radio commercials targeting the U.S. Hispanic market.

Themed “Sabor de Verdad,” roughly translating to “Real Taste,” the Spanish-language campaign is the first Wendy’s effort from WPP Group’s Miami-based The Bravo Group, which was chosen by the QSR in August as its new Hispanic agency of record.

Timed to coincide with Wendy’s expansion of its 99-cent Everyday Value Menu offerings, the campaign positions Wendy’s as the solution for Hispanic consumers looking to satisfy their “antojos,” or taste cravings, with quality food at affordable prices.

The campaign, which starts Nov. 1 and will run through year-end, will include a series of TV spots airing on national network and cable and local spot TV, plus local radio efforts run at the discretion of individual markets. Some of the television media being employed are Univision, Telefutura, Galavision, Telemundo, mun2, Estrella, TVAztecaAmerica, Discovery en Español, MTVTr3s, Fox Sports en Español and ESPN Deporte. Wendy’s Hispanic media planning and buying continue to be handled by MediaVest and MV42.

The campaign centers on a Hispanic couple, “Cesar and Gabriela.” In the first TV spot, they are seen ordering from the value menu at a Wendy’s drive-through. After Cesar orders a “papapolloguesa,” which Gabriela doesn’t recognize on the menu, it becomes clear that he has combined three products into one: baked potato, Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Double Stack burger.

The current efforts do not include digital/social media support. New Hispanic creative will roll out in 2011, according to Wendy’s and Bravo Group, which is working with Wendy’s general-market agency of record, Kaplan Thaler Group, to ensure that efforts both resonate with Hispanics and are integrated into the brand’s overall marketing and positioning.

“Sabor de Verdad” will serve as a platform for a long-term campaign in which Wendy’s will seek to “build faith” with its growing Hispanic consumer base by delivering on its goal of being “the real choice in fast food,” summed up Wendy’s SVP brand marketing Bob Holtcamp.

Nielsen shows Wendy’s having spent $25 million in major Hispanic media last year and $8 million during first-half 2010, according to Brandweek.

Wendy’s is far from alone: Many QSRs, including Burger King and Carl’s Jr., are beefing up Hispanic marketing. Hispanics have become the most important U.S. demographic growth-driver for restaurants, as well as food and beverage makers, according to Latinum Network market research.

While they are spending more than the general population on food consumed at home, they are also eating out more in both fast-food and full-service restaurants, even as other segments are cutting back on restaurant expenditures. Hispanics also are increasingly likely to eat out during the work day, offering breakfast and lunch opportunities for QSRs and other restaurant formats.

Moreover, Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans tend to originate food and cultural trends subsequently adopted by the general market. This dynamic has caused McDonald’s, which has been running minority-specific marketing campaigns for more than three decades, to employ insights about minority group preferences to help shape menu selections and advertising efforts intended for general-market consumption, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

let your imagination go

let your imagination go

Ratoncito Perez seeks to educate Hispanic kids on oral health

With toothbrush in hand, Ratoncito Perez seeks to educate Hispanic kids on oral health as part of Hispanic Heritage Month

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Delta Dental Insurance Company has joined forces with the tooth fairy’s Spanish-speaking counterpart, el Ratoncito Perez, to remind Hispanic children and their parents about the importance of good dental hygiene.

Ratoncito Perez seeks to educate Hispanic children on oral health

Ratoncito Perez seeks to educate Hispanic children on oral health

According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, affecting nearly 60 percent of children. Of the 4 million children born each year, nearly half are estimated to get their first cavity by the time they reach second grade. What’s more, according to the May 2000 Surgeon General’s report, Oral Health in America, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to tooth decay and other dental problems. For minorities and children from low-income families, these statistics are increasingly worse.

“Oral health problems persist among children, in spite of the fact that tooth decay is largely preventable,” said Solomon Romano, Hispanic marketing manager for Delta Dental. “We have teamed up with Ratoncito Perez and put in place several initiatives – a Spanish-language website, bilingual brochures and Spanish-speaking dentists – to educate parents and children that through regular dental cleanings and checkups, the use of sealants, and appropriate diet and oral health care, a healthy smile is achievable and maintained.”

As part of this dental health awareness effort, Delta Dental and Ratoncito Perez share the following simple tips that parents and children can practice to prevent dental problems:

  • Visit your dentist every six months for dental cleanings and check-ups.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day. The floss should go between the gum and each tooth to clean food particles trapped under there.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal and before going to bed. Each brushing session should last at least two minutes and should include fluoride-based toothpaste.
  • After snacking, drink a glass of water to help wash away the sugar and neutralize the acid. Alternatively, chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow has the same effect.
  • Limit consumption of sugary drinks such as juice and soda. When you or your children do drink them, use a straw, which limits the sugary beverage’s contact with teeth.

For more information on children’s preventive dental care, please visit Delta Dental’s website: http://www.mysmilekids.com/espanol/index.html

So many times I wished I'd listened to my gut

So many times I wished I’d listened to my gut

Source: Delta Dental