Love was in the air this week, as three of the five spots on this week list are romance-themed (though one has a seriously unromantic twist ending). The other two, for Geico and Skoda, played cleverly with the format of online video. Check out all five ads below, and vote for your favorite.
Even while sister brands Sears and Kmart look to bundle their business, another retailer has gone in a different direction. Safelite AutoGlass, a unit of Belron that operates in all 50 states, has broken off its media planning and buying account and awarded it to Havas Media after a review. Previously, the business had been handled by Ron Foth Advertising, which also creates ads for Safelite, including social media marketing. Foth continues as lead creative agency. Safelite's media spending totaled nearly $30 million in 2013 and about $23 million in the first nine months of last year, according to Kantar Media. The assignment spans traditional and digital media, including social media. In shifting the business, Renee Cacchillo, Safelite's vp of customer and brand strategy, cited Havas Media's "world-class tools and talent." The agency will manage the account out of its New York office.
Brands already incorporate social media photos from consumers into their next big advertising campaigns. Now, there's a new way for them to promote those images in Facebook campaigns too. Today, social marketing platform Olapic is launching a new ad format that includes images pulled from Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube. The offering is called Predictive Consumer Generated Ads because its technology crawls social media for pictures that are expected to perform the best when sponsored on Facebook. Olapic's technology combs through the streams of photos that people are posting on social networks. Then it uses an algorithm to help brands choose photos that are most likely to entice users to click on the ad. More than 100 brands, including West Elm, JetBlue and Lancôme, use the technology to find people talking about their brands. The new social ads could grab the attention of retailers and e-commerce companies that use Facebook's retargeting tools, which help serve ads based on products that people already have viewed online. However, this is a twist on such retargeted marketing—an often aggressive tactic that advertisers use to generate sales by showing consumers the same product multiple times after they once clicked on it. Olapic said its retargeted social ad is less obvious. "[The ad is] often a user-generated photo that you have never seen, but that speaks to the same product, so you're being retargeted in a much more subtle way," said company CEO Pau Sabria. West Elm is one of the first brands to test the new format. The furniture company's Facebook ads build on its ongoing social campaign called #MyWestElm, which curates images of products shared throughout social media. Each picture is posted to a website with links to similar products on West Elm's online store. About 18,000 photos have been uploaded so far and the site generates 2 million unique monthly users. Last year, West Elm started taking the user-generated pictures and promoting them on the product pages on its website. Forty percent of the retailer's Web pages now include such user-generated photos. The next step is getting those pictures in front of people on Facebook, said Vanessa Holden, West Elm's creative director, adding that it's good marketing to promote how fellow customers use the products in the real world. "One customer's take on West Elm can be very different to another's," Holden said. "They create this co-inspiration space once you start sharing images of the way that they're living."
Consumers look to airlines for plenty of things these days, but glamour probably isn't one of them. Unless you're among the privileged few who can afford to fly in premium class (and take heart: 91 percent of us cannot), you choose an airline based on price. As your grandmother may have told you, things were not always this way. Until 1978's Airline Deregulation Act opened the industry to price competition, carriers differentiated themselves with their food, their service, and their destinations. And their advertising was beautiful. For his upcoming book Airline Visual Identity, 1945-1975, the German author and entrepreneur Matthias C. Hühne collected the most visually transporting examples of airline marketing from the pre-deregulation era, a time when passengers dressed up, the Chateaubriand was sliced in the aisle, and flying itself was exciting. "The book covers the time period when the airline business was among the most prestigious, cutting-edge industries," Hühne told us from his office in Berlin, "and this is reflected in the quality of their advertising and visual identity." Much of that identity rested on destinations that, however ordinary they are now, seemed exotic back then. Posters often starred the airplanes themselves, whose slivery skins and spinning blades looked like modernity itself. Below, frequent fliers, is a sampling of some of what you missed.