Digisemestr #8 (2019-04-13) – Brand & Youtube + TV

Digi-what? Digisemestr! It’s a prestigious semester study focused on digital marketing. Wanna know more?

This lesson is about building a brand and how to raise brand awareness on Youtube and on TV.

If you find any mistakes while reading this post, please let me know, thanks!

Michal – Brand

The main message of Michal’s talk was to focus on fundamentals. Think long term. Don’t chase shiny all hype buzzwords in marketing. Don’t think in campaigns. Brand lasts for years. Think about your brand globally. Don’t let yourself be limited by your brand. Remember Dunkin’ Donuts? They are renaming to Dunkin’ because they no longer wish to be bound by their own brand name.

Branding is not only just for companies. There’s personal branding. Even cities can have their own “brand”. Like Los Angeles and palm trees. They aren’t native to LA. No, sir! They were planted to increase the price of land. How? People associate palm trees with vacation and are willing to spend more for a nice home-cation. This is one way to think about your brand: Find your target audience’s motivation (of fear).

New York Cafe in Budapest branded themselves as always open, welcoming all kind of creative people to sit there and enjoy their stay. How? By throwing door key into a river, naturally.

Just as netsuke, a Japanese “wallet”-holding piece of jewelry, a brand should also be functional. Not just pretty. Netsuke became a status symbol. Well-made tailored netsuke meant you’re rich (they were expensive). Cultural insight might come in handy too. For example, did you know it’s popular to watch streams of people eating in South Korea? Only losers eat alone.

Don’t be ashamed of your brand. Let it show throughout your entire video ad.

The way you brand yourself for your target audience. Bolia doesn’t sell furniture. They sell emotion, the feeling of how customers are going to feel when they have it at home. People want to express their individualism and with Bolia furniture they can. Furthermore, Bolia occupies the category of “Scandinavian design”. You can make up your own category too. The whole point is to sell. Make it shiny. Put a nice dress on it. Make it a story.

What about boring CNC company? Not necessarily boring. It’s a lifestyle! And lifestyle sells.

Be aware and test cultural and historical associations. There is a word for traditional Hispanic corner shops. One startup used this word to name their corporate vending machine. It didn’t go well. They were accused of racism and the startup brand was damaged. It’s better to use diverse focus groups in order to discover these issues in advance.

What else should you account for?

  • Domain names – Are they available, is your brand googleable?
  • Trademarks
  • Cultural meaning and historical associations – Think Hispanic corner shops.
  • Pronunciation – Are people able to say it out loud?
  • Is your brand universal? Does it limit your business & growth? Think Dunkin’ Donuts.
  • Social mentions
  • Uniqueness
  • Readiness for marketing communication

Wanna get inspired? Watch crazy Japanese ads and find out what’s possible in communication.

What’s the brand for? You want to build a relationship with your customers. Retain them. Keep ‘em coming back. E-shops only thinking in performance go out of business. 49% of customers will pay more for a product from their favorite brand. Brand attracts and retains talent. People who will enjoy working for you.

The functional brand makes you stand out, differentiate yourself. It’s an investment. It protects against recession and competition. It attracts both customers and potential employees.

Brand should help you to be more effective in the future. It doesn’t matter how much was already invested in the existing brand. As Michal pointed out, the past is gone and it’s not possible to make a living in the past. This is a problem with many companies. They are heavily invested (both financially and emotionally) in their existing brands and afraid to make a change. It’s called sunk cost fallacy. Commit to change if it would make you more money. Think what’s the opportunity cost.

Brand name

Never use the line of business as a part of your brand name. This will limit your potential.

Brand may be included in marketing communication. How? Play on words or creating new words. Gugenio, Czech shoe brand, might say something like “Our prices are gugenius!”. Basically, it means to use the brand name as a part of copywriting. It makes your communication consistent. Another example, ableneo, Czech innovation brand, is saying “Be able to <xyz>.”

Make it easy to pronounce. Voice control is on the rise (Google Assistant, Alexa).

Brand serving as a concept? Wondericon did it with their ON in a circle – Events ON, Experience ON, Creativity ON, Strategy ON and Safety ON.

Superdry (pretend to?) look like an Asian clothing brand but they are American. Häagen-Dazs seems like it’s from Denmark. We associate with something more exclusive and we’re willing to spend more. It’s from Brooklyn.

Czech people are familiar with RC Cola. It used to be a Coca Cola alternative (usually available in supermarkets in plastic bottles). They changed their brand. Now, it’s Royal Crown Cola. They serve it at restaurants in short glasses (like for whiskey) with a separate glass for ice and all of it rests on a wooden plate. Bottles are made from glass too, no more plastic. Looks vintage!

RC Cola rebrand to Royal Crown Cola

Did you know it’s possible to improve the taste of a chocolate cake by giving it a different name? Let’s call it Belgian Black Forest Chocolate Cake. Yeah, and you gonna sell more too. Naturally.

Sub-brands are quite popular. All those high-tech clothing technologies from The North Face like Windfall, Windstopper, etc. must be very advanced and deserving their price, right? IBM Watson is also a sub-brand. The human name makes the tech appear more human. SAP Leonardo, the same. Sub-brands make immediately understandable what are we talking about. For example, Amazon Prime. It’s a paid subscription for premium Amazon services. It’s unique and owned by Amazon. Instead of heterogenous random names we see a unified collection of sub-brands under Amazon umbrella (AmazonFresh, Amazon GO and Amazon Prime).


Nowadays, it’s popular to use pattern and font as a logo. You can use the pattern even offline as part of a wall decoration. Using pattern online in posts as a background increases consistency and brand visibility. Check out Kitchinn.

Do you want to change your logo? Or the company name? Make it a symbol for a greater change within the company. People will be more engaged and the change will be more meaningful.

A big 3D printed logo is great for taking company photos!


Premium packaging increases sales, people take photos with it and it’s an opportunity for communication. Just take a look at this wonderful “suitcase” stack.

Source: https://heelskicksscalpel.com/2014/12/23/get-your-guy-a-trunk/

Attracting talent

How does Google brand itself for potential employees? Great place for career growth? Great IT company? Solid and established business? No. Colorful scooters! It’s fun and visual. It’s a symbol of company culture.

Source: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/03/28/google-among-best-companies-work-us-ranked-region/3276066002/

Don’t just put those giant banners like “We value our employees.” in your offices. Instead, you can do things like a personalized welcome pack to new hires based on their interests. Do they like coffee? Include a coffee mug. Are they into rock climbing? Give them a snap hook. It’s like customer journey but for employees – an employee journey.

Sub-branding can be used even in office space. Let’s say your brand is BBG. You can brand your relax room as BBG Zzz and your buddy program as BBG Bro.

Fluent device

The fluent device is a character which represents the brand. It makes marketing communication more consistent since there is someone representing the brand. It’s like the president of a country. The face of a brand. It helps people to easily recognize the brand. Long-term campaigns with fluent devices are more likely to achieve market share and profit gain. Also, make it an emotional theme. About 90% of buying decisions are based on emotions – M. Lindstrom, Buyology.

Marimokkori, source: https://japantoday.com/category/features/green-men-pitching-a-tent-and-hat-wearing-horses-the-mascots-of-japan

Marimokkori is a Japanese character representing Hokkaido island. Don’t mind the erection. It’s actually supposed to be marimo, green algae ball native to Hokkaido.

Marimo, source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marimo

Android logo, the green android guy, is also the fluent device. Instead of showing components which make up the operating system there is a simple character. Yeah, and the color is consistent too.

Mailchimp’s chimp in addition to logo and marketing materials is also part of the product. When you send a newsletter to your fans a monkey paw gives you a high five! Even though it’s just a software system. Instead of a software feature, there is an emotional and human (monkey?) connection. It knows you are nervous, stressed or anxious while sending it. It’s not a machine, it’s a monkey.

TunnelBear’s bear is another great example. They offer VPN services. Its website copy is “bear-ified”. Look at their cookie notice.

Instead of listing all the VPN features in a technical way, they came up with much more fun and bear way. This section is Why you need TunnelBear:

^Easy to understand and visual, isn’t it?

Visual hammer

As far as I understand, terms visual hammer and brand code are the same thing. Visual hammer comes from Laura Ries. We’ve already talked about the brand code with Mark Ritson.

According to Laura, there are ten ways to create a hammer:

Shape. Color. Product. Package. Action. Founder. Symbol. Star. Animal. Heritage.

Tmall is using an iconic cat shape = visual hammer

There is an entire book about the visual hammer. And pssst if you google around you’ll find slides too.

Michal showed us an amazing transformation of boring and technology-focused mattress making company into a playful and very successful Purple. It’s quite fascinating, read about it here and here.


It can protect your visual hammer if you register it. You can register almost anything. What you want to do is to seize your brand code. Occupy your own color. Register that shape. Seize your pattern. Trademark your sound (Leon the Lion). Et cetera.

Petra – YouTube for branding

Petra works at Google. In contrast with TV, there is a low barrier of entry for advertising on YouTube. Picking right channels for advertising is called brand suitability.

3 things to take care of:

  • How to find valuable customers
  • How to captivate them (incl. which formats and platforms)
  • How to measure and learn from the data

Demographic data is not enough! For example, a company selling furniture is targeting only women. However, when they examine actual customer data they find out 20% of customers are men. Similarly, pizza delivery startup is targeting young male gamers. In reality, almost half of their customers are female.

Affinity audiences – you can target topics which interest your audience (eg. many marketers are Foodies). In-market – those who are considering to buy something. Life events – target those who experience an important life event such as getting married or graduating. Customer audiences – target people who googled specific keywords in the last 7 days, wow!

Reach planning

Reach curve tells us how it gets harder and harder to reach additional people. It’s impossible to reach everyone.

Director mix is using machine learning to try different ad content combinations and pick the best one.

Storytelling in YouTube advertising is when there is a sequence of video ads which together create a story. For example, we can use a video ad, then behind the scenes video and finish with a short CTA spot. Storytelling is popular with movie studios and movie streaming platforms.

Be aware of the story arc. It has changed! As ads compete for attention with other content they don’t have time to slowly build up the tension. Instead, they should start strong and sustain it as long as possible so people wouldn’t skip it.

Source: https://www.slideshare.net/orangevalley/youtube-paid-advertising

Petra linked her presentation with Michal’s by using Purple as an example of best practices for YouTube advertising. They use an explainer video (egg crash test), product demo video and direct offer video (with the president’s ghost, naturally).

Couldn’t find the page about best practices but this is also good:


Mobile is rising. Make your ads suitable for both desktop and mobile. Unique reach on YouTube is great. It actually pairs cookies across different devices, so the number you see are real people. A new feature in Brand lift is CPLU (cost per lifted user) metric. Leverage it to optimize your campaigns. It’s also possible to perform experiments (A/B testing) – each group of users is going to see a different ad content, then you evaluate which variant performed better. Attribution modeling of clicks is unsuitable for videos, people don’t click much.

Jiri – The world of big branding and TV advertising

At first, Jiri showed us statistics and the history of TV advertising. Two main goals of marketing communication are performance and brand. TV is great for awareness. And more brand awareness means more sales.

Herb Krugman came up with a 3 hit theory. It’s about how many times people see your ads. Today, we use 3+ (3 and more times). There is a relationship between frequency and effectivity.

We talked about GRP and TRP. Each TRP point is one percent of a reached target audience. Points add up and can go over 100. If you run several commercials and some of them reach the same people you still gonna add up those points. For example, spot A gets 20 GRP and B gets 12. If there is a 100% overlap between audiences of A and B you get just 20. Maximum is 32 (20+12). And if you divide TRP by GRP you get how hard is to reach that target audience.

TV reaches a much broader audience than programmatic ads (they only reach selected segments). It’s like carpet bombing and dive bombing. The TV is strong at a “lean back” type of content consumption. It’s when we sit back and passively watch the screen. YouTube and streaming services belong here too. Although YouTube can be used for “lean forward” type too. It’s when we actively investigate something. Usually done online. Young adults who are busy working (25-29 yo) like to chill by leaning back. It’s much harder to reach 15 to 19 year old.

In the future, we can expect the convergence of online and the TV. Ads are going to be personalized based on what and when do you watch it.

Das Ende. Catch you later.

Wanna learn more about digital marketing?

Here you go:





https://romanluks.eu/blog/digisemestr-3-2019-03-09/ – PPC

https://romanluks.eu/blog/digisemestr-2-2019-03-02/ – SEO & Link Building

https://romanluks.eu/blog/digisemestr-1-2019-02-23/ – Introduction


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *