Launch! Advertising and Promotion in Real Time
Michael Solomon, St. Joseph’s University
Lisa Duke Cornell, University of Florida
Amit Nizan, Advertising Age
Copyright Year: 2009
ISBN 13: 9780982043028
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
Conditions of Use
The text provides a survey of advertising and promotion concepts. The authors provide good links to external resources at the end of each chapter. The discussions on ROI and measurement are well written and provide students with a good... read more
The text provides a survey of advertising and promotion concepts. The authors provide good links to external resources at the end of each chapter. The discussions on ROI and measurement are well written and provide students with a good illustration of the concept and how to measure it. This text is over 400 pages and gives a cursory look at promotions. The text lacks depth as it does not go into detail on many important concepts. The text focuses on advertising which is only one aspect of promotions. While the text does mention Integrated Marketing Communications, little detail is provided on topics outside of advertising. Direct Marketing, Public Relations, Sales Promotions Broadcast, Event Marketing, Sponsorships receive a brief discussion. IMC is defined to the extent that students will know it stands for Integrated Marketing Communications, but there is little discussion on what it actually entails (producing a consistent message) or on how this should be done. The chapter on research provides a good summary table of qualitative versus quantitative research, but the chapter lacks a discussion on content analysis. While the table lists different methods, there is no or limited discussion on what each of these methods entails. For instance, projective techniques are listed, but no definition is given.
The writing is focused on industry practices with very limited explanation of theoretical concepts. The industry information is accurate and interesting, but since there are limited attempts to discuss theory and provide definitions, students may be confused as to what the concepts are that are being illustrated.
The examples in the text are good illustrations of practice in the verbal descriptions, but should be updated especially in the area of online social media such as including a more complete discussion on search engine optimization, types of paid searches (organic vs nonorganic), contextual advertising and using social media sites such as Instagram or Pinterest. Illustrations of how these are used should also be included. Additionally, more examples (illustrations – not just text descriptions) of all types of promotions should be included such as out of home advertising, support media, product placement, green marketing, etc.
The writing is easy for students to understand, but concepts are usually not defined. This would make it difficult for a student to apply concepts at a later time. The authors frequently mention concepts and then give an example without providing a definition leaving it up to the student to figure out what the concept actually is.
Each chapter is structured in a similar format providing learning objectives, text, key takeaways and exercises. Some portions of the book also have a section entitled “Tie it all Together” and “Use What you Learned”. It would be helpful if there were an introduction to the book explain to students the purpose of each section.
An instructor would be able to extract some components of the text for discussion (ones that are not reliant on the case). However, there is a case that ties the book together so moving some of the sections could be confusing.
There is no table of contents to the text in the pdf version. While the broad topics are illustrated in a figure, there is no way to view how the ideas connect. A glossary and table of contents would greatly aid in this. Additionally, if the authors added in an upfront section explaining the sections in each chapter it would facilitate learning (such as explaining what the “Dig Deeper” section is intended to accomplish). The online version does have a table of contents. The 4 Ps are presented after discussion on promotion. Students need to understand the 4 Ps first to see the broad picture and then ensue in a discussion on promotion. It needs to be made clear that advertising is only one of many components of promotion. Concepts are often discussed before they are defined. For instance, segments and branding are discussed without first providing a definition for clear understanding.
Overall, the text is easy to access in Pdf format (although there are gaps leaving big white spaces and returns sometimes occur at the wrong time breaking up a sentence). The online format is much easier to read and as it has a table of contents making it is easier to maneuver in the interface.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
The text writing is generally not culturally insensitive, but the illustrations need to include people of different ages and include people with disabilities. Having no illustrations of ads with seniors is not current with work being done today in advertising.
Any instructor using this resource must be prepared to supplement it.
This text tackles a broad array of topics related to the evolving strategic communication industry. Because the range of topics addressed throughout the book is so extensive, the authors often provide only imprecise references to major concepts... read more
This text tackles a broad array of topics related to the evolving strategic communication industry. Because the range of topics addressed throughout the book is so extensive, the authors often provide only imprecise references to major concepts and theories relevant to professionals in professional communication fields. This book would benefit from more nuanced discussion of the foundations of strategic communication theory and practice. At more than 400 pages this is a hefty read. I would also like to see a glossary of key terms and index to assist in navigation of the book.
This book is well-researched and the information provided is accurate. That said, the references to media theory are vague and provide only basic information about the application of major theories in the practice of strategic communication.
This book is written from an industry perspective with a strong focus on the use of case studies to illustrate key concepts. The reliance on industry examples and case studies does tend to date much of the material in the book. This book should be updated to include references to more recent technologies and current information regarding social media tools. The segmented nature of the book chapters, with separate sections that expand on examples or provide mini-case studies, make it easy to update. However, it does not appear that the authors have addressed outdated content at this time.
The authors of this text avoid the all too common practice of lapsing into convoluted academic speak. Industry terms are clearly explained and references to professional practices that may be unfamiliar to readers are elaborated on appropriately. I appreciated the straightforward prose of this text and believe students would find if an easy read.
The consistent structure of each chapter makes this text easy to navigate. The inclusion of learning objectives, key takeaways, and hands on exercises build a clear framework that is maintained throughout the book. The use of graphic elements, although a welcome addition to the text, vary substantially in design and would benefit from a more uniform style.
The book is divided into a coherent chapter structure, each of which is further subdivided into content areas. However, the use of a single case study throughout the text would make it difficult for an instructor to realign readings. The text is clearly meant to be read from beginning to end in a linear manner.
In an interesting departure from typical strategic communication textbooks, Launch! Is organized around the process an advertising agency would engage in during the course of a campaign. The book chapters cover such topics as the client pitch, research, audience identification, tactic development, and assessment. This promising method of presenting information appropriate for a survey course in strategic communication campaign development falls short of expectations. The overarching case study related to the msnbc.com campaign appears intermittently but does not coherently tie the vast range of material presented in this book together.
The text is well designed and no significant interface issues are evident.
The text is well-written and no grammatical errors were identified.
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive, but it also does not use examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, classes, or backgrounds. The book was written by representatives from both academia and industry. Many of the examples and case studies in the text appear to be from accounts that SS+K, the agency partner that participated in the development of the text, worked on. The book focused on for-profit clients and business campaigns. It would benefit from the inclusion of other types of strategic communication case studies such as from nonprofit, advocacy, political, and healthcare industries.
The links to sources, which were included both within the text and in the works cited sections at the end of each chapter, represent a wealth of great resources for students in strategic communication. This is obviously a well-researched text and the authors should be commended for their efforts.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Meet SS+K: A Real Agency Pitches a Real Client
- Chapter 2: A User's Manual: Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Essentials
- Chapter 3: Advertising and Society
- Chapter 4: Consumers and the Communications Process: SS+K Gets to Know Its Consumers
- Chapter 5: Know Your Audience: SS+K Learns All About msnbc.com, Inside and Out
- Chapter 6: Segment, Target, and Position Your Audience: SS+K Identifies the Most Valuable News Consumer
- Chapter 7: Decide What You Can Afford to Say: msnbc.com Sets the Budget
- Chapter 8: Create a Strategy: SS+K Puts Its Research to Use as the Agency Creates the Brief
- Chapter 9: Choose Your Communication Weapons: SS+K Decides Upon a Creative Strategy and Media Tactics
- Chapter 10: Plan and Buy Media: SS+K Chooses the Right Media for the Client's New Branding Message
- Chapter 11: Execute on All Platforms: SS+K Goes into Production Overdrive
- Chapter 12: Make the Message Sell: SS+K Ensures that All Components Tell the Brand Story
- Chapter 13: Launch! msnbc.com's First-Ever Branding Campaign
- Chapter 14: ROI: msnbc.com Decides if the Campaign Worked
About the Book
Launch! Advertising and Promotion is written for advertising and promotion courses taught to students in the business school and journalism & mass communication students.
This textbook is the first of its kind to teach advertising concepts by reverse engineering a real advertising campaign from beginning to end.
In April 2007, SS+K, an innovative New York City communications agency, launched the first ever branding campaign for msnbc.com with the tag "A Fuller Spectrum of News." Launch! follows that campaign from initial agency pitch through roll-out of print and media assets to post-campaign analysis. Throughout, it exposes readers to the theory and concepts of advertising and promotion, and the personalities and decisions that drove this campaign. The book takes a rare look ”behind the curtain“ — even letting you see some of the paths not chosen by the agency and client.
Students get a realistic sense of how theory plays out in practice, and get a flavor for the exciting field of advertising and promotion. And, they consistently learn the perspectives of both the advertising agency (where many journalism and communications students will work) and the client (where many marketing majors will work).
This is a unique book, with a unique perspective, by a unique author team, and you won't find this kind of insight in any other text on the market. We think you're going to love it!
This textbook has been used in classes at: Ball State University, Emerson College, Florida Institute of Technology, Grand Valley State University, Johnson County Community College, Manchester Business School, McLennan Community College, Michigan State University, North Hennepin Community College, Pierce College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Saint Louis University, Salem State College, South Dakota State University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, University of New Hampshire, University of North Carolina, University of Notre Dame, University of South Florida, Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky University.
About the Contributors
Michael R. Solomon, PhD, is Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Consumer Research in the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University. Previously, he served as the Human Sciences Professor of Consumer Behavior at Auburn University and as Chairman of the Department of Marketing in the School of Business at Rutgers University. He began his academic career in the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University. Dr. Solomon earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was awarded the Fulbright/FLAD Chair in Market Globalization.
Lisa Duke Cornell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Advertising at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Dr. Duke Cornell joined the advertising department after ten years as an award-winning copywriter and creative supervisor at Long Haymes Carr/Lintas, working on major accounts like Hanes, Planters/Lifesavers, Jefferson-Pilot Insurance, Rich Foods, Wachovia Bank, and Tyson/Holly Farms. She has won numerous industry awards, including “Best of Show” Addys for print and television, as well as recognition by the New York Art Directors Club and the International Film and Television Festival. Her creative work was also featured as one of Advertising Age’s best commercials of the year. Dr. Duke Cornell received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, where she also earned her master’s degree.
Amit Nizan earned her B.S. in Advertising from the University of Florida. She then went on to work in account management at TBWA\Chiat\Day and SS+K, both in New York City. Among her clients were local, international, and competitive brands such as A&E Television Networks, Boots Retail International, Nextel, NASCAR, BlueCross and BlueShield Association, The Massachusetts Teacher’s Association, and msnbc.com. Ms. Nizan led the msnbc.com account team, responsible for overseeing the “Fuller Spectrum of News” campaign that would receive a host of accolades including the 2008 Webby for Integrated Campaign and 2008 Effie Gold for Small Budgets. In 2008, Ms. Nizan joined the editorial team at Advertising Age where she curated the content of the leading industry publications’ events. She organized experts from leading brands such as Nike, Verizon, Facebook, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble and agencies such as BBDO, Barbarian Group, and Martin Agency.