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 book covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately, but does not provide an effective index or glossary. read more
The book covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately, but does not provide an effective index or glossary.
The content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
The book is relevant and the majority of content is up-to-date. However, companies are making changes constantly. Instructors should be mindful that in the digital age, technology is changing at a rapid speed. Thus, instructors should provide additional resources such as YouTube videos and current articles if a company has made any updates and or changed previous advertising campaigns. At the same time, instructors should remind students, "history always repeats itself". Therefore, past examples should not be discounted or not seen as irrelevant. The text is straightforward and written in an easy to follow format.
Overall, the text is accessible and written with clarity. However some terms are not clearly defined. This may cause some students to look to outside resources to help better define and understand certain terms.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Each chapter is consistent, making it easy for students to follow and advance throughout their readings.
The text is easily readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course.
In the PDF version of The book
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.
The text is well designed and no significant interface issues are evident.
The text is well-written and no grammatical errors were identified.
The book discusses culture in a many ways and is inclusive to a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. In Chapter 3 on page 76, multicultural advertising is addressed. Stating: "The Advertising Research Foundation, for example, sponsors a Multicultural Research Council to promote a better understanding of relevant issues.  We still have a way to go to overcome stereotypes—not all African Americans are into hip-hop and not all Asian Americans are studious—but many agencies are working hard to address these issues, especially as they aggressively try to add diversity to their organizations. Here are a few example you can find throughout the book: 1. Dig Deeper, a provocative advertising campaign by Dove features underwear-clad women with imperfect bodies to call attention to the unrealistic messages about our bodies that some marketing messages communicate. 2. Frito-Lay, responded to protests by the Hispanic community and stopped using the Frito Bandito character in 1971. 3. Quaker Foods gave Aunt Jemima a makeover in 1989. Recently, in 2020 the breakfast brand Aunt Jemima has removed its logo and has been renamed the Pearl Milling Company. This example is a great lesson to show how branding perpetuated a racist stereotype. Similarly, a recent campaign gives a radical makeover to the black Uncle Ben character who appeared on rice packages for more than sixty years dressed as a servant. The book gives you the foundation and examples. Instructors should provide additional visuals of the examples with YouTube videos and elaborate through group discussion to foster open dialogue about the importance of inclusive marketing. A recommendation would be to add a chapter called Culture or Diversity in Advertising. There are only 14 chapters in this book, so adding one more chapter does not seem unreasonable. In the Management OpenStax OER book, there is a chapter called Diversity in Organizations. At Bristol Community College we are committed to diversity. Thus, we find value in OER providing diversity, as it is an important part of our curriculum. A suggestion for instructors teaching advertising and using this resource is to incorporate a project / paper that focuses on Diversity in Advertising.
I have used this book to teach my advertising class and it is a great alternative to a traditional textbook. I just wish a Table of Contents and Glossary were provided in the PDF version. A recommendation would be to add a chapter titled "Diversity in Advertising" so readers can learn the importance diversity in advertising and inclusive marketing. In addition to the book, it would be nice if PowerPoint slides were provided like OpenStax offers. OpenStax does not currently offer an advertising textbook. Therefore, I use this book as the foundation for my advertising class and supplement visuals with YouTube videos and have created my own PowerPoint presentations. I recommend using this book and have found students appreciate the consistency, as it is similar to a traditional textbook without the expense.
Given the publication date of the text (2009), it is quite comprehensive with coverage of integrated marketing communication (IMC). IMC is a hefty field, drawing from three large areas of professional communication, and the authors do solid work... read more
Given the publication date of the text (2009), it is quite comprehensive with coverage of integrated marketing communication (IMC). IMC is a hefty field, drawing from three large areas of professional communication, and the authors do solid work in covering all of the vital elements. As one would expect, the information on social/digital/streaming media is limited, but the text covers the basics so well that instructors could supplement it with details on these media and current examples. Unfortunately, the text does not have an index or glossary; these are generally standard in texts of this nature and provide terms as well as mentioned brands. Additionally, the table of contents is only really functional in the online version (as opposed to the pdf).
The focus on the SS+K agency and the MSNBC launch provides a unique way to explore the concepts of IMC. In general, the authors do a good job of including multiple examples from across a range of brands, but the emphasis on SS+K does sometimes limit the variety of viewpoints expressed.
It's really quite remarkable how well the content of the text has held up given the dynamic nature of the IMC field and the explosion of social/digital media. While I would absolutely love to see an update of this text, there are numerous resources that instructors could use to provide detail on the missing areas. It also could be a fascinating exercise to provide updates to the various examples given as well as explore the impact of "cancel culture" on branding when considering the examples of personalities such as Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Michael Phelps, and Chris Brown (all of whom were covered in a positive fashion in the text).
One of the best qualities of Launch! is the conversational tone. Even the jokes held up well, and humor is extremely difficult to use in an academic approach. It's very readable but not condescending. The language of Launch! is appropriate for all levels.
A glossary would have enhanced the text as the authors do tend to jump into concepts (such as push and pull marketing) without much background information, especially in early chapters.
Launch! flows very well from start to finish. The approach is solid and the use of a running example provides a natural organization to the text. While some chapters seem a bit abbreviated compared to others, the book is a good, comprehensive text.
The text can easily be broken down by chapter and section. Each section of the chapter is clearly labeled with specific learning outcomes. The chapters conclude with exercises and activities. Instructors can easily assign chapters in a different order if need be.
One of my favorite features of the text is the use of the flow diagram of the chapters, which replicates the steps of a campaign. Initially, I thought this would be too limiting, but I quickly found that the authors encompassed all major concepts of IMC. Even topics such as IMC ethics, which can be difficult to insert "naturally" into a campaign approach, were integrated seamlessly.
Overall, the online version is more easily navigated than the pdf version, which has some spacing flaws and always bumps back to the beginning of the text if links are followed. Not surprisingly, not all links are still active, but many are and still provide a useful reference.
There weren't any distracting errors I caught.
This is where Launch! shows its age. While it certainly was never offensive, there was little effort to address diversity in IMC, either within the industry or the branding. Sensitive issues such as targeting diverse populations weren't really covered. This is likely the area that instructors will want to supplement the most.
When I first "opened" Launch!, I wasn't overly optimistic. I thought - surely this text will be outdated and at best, I might be able to use a reference or two. I am delighted to be proven wrong and now intend to use this text for my Marketing Communication text. I would be even more delighted with an updated version :)
This book functions very well as second year undergraduate text. Almost all of the necessary information is explained in reasonable detail in the early chapters of the book. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 provide a compelling and clear explanation of the... read more
This book functions very well as second year undergraduate text. Almost all of the necessary information is explained in reasonable detail in the early chapters of the book. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 provide a compelling and clear explanation of the Advertising and Integrated Marketing industries with a reasonably balanced approach to the "good" and "bad" in terms of culture and economics of advertising. Chapter 5 provides a complete discussion of audience metrics and data and types of research. Chapter 6 introduces segmenting, targeting, and positioning along with branding strategies. Chapters 11, 12 and 13 detail the case study while touching on industry standards and best practices. Chapter 14 recaps measurement, return on investment and the structure and style of a client-agency relationship that was introduced in Chapter 1. The 'Ethical Dilemma', 'Digital Natives', and 'Use What You've Learned' sections at the end of each chapter reinforce the information and knowledge of each chapter's content. Additional information on Social Media Metrics, Neuromarketing, Search Engine Algorithms, and other trending topics will need to be added -- either in a new edition or by the Instructor.
The background history, key players, and design of the practices and theory of advertising remain accurate. The current edition of this textbook was published in 2012, and several of the examples are now dated, many of the systems for measuring impact have evolved and changed. Many of the ideas on 'New Media' in Chapter 10 are missing Social Media Metrics and SEO analytics. However most of the information on SOV and ROI from Chapter 7 and Chapter 14 remain accurate and relevant. Links to trusted publishers, educational partners and industry trade groups reinforce the accuracy of the content of many chapters. The authors worked to address several of the biases implicit in the advertising industry.
Initially published in 2012, several of the examples are now dated. The main case study on the launch of msnbc.com is still somewhat relevant -- but many of the events described are from 2006-2008. Many students will likely recognize msnbc.com as a very different brand than the one described in the text. Much of the other material remains relevant and an update to the text should be relatively easy. An industrious faculty member could insert a customized case study in place of the SS+K example. Many of the examples from the 'Ad-Vice' sections at the end of each chapter remain relevant and compelling for discussion and further research.
The case-study model allows for both broad concepts to be introduced and for specific details to be explained in light of the SS+K and msnbc.com launch process. Chapter 8 provides a simple-yet-powerful approach to finding a brand's Noble Purpose (a combination of Brand Truth and Consumer Truth) and then uses this information to craft a Creative Brief around the Brand Insight, 'Big Idea' and Asymmetric Avenues. Using both the SS+K case study and other real-world examples this text makes the theory of advertising relevant to students by exploring practical deployments. The language is accessible at the undergraduate level. Occasional complicated ideas may require extra explanation or student research. Quotes and explanations from working professionals and their clients are both engaging and clever additions.
The framework, language and internal organization is consistent. There is occasional repetition of background ideas when they are relevant to a new idea in a later chapter. Main themes, examples and assertions are valid and references and links are provided.
Although this textbook is structured around the single case study of SS+K's work on the msnbc.com launch, most the of content of the individual chapters is broad and deep enough to be used (or remixed) in several different patterns. The end-of-chapter questions and exercises can be rearranged depending on the needs, length, and skill sets of the students. In its current format (i.e. the PDF version) the text is well-suited to a traditional 14-16 week undergraduate course.
Utilizing the narrative structure of the main case study, the book is well organized in a chronological pattern. Specific background information and industry-specific content is located at natural points along the multi-chapter description of the SS+K and msnbc.com case study. Connections between early chapter information and later examples are made clear. Navigation within and between chapters is simple and predictable.
The PDF version of the textbook is well designed and laid out, with a few long stretches of white space and occasional crowding in the 'Key Takeaway' and 'Exercises' sections at the end of each chapter. The hypertext Online version of the textbook has a clear and concise lay out with indented chapter subheadings and further indented bullet points. All headings, subheadings and sub-subheadings are hyperlinked. Infographics, illustrations, diagrams and other graphics are frequent and relevant. Some text and font sizes within examples and illustrations can be very small.
The spelling, grammar and syntax are all Standard American English and at roughly a 12th to 14th grade reading level. Jargon is minimal, with new terms defined when encountered in the text. Citations and references are correct. Some of the example advertising copy uses idiomatic phrases and patterns, but all of these are marked as either quotes or in visual examples.
The text is generally culturally sensitive. While it is certainly focused on milieu of New York City in the early 20th century, it does provide several examples from international marketing campaigns. The text links to videos that provide a reasonably broad diversity of ideas and people, but there could be more focus on multi-lingual and multi-cultural approaches to advertising and marketing. Women and people of color are included, however the main focus is on the corporate culture of commercial advertising and by extension the overall dominant culture(s) in a global society. Chapter 3 highlights some of the long-standing problems within the advertising industry.
With the right instructor, the right syllabus and motivated students "Launch! Advertising in Real Time" can be an engaging, educational and fun experience for traditional 16-week courses as well as modular, hybrid or accelerated classes. The authors worked together with the SS+K agency to balance the must-cover content in an undergraduate advertising course with several compelling snapshots of pitching, winning, planning, researching, collaborating, media buying and evaluating a real-world advertising campaign. Other engaging examples make technical or abstract ideas relevant and approachable without oversimplification or self-aggrandizement. A few dated examples (online banner ads, ambush marketing, direct-response TV) but most of the main case study and other industry applications are both unique and relevant. Students will enjoy the interviews and example advertisements (video, web, print). Instructors will enjoy a clear organization, layout and ample prompts for discussions or extended student research and projects.
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.