October 26, 2007

PR Interview: How to Be Seen in Adland, the Land of Edgy Video Ads

SUMMARY: Advertising blog Adlands has been featured in countless publications, news shows and several radio talk shows. Famous because of their 35-year Super Bowl commercial collection, the blog has been named to MarketingSherpa's top blogs twice. Here's our interview with the site's founder to find out how to inspire her to critique your spot for maximum visibility.
Contact Information
Åsk Wäppling
Art Director
Slussgatan 14:3
211 30 Malmö
+46 (0)70-773-2248

Wäppling received degrees in illustration and graphic design from Parsons School of Art and Design. She has worked as an art director for companies, including Saatchi & Saatchi and Procter & Gamble. She also has written columns for design magazines, such as Resume and Cap & Design.

Circulation & Readership
Adland currently has 79,622 registered members. Wäppling says their users are: “creatives” in the ad business, tutors, professors, students, production people, planners, account executives and “quite a few people who don’t work in advertising but are big fans.” Each month, the site receives 914,436 unique monthly visitors and 4.87 million monthly visits.

About the Web Site
The site’s oldest ad is from 1958. Their content includes the largest online/offline collection of Super Bowl ads; the 35 years of commercials are accessible for a small fee. Adland has more than 39,000 spots from around the world, plus print, outdoor, interactive and any other existing media.

The site has active forums for adgrunts to discuss production of ads, working in advertising, how to get a job in advertising and other industry-related topics, including campaigns, trends and legal battles.

Members are able to upload films, radio, ambient or posters for easy posting to the homepage. Those who need Adland to digitize commercials for them are encouraged to send their reels to:

Clayton T. Claymore
KK, 505 East Main Ave, Suite 250
Bismarck, ND USA 58501

In Europe, send your reels to Wäppling.

The site also has a collection of not-so-savvy creative choices. You can check out Badland here: http://commercial-archive.com/Badland

How to Pitch Adland - 4 Tips
#1. If you would like the editors to cover your post, email your work to hostmaster(at)ad-rag(dot)com, an address that allows all Adland editors (Caffeinegoddess, Clayton and Robblink) to see your email. It’s an especially smart move because they might write up an intro to highlight your spot or analyze it in all its greatness. Wäppling asks that you cover the following points in your message:

- Who created/shot the ad; what animation house was used (“all agency credits if possible”)
- What are the “facts and fun trivia,” or what are your “quirky” details? (i.e., where did the idea originate? where did they find the music?)
- What the ad is for (“client names would be nice, too”)
- Where the ad aired (“do not assume we all live in the United States”)
- When the ad aired (“the more heads-up you give us before it happens, the more likely we are to publish it on the day it does. Do not wait until the day of the event.”)

#2. The most important piece of advice is to assemble as much information as possible. “If you want to lend Dabitch’s (Wäppling's) or Caffeinegoddess’ or Claymore’s ‘street cred’ that we’ve gotten over the years, a good tip is to send us a full campaign in one go,” Wäppling says. So, when sending your commercials, don’t forget about posters, radio or any other media the campaign uses.

#3. It helps to build your reputation with consistently valuable uploads since site visitors pay more attention to those who have a proven track record of posting high-quality ads.

#4. Be honest, reasonable and consistent. For instance, if you ask them to wait to reveal a campaign until X date or to make a commercial non-downloadable, make sure you request the same from other sites. She hates discovering that they are the only ones following your restrictions.

What Not to Do - 5 Tips

#1. Wäppling cautions members not to submit their videos as YouTube films. They “have a tendency to vanish.”

#2. Don’t send releases that are already “angled” stories. Instead, present all the facts in the first paragraph. Wäppling is looking for “the who, what, where, why, when and how” -- the six-fact release that “really goes a long way.”

#3. Don’t make the mistake of sending a cryptic email filled with private jokes. “Too many releases try to be funny and slightly secretive so, in the end, we don’t know what’s going on. Due to time and pressure, we move on the next release.” In fact, the more detail you provide the better. Since the majority of their readers are in “the biz,” they are interested in “the hows and whys behind a campaign.”

#4. Don’t make the editors work hard to access your information. Don’t send emails with word documents or PDF files attached. “Email was designed to carry text, so put your release in the email, not as an attachment,” Wäppling says. Exceptions to that rule include films, images or sound. The editors shouldn’t be asked “to download, save, double-click, wait for another program to open ... and then read” your release.

#5. Never pitch enticements along the lines of: “As seen in [insert advertising magazine or blog here]” or claim that your release was published on X or Y adblog a few days ago. “Why do we want to publish old news?” Wäppling asks.

Contribute to Adland
The site accepts submissions from agencies, production houses, PR companies and ad fanatics. Adland receives ads from creators themselves and accepts commercials from any date for their archive.

Where to Meet Wäppling
For Americans, this is probably not going to happen much since Wäppling resides in Malmö, Sweden. “If you want to buy me lunch in Stockholm or Gothenburg you’ll also have to buy me a train ticket. I hop up to Stockholm on a regular monthly basis, but my day is usually full.”

She attends relevant conferences as often as time allows, but since she works full time and lectures at the University in Lund, she’s usually there as a speaker or as an award show judge.

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