Magazine article Marketing

Media Analysis: It's That Bloody Frog Again

Magazine article Marketing

Media Analysis: It's That Bloody Frog Again

Article excerpt

The sheer scale of the Crazy Frog campaign poses a threat to its brand - and other advertisers.

If it seems that the ad for the Crazy Frog ringtone is blaring out every time you turn on the TV, you are not far from the truth. Not only has the frog imposed itself on our cultural landscape by becoming the first ringtone character to have a number one in the UK singles chart, but Jamster, the company behind it, has set a record for the frequency of its television ads.

Aided by media agency MediaCom, the company decided to fire off 2000 messages a day - 83 times an hour - to convince consumers to pay pounds 3 a week to receive downloads. The strategy has paid off - Jamster claims that the ringtone has been downloaded 11m times.

Yet industry experts believe this success comes at a price. They argue that the company is damaging the long-term viability of its brand, and that its non-stop bombardment could have a negative effect on advertisers running spots in the same commercial break.

In the first two weeks of May, when its terrestrial TV campaign began, Jamster broke with TV advertising norms, clocking up a phenomenal 36,382 spots across all channels, according to Nielsen Media Research. The majority of these were for the same Crazy Frog ringtone. To put Jamster's frequency into perspective, the next most frequent advertiser was McDonald's, on just 9780.

Over the first three weeks of May, Jamster's TV adspend was pounds 7.8m, with terrestrial accounting for pounds 6.3m. It will probably have clocked up a pounds 10m spend for the month of May once the final figure is calculated.

Simple strategy

Although Jamster, MediaCom and ITV have all refused to comment, the general industry view is that Jamster is setting a precedent. Starcom TV buying director Chris Williams believes its strategy is simple, unencumbered by sophisticated considerations such as the effect of repeat advertising on its brand values. 'It simply wants to chuck out as many ads as possible to make money,' he says.

Manning Gottlieb OMD managing partner Neil Hurman reasons that Jamster would not be spending such huge amounts if a clear return on investment was not being delivered, arguing that Jamster is setting new rules for quantity and spend over a short period. However, he warns that the company's invasion of the terrestrial advertising arena could have wider implications for the market, not least because the influx of money could force up prices for other advertisers.

Hurman adds that if viewers get sick enough of seeing something, they will 'exercise their right thumb' and flick to another channel for respite, missing out on the other ads in the break. …

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