By Trevor Daughney
Gord put me onto this hilarious marketing video (caution, contains foul language) for the Church Street Gym in New York. In it, trainer Eric Kelly dogs his pitiable clients to their face, “I bet someone gave you a wedgy on your way here.” He says what I’m sure every gym trainer in the world having a bad day dreams of saying to their clients. He lands verbal punches fast and furious: “you look like all the nerds just had a convention on your body.” As a marketing asset, it is even more contrarian when you find out his clients are wall street bankers, some of the world’s wealthiest and powerful people, a class of folks used to pampering and deference. Is this crazy or genius marketing?!
Some of my favorite recent marketing campaigns prove that this strategy of embracing a harsh reality can be a real winner. Take Chrysler. Detroit rose and fell with the US car industry. And for the past several decades as US-based car makers have lost market share, Detroit has seen over a 1 million denizens pick up and leave. It became the butt end of jokes, and synonymous with decay. Chrysler, however, embraced its rugged image and quickly differentiated its brand in a cluttered market. As Eminem says in this commercial, “this is the motor city, and this is what we do.” With over 15 million views for this video to date, the numbers attest to the campaign’s success.
Likewise, Domino created the turnaround campaign to respond to negative feedback about the taste of its product. Rather than hide from the problem, their marketing campaign addresses the issue head on. Along the way the campaign makes taste a buying criteria in the value segment of the market where price is king.
So yeah, maybe Church Street gym is onto something. Their wall street banker clients are looking for something rugged and authentic. They go to the gym looking to take a few hits; in and out of the ring. The typical gym pampering is exactly what they are seeking to avoid.
Done well this type of marketing strategy can intentionally create a chasm between a company’s out of touch past and a promising future. Who else needs a shake up?
Things are not going well for RIM’s Blackberry brand. They are losing the battle for consumer dollars. Its time to step away from trying to be everything to everyone and get back to their roots as an enterprise solution. Today’s CIOs need technology that allows them to take control of all the data on their employees’ mobile devices. I see a security hardened mobile solution and a new campaign: “We’re all business.”
Who do you see running a campaign embracing a harsh reality? Yahoo! anyone?
As I wrote about before, I love the Super Bowl for the ads. The football is pretty good too, but it’s a time where TV ads can shine. This year, teaser ads are making a big impact. The first one released was “The Bark Side” by Volkswagen. This was on the heels for the ad they released last year: The Force.
The VW teaser ad, is part of a larger campaign where you can go to their website and create your own Super Bowl invitation. Pretty nifty.
The second ad, is a 10 second potential “Ferris Bueller 2″ ad, for a yet unnamed sponsor. The social networks have been a buzz with guessing on who the sponsor is. Since there is no scheduled Ferris Bueller 2″ movie in production according to Matthew Broderick’s IMDB page, some sponsor
paid enticed Matthew Broderick to appear in their spot. I really, hope the ad winds up being cool and not him blowing off work for a day to drive around in a new Honda. Nothing would make me feel older than seeing him downgrading from a vintage Ferrari to a minivan.
With the lines blurring between TV and Internet, when will the actual ads for the Superbowl start becoming irrelevant? The teasers are likely generating more results than the TV ads in terms of web hits, so why spend the big bucks when a great YouTube campaign gets better results?
Maybe campaigns are now front-end loaded where the TV spot is the end point. Either way, sponsors don’t care as long as the result is positive.
Happy Super Bowl everyone.
This blog title has me unintentionally thinking of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Instead, it is the tagline I lifted off an old standby, No-Ad suntan lotion.
Too often marketing and advertising are seen as synonymous. In fact many people equate the two. The appeal of superbowl ads is mistakenly seen as the standard by which marketing should be judged.
In fact, advertising is only one of the tools available to marketers, and an expensive one at that. In a time when many companies have limited markeeting spend, it is good to remember a company like No-Ad Products. Not only do they not advertise, but they had the forethought and audacity to make it part of their brand. That’s creative marketing writ large.
No-Ad suntan lotion
By Trevor Daughney
I would have thought that $9 flights would be enough to get most people’s attention all on their own. Spirit Airlines obviously thought they needed to add a little buzz to get our attention.
There is so much information being distributed through so many mediums that companies need to go the extra distance to cut through the noise and get their message out. However, the wrong message can hurt a brand as much as a good one can help. Groupon’s Tibet ad anyone?
By Gordon Goldsmith
Vehicle advertising is an underrated form of advertising your business. Unless you take the bus or subway everywhere, then it’s a waste of money.
If you look at the cost of a month or two of transit advertising versus the cost of properly labeling your vehicle, it’s pretty similar. Except that your vehicle graphics last for several years. And that means thousands more people see it.
Let’s take a look at two examples.
Dynamic Productions. A Telehold messaging company.
Now that’s one decorated car! No missing it. They told me that the cost of the graphics was paid off in a couple of months. That’s a pretty good ROI! I thought it was interesting when he said it was very effective for the first year or two, and then it dropped off. I’m guessing everyone who calls phone numbers they see on cars had seen it.
Sorry Richmond Elevator Maintenance. I’m picking on you. No website? No logo? How about some color gents? You don’t have to make it look like the Red Bull Car, but a little splash would make it more effective.
For a company that focuses on elevator safety and maintenance, wouldn’t you want to take it through a car wash?
Here are a few tips:
- You should be driving in an area where your target market will see you. If are selling maple leaves overseas, save your pennies.
- Keep your car clean. And no dents.
- Have a strong call to action. Website definitely. And a catchy phone number if you have one.
- Effective visuals are eye catching and get better results.
- If you keep expensive merchandise in your car making it a target for theft, maybe it’s not a good idea. You don’t see a lot of car advertising from diamond companies do you?
- Be a good driver. Don’t flip the bird to your potential clients.
Remember: Your car is a billboard for your company. Make it count.
Ad for the Nissan Leaf on the Bay Bridge, San Francisco
By Trevor Daughney
The brighest bud in this Spring’s auto lineup is here. I predict that the Leaf does more for Nissan’s brand in the US than it does for growing the electric car market. In branding it is better to excel at one thing than be very good at many. That’s how you stand out. The Leaf is relevant and innovative. It will make Nissan’s brand flower.
by Gordon Goldsmith
This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday. Great day for sports. Great day for TV ads.
For companies, having a television ad during the Superbowl is a symbol of its success. Nothing else like it really. It’s the equivalent of driving a Ferrari or wearing a Rolex. It says: “I am a force to be reckoned with. I am powerful. Look at me.”
It’s the Christmas day for advertising agencies. It’s where clients come in and say: “I want a creative ad. Eye catching. Memorable. Make it edgy. We have the budget.” It brings tears to the creative director’s eyes.
People tune in specifically for the ads. It’s one of the few times where people want to see TV ads. Normally, I take great pride in my ability to use my PVR remote to skip through the commercials without missing any part of the show. I feel smug that I have saved seconds in my life by not seeing the latest information about fabric softeners.
The standard for all other Superbowl Ads
What other events can you name where advertising is a desired part of the experience? Or name another advertising medium where people crave ads? “I wish this highway had more billboards!!” “Why aren’t there more pop-ups on this website!!!!!”
You could make a case that people read magazines for the ads. I am a fan of magazine ads. I feel I am in control of them. The flip of a page is a powerful and satisfying experience.
Anyways, back to The Superbowl. Unfortunately, us poor bastards in Canada don’t get to see the great ads thanks to the CRTC unless you go to a bar that has a USA satellite feed. I will YouTube the ads on Monday. There goes all my valuable seconds I saved during the year.
I guess I’m stuck just watching football. Poor me.