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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Super Bowl Ads: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

At first I thought it was an act of corporate suicide.

I’m talking about the Doritos’ commercial on the Super Bowl last Sunday. Pepsi’s Frito-Lay division (owner of the Doritos brand) ran a series of Super Bowl ads which cost them some serious coin.

CBS charged $2.6 million for a 30 second Super Bowl spot this year (up just a bit from the $37,500 for Super Bowl I). If Frito-Lay paid the sticker price were talking $10.4 million for a couple of minutes of air time. But with 106.5 million viewers– the largest in television history – they had an historic opportunity to sell some chips.

So with about $10 million invested and 106 million prospects to talk to, they communicated a message of great clarity: eating Doritos will bring you physical pain.

I kid you not. (more…)

Positioning Errors

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

There is a growing trend in American advertising that must derive its aesthetic and emotional themes from cum laude graduates of the Genghis Kahn School of Communication.
Surely you have seen them; ads that use anger, upset, pain or even death in unpleasant or disturbing efforts to push the advertiser’s wares.
Let me be simplistic. Television advertising is expensive. Television commercials should motivate those who see them to want to buy the product or service being promoted.

Good advertising should create a response – a call, a click of the mouse, a response card mailed in. Something – interest, a reach back. At this point, Marketing has done its job and Sales takes over. (more…)

The Marketing March to Hell

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Not to pander, but I am truly curious; how is it that Ad Age, the advertising industry’s preeminent mouth piece, can continue to carry frank, highly lucid, insightful editorial copy about the declining state of ad quality, while its readers – agencies and advertisers alike – continue their marketing march to hell?
Rance Crain, the mag’s editor in chief recently editorialized in their Dec 15, 03 issue,”…but what’s really broken in today’s system is the amount of very bad advertising that gets approved by top management. Are CEOs so absorbed by trying to make their next deal that they tolerate the inept and stupid ads guaranteed to alienate their best customers?”

The same issue carries an article about brand credentials, brilliant in its simplicity, by none other than the Godfather of positioning, Al Ries.

“Most advertising is mush, especially TV advertising. Thirty expensive seconds wasted trying to proposition the viewer with out providing enough of the brand’s credentials for the consumer to take the offer seriously.” (more…)

Marketing in Troubled Times

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

You’ll excuse me if I make a racist observation.. Or maybe you won’t.
But a review of several top weekly magazines reveals an all too visible truth: the ads in Ebony Magazine communicate better, faster and with more impact than those of several of its more well established competitors.

This doesn’t mean the magazine is better… or worse, just that, on the whole, their advertisements deliver their messages with more communication value.

The reason for this is not to be found in a Wharton MBA thesis on the successful strategies of ethnic advertising.

It is simpler than that: their ads are more visual than those of the other weekly magazines we reviewed (Time, Forbes, Fortune).
Most people think the familiar adage, “One picture is worth a thousand words,” is an old Chinese proverb. In fact, it is often attributed to that all time Oriental homeboy, Confucius.
But alas, the C-man missed this one: the phrase was created by ad man Fred R. Barnard, for an advertisement he placed in the industry journal, Printer’s Ink, in 1921. (more…)

Product Positioning: The Key to Success in Marketing and PR

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Let me begin with a story.

In the winter of 1991, like many here in America, I sat glued to CNN’s coverage of the historic toppling of the statue of infamous founder of the KGB in Dershinky circle near the Kremlin. Little did I know or suspect that 6 months later I would be delivering a seminar to 200 Russian businessmen in Moscow on the use of market research and surveys in developing positioning and branding strategies for advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns.

As it turned out there was a member of the Russian Government in the audience–a Lt. Colonel from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs–the Russian National police. He approached me after my talk, told me how much he had enjoyed it and asked if I would meet with his superior at the Ministry the following day. I looked at my wife, who was with me at the time. She gave me the “Hey, why not?” smile” and we agreed.

And so, the next morning she and I and the Colonel stood in front of the Ministry Headquarters (a huge yellow and white cement structure) awaiting security clearance. Finally uniformed guards came out. They ushered us down long, dark, cement corridors, up four flights of stairs (the elevator was broken) and into the office of Colonel Stanislav Pylov, the Director of Personnel for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. This man was in charge of the welfare of a million Russian police (they are all federal police in Russia). (more…)