Sunday, 22 February 2009

Vauxhall's advertising turkey

My life was empty, I had no girlfriend and my car was getting a bit long in the tooth. So I popped down the Vauxhall showroom to get my self a babe magnet (subject to finance), you probably know it better as a Corsa. Driving home I spotted a young woman struggling to cycle up the hill. She was probably in her late 20s, sexy but certainly not too much for your gran.

I pulled the car over and out popped the integral cycle rack, it is hidden behind the number plate. By not getting out of the car (to fully show off the cycle rack remote mechanism) I risked her thinking I was incapacitated in some way but the risk proved worth it as she slid in beside me. We went to my appartment overlooking the Med (Medway) and made love all afternoon. Thank you Vauxhall, and thank you integral cycle rack.

P.S. The woman could have been my wife I cant remember.

I know the ad has been around a while but it is bad, in fact so bad i couldn't even find it on youtube. Can you explain why the car is driven by a sock puppet? What is more If the best thing about your car is an integral cycle rack it might be an idea to feature it on your website rather than hide it. I could go on and on and on ...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Aldi recoil

Disasters tend to bring people together, people suddenly help those they wouldn't previously have given the time of day to. So could the recession and depression spark a sense of solidarity, collaboration and even responsibility?

If it does I suspect the marketing industry may not be too far behind and we could see a host of buy British campaigns, of course no one would be as gauche as to say buy British explicitly, that is far too Leyland. But if the likes of the privatised utility companies, Ford (i know they are not), WH Smiths, Tescos, rail companies and any other semi private-public-institution-large UK-ish company start telling us how hard they are trying, we may feel like supporting them to save a few jobs or just to convince ourselves we have done something positive. I expect you would get the government joining in with the noise - now that intervention has been given the green light thanks to a) us destroying the environment and b) bankers.

Sounds silly? You know the chorus well enough by now. If i had said to you last year that some UK coal mines would reopen and be more become profitable than lets say banking ...

Instead of the Aldi or Lidle effect we can call it the Aldi recoil effect.

One good, one bad

Having seen several friends lose jobs recently i thought i would promote this article. How to use linked in to find a new job, no rocket science but i do like it when you see social media being used practically rather than just being a time toilet.

And dont you just hate presentations that start with a definition. Effectively you are saying if you set me such a stupid task, it is your fault if you get a crap response. You should have checked the dictionary definition you loser.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Don't show them the strategy

Yesterday i received a piece of direct mail from Ocado. The first sentence read 'In tough times. So I threw it in the bin. Because my first thought was tough times, Waitrose, deli bar, overpriced, home delivery and food close to sell by date. No thanks. Aldi are only another 15 miles away through snowdrift I'll go there. It felt rather opportunistic and reminded me of all the stuff I am reading everyday in the paper. If it was trying to strike a chord, or create some empathy it failed badly.

All which got me thinking about how easy it is to get carried away and 'advertise' your strategy. So things like Sky addressing mums 'As a busy mum ...' in their direct mail. Then proceeding to make no further reference, promoting the big match and MamaMia with equal weight. If you are going to do it, do it properly and tailor the whole communication. I think direct marketers are more guilty than the rest we like to show off our targetting ideas.

There are must be lots of examples, anyone got any more?

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Do NOT integrate your marketing communications

Integrating your communications so everything feels it has come from the same brand is probably point 2 in marketing for dummies. There are lots of ways of to do it - matching luggage e.g. banks - integrational devices e.g. direct line's little phone - proposition, headline & pay off e.g. John Lewis, Stella, VW. But no rules about what works best, for what type of brands, when.

I can't help but think we are missing the point.

If a brand has a clear set of brand values or more importantly a bit of soul and personality then everything it does will look like it has come from the same company. So think Honda, Virgin, Tesco, Waitrose. And these organisatons are consistent over time not just within the confines of a campaign. So if we are desperately try to make a campaign feel integrated chances are we have lost sight of the big picture. And ironically those brands who are consistent in their brand values can get away with doing something slightly different now and again because their values are so strong and understood. The real guiding principle should be consistency over time not short term campaign integration.

So next time i am asked about integration i am going to talk about brand values, long term consistency, personality and soul. I don't think i will get away with it.

Pass me the matching luggage

About Me

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United Kingdom
Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.