Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nike Follow Up

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Nike's understanding of social media relating to the pre-Master's Tournament featuring a rehabilitated Tiger Woods.

This new creation for Carmelo Anthony demonstrates the same principles. It too is interesting and very well timed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's in a (nick)name?

A lot.

If your brand has a widespread nickname then it's a good thing. It's means someone likes you and feels a special connection to the brand, just as significant others call each other "sweetie" and "honey."

Marketer's know this. Which is why their is a trend of marketers using nicknames in advertising and packaging. For instance, Burger King has been calling itself BK and infusing the initials in the names of some of its sandwiches. Recently, RadioShack tried to dub itself "The Shack" and Pizza Hut wanted to go by "The Hut." Even last week, Belvedere Vodka announced a new campaign to spread it's nickname "Belve." Even giant brands aren't immune to this trend as Bud Light introduced this nicknamed logo.

Also, we tend to give brands nicknames because we like to shorten names and titles.

Just think: Nickname's are almost always verbally equal or shorter than the official name. So count the syllables and compare.

For example: Target is Tar-Zhay; McDonald's is Mick-E-D's; Grey Goose is Goose; Coca-Cola is Co-ke; Federal Express is Fed-Ex (until they made it the official name).

In fact, I challenge to all my intelligent readers. Try to think of some nicknames with more syllables than the official brand name and submit them to the comments.

Finally, does the strategy of nicknaming oneself work or is it too inauthentic.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Minimize the "Social" Maximize the "Media"

Recently Twitter announced that they were going to go the way of Facebook and adopt a conventional advertising model to pay the bills.

I get it. However, with "promoted tweets" and other advertising, the medium instantly becomes less "social" and way more "media." Its effectiveness will suffer.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Know Is Not Enough

Marketers are often charged with the task of getting people to change some kind of behavior. It could be to have you to buy something. But a monetary transaction is not always goal.

It might be to get you to eat healthier, stop smoking, drive your car safer, read more books, brush and floss or maybe prevent forest fires. The benefits from such changes in behavior are all quite obvious.

Then why are they still problems?

That's because just acknowledging and understanding a problem is not enough. If marketers want to change behavior then they must get people to change on their terms. And because the change was their own, they will feel stronger about practicing that new behavior.

This applies to marketers that sell stuff too. A person may know of the new widget x and understand what it does but that doesn't guarantee a sale. There must be something within that wants to buy widget x.

And the influence of friends is so often critical to bringing that to our attention.

Gatorade Follow Up

A couple months ago I wrote about the trouble Gatorade was in and how they needed to focus their brand. Well, this article from Ad Age this week doesn't sound like focus.

According to the article, "the target consumer has been tweaked to include action sports, surfers and dancers" as opposed to the traditional idea of athlete.

Seems like a great idea. They think they are saying. "check out all the choices you have." However, it implies something different. Why would anyone want the G Series when the G Series Pro implies a higher quality product?

Gatorade Chief Marketing Officer Ms. Robb-O'Hagan said "Instead of focusing on only one hydration product, we're really starting to segment it down and meet different needs for different athletes."

With this new plan, Gatorade hopes to achieve between 4%-6% revenue growth. I do not believe they will. They need focus. Not more products and expansion.

Friday, April 9, 2010

She is the Goddess of Victory

I know that you have seen it by now.

Tiger's shamed stare is a stark contrast to the golfer's aggressive gaze we became so accustom to. Then the voice of his late father Earl asks him a familiar question: "Did you learn anything?"

I admit, initially I struggled with the choice of the Earl for the voice-over because he too was known to be unfaithful. Doesn't this return the topic to infidelity? However, where it makes sense is that in most families fathers are the primary disciplinarian and everything about this ad feels like the scolding of a child. He's completely humanized without a hint his superhuman old self. It represents Tiger getting his punishment and finally turning the page.

Like a father standing by their son, Nike never wavered in its commitment to Woods. As I listen to the words "did you learn anything?" I cannot help but think Nike was echoing his father's words. Standing by Tiger will undoubtedly resolve itself to be another victory for the goddess.

Secondly, the timing of the ad is impeccable. By running it prior to the Masters, Nike was afforded the luxury of a small media buy (only purchasing a couple television spots on ESPN and the Golf Channel on Wednesday). Social media did the rest and the buzz is amplified by the ad running at this perfect time.

I understand opinions of the ad are widespread but with a social media strategy that is part the genius of if. Messier issues get discussed a lot more than clean ones and that plays into Nike's hand.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

...Speaking Of Craft Beer

I noticed this on Ad Age yesterday. MillerCoors is introducing a new "craft" beer called Colorado Native, made with "99.8%" ingredients from the State of Colorado (including the packaging).

I know Miller and "craft" don't seem to go together. However, like its predecessor, Colorado Native will be brewed in small batches making it a craft.

However, what I find interesting is how they are launching the new brand: entirely through social and mobile media.

According to Ad Age, every beer label will feature "SnapTag" that "if photographed on a mobile device and e-mailed to a specified phone number, allows the brand to begin a conversation with its drinkers."

Then after age verification, the brand will begin a conversation with the consumer about hobbies, interest and Colorado trivia. Sound complicated?

It is. This marketing tactic doesn't feel like the marketing of "craft" beer but rather a larger Coors label. That disconnect could hurt if they want the image of little fish.

Also, that pond is very full. Colorado Native will have a lot of competition and it will be tough to gain a following without any real points of differentiation.

What do you think? Will this social media efforts encourage word of mouth or just more folks playing with their phone in the bar?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Who has the stronger strategy?

Two brands. Two ads. Two completely different strategies.

The brands I'm referring to are Burger King and Sam Adams beer. Each are currently running new ads that have two opposite strategies.

The Burger King ad can be viewed here and after a semi-exhaustive internet search I cannot find the Sam Adams ad as of yet, so this description will have to do for now.

Obviously, Burger King makes no secret that they are simply copying McDonald's breakfast sandwich. Certainly a different approach to branding. (Especially for a number two brand and the leader). To survive this way, they must differentiate on price. The Burger King offering will be only $1.

However, they're holes in this approach? What if McDonald's counters with $1 sandwiches? Will they keep it at $1? And, if they raise the price, will it still be an appealing option?

On the other hand, the Boston Beer Company goes out of its way to differentiate Sam Adam's brand from major American brews. They even go as far as to advertise their market share: a "tiny" .9%.

Why would they do this? As a craft brew, they don't want to be seen as "big," even though they are rich enough to run national ads. They hope that people will perceive "small" with "better quality" It's this smart approach to product differentiation that has made Sam Adam's the leading craft beer.

Which ad do you like better? Which strategy will pay off in the long-run?