Thursday, April 24, 2014

MillerCoors Is Official Beer of FX Network

AdAge reported this week that MillerCoors signed a three-year pact with FX Networks to be their "official" beer.  Thus, MillerCoors brands will be the only beer brands popping up during television shows airing on FX, FXX and FXM, with the exception of shows that currently have deals with other breweries.

What really makes this industry tidbit interesting is that it signals a change to how some marketers are approaching product placements today.  Previously, the tactic was considered advantageous because it cut out the noise but also blended in as well.  These marketers were no lonnger competing with the fray during ad breaks but becoming an accessory of the show, thus, helping it to mimic real life.  Networks exchanged an underground-endorsement for authenticity.

Yet, there is something very inauthentic about exclusive-rights endorsement deals.  When a viewer watches a television character walk into a bar that only carries MillerCoors brands, not to mention plenty of camera time for the logo (labels out!), it simply comes off as the same influential noise that's running during ad breaks.

In other words, the brand demotes itself from being part of a captivating story to shouting over it; don't trust us, we paid to be here.

As always, thanks for reading and sharing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Smirnoff's Ironic Pitch

Smirnoff recently launched a new campaign that touts its vodka  as, interestingly, "exclusively for everyone."

This is an odd pitch for a brand fighting for its share of mind in the entirely over-crowded vodka category.  While the jag is that other vodka brands are uber-serious and constantly pitching consumers on their heritage or status defining qualities, Smirnoff is trying to be the opposite, not taking life to seriously just trying to have a good time.  However, Smirnoff ironically hires celebrities (Adam Scott and Alison Brie) to communicate with this everyman strategy common folk. 

Although Smirnoff "exclusively for everyone" tagline is taken as satirical, it doesn't actually claim a position by simply mocking the competition.  Thus, the only reason Smirnoff gives consumers to choose it over another vodka is that it's just not that one. Therefore, Smirnoff's "exclusively for everyone" position remains undefined.  What exactly is "everybody" looking for in their vodka that Smirnoff is  bringing to their glass?

Without this answer, Smirnoff will wind up exclusively for nobody. 

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing.


Monday, April 14, 2014

AT&T Should Rethink Something Else

AT&T, rethinking its marketing strategy, began its move away from its "Rethink Possible" campaign last week in favor of a campaign which proclaims that it's "Mobilizing your World."

According to Esther Lee, AT&T's senior vice president of brand marketing, advertising and sponsorship, the new position will better convey that AT&T is at the forefront of the "mobile revolution," adding that "it's not just about making a phone call" anymore.  The brand managed to not fully convey its innovation position despite spending $3.4 billion on advertising the last two years.    

Interestingly, almost four years ago to the day, Ms. Lee was quoted in AdAge before the launch of the all-encompassing "Rethink Possible" campaign, which see said would position the brand as "innovators" beyond telecommunications, saying "there's so much innovation at the company that I think people don't know."

Apparently, that innovation isn't in the marketing department. Despite purchasing the ubiquitous amount of advertising that a billion dollars can buy, the company just admitted that it's strategy didn't work.  Somehow consumers weren't able to make the leap to ever-present innovators from an ambiguous position like "Rethink Possible."

Four years later, consumers can concluded nothing more from the "Mobilizing your World" position.  It's the same empty rhetoric that failed at fulfilling the brand's hopes and dreams of being seen as innovators of innovating anything on planet Earth.

Unlike AT&T, I'll be explicit; rethink this one too.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Do Something to Show You Care

I recently had the unfortunate experience of being in a car accident.  Thankfully, the collision was minor and neither party suffered any injuries.  Regardless, even a minor accident results in extra hassles and headaches.

In my case, one of those headaches was choosing a repair shop.   It was the first time I've needed one since moving to Cincinnati.  Ultimately, I settled on Center City Collision, even though my insurance company recommended other area shops.

I major reason why I chose the Center City was the long list of positive feedback on Yelp.  I learned why when I went for my estimate.  They were friendly and personable and the experience felt similar to the shop I used back home because, I dealt directly with the owner.

However, the real magic happened when I picked up my car.  Not only did my car look great, but I noticed that Center City reprogrammed my radio station presets.  I was astounded at their recognition of such a subtle detail that tells a much grander story about their business; they truly truly care.   

If you want to recognized for something, you cannot be average.  The exception to the norm gets noticed, remembered and talked about later.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Musical Marketing Experiment

When something isn't working, you got to try something different.  While this sentiment sound a bit elementary, a lot of businesses get stuck in their ways, even if their way doesn't work anymore.  To innovate their way out of any rut, one must experiment.

It's very interesting to see the experimentation going on in the music industry currently. 

Jay-Z partnered with Samsung to sell his last album. 

Beyonce released a surprise album on iTunes with zero promotion.  Surprises get people talking.  This is a far too underutilized tactic.  

Beck streamed his latest work to airline passengers for free through Gogo Inflight Internet. 

The Wu-Tang Clan recently announced that it will sell only one copy of it's next album.  Scarcity will create something unique and special.  Also far too underutilized.

Talib Kweli recently created a direct-to-fan distribution channel, cutting out the middle man and selling his latest album, Gravitas, directly to his fans on 

I'm sure there are tons more examples of great marketing for music and art. Although this recent trend has the potential to turn gimmicky, the pioneers of these unconventional methods deserve the attention that doing things differently typically brings.