Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ESPN World Cup Campaign Misses The Mark


With the FIFA World Cup set to kick off next month, broadcast partner ESPN is in full swing promoting the upcoming matches.  The strategy behind the campaign is that the entire world will be watching.  It's about including ourselves in this global event that will be a headlining topic of conversation.

Although ESPN's mega-event strategy is a proven one, I believe that in this instance, the execution is a complete miss.  The tagline they chose to convey the message of universal consumption of soccer is "Every Four Years The World Has One Time Zone.

If viewers don't think too hard about this tagline, everything adds up perfectly - the only takeaway being that the whole world will be watching.  However, if viewers consider that this year's host country, Brazil, spans four different standard time zones, with matches being played in two of them, then this tag doesn't make any sense.  For instance, host city Manaus (UTC-04) is a different time zone than Rio de Janeiro (UTC-03).  Which one is the world supposedly watching?   

I certainly understand there is some creative license in play here.  But it's lazy to ignore the factual accuracy in this case and I can only presume that if the World Cup were played in America and New York and Los Angeles were host cities (as they were in the year 1994), this tagline wouldn't have made it out of the first round. 

It seems that only amongst marketers is it acceptable for commercial communication to no longer be based on facts.  

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Sweet Goodbye

Tesco is removing confections from the checkouts of all its stores. And so often it's bold decisions like this one that can really help to define a brand for consumers. 

A great example of a brand walking the walk.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Actavis Pulls The Plug on Promethazine Codeine

Actavis, an Ireland-based pharmaceutical company, recently responded to a moral dilemma they company was facing.  One of its over-the-counter cough remedies, Promethazine Codeine, was gaining unprecedented popularity (and revenues to match) but for reasons they did not intend.  When mixed with Sprite and Jolly Ranchers candy and served on ice, the drug was the main course in a concoction affectionately referred to as "lean," "Sizzurp" or "purple drank" in the trendsetting world of hip hop.

Although abuse of Promethazine Codine can be traced back to the 1960s and has been an open secret for over a decade, it's good to see Actavis finally take a stand against the abuse of promethazine with codeine by removing it store shelves and permanently stopping production.

According to an Actavis representative, "Given [recent media attention], Actavis has made the bold and unprecedented decision to cease all production and sales of its Promethazine Codeine product. This attention has glamorized the unlawful and dangerous use of the product, which is contrary to its approved indication."

I give the company a lot of credit for ultimately making the right decision and not deflecting accountability for the problem to consumers.  It would be very easy for Actavis to line its pockets while it maintain that it's the consumers responsibility to read and adhere all instructions and warning labels, despite full knowledge of the contrary reality.

Sadly, Actavis' own words, "bold and unprecedented" seem a little too.  Its corporate accountability in this case is something truly newsworthy.

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Why The Obvious Choice Is a Bad One

I happen to see that Hotels.com latest tagline is "The Obvious Choice."  Of course, this makes perfect sense because when you need to reserve a hotel room online... duh, it's in name itself.  But where their logic falls apart is that they are having to explain to consumers what, even they claim, should be obvious to them. 

This is evidence that their name isn't working.  Obvious names make a terrible brand names.  The best brand names are unique, not generic.  For instance, check out this list (From AdAge).

I would have thought that that fact would be obvious to the marketers of Hotels.com.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Nationwide Makes An Interesting Claim For An Insurance Company


Although this ad is a few months old, I happen to catch it for the first time this weekend and while not the flashiest or most compelling ad ever, I was immediately struck by its (unassumingly) major claim against their competition.  They can take care of customers better because they don't have shareholders.  Essentially, they're saying, they're not in the business of maximizing profit.  They take a pay cut to serve customers better.

Not sure of this is cause for suspicion, but this incredibly gigantic statement was matter-of-factly rolled into an ad for new product replacement when, if true, is a fantastic marketing proposition.  It answers insurance shoppers' question of "why is Nationwide better?"

Despite being well-understated, it's a rare feat in marketing today to provide an actual reason for why one brand is better than the next - and that by itself is enough for damn good ad.

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Red Roof Inn's Revelation

This is great.

The upgraded amenity that consumers talked about most was the addition of more electrical outlets.  While this might seem like common sense since society is more wired today than ever before, it's a detail is often ignored by many hotels trying to upgrade their experience.

Great distinction for the brand and talking point for consumers.