In Media, Memorable Marketing on December 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm
“Outside the box” is a horrible cliche’- mostly because it’s the price of entry for any marketing communication effort these days. The number of messages bombarding the average brain every day makes it obvious that bland, “typical” messages simply won’t penetrate. To me, that means that effective advertising and public relations efforts do have to meet one simple standard: they have to be smart.
They have to demonstrate creativity born of insight; the kind that only happens when its creators stop thinking in terms of a particular magazine page or 30-second TV unit. Every project should start with a clean drawing board and a simple strategy that includes WHOM we’re talking to, WHAT we want them to do and WHY we expect them to believe us.
With those as the only parameters, I think my favorite marketing effort of 2013 came from Brazil, and featured Count Chiquinho Scarpa. He is an exotic Brazilian billionaire, somewhat famous for his excentric behavior. He announced on Facebook his intention to, on a given day in September, bury his luxurious Bentley automobile worth $500,000 in his yard – a la the ancient Pharoahs who buried their priceless artifacts, as if to be reclaimed in the afterlife.
A Bentley for reference – in case yours is in the shop.
The Brazilian population was outraged – and the country’s media channels, and many international ones, grabbed the bait like the starved piranha in the nearby Amazon. The event was discussed and debated endlessly, with talk shows obsessing about it and newspaper editorials calling him out. Scarpa himself appeared frequently to “explain” his reasoning and fan the flames. In all, many millions of dollars worth of media time were allocated to the topic.
On the appointed day, with media everywhere (including in helicopters overhead), the Bentley
In Uncategorized on August 14, 2013 at 11:41 am
It’s Media Placement 101, of course. Target your online advertising strategically, causing it to pop up in places where people are discussing your product category. How better to select a relevant audience? But it was hard not to smirk a bit when I clicked on a story, teased elsewhere – and in doing so, apparently looked like a potential washer buyer!
This kind of thing has certainly happened before, of course, with airline ads next to crash stories, and fast-food ads in the margins of healthy-eating stories. But THIS one seems particularly unfortunate. In a story on reviewed.com built around customer complaints about ”smelly” front-loading washers from Sears, guess what the adjacent ad is selling?
Now, it might be okay if the editorial commentary was aimed at a particular Sears- branded item. But most of the criticisms visible on the page seem to be inherent to the front-load design. (My favorite line is the photo caption: “Keeping the door shut can turn your washer into a petri dish.”)
And while Kenmore is still the Sears “house” brand in appliances, I think of Whirlpool as a pretty prominent offering at Sears, as well…ever since my childhood in a very “Sears” family! So the ad placement is way too close for comfort – at least, I’m sure, to Whirlpool execs.
Nothing fatal, nothing terrible going on here. Just another reminder as we continue to tame the Wild West of digital advertising : we still need to watch out for some of the same mishaps in that space we thought we solved long ago in traditional media!