Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

This marketing idea wins brownie points.

In Memorable Marketing on May 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Okay, time to break the chain of negative posts here, time to praise somebody. I found this in an E-mail newsletter from Kim Komando, the self-proclaimed “digital goddess” (Hers is one of the most helpful newsletters I get – you might want to sign up.) Now, I don’t know why this item is for sale through her site, but that’s not important.

“Filling a customer need” has always been the singularly most important goal of a marketing effort; that can mean positioning your product a certain way, or identifying the best target audience. But sometimes it’s as simple as recognizing a basic customer desire, and designing a product that satisfies it.  Like….”the Edge.” No, not the Ford “Edge.” That’s just marketing-speak, probably with very dubious justification for its name. Nope. This “Edge” earns its name.

If you are, like me,  one of the millions of people who, offered a plate of brownies, will tend to prefer ones that have at least one “edge” on it (rather than a boring center-of-the-pan segment) then your dream product has come.  Just look at the picture accompanying this post  – and you get it.  The simple design cries out “genious!”

This strange looking pan results in brownies that – are you ready for this – ALL have at least one edge! No big copy block to read, no strained claims or questionable testimonials. The picture is all the proof you need!

Now, the pan IS a little pricey, at $36. But hey, when you come up with such a beautifully simple idea, you ought to be rewarded!


Old Spice “B.O. Blocker” needs blocking.

In Ad Creative, Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Okay, we have a winner in the “Most Difficult to Watch Commercial” competition  for the month of May. It’s the latest obnoxious “BO blocker” spot for Old Spice Odor Blocker Body Wash.

Different spot, same stupid campaign.

A body building type clad only in workout shorts delivers a screaming monotone at the camera about how tough the product is. In the course of the “action” he pounds some superimposed image, then kicks off the top of a hokey little skyscraper model, for some reason.

It’s hard to listen to the Kro-Magnon macho, especially at that level. (And never more than the spot’s ending, when he “sings” – more or less  to the tune of the famous Old Spice jingle – “ba ba ba ba ba ba pow-er.”

And it’s equally hard to watch the hideously overdeveloped muscles in his chest and biceps alternately twitching.

I don’t know, perhaps women would think he was somehow “hunky” rather than an overbearing moron character he plays. But the target is men. And sorry, maybe I’m suffering a testosterone deficiency or something, but I have zero desire to look like, act like, or emulate him in any way.

Old Spice has been fighting to update its image and appear relevant to today’s young men. If this spot accomplishes that, I’m just sad, that’s all.

KFC tag lines UNderwhelming. What do you UNthink?

In Ad Creative on May 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm

The new doubled-breasted chicken sandwich at KFC has gotten far too much attention. Sure, it’s rather grotesque looking and probably not a candidate for  “heart-healthy” status. But at least the product development people at KFC are generating ideas that get talked about.

Wish I could say the same for their advertising agency folks who have generated one of the most confusing, least-interesting tag lines in modern memory. The commercial ends with

“UNthink. Taste the UNhungry side of KFC.”

What the **** is that supposed to mean? Many lifetimes ago, 7-Up made big gains by calling itself “The UnCola.”   That makes great sense. Sorry, but to me, this fractured KFC lingo doesn’t.

I must admit, I love tag lines. And, unlike the trendier types who minimize their importance these days, I think just the opposite. In our message-intensive society, I think it is more important than ever to  leave your readers or viewers with a concise, catchy rendition of your basic selling proposition, or something very close to it. Frankly, if you are successful in doing that you are far, far ahead of most advertisers. (And closer to a sale, I am convinced.) If you have a favorite commercial, chances are you can remember the tag line. No coincidence there.

In the old “Kentucky Fried Chicken” days the chain used to call itself “finger-lickin’ good.” I’ll bet even today that many times more people could replay that line than the current jumble.  I know, all this “UN” stuff is probably supposed to make us somehow unlearn whatever it is we previously thought of KFC.  Trouble is, I don’t know if we have any particular image of KFC to learn or unlearn. And if we’re supposed to learn they’re more than just fried chicken, that’s pretty old news. And is the best way to prove your point a sandwich that displays twice the fried chicken? (Oh, yea,  you can get it grilled, too. Sorry, I forgot. Or UNremembered.)

Bottom line (no pun intended), I can think of a dozen better tag lines for KFC in ten minutes, and so could any good copywriter. Lines that would both say something, and be memorable in doing it.

I’d like to go on, but I’m getting hungry. Or is it UNhungry? So I’m going to UNthink of KFC, and head for Subway.