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So a couple of days I went on a complete rant about a book I’d received from Direct Marketing company, Wunderman.
Some people thought I’d gone over-the-top because to them, it was just the usual puffery they expect from communication agencies – but I don’t agree because whilst all organisations are prone to the odd bit of exaggeration, this was going against the principals the company had been set up with.
EXPERIENCE IS WHAT MATTERS
In a traditional laboratory experiment there is a cage with two levers in it:
The red lever dispenses a pellet of food when it is pushed.
The blue lever does nothing.If a few humans are then put into the cage and left there for a week, an interesting effect occurs.
After a while, the humans will press the red lever whenever they are hungry.
And they will completely ignore the blue lever.If you then drop a market researcher into the cage, the researcher can learn about their experience.
When the market researcher questions the humans, the humans are likely to tell the researcher that they associate the red lever with statements like, ‘tasty/delicious food’ and ‘the sort of lever I prefer’.
If the humans were sophisticated, they might also agree with statements that the red lever was ‘a lever for people like them’ and ‘part of a positive lifestyle.’
In short, the red lever would have built up all the aspects of a strong, positive brand personality.
And without the humans having been exposed to any television advertising whatsoever.
This is fundamental to digital marketing.
The most powerful driver of brand image and purchase intent is not television. It is experience.
What the fuck are they going on about?
OK … so I agree a positive experience is more powerful than one dimensional advertising, but as for the rest of their muttering I am at a complete loss what they’re trying to say.
Are they suggesting companies should kidnap their potential customers and hold them hostage till they press a lever that debits a certain amount from their credit card?
To be fair, I’m sure that would be very effective but I reckon it’s going to be a bit of a bitch to get them to make repeat purchases.
And what’s all this ‘Tasty/delicious food’ … ‘the sort of lever I prefer’ … ‘a lever for people like them’ … ‘part of a positive lifestyle’ bollocks?
I really, really hope they’re taking the piss because otherwise they’ve just fucked over the market research industry as well as direct marketing and I don’t think Sir Martin will be happy given his WPP group now makes more dosh from research than communication.
And then there’s the small matter of what this all has to do with the net?
Alright … alright … I know the net is one of the most powerful ways to give a brand experience, short of purchasing the actual product [and sometimes, it's even better than that] but the metaphor they’re using is hardly the best is it?
I mean, comparing a situation where someone lives or dies by their actions with how a company needs to be online is abit extreme … but as daft as that is, it’s not nearly as fucking stupid as when they claim this is how to create a POWERFUL BRAND IMAGE!
Go on Wunderman, tell me how that works … how would putting me in a cage make me fall in love with a fucking red lever? A RED LEVER FOR FUCKS SAKE!
Let me tell you, if I was placed in a situation like the one Wunderman describes, I don’t think I’d be saying …
“WOW THAT RED LEVER ROCKS, I”LL ALWAYS LOOK OUT FOR IT BECAUSE IT’S AN ASPIRATIONAL BRAND FOR THE DISCERNING INDIVIDUAL”
… I think I’d be screaming …
“WHICH FUCKER PUT ME IN THIS SITUATION? WHY ARE YOU TAUNTING ME WITH THIS SHIT. WHEN I GET OUT I’M GOING TO RAM THIS RED LEVER RIGHT UP YOUR FUCKING ASS YOU SAD SACK OF SHIT”
Who writes this shit and how come they’re still in a job?
There’s loads more I could write – including the fact many DM companies [including Wunderman] recognise television as a powerful tool in generating consumer response - but I can’t be arsed giving any more attention to an organisation who are obviously so out-of-touch so here and download your very own copy of HOW TO THINK DIGITAL because you’ll be pissing yourself laughing [unless you're a Wunderman shareholder] in no time.
Still need convincing?
Alright, well let me leave with this snippet on Assessing Relative Scale [Page 63]
Here’s a question for the average guy.
Should you date Paris Hilton?
The answer is no, because:
[i] She wouldn’t respect you.
[ii] Her tastes would bankrupt you.
[iii] All her friends would look down on you.
The central problem: Paris Hilton as a person and as a brand is in a much stronger position than you are.
I rest my case … now get downloading, it’s a real page turner :)
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