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As I’ve said many times, I’m a sucker for triumph over adversity stories.
Maybe that’s the reason I worked so well – and for so long – on the Virgin business.
That, or the fact I’m from the home of Robin Hood – the original triumph over adversity hero.
Hell, I even united them when I formally positioned Virgin as the ‘Robin Hood of Business’ … but I disgress.
Anyway, a little while ago I was flicking through a magazine when I saw an ad with the headline that is featured in the photo at the head of this post.
While I’m not a watch person, the headline did enough to tempt my interest … so imagine my disappointment when a pretty provocative headline ended up turning into a z-grade Mills & Boon story that had all the believability of a Miss World speech.
Seriously, do they really expect me to believe this story?
Do they really think some twat who owns an Italian supercar and wears a $22,000 watch, would be at a loss of words because some stranger came up to him and showed him his 27 “jewel” automatic watch that cost $179?
Do they really think I would give a shit?
OK, so I am pretty sure there are some gullible, chip-on-the-shoulder, low self esteem fools who would … but seriously, I’m incredibly disappointed by this ad.
You see I really think it had the potential to take on the big boys … do something that would people who have more than 2 brain cells and a tattoo of ‘mother’ tattooed on their forehead, actually stand up, take notice & maybe do something about it … but instead they decided to go with the lowest of the low, a direction that resembles the ramblings and thought process of an 8 year, Sunday Sport reading delinquent.
That’s not triumph over adversity, that’s stupidity over intrigue.
If you’re going to take on the big boys, don’t create ridiculous and unbelievable stories because they end up making you look even cheaper than you already are, do something big … and real … and authentic … and commit wholeheartedly to it, because if you do that, you stand a real chance of turning into a Virgin – an organisation that has millions of people with an irrational adoration of what they do and who they are.
Of course the alternative is the Stauer Corso route and if you choose that then I’d say you’re in the hands of luck with there being a very good chance you’ll end up being regarded as a purveyor of tat … where the people who buy into you are not the sort of people you want buying into you – especially as they’ll throw you to the side the moment a better [crap] offer comes to market.
OK, so maybe Stauer Corso don’t give a fuck.
Maybe they make a shitload of money with this sort of thing and if they do, good luck to them.
All I’d say in return is that having to continually reinvent the wheel costs a lot of time, money and effort whereas building a real brand still has the potential to give a disproporitionate return on investment.
If you’re willing to commit to it.
Which sadly, with 2 year marketing manager life-cycles, very few brands do genuinely well.
At the end of the day, I still believe every brand has the chance to create the fate they seek … and while nothing in life is guaranteed given there’s a whole lot of factors that dictate outcome, doing utter shit certainly increases the odds of failure.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what a $22,000 watch for $180 looks like, click here.
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