Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Communication Strategy, Context, Creative Brief, Creative Development, Creativity, Culture, Cunning, EvilGenius, Insight, Marketing
So I recently read an article on the UK distributors of Danish store, Tiger.
Tiger is often referred to as ‘Posh Poundland’ as it sells all manner of stuff.
Anyway, in 2005, a husband and wife – with no business experience whatsoever – decided to pour all the money they had into buying the rights for the brand in the UK.
They openly admit it was very difficult and they made many mistakes but 11 years later, they sold it for an estimated 40+ million pounds.
So far so good, but what really interested me was something they said at the end of the interview …
How brilliant is that.
It’s also a great lesson in thinking about your audience.
Too often, our industry defines audiences by the segment we believe are the most likely to want to buy our brand/product.
While that makes perfect sense, the problem is we are often end up being pretty generalistic in who we define our audience to be … often because our clients are petrified of putting limitations on their sales potential. The other problem with this broad audience approach is that it tends to end up being the audience for the whole category, which means we end up pitting ourselves directly against our competition.
What I love about this Tiger example is – albeit by lucky accident – they realised their was a very specific segment who were attracted to this product. A segment that liked it for reasons beyond what was expected, and yet was something that actively drove them to buy.
Now I admit it takes balls to do this.
It also takes absolute honesty.
But when defining audiences, it’s always worth remembering the motivations for purchase are often very different to what we would like to think they are. Of course we know this, but when in front of a client, it’s amazing how often we either temporarily forget or simply choose to ignore.
By being absolutely open to who could/should be interested in our clients brands, we not only stand the chance of making work that truly resonates with a particular segment, but one that automatically differentiates you from the countless competitors all trying to steal your share, which is why I still love the V&A London museum ad from the 80’s, where Saatchi’s [in their absolute pomp] realised the thing people liked most about the place was the cafe, which led to them running ad’s with the bravest ‘endline’ you may ever see …
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Cunning, Marketing, Marketing Fail
On Monday I posted about a company being massively unsubtle in their attempt to look good.
Today I talk about a company who is blatant in highlighting where they screwed up.
And I have much more compassion towards this company than the former.
So a friend of mine recently saw this in his local store in Portland.
Putting aside the fact that most people by now should know Coconut Water is a massive hype, there is something inherently charming in the fact they are acknowledging they fucked up.
OK, maybe if you’re Steve, you might think differently … but in a World where no one seems to want to admit a mistake, a wrong doing or a less-than-favourable result, it’s massively refreshing.
Certainly more refreshing than Coconut Water.
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Corporate Evil, Crap Products In History, Cunning, Marketing, Marketing Fail
A while back, I wrote about how I was a marketing victim.
Well it appears I haven’t learnt a thing.
For reasons I literally do not understand – other than it was very late at night and I had been forced to wear proper shoes all day [no, really] because I was in Beijing and it was -11 – I found myself buying a bloody chakra bracelet from a Facebook ad.
I know, I know …
In my defence they were offering it at a 60% discount [probably because they knew it was utter crap and even they felt bad at selling it for full price] and it looked kind-of nice …
… but I appreciate these are not really much of a defence.
Anyway, when I got back to Shanghai, my purchase was waiting for me.
I must admit, I was kind-of nervous to open it … not just because I knew what I’d done was daft, but because Jill was looking at me with a ‘who are you?’ expression on her face.
So I opened it and while I admit that it sort-of looked like the picture in the ad [in the way the burger Michael Douglas ordered in the movie Falling Down, sort-of looked like the image on the restaurant menu] … let’s just say that for a guy who works in advertising, I’m still pretty damn good at falling for advertising.
I blame wearing shoes.
Yeah … it’s all shoes fault.
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Creative Development, Creativity, Culture, Fake Attitude, Insight, Marketing, Marketing Fail, Positioning, Technology
A fantastic camera brand with unquestionable credibility.
Now of course, many camera brands are under threat from the increasing quality – and convenience – of smartphone cameras, which is why many are trying to diversify their portfolio to counter any potential profit loss.
Based on this ad, it appears NIKON are trying to do this as well.
Of course, as we have seen from GOPRO and countless other brands … the ‘live action camera’ category has been growing at an incredible rate and while you could argue NIKON might be a bit late to the party, their credibility in cameras stands them in good stead.
Except it doesn’t.
You see what NIKON have failed to understand is that the ‘live action category’ is very different to the photographic category … sure, they both involve needing a lens to capture the action, but fundamentally the rules are different, the values are different and the culture around it are very different.
As I wrote here, GOPRO’s success is not just because they were one of the first to exploit this market, but because they were part of the culture that created this market.
They understood who these people were.
What they do.
What they want.
What they feel.
This knowledge influenced everything … from their positioning [the utterly brilliant, ‘Be A Hero’] through to the style of advertising they created.
The fact NIKON’s ad shows an image that comes from the perspective of watching others do something, highlights how they have failed to understand the audience they are talking too.
All they’ve done is transfer their photographic approach to their communication … but the audience they need to engage have a totally different set of values and aspirations.
Of course it would be hard for them to achieve this given GOPRO have already nailed it with their ‘in the middle of the action‘ photographic style … but that’s the difference between a brand that looks at a category as a sales opportunity versus a brand that is born from the culture it plans to engage with.
As I’ve said many, many times … culture is far more important than category.
Don’t let anyone tell you different.
PS: Happy Australia Day … a day where you are not just legitimately allowed to get pissed before 10am, but positively encouraged to be. Have a top day. And a top hangover tomorrow.
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Brilliant Marketing Ideas In History, Comment, Crap Products In History, Culture, Cunning, EvilGenius, Experience, Innovation, Marketing, Marketing Fail
So a while back I saw this weird looking thing being advertised everywhere.
It’s that thing at the top of this page.
At first, I was captivated … it looked like the ultimate gadget.
And then, on closer inspection, I realised it literally did nothing.
That’s right …
Just a bunch of buttons and balls to press, roll and click.
Seriously, who would need this shit?
People with game controller addiction?
People with pen clicking obsession?
People with nothing better to do?
And then I saw the manufacturers had created this terrible video to help explain things …
Look, I know the ‘fidget cube’ is relatively cheap … but contrary to the video’s claims, ‘fidgeting’ is not actually an addiction and so you have to ask if people really need something like this over – say – ‘tapping their foot’ repeatedly.
So I bought one.
And you know what … it’s fucking amazing.
I know … I know … my taste is hardly the barometer for mass acceptance, but remember, I am saying positive things about something that literally has no wifi, bluetooth or web access and I’m a guy that has bought robot balls and a mug that will digitally tell me what I’m drinking even though I CAN TASTE WHAT I AM DRINKING.
I’ve bought loads of them now.
In multiple colours.
And while that may make me look a fucking idiot, the fact is there’s a valuable lesson in all this.
No, it’s not that ‘Rob spends his money on tat’ [though that is also a learning] it’s the fact that if someone had told me about it, I’d have dismissed it as ridiculous.
An over-engineered solution to a problem that isn’t really a problem.
And yet the reality is, I didn’t just buy it … I use it all the time and I truly feel it has helped me focus more.
I know that sounds mad and I swear I have no commercial interests in it … but on top of everything, it reinforced a lesson I have continually pushed upon The Kennedys, which is never kill an idea until you’ve tried it.
Not just because you may find it actually could end up being something awesome, but even if it doesn’t, it often opens up doors of opportunity you never would have seen before.
The older I get, the more I realise ‘try before you kill’ is one of the most important lessons you can learn.
Especially for planners.
Especially for planners who want to help create something that can change something.
Even if it ends up being something people ridicule.
Until they try it.
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Brand Suicide, Communication Strategy, Crap Campaigns In History, Crap Marketing Ideas From History!, Crap Products In History, Marketing, Marketing Fail
It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote about this so I guess it’s time for another post about another massive lie peddled from a kickstarteresque company.
Yes, I know I ranted about them earlier this week, but I can’t help myself.
Have a look at this …
Let’s move past the fact they have the audacity to claim a lens – held on with a bloody bulldog clip – gives you the equivalent standard of a US$4000 camera [unless they mean a US$4000 camera held onto a smart phone with a bulldog clip] and let’s instead focus on the image they are using to sell ‘said’ item.
Look at the screen of the smartphone.
Such incredible quality.
Such incredible clarity.
Such incredible focus.
Wow, maybe they weren’t joking when they said this simple attachment could make an expensive DSLR redundent.
But hang on, something isn’t right.
That super sharp image doesn’t seem to relate to the ‘live’ image going on in the picture.
Sure, they’ve blurred the shit out of it, but I’m pretty all the action is going on in the middle of the court, not by the net.
OK, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, I do only have one good eye.
But there’s something else bothering me. Hmmmmn, what could it be?
Oh I know, it’s that perfect image on the phone.
Look, I have an iPhone and if I so much as zoom a bloody milimeter on it, everything looks like I’m trying to do an impression of a Tony Scott movie, so either the person holding the phone/lens in the photo has the steadiest hand ever created – especially as they are located on the other side of the court – OR THIS IS A PILE OF BULLSHIT.
I know I’m in adland so look at these things a bit more closely than the average punter, but that shouldn’t mean brands don’t care about this sort of thing.
Why would you supposedly go to all this effort to make a great product and then short-change the work that is designed to tell the World about it?
It’s like my issue with people who spend weeks working on a pitch but don’t rehearse it until the last 5 minutes.
All that effort, wasted.
Of course it’s because people still believe that ‘the quality of the product/work/idea’ will shine through.
In a perfect World – maybe – but in the real World, how you present something is often of equal importance to what you are presenting. Sometimes, even more important.
When I was at HHCL, one of their tenants was the quality of advertising had a commercial benefit on the brand.
In short, the better the work, the more people were interested in you.
Now I appreciate that some may challenge that view, but I passionately believe that what you do says more about who you are than what you say … so while the creators of this lens may claim it can single-handedly put Canon and Nikon out of business, the fact their communication is so obviously bullshit makes me think you’re more likely to find this attachment inside a cheap pack of Christmas Crackers than a high-end photographic store.
Which means if you actually end up buying it, then you have no one to blame but yourself.
And this is coming from someone who paid $100 for a remote control ball!!!
Have a great weekend, only 50 odd weeks till Christmas.