And the winners are …

February 8, 2016 / Advertising, Branding
super Ad Bowl

Well, it’s Tuesday after the Super Bowl, and our team has weighed in on their favorite TV commercials. Here’s our collective top 3. See if you agree:

First place: Jeep’s “Portraits”

Taking a more classic and unconventional twist, Jeep’s commercial quickly rose to our number one spot out of all the Super Bowl ads with its unique chronological portraits of Jeeps and their influence on the public over the past 75 years. This tribute and celebration marking their 75th anniversary was concluded with the slogan, “We don’t make Jeep. You do.” This beautiful commercial helps to once again enforce the idea that a brand is not a brand without its consumers.

Second place: T-Mobile’s “Restricted Bling” featuring Drake

On a completely different spectrum of the Super Bowl commercials, T-Mobile’s parody of “Hotline Bling,” which included Drake and his notorious box, also ranked as another top favorite of ours. From Drake’s hilarious facial expressions, to the obvious sarcasm and the sly way T-Mobile mocked their competitors, this was an easy choice for us. We especially enjoyed the end when everyone climbed into the box.

Third place: Doritos’ “Ultrasound”

Despite the growing controversy surrounding this Super Bowl commercial, Doritos’ in our opinion, has once again delivered another outrageous advertisement that has gotten everyone talking. It has become routine for football fans around the nation to anticipate what crazy, comical and creative commercial Doritos will produce each year and this year they have certainly outdone themselves.

If you are looking to score an awesome commercial or advertisement for your brand, organization or product, contact us.

A slogan to remember: Consumers know best.

September 29, 2014 / Branding
brand advertising slogan

It’s conventional wisdom in the advertising business that consumers like to associate with brands that reflect how they see themselves. But a recent study conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research challenges that notion.

According to this research, assertive slogans that reflect brand identity — like “Choosy Moms Choose Jif” or “If you call yourself a sports fan, you gotta have DirecTV!” — can backfire if consumers perceive them as being too assertive and impinging on their sense of freedom.

“When identity is involved, people want to feel like they’re making the decisions themselves,” explains Amit Bhattacharjee, a visiting professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, who worked on the study. When marketers “push too hard, it ruins that and crowds out a sense of ownership and turns customers off.”

In the experiment he and fellow researchers conducted, about 120 subjects at the University of Pennsylvania, chosen for their environmental interests, were divided into 3 groups. Each group was presented with a slogan for a real-world, biodegradable cleanser. One group got a message that had no reference to their environmental interest. It just stated that the soap was a “good choice for consumers.” Another group’s message had a slight environmental reference, calling the soap “a good choice for green consumers.” The slogan delivered to the third group went the furthest, calling the soap “the only choice for green consumers.”

Contrary to what a panel of 59 marketing experts guessed would be the outcome, the second slogan (“a good choice for green consumers”) pulled the best. The slogan they thought would be the top performer — “The only choice for green consumers” — actually did the poorest.

The conclusion:  People want to feel they can make their own choices, particularly when it comes to an issue they feel strongly about. Advertisers should beware of being too heavy handed. Consumers want to feel that they know best.

Photo:   Mike Mozart  (Creative Commons)

Consistency matters.

May 5, 2014 / Advertising, Branding
Target Shopping Carts

Why have the AFLAC duck, the Maytag repairman and the Nike “just do it” slogan been around for as long as we can remember? Why has BMW touted itself as the “ultimate driving machine” for the past 25 years?

Because consistency works in branding and advertising. It’s essential to sustaining awareness and credibility in today’s “over-communicated” world.

Once customers build an association with your brand — through words, visuals, mascots, spokesperson, music or any combination thereof — it’s reinforcing for them to experience that association over and over again. It tells them they can expect your brand to deliver over time.

As soon as you think your audiences may be getting tired of the same campaign, think again. With so many marketing messages competing for their attention, there’s reassurance in repetition. Consistency pays off.

Don't forget the "how."

Symantec has a new brand campaign — an effort to move beyond being pigeon-hold as just a data security company. With the tagline “Do it all”, the company is trying to convince IT execs they can rely on Symantec for a breadth of solutions, including cloud and data center applications.

The TV ad that kicks off the campaign features the question “What’s on your to-do list” followed by big lofty words like “INNOVATE” , “TRANSFORM” and “EXPLORE”  (with a check work featured prominently in the “O” of each word). These words appear in large cut-out letters in various work and leisure settings. A frenetic music track creates a sense of urgency.

While the spot is well produced and lofty in its implications, there’s one important ingredient missing:  the “how”. The spot says nothing about how this company, long associated with anti-virus software, will help companies “do it all”.  A lofty claim is an empty promise without even the slightest hint of new things to come, etc.

Contrast this effort with IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign, which always give tangible examples to support the “smarter” brand promise.

Maybe the “how to” payoff will come in the upcoming digital and print ads that are supposed to constitute the bulk of the campaign. But if Symantec is out to change perceptions — and grow beyond its security niche — it needs to add some substance to their new brand promise.

As we tell clients all the time: Don’t forget the “how”. It’s important to educate your customers and prospects on how your product can solve their problem better than your competitors.