The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Mischief Marketing …
August 21, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

When I was in Nottingham a while back, I found myself in a big industrial estate where out-of-town megashops are located.

To be honest, I found this highly offensive until I saw this:

Yes, that really is a home furnishing store that used their outdoor signage to tell passers-by that they will beat the quote of any competitor, including their next-door neighbour, who also is a home furnishing store.

The fact there are two companies – selling pretty much the same stuff – are located next door to each other may seem strange to many of you. After all, in the West, we talk about the importance of ‘differentiation’ so locating your store right next door to a competitor is probably the antithesis of that, but in Asia, that is not unusual.

In fact, in Asia, the opposite tends to be the case.

Here, companies actively associate with competitors. Not because they like to get up to the sort of mischief furniture shops in Nottingham like to get away with, but because the cultural value system actively encourages ‘group acceptance’ so by being with others, it sort of implies they are OK and not ‘out-the-loop’.

And that’s why you can walk into malls that literally contain hundreds of shops all selling the same thing.

From camera equipment to – I kid you not – fish accessories.

Anyway, I digress.

I was going to leave you with an ad that encapsulated mischief marketing … because quite frankly, I love that sort of stuff.

Not – as you may initially assume – because I’m a little sod, but because in these days of brands spending millions to say absolutely nothing, a brand that is prepared to ‘have a go’ at a competitor with a twinkle in the eye is incredibly attractive and engaging.

So as I said, I was going to leave you with an ad that had a bit more punch than the Nottingham furniture store … but I can’t find the one I wanted to show [Pizza Hut attacking McDonald’s when they started selling pizzas by running a spot that said ‘Would buy a pizza from this clown?’] so instead, I’ll leave you with another fast-food spot. It’s not targeting a competitor with their mischief, instead they are using another category all together to justify their point of view.

It’s an oldie, but a goodie.


21 Comments so far
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You’re naturally differentiated because no one wants to be like you, be associated with you or stand next to you. The Jack in the box spot is great. Shame their burgers taste like shit.

Comment by Billy Whizz

nice work. though campbell take his differentiation as a fucking compliment and enter himself for a fucking effectiveness award now.

Comment by andy@cynic

Haven’t you posted this before? Why do I remember?

And yeah, Mr. Huntington (@adliterate) was pushing the same issue before.
He based his observations on the fact that despite all the new age marketing bullshit, it is business as usual, therefore the market is a zero sum game. For me to win, the rest has to lose some.

Comment by Miguel

you mean you pay attention to the shit writes. hes probably only written 7 posts and just rotates the fuckers because he know no one cares about what hes saying. he did it with his presentations for 10 years so its not like he hasnt got form pulling this shit off.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have to admit, sometimes I jump right down to the comment section. I’m sorry, Rob.

Comment by Miguel

dont apologise, it means youre fucking normal.

Comment by andy@cynic

I haven’t posted this before. Contrary to popular belief, it’s a new post every day. Correction, it’s a new picture every day. But on this occasion, this is a new post … so maybe you just have magic ‘projection skills’ which would make you the best planner in the World. Except there’s too many others out there that also claim they can pull that trick off. Sorry.

Comment by Rob

Pretty sure feedburner has some glitch that let’s me read some of your programmed posts.

Comment by Miguel

Or it could be because I forgot to pre-date it so it got posted for a few seconds. Though with WordPress, who knows …

Comment by Rob

how the fuck can that shop be cheaper than their neighbours when everyone is your shitty hometown shoplifts everything. more fucking false advertising.

Comment by andy@cynic

Not everywhere or everyone is rough. Apart from my Mum, we have some very calm and gentle people.

Like the entire Nottingham Forest football team for example. Boom Tish.

[By the way … we’re top of the table. I know it won’t last, but it’s nice to write ‘we’re top of the table]

Comment by Rob

That’s like being top of the losers club. What am I saying, that is being top of the losers club.

Comment by DH

Does this group acceptance apply to advertising agencies?

Comment by john

It did in Asia. Maybe it has changed, but an agency that was popular (regardless of the work) was a smarter choice than one who did good work. To paraphrase and old IBM ad, no one ever got fired for hiring WPP.

Comment by Pete

The “noone ever got fired for hiring a well-known agency that makes shit work” adage is still pervasive in marketingland… specially when the average CMO tenure is 36 months.

Comment by Miguel

Still is Pete. That’s why the WPP mob are sooooo huge. Of course they also do some fairly decent work [some. occasionally] but their biggest new business tool is many big brands use them … which gives a lot of local clients the peace-of-mind they’re not going to get questioned on their choice of agency. In short, the priority for many clients is to please their boss rather than focus on what would be best for the business as a whole.

That’s not sour grapes [after all, we have some massive clients here], but just how the group acceptance manifests itself in many decision making situations here.

Comment by Rob

Disappointing to hear.

Comment by Pete

If Jack in the box made food as good as their ads, I would eat it.

Comment by Pete

Let me clarify something. You like mischief because you are a little sod. That’s the main reason.

Comment by DH

Robert. From all my years working with you, I can safely say you put the mischief in marketing and long may it continue

The Jack in a Box advertisement is wonderful.

Comment by Lee Hill

I’ll put this on my resume. I’m serious. Though I also acknowledge it could as easily be an insult as a compliment. Ha.

Comment by Rob

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