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

Words With No Meaning …
February 23, 2007, 10:30 am
Filed under: Comment, Uncategorized

As seen in the window of a clothing store in Singapore

Maybe I’m missing something … maybe they’re being ‘ironic’ … but how can a black dress [the fashion stable for 99.4856% of the female population] be something that is ‘daring’ and will cause women to feel they’ve ‘re-invented’ themselves?

Marketing wank at it’s best … even the model looks average. [though admittedly in Singapore she’d be a bit of a ‘freak’!]

I hate the way the comms industry has taken away the real meaning of certain words. 

For example REVOLUTION is no longer about fighting against a political wrongs … oh no … now you’re likely to see it used in an ad for socks or fucking mittens! 

When will companies realise that what is important to them, quite often means fuck-all to the consumer and simply adding a word like REVOLUTION isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference!

To counteract this sort of behaviour, our creative briefs have 2 very important questions within them …

1 What is the customers attitude towards this brand? 

2 What is the customers attitude towards this category?

Doing this ensures we never make the mistake of assuming a well known/used brand means it is well liked and important in consumers minds.

A perfect example was when we worked on a Colgate project … 

1 What is the customers attitude towards this brand? 

It is a well trusted, well known and well used product for people of all ages, all demographics. 

2 What is the customers attitude towards this category?

While having nice teeth is very important to people, in the big scheme of things, toothpaste choice is not something people spend any time thinking about – except Mum’s and even then that tends to be on behalf of their kids teeth [who don’t regard it as overly important] rather than themselves. 

Infact its purchase tends to be when people are on ‘automatic shopping pilot’ – as it has little significance to the masses and brand choice is probably dictated by the purchasing habit of the previous generation.

So instead of ending up doing the usual self-indulgent ad that only appeal to [1] Colgate Marketing Executives and [2] The odd Mum … we knew the only way we could broaden their market share was to create communication that resonated with consumers ‘lives’, not just their ‘teeth cleaning habits’ – which led to the infamous [well, infamous for Colgate] ‘People With Ugly Mouths, Don’t Get Laid’ ads. 

[Yeah … yeah … so Colgate didn’t end up buying the campaign, but in testing it achieved the highest recall rates in Colgate Palmolive history. Oh well …]

All I am saying is that to achieve greater success, it’s not just about understanding the consumers relationship with the brand – it’s about understanding the consumers relationship with the category … because it doesn’t matter if you are the undisputed brand leader for the last 1000 years, if the consumer doesn’t regard your category with any real level of importance in their lives, you’re not going to make any communication that drives your growth other than [if you’re really, really lucky] a short-term spike.

Honesty gets you better work, loyalty and results … I encourage you to tell the harsh truths [if you’re not already!]

Now as I’m off to Delhi for about a week, I’m not sure how much updating I’ll be doing [no, not because I’ll be on the loo, but because I have back-to-back-to-back meetings!] so can I take this opportunity to promote a great post by the brilliantly talented Fred about CNY and the outrageous cost of Abalone.

Oh and Billy, hope today’s op goes well my son – we’re all thinking of you.

And when you get a chance, can you please tell me whether Andy is having me on or not about including a few porn movies in the gift pack we sent you.  If he’s not, our insurance company will probably revoke our policy and then we won’t be paying for your little surgical procedure.  Yes, be afraid, be   v  e  r  y  afraid, ha!

Finally, with the Oscars coming up, I thought I’d highlight one of the worst-acted [actually, one of the worst-everything] ads EVER. 

Excellent camera work … genius script writing … beautiful use of gratuitous female sexuality …  no, it’s not a cliché-ridden beer ad, it’s a cliché ridden construction ad instead.  Enjoy. Sort-of.  [Thanks Jonno for sending it to me, I won’t ask how/why you found it!]