Archive for the 'business to consumer' Category

23
Jan
14

Dove proves you are more beautiful than you think

If someone asked me if I thought I was beautiful, I would say no. After Adweek released the “10 Best Ads of 2013,” (http://bit.ly/1ebFAYG) featuring Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” as their number one ad, I learned I am not alone in my answer.

According to Dove, only 4 percent of women worldwide think they are beautiful – a mere 4 percent (http://bit.ly/1c3lO3j). The viral ad, done by Ogilvy Brazil, created an astonishing perspective on beauty that is hard to ignore, with results even harder to believe.

The ad shows an FBI forensic artist sketching women (sight unseen) as they described themselves, and then as others described them. The differences in the final sketches are heart wrenching, and give “real” women, a reality check about self-perception – how we currently see ourselves, and how we should strive to see ourselves. Watch full ad here or below: (http://bit.ly/1aoEqho)

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With the overwhelming results of this social experiment, it is hard not to wonder who is to blame for the low self-esteem of women worldwide? Is it the advertising industry itself, or possibly the media, who constantly shoves photo-shopped, perfect-skinned, bronzed beauties down consumers’ throats? Whoever is to blame for the lack of self-esteem in today’s women, ads like Dove Real Beauty Sketches are impossible to ignore – and it has the “viralability” to prove it.

According to businessinsider.com (http://read.bi/1fXInvA) the ad garnered more than 114 million views total and more than 3 million shares, making it the most viral ad of all time. Dove was able to create content that viewers wanted to see, but more importantly, they wanted to share.

Dove’s “Campaign For Real Beauty” first launched 10 years ago, and has been helping women realize the real meaning behind beauty ever since (http://bit.ly/1bkFcXb). Ads like “Real Curves,” “Evolution,” “Pro Age” and most recently “Selfie,” have brought to light the qualities that make women beautiful other than looks such as confidence, intelligence and happiness. Dove has increased sales by 1.5 billion since Real Beauty’s launch, proving the campaign is aging well.

What do you think about the most watched viral ad of all time? Tell us here and on our Facebook page – and, remember ladies – you are more beautiful than you think.

06
Jan
14

Kmart’s Holiday Ad: Below the Belt or Missed the Boat?

Thanks to Jordan McNamara for contributing this article to The Side Note.

In a 2012 article, Advertising Age discussed Kmart’s shrinking presence in the low-cost retail field (http://bit.ly/1gc3yWF). Annual sales were down, causing Ad Age to suggest the brand had lost relevance with discount shoppers. In the realm of discount stores, Wal-Mart dominates the low-price segment and Target holds the throne for hip, so where does this leave Kmart?

Over the holidays, Kmart and parent company Sears Holdings Corp. (http://www.searsholdings.com) made a big jingle in the viral world with the release of the holiday “Show Your Joe” commercial.

Show Your Joe

Following last year’s “Ship My Pants” spot and “Big Gas Savings,” all created by agency DraftFCB, this indicates a major brand shift for the retail chain. Kmart’s Facebook page received many complaints from angry viewers, calling the ad “disgusting and not fit for family consumption” and “inappropriate for kids!!!” (https://www.facebook.com/kmart). Many customers also accused Kmart of sacrificing family values and decency in exchange for cheap laughs.
Departure from their traditional ‘baby boomer’ demographic in pursuit of younger shoppers may be exactly Kmart’s intention. According to a Forbes article from last February, Kmart is focusing on improving sales within the 18-34 year old group (http://onforb.es/1gc32bp).

However, Time reported humor is not an effective tactic for converting sales (http://ti.me/1cTMyET). Although funny spots succeed at being memorable for consumers, they do not distinguish why the brand is better or what problem the product solves. “Ship my Pants” and “Big Gas Savings” have more than 30 million views combined views on YouTube, but Forbes reported 3rd quarter sales for Kmart were still down (http://onforb.es/1cTN7hT).

The Joe Boxer commercial may be the perfect example of funny, but ineffective. With more than 17 million views on YouTube, the ad has unquestionably garnered attention. However, the spot highlights only one product line available in Kmart stores rather than the Kmart brand as a whole. Plus, it lacks differentiation—what about these specific boxers make them so great? Why are they better than others? Why should I shop at Kmart for underwear? The ad does not answer any of these questions to make the brand or product relatable to the consumer. Both earlier ads by DraftFCB mentioned above do speak to benefits Kmart offers its customers, but the most effective ads connect with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.

Due to holiday shopping, fourth quarter sales can account for as much as 40 percent of annual sales for retailers (http://bit.ly/1hrxzFG). With that in mind, Kmart needed a stellar season to climb out of the hole after six years of continually declining sales (http://aol.it/19XT3oU). Numbers for 2013’s fourth quarter have not been released yet, but if third quarter sales are any indication, this ad will not be enough to sway shoppers away from other discount stores.

Kmart may have some big…er, bells, but that might not have been enough to fulfill this retailer’s Christmas wishes.

Do you shop at Kmart? Tell us what you think of the Joe Boxer ad here. Is your brand in need of an overhaul? The Weise team can identify problem areas and create a strategy to give your brand a boost in our Navigator session. Contact us. 

30
Oct
13

Consumer Marketing: Zombie Apocalypse is Here

When did pop culture become so scary? I don’t mean Lady Gaga dressed in steak scary, but literally “BOO!” scary. Marketing campaigns have a relentless need to hold consumers’ attention, and “what’s hot” is often the magic ingredient. Marketing and pop culture are undeniably intertwined, and as this year’s bewitching hour falls upon us, it’s impossibly to ignore the fact that monsters are just that- HOT. Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 9.48.29 AM

Shows such as True Blood, Vampire Diaries and the Twilight saga started this ‘scary’ trend, pushing vampires and werewolves into the limelight. Since the success of the AMC drama The Walking Dead, however, vampires have given way to zombies as the pop culture monster du jour. Major brands such as BMW, Honda, Skittles, Doritos and FedEx, have all featured the undead in commercials. Primarily playing on the cliche ‘escape for your life before they bite you’ storyline, these ads are redundant and easily forgettable.

Recently, however, Sprint’s “Unlimited My Way” spot has proven the zombie fad can be capitalized to exceed the scream in the night stereotype. In this 30-second spot, a zombie inquires about Sprint’s unlimited for life guarantee, simultaneously evoking humor and compassion for the undead protagonist. Watch the full ad here:

The success of this commercial doesn’t come solely from using a popular cultural reference, but rather from the irreverence with which it’s used. The zombie, confessing to his decomposing state just as a child would with his hand caught in the cookie jar, accomplishes two feats: first, it captures the viewers’ attention and second, makes it funny enough for the viewer to remember. In an age when DVRs and OnDemand make skipping commercials easier than ever, humor is one of the most powerful ways to make people watch, share, and ultimately reinforce brand awareness. Humor integrates Sprint’s brand message and leaves viewers with a positive association.

Furthermore, the zombie’s purely human need for a phone plan makes him relatable to the audience. The commercial exposes the awkwardness many people feel when approaching a sales clerk; this is exaggerated as his ear falls off, stirring feeling of compassion and sympathy in viewers. Again, these positive feelings become subconsciously linked to Sprint’s brand image, creating a powerful emotional connection.

Ultimately, of course, commercials are intended to drive sales and influence customer behaviors. Does this commercial have the ‘oomph’ to accomplish that goal? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page at Weise Communications. As always, learn more about how we can help your consumer marketing by visiting our website at www.WeiseIdeas.com.

25
Feb
13

Top 10 Things We Learned at the IFA Conference (Part 1)

Seven inches of snow greeted the Weise Communications team upon landing in Denver from the International Franchise Association (IFA) 2013 conference in Las Vegas. Paris Hilton AdThe conference was full of highlights, including:

CEO of CKE Restaurants, Andrew Puzder explaining how Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s bucked the trend of targeting mom’s with children for a fast food restaurant and changing to a ‘Young Hungry Guys’ target which led to the infamous Paris Hilton commercial and unprecedented revenue increases.

A lasting, and to many frustating experience, was the image is the ½ mile long line of people queuing up to attend the speech given by former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Her speech and the following Q&A were fantastic. She received multiple standing ovations from this friendly audience.

The four-day conference didn’t disappoint. After panels, concurrent sessions, roundtables and a host of meetings, we are going to break-up the top ten takeaways Tracy and I collected at the conference. Today, the first 5 takeaways deal with macro trends and issues that are franchise business specific. In part 2, we will reveal our marketing takeaways.

1. In 2012, there was optimism that economy is turning and that financing for franchisors and potential franchisees was beginning to loosen. That optimism has continued despite the November election eliminating the chance of a lower corporate tax rate.

2. Speaking of the elections, instead of focusing on electing business-friendly government officials, the election has provided certainty how the country will be governed. We are already seeing the impact of higher taxes, burdensome regulations and costly entitlement programs. The franchising industry response needs to be: adapt, figure out how to work the rules and grow business.

3. In a panel discussion featuring Shelly Sun of BrightStar Tariq Farid, CEO Edible Arrangements and Steve Greenbaum, CEO PostNet there was an exchange about indicators of when to make changes to the franchise business model. Tariq said all franchise systems will eventually have to change. Steve provided us with key indicators on when to consider making changes. They included:

  • When your customers’ needs have changed
  • When technology has evolved past your business
  • When there is over-saturation in the marketplace
  • When there is an absence of differentiation with your business and the marketplace
  • When year over year sales are flat or declining

4. There was a lot of discussion about paying referrals to franchisees to gain new franchise sales leads. There are two legal concerns that need to be considered:

  • If a franchisor pays too much for a referral, they are exposing themselves to a potential liability. The franchisee could be considered a broker and be exposed to licensing issues
  • The franchisee could be held to the same financial disclosure requirements as the FDD

5. Operation Enduring Freedom and the VetFran Program has been a raving success. The stated goals were to recruit and hire 75,000 veterans to careers in franchising by the end of 2014. IFA President Steve Caldeira gave an update during his State of Franchising address: 64,880 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising.

Let us know if you think we missed something. Share your thoughts about IFA with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

Be on the lookout for our top five marketing takeaways from 2013 International Franchise Association Conference.

 

06
Feb
13

“2013 Health Care Advertising: Looking for Answers”

Here is a preview of my featured article,”2013 Health Care Advertising: Looking for Answers, seen in the February issue of The Review.

To read the entire article, click here.

With the future of health care evolving, consumer behavior and attitudes must be examined. Weise Communications Co-founder and President Tracy Weise offers her top five suggestions for health care advertising and consumer engagement for 2013.

1.            Create Medical Communities through Social Media

Hospitals and health care systems can optimize outreach to educate consumers by moving beyond corporate websites and creating a strong social media presence via social media sites, blogs, referrals and webinars.

2.             Increase Engagement with Mobile Media

As more consumers utilize their smart phones and tablets for Web browsing, medical apps will allow consumers to order medication, set appointments, learn about health initiatives and obtain the contact information of health care institutions.

3.            Take a Broad Approach to Community Wellness

Online and offline advertising communication messages featuring, “well care” not just “sick care” will motivate consumers to take control of their own health in order to decrease hospital readmissions.

4.            Be Keenly Aware of the Competition

In order to prevent patients from traveling far and wide seeking optimal doctors and ideal medical costs, health care advertising can lesson competition for the health care consumer by creating specific and consistent messages to target audiences.

5.            Show Sensitivity for Consumer Anxiety Through Proactive, Targeted Communications

Health care institutions can ease consumer fears of the changing health marketplace by emphasizing positive messages about health care changes, providing dedication to community health, and advocating for the most profitable health care institutional services.

 

13
Nov
12

From Ice Cream Sandwiches to SEO

I just got my Android Smartphone firmware and software update to the latest Android Platform called Ice Cream Sandwich. Do you know what was the most noticeable change? Voice-activated Google.

Say What?

I’m serious. I can now conduct a Google search by speaking into my phone. This got me to think about the impact to SEO.  Voice search is not new, iPhone 4S Siri is basically voice activated search. However, with a direct voice activated Google search, I see the popularity of voice search taking off.

One of the interesting differences: when I am typing, I see projected search suggestions. That won’t happen while I am speaking. Also while typing, I am more likely to keep adding modifiers to whittle down my search results. I don’t think that will happen while I am speaking. We tend to speak naturally even when using voice activated software and that will mean a different set of search results.

Also, the accuracy of uncommon searches that are spoken can be challenging. For example, I wanted to search about the General Petraeus Affair, my spoken search result was “general betray us affair.” As I think about it, the search results probably would have taken me to the same place.

One other difference, voice activated users will need to see search results in a more consumer friendly format. I’ll accept fewer results but I’ll definitely need a better idea of where the results will take me.

For marketers, there is one thing I see that will be very important in the future – Video Optimization. All marketers will need to pay close attention to their video descriptions and how it can be shared on social networks. Think about how the video will be searched when spoken as well as keywords for typed searches. With the number of Smartphone users growing and two of the favorite activities being watching videos and sharing them on Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest, implementing good SEO practices will reap benefits.

Let us know what you think the impact of searching out loud will have on SEO. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

15
Aug
12

MOLOSO: Rewarding your loyal customers through mobile and social media

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We’ve heard it over and over again: social media is a great, cost effective way to drive traffic into your business and create better brand awareness.

But what about the people who already know and love your brand? It is time that you show your loyalty customers some love.

First, ask yourself what makes your loyalty customers special and what do you want to accomplish? Do you want them to buy more or buy more often? Knowing your goals and the personality of your target audience is key is determining how likely they will respond to your attempts to reward their loyalty.

Second, do not forget about your social-loyal (SOLO) customers. For example, I am a huge SOLO customer of Dunkin Donuts. I follow them online and as soon as the Denver franchises open I will be a loyal buying customer. Here are a few ways to make your loyalty customers feel special:

Texting: Life revolves around our mobile devices. It has been shown that 73% of Americans send and receive text messages. This is a personal way to reach your loyal customers to offer them exclusive time-sensitive offers, notify them of their membership status and bring them in during your slower hours. Check out these examples:

  • Nail Salon: Monday & Tuesday special: free member only upgrade!
  • Frozen Yogurt: You only need 3 more purchases to qualify for a free 10 oz yogurt!

Facebook, also known as the face of social media, visually advertises your business, and allows you to interact with your followers. Loyal customers want to feel special, and through Facebook you can have conversations with them, give away specialty membership contests and reward loyal customers from their Facebook Check Ins.

Also, do not assume your loyal customers know all of the services you provide. Use Facebook to further advertise add-ons, special events, catering, monthly specials and new offers. If they are following your page, they are interested. They will be excited to know they can get more products and services than they may have thought.

  • Chick-fil-A: they offer their catering information (seemingly less known to the public) and (to date) have 2.4 million people talking about their page, and 6.2 million likes

Foursquare: Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012. Foursquare is an app that lets you ‘check in’ at the businesses you frequent. If you go to one place more often than your friends do, you become the “Mayor.” The race to become the Mayor gives customers incentive to go, and to go repeatedly. You can further emphasize this incentive by offering the Mayor free products, upgrades, discounts and invites to exclusive events.

  • Arby’s Mayor special: they get to sit in the “4Square Mayor Booth” and get to taste test new sandwich offerings. They also get the special badge on their Foursquare profile.

Twitter: Tweeting may have less impact on purchasing behavior, but is a great outlet to educate your loyalty crowd. Customer service via Twitter is also useful because it will reach a vast number of customers and show them that you are concerned with their happiness. Exclusive offers for free products can also be advertised through a link to sign up with your membership or by registering to join your clientele base.

  • Morton’s: Peter Shankman tweeted to his 150,000 followers, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, Thanks :)” – and they did!
  • Subway: incredible customer service through conversations with their followers regarding what they like and dislike.

With 12 million Americans using social media daily, you have a high probability that your loyal customers will be reached and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to thank them for being loyal. A little appreciation will keep them coming back, and more importantly, spreading a positive word about your business.

What advice do you have for businesses that are trying to reach their loyal customers? Give us your thoughts from the loyal customer point of view on Facebook at Weise Communications or on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.




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