Archive for the 'Marketing' 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
Sep
13

Social Media Marketing: What Brands Can Learn From “Mother Monster”

What could your brand do with 40 million followers on Twitter?  What about 45 million?  Celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber send out tweets daily to this amount of followers, while their fans continuously respond with compliments, love, and devotion.  So, what can brands learn from these enormous celebrities about how to create an engaging and interesting social media presence?lady-gaga-social-media-tactics

 1—Create A Culture

“Little Monsters” may be a little to eccentric for a company to call their customers, but the united culture is something to strive toward.  Lady Gaga has managed to turn her fans into a loving, supporting culture.  “Mother Monster,” as she’s called, has given her fans a home, and a sense of belonging.  Customers, consumers, and users are all terms that are too disconnected.  A brand should show their customers that they have a subculture that their buyers belong to; a family they didn’t even know existed until they started using your product and service.  Make your customers be proud to be your “little monster.”

 2—Believe In Your Message, But Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Sarcasm is now a language within itself.  Sarcasm and humor demonstrate personality, which is crucial to a company’s social media presence.  You want to offer a human aspect to your accounts so fans and followers know they aren’t just engaging with a robot.  Lady Gaga is never afraid to poke fun at herself, her songs, her crazy sense of fashion, and the world around her.  Showing personality helps followers relate to your brand’s voice and feel like they know you.

LittleMonsters-Private-Beta 3—Encourage Collaboration

Shockingly, the people that know your customer base the best are your customers!  Lady Gaga took notice that her fans were just as artistically inclined as her, and opened up her own social network, LittleMonsters.com.  This site has provided a community for her monsters to share their art, while also creating relationships based on acceptance and their love for Gaga.  Opening up an opportunity for customers to use their creativity with your brand can help build loyalty towards your brand.

What are other celebrities that companies should learn lessons from?  Or what are other lessons that can be learned from the big names in music, movies, and TV?  Share with us in the comment section below, and also on our Facebook and Twitter!  Also, check out how we create brand cultures on social media at WeiseIdeas.com.

05
Sep
13

Healthier Marketing: Taco Bell Cutting the Cord On Kids’ Meals

Fast food chains have been constantly under critique since pediatric obesity became a leading medical issue.  The convenience and favorable taste of fast food makes kids’ meals wildly popular,

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 their high calorie count and low nutritional value makes them highly criticized.  The unhealthy food is not the only problem.  Criti

In recent years, chains have begun to listen to health advisers. They claim to make steps toward healthier options, however, these changes might just be cosmetic, rather than a true interest in a creating healthier community.cs have long despised the marketing tactics of these restaurants, especially their relationship with children. The toy offering with each kid’s meal has been called unethical since children beg for the toy, not understanding the unhealthy food that comes along with it.

So far, Taco Bell has become the first national fast food chain to eliminate kid’s meals.  This decision was made following intense pressure from health advocates to eliminate the meals in order to promote healthier food choices for children.  However, CEO Greg Creed says that the pressure from the advocates was not the only force driving the elimination.  Creed says kid’s meals were not profitable for the company, representing only .5% of total sales, and the meals did not suit their target market of millennials.

Other fast food chains feeling heat from health advocates include Jack In The Box which eliminated the kid’s meal option in 2007, however Jack In The Box not a national chain.  For their Kids’ meals, McDonald’s, added apples and downsized the fries. Yet the toys still remain and the kids want them. Trust me, I was specifically asked by my five year old for dinner from McDonald’s last week so he could “get a cool toy”. Which I interpret to be: a piece of plastic crap surrounded by junk food he barely likes and hardly eats. And yet McDonald’s got my money.

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According to various reports, the real reason most brands eliminate kid’s meals or add healthier options is to increase their brand image.  Taco Bell looks good to health advocates and to the public by eliminating possible deceptive marketing to children that comes from offering cool toys in meals. Also, these other options do an excellent job of bringing customers in the doors, where they usually continue to buy the unhealthier menu choices and a profit is still made.

Should brands shift towards healthier food options, even if its not for healthier reasons?  Should Taco Bell be praised for eliminating the kid’s meal, even though they are doing it for primarily fiscal reasons? Is McDonald’s still king because apples are in  happy meals and the fries are smaller, or does it really make any difference?

Tell us what you think in the comments, and head over to our Facebook or Twitter at @weise_ideas.  Be sure to visit us at at WeiseIdeas.com

19
Aug
13

Branding A Business: The Lessons We Learned From JCP’s Failed Rebranding Effort

In less than shocking news, Ron Johnson was recently ousted as CEO of J.C. Penney after a continued decline in recent sales.  Johnson came into JCP during one of the worst times for the company.  He had hoped to rebrand the retail chain in order to have it come back as a successful store, but his tactics failed to cause a turnaround in profits.

ronjohnsonLast year, when Johnson rolled out his first series of changes, we recorded our opinions and predictions.  Now that Johnson has been let go by JCP, we have noted a few things that are crucial for rebranding initiatives that Johnson seemed to leave out.

1. Research, Research, Research

The key to a successful branding is complete research.  This means analyzing the company, the consumers, the competition, and the market.  After collecting all there is to know, a company can decide on the most successful strategies to be implemented.  Most of JCP’s rebranding woes could have possibly been predicted according to their current consumer trends.  JCP severely underestimated the backlash of ditching their coupons for the value pricing system.  The company learned almost immediately how important the promotions were to current customers, which is something sales records could have demonstrated.  When in a crisis, companies should always evaluate what is working for their company versus what isn’t.  The backlash on the pricing policy change has lead us to question the validity of the research that was completed.

2. Consumer Testing Is Key

Customer is king.  If the customer does not like the strategies you are using, it will bleed through into your sales.  Consumer testing helps a company try out some of their newest tactics and get some feedback before rolling out anything to the wider market.  Judging from consumer reactions, Johnson skipped this step.  Customers were immediately annoyed by the new television commercials, and posted their negative almost immediately. jcplogo

3. Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

According to various reports, Johnson was always very mum on changes to come.  Only a few select people would know what was next for the retailer.  However, branding, by definition, is about sharing with the public the culture that is alive inside the company.  That means that every employee has to be on the same page, providing a united front in what the brand stands for.  But, with Johnson keeping everyone in the dark, workers did not know what their next attitude change had to be.

Where else did Johnson fail in his rebranding?  Or what were some of his successes?  Tell us your takeaway in the comments, and on our Facebook & Twitter!

 

13
Aug
13

Social Media Marketing: Chipotle’s Method to Their Faux Hack Madness

Last Sunday, Chipotle’s twitter account, known for having one of the most social, appeared to have fallen prey to the works of a hacker.  @ChipotleTweets released a stream of tweets that appeared to be a list of commands to Siri about directions, google searches, and texts. Tweets

Later on during the week, Chipotle admitted to the public that the twitter hack was just a publicity stunt tied to their 20th anniversary campaign, “Adventurrito.”  This announcement received mixed reviews from critics and fans, saying that the fake hack broke the trust of their customers.  This move is not that uncommon, with MTV and BET faking account hacks for publicity only a few months ago.

There is no doubt that the fake stunt increased Chipotle’s publicity; they gained 4,000 followers in a day, as well as publicity all over news and social media sites, but is this success worth their deception?

When it comes to faking account hacks, a real one is a nightmare for community managers to imagine.  But, a planned hack gives off an air of shameless self-promotion, leaving fans and followers feeling foolish.  Social media has helped many brands come closer to their customers, but alienating them on these sites can destroy their long built reputation.

 

chipotleChipotle was able to shy away from alienation and deception by giving their hack an underlying purpose; Adventurrito clues.  The puzzle of the day that Sunday was about the ingredients in Chipotle’s guacamole, so some of the tweets that appeared to be Google searches and texts were actually hints on the puzzle.  Chipotle has been hiding clues for their Adventurrito puzzles across all media, so the purpose of the hack was to follow along with these other hidden clues.

Instead of harmful tweets that might look even worse on the brand, Chipotle made sure their tweets were planned well, shying far away from anything hateful or controversial.

Planned social media hacks can appear to be bottom of the barrel self-promotion, but if executed with a deeper plan, such as clues for a contest, Chipotle is helping their customers, along with themselves.

Was Chipotle’s fake Twitter hack a terrible misstep in their otherwise untainted social media reputation?  Or was it a creative reinforcement to their Adventurrito campaign? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below, and on our Twitter and Facebook!




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