Monday, March 2, 2009

Bad Advertisments: do they work?

There was recently a Boost Juice commercial released on Australian television. It seemed like creators were going for some kind of 1990's Coca-Cola feel-good-aussie-icon-association strategy. In my opinion, it flopped. It was too much, almost arrogant. But then I began to wonder. Does it matter if it's corny? Does it matter that I immediately disassociated myself with it? What if it gets people talking? Maybe it will work.

Marketing is very interesting phenomenon. The more I ponder this thought, the more I am convinced of it.

But surely, simply remembering and discussing an advertisement- whether its a television commercical or a catchy billboard- is not always a positive outcome. It does bring us back to that cliche of "there is no such thing as bad press", to which I would have to respond with a blatant "Yes there is!". Individuals who regurgitate such phrases fail to understand branding. Bad press can be free press... of course. But it could also be a very costly branding experience. Bad branding is like working in the garden with manure. Sometimes no matter how many times you wash your hands afterwards, the stench does not leave! Not good.

Sometimes it seems that advertisers miss the point: slap a well-oiled montage of happy individuals hi-fiving and smiling whilst brandishing bright product logos around, and you have a successful campaign. Wait, just add some feel-good music and the deal is done. At this stage I must acknowledge that this technique has worked in the past and, frankly, the brand association individuals can appropriate is a fairly logical awareness platform. Just speak to anyone who understands the basics of neuro-linguistic programming and you will see that "anchoring" is a powerful tool. But to my mind this day has past.

Additionally, broad branding campaigns will generally only work if your association is something that consumers already associate with your product. For example, take Tsubi Jeans; here we would associate upmarket style and quality with a cutting-edge design base. If a brand campaign set out to completely re-establish itself to adopt a, say, a hardy & versatile brand concept like that of King Gee workwear, for example; it doesn't take a marketing guru to realise that this is potentially an unrealistic goal.

Having said all this... I really like Boost Juice. It is undeniable that the business model has met with a great deal of success. My favourite Boost is
Stress Relief". My only problem is I always hesitate to order it as I will often receive a funny look like "ohh... so you are having a tough day are you?"

"No! I just like rasberries!" Or maybe that's the Berry Bang. Oh well, there are lots of good blends.

So Just be smart about your marketing AND AVOID CORNY if at all possible.

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