Archive for July, 2010

Check it in Reverse – Al Ries

By Al Ries for Ad Age (Feb, 2006)

Recently, the country of Guatemala hired a global branding consultancy to develop a new tourist strategy.

According to the consultants: Extensive focus groups were carried out to understand the perspective of a broad range of Guatemalans, including the business, artistic, literary, hospitality and indigenous communities.

‘Working from the values of Mysticism, Intimacy, Diversity, Evolution, and Authenticity, states the consultancy, we defined a distinctive and credible brand essence.’

Guatemala’s new brand essence: ‘Soul of the Earth.’

Is ‘Soul of the Earth’ a good idea or not? Are there any objective criteria to determine if a new position is going to be effective or not?

If you’re sitting in a boardroom listening to an agency present the concept for your new advertising campaign, how do you respond? Do you go with your gut? Or do you have another way to figure out whether the proposed idea is going to work?

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Ryan McGinley Photography

Ryan McGinley is the photographer who shot the new Levi’s “Go Forth” Campaign in the US. For those of you who feel Asian advertising photography is too overposed, over-retouched and over-cooked, bookmark his site for reference. Liks the talent featured in his shots, Ryan’s photography is also raw, feral, even naked.

16 Classic Influence Tactics. Which one will you use in your campaign?

This is Marwell & Schmitt’s Taxonomy of 16 influence tactics and dates back to 1967. It is still a very useful tool for modern day planners and creatives who are thinking of a way to change a consumer’s behaviour. Try them all over time. Try them all at once, for the same brief. Write ads in each approach and see which one wil get the job done best. Enjoy.

Reward
I’ll reward you if you do it. “I’ll throw in a pair of speakers if you buy it today.” “Thanks! I’ll make certain your manager knows how helpful you were.”

Punishment
I’ll punish you if you don’t do it. “If you don’t buy it today, I won’t be able to offer you this special incentive price again.” “If I can’t get it at that price tomorrow, then I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

Positive Expertise
Speaking as an authority on the subject, I can tell you that rewards will occur if you do X, because of the nature of reality. “If you start working out at our gym regularly, you’ll find that people are more attracted to you physically.”

Negative Expertise
Speaking as an authority on the subject, I can tell you that punishments will occur if you do Y, because of the nature of reality. “If you don’t buy it today, you may never get another chance–our stock is almost sold out.”

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Ten Facebook Myths Busted

Is facebook just another marketing channel? Does every brand need a fb page? Is a fb post on your page always better than sending an email? How do you increase your fan numbers? These questions and more are answered in this revealing presentation by Soap Creative in Australia.

SMS Slingshot

Sheena Iyengar on How We Choose

“A rose by any other name probably does look different and maybe even smells different.” says Sheena Iyengar, who has studied how we make choices — and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial decisions (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising findings about our attitudes towards choices. For instance, that when we’re presented with too many things to choose from, we tend not to choose anything at all. And that the American assumptions about choices are certainly not true in other cultures.

Tarp Surfing

It looks as good as surfing, and you don’t even get wet.

Mind Control

Tan Le’s astonishing new computer interface reads its user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.

Pulse of a Nation

Twittermood
Showing the pulse of the US, the moods as they fluctuate over time.

FWA is going mobile

“Submit any new (or even old mobile) projects you have as we are keen to find some great content for when we go live in the coming weeks” – Rob Ford

More info here.

New Water

Via Adverblog.

Apple: Brand of Profits – by Mark Ritson

Last week, Apple overtook Microsoft as the world’s most valuable technology company. How has it managed to be so successful? Pundits love to say “innovation”, but if you go beyond the generic answer and break down the specific steps in Apple’s business model, an intriguing picture emerges.

Let’s take the iPhone, and follow the stream of money from its origin of an initial consumer purchase all the way to the ocean that represents Apple’s incredible profits.

Our journey begins with a consumer who heads into O2, Vodafone or another network provider to purchase a new iPhone 3GS. If Apple was any normal company it would now expect to give away up to 15% of its revenues in margin for the retailer. But Apple’s brand strength combined with the latent threat of its own retail stores means it usually sells its products to retailers for virtually the same price as they will charge their consumers. That’s right – zero profit for the retailer. Apple can do this because it is a destination brand that every retailer wants and one that often confers lucrative peripheral sales.

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Marketing Lessons Continue to Flow from Apple – Mark Ritson

Look at how the company executes a pre-launch strategy to build anticipation and generate awareness. Examine closely how Apple uses its retail partners to make the launch events an actual occasion rather than just the start of availability. Study carefully how Apple initially uses premium prices at the outset to maximise profits and communicate exclusivity, and then later as the reference price to discount from in order to drive sales from less involved market segments. But most important, look at how Apple always runs out of product long before the initial launch ends.

Sales managers and finance people must think Apple is insane. Why make less stock than the guaranteed demand? Only marketers, the good ones at least, understand that the success of the iPhone 4 hinges as much on running out of initial supplies as it does on the phone’s sleek new design. By running out of iPhones, Apple actually ensures its product will eventually be more successful. Scarcity keeps its retailers like AT&T, Vodafone and O2 onside by restricting their supply. It also ensures a vital additional hit of publicity as media coverage of retailers selling out of iPhones underlines both the massive demand for the new product and the continued success of Apple.

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Canon Powershot Underwater

Canon’s PowerShot D10 is a waterproof compact digital camera and its selling point is well brought out in this pair of print advertisements, titled Beach and Jacuzzi, developed at Leo Burnett Bangkok by executive creative directors Keeratie Chaimoungkalo, Sompat Trisadikun, art directors Sompat Trisadikun, Nateepat Jaturonrasmi and copywriter Santi Tubtimtong.

Comcast Makes Classic Marketing Mistake – Al Ries

Comcast is in the process of rebranding some of its offerings to “Xfinity,” although the company name will remain Comcast.

Consumers in 11 markets will have a choice of Xfinity TV, Xfinity Voice and Xfinity Internet. Presumably, Comcast will soon be rolling out these high-speed, high-definition services to other prospects in the 39 states the company serves.

Is this a good move?
Lawyers will tell you the best trademarks are “coined” names such as Kodak and Xerox. So we are seeing a raft of coined brand names you can’t find in any dictionary, including Xfinity.

But wait a minute. There’s a well-known automobile brand called “Infiniti.” Isn’t Comcast worried about the confusion between the two? If not, did Comcast consider using Xonda or Xundai or Xoyota?

But there is a bigger issue here. Comcast is a large company with revenues last year of $35.8 billion. In addition to its cable, telephone and internet services, Comcast has cable programming interests (G4, Versus and The Golf Channel) and also owns entertainment channel E!

Not to mention the company’s 51% interest in NBC Universal, a joint venture with General Electric.

It makes sense for Comcast to have a pure “company” name like Procter & Gamble and have its services, programming and cable channels defined with their own brand names.

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