The Consumer Divorce

Friday, December 4, 2009

I stumbled across this YouTube video by Microsoft (Europe) produced back in 2007 as a viral video campaign.  It appears their blog has since been removed–

However, I still believe the message holds true today. Even as social media has been the big buzzword and push of the last year or so, I think advertisers have a long way to go in engaging with consumers.

This video, comical at times and cleverly written, shows an advertiser and consumer having a conversation where the consumer wants a divorce. The woman (consumer) tries to explain how she has changed and that they are not spending time in the same places anymore. The man (advertiser) tries to tell her he has been speaking to her – which is exactly her point. He does all the talking and there is no engagement.

I think Microsoft did a good job in showing us that advertisers need to listen more and provide more ways for engagement instead of just speaking at consumers. Now whether Microsoft has taken its own words to heart in the last 2 plus years, I do not know.


Tweet prompts parking change in downtown Knoxville

Friday, September 25, 2009

Buses downtownWe’ve all heard of stories of how businesses are using Twitter to drive sales or improve customer service. But one tweet from a tired homeowner who is also a hi-level exec from a local bank,  prompts change in downtown Knoxville, TN.

I found it very inspiring to discover the local government was using the social media tool to monitor the voice of its residents. Kudos to the City of Knoxville.

Read the full article here.

Cinema Advertising – Is it too much?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Movie ReelAs a marketer I always look at advertising mediums to see how they might be impactful to their particular audience. Sometimes I am the target, but mostly I am not – at least in that moment in time.

I know that cinema advertising has been around for quite some time now. I even expect to see a commercial or two before the previews. But on this last occasion – a trip to the movies with my wife – my patience ran thin. I could not wait to get to the previews as the commercials just kept coming. I do not know how many there were or the actual advertisers. But I can say this, I was actually annoyed.

I go to the movies to be entertained. As a captive audience in a theater, I would expect advertisers to entertain.  The advertisements were neither entertaining nor memorable.

Is cinema advertising effective? I don’t frequent the movie theater very often, so maybe I’m not their target audience. I arrived 5 minutes before the scheduled movie time and the pre-roll was already in motion. But the long wait for the actual  previews was too much for me.

Is it just me,  or are theater operators selling too much ad time before the feature presentation?

When a nickname becomes the name

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So you’ve been in business for quite some time now and you’ve got an avid fan base of customers. So much so that you’ve been given a nickname. It is very endearing to be given a nickname from a group that you associate with. You have become more than just a friend to this group. You are in their inner circle of trusted friends. You are now affectionately known and referred to by this nickname.

But, when does the nickname become your identity that it takes over you name. When you meet someone who knows you but you do not know them and they refer to you by your nickname, only then does your nickname become your name. Only then can you begin to consider a name change. Only then can you introduce yourself to others by your nickname.

Recently, two companies moved to be known by their nickname – The Shack and The Hut. Legally, neither company changed their corporate name. And Pizza Hut has since backed off from implementing the name change.  Radio Shack, a.k.a. The Shack, however, prefers to be referred to by their nickname now.

The Shack

The Shack

When a company succumbs to a name change given by their most loyal customers, they are forcing their coolness onto their entire customer base. I have shopped at both companies, but neither company has endeared me enough to give them a nickname. To me they will be known as Radio Shack and Pizza Hut.

The Hut

The Hut

The better solution, for which I think Pizza Hut learned, is to endear yourself to the close group of friends that gave you the nickname in the first place.  Give them a special place in your business just for them. These are your brand ambassadors.These are the customers that will move your other customers into your inner circle. Continue to give them the reasons to promote your nickname.

Besides, nicknames only really mean something to your inner circle of friends. Noone outside your inner circle will understand the meaning.  The nickname won’t stand for anything. You will have to earn the trust all over again that you made with your given name.

Radio Shack thinks they can make the transition with their tagline: Our friends call us The Shack. Change your name to The Shack and you lose me as a customer. You are no longer in my top-of-mind. I guess I’m not your friend.

Marketing to Today’s 65-Plus Consumers – article

Thursday, August 6, 2009

SeniorsThe Baby-Boom generation is set to redefine the 65+ consumers. But the Silent Generation is still around and marketers have not done a great job in communicating with them according to a survey by Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends. An article in Progressive Grocer puts together some great points from this survey to help marketers in targeting this age group.

For starters, the article states these folks don’t feel as old as their age; with some saying they feel 10-19 years younger.

Showing vitality and activity is important in advertisements…but marketers are encouraged to shy away from the extreme sports as these are deemed too silly.

Grandparenting is one stereotype that marketers are pretty accurate with. Seniors are playing a more active role in caring for grandkids whether they are in the Silent Generation or the Baby Boom generation.  Some of these Seniors even have guardianship or provide for their grandkids’ basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.

If the Senior market is your target audience, then this is a great article to read.

Have you faced the same issues that this research brings to light?