Archive | July, 2010

Extending the OldSpice Campaign

28 Jul

Old Spice has a hit on their hands with the “man your man could smell like” campaign.  It’s a tough repositioning gambit they’re running but hey – nobody said it was going to be easy.

When you’ve got a great idea, you need to run with it.  So says author Luke Sullivan in the Advertising Bible “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This.”  Sullivan spends a great deal of time talking about the changing marketing paradigm.  It used to be when you needed to sell something you turned to TV, print and radio.  Now we have marketers capable of crafting intricate campaigns across new mediums.  Even foreheads aren’t immune to the imprint of guerrilla marketing.

Sullivan is an advocate for starting with the big idea (not TV or print but an idea).  I’m a fan of this method as well.  It’s easy to pluck the core out and transfer it across mediums.

With Old Spice we saw an idea that worked well on TV so they moved online using the same concept as a launching point.  The response was incredible.  Now is the time to leverage that momentum.  Keep pushing forward using the same idea.  It still has plenty of life left.

A simple suggestion: Add manly advice underneath the cap of OldSpice containers similar to Jones Cola.  It doesn’t sound revolutionary but it doesn’t have to be.  It builds on the established base set-up by the existing campaign and contributes in its own way by continuing the meme and encouraging repurchase.  Maybe 1/7 could use a link to a video message as well.  And while this may be normal and boring with soft drinks, it’s new to OldSpice’s product category.  Besides – can you think of any reason NOT to?

In what other ways would you expand the OldSpice campaign?  Try to move beyond traditional media and push the product into new realms with your response.


Hey Whipple, Squeeze This

24 Jul

I found an advertising book I’ve been looking for forever! I had to go to four different stores to find it in Calgary.   Two claimed to have it and did not.  Suffice to say, I’m extremely pleased to have finally  located this book – it’s highly rated by the blogging and marketing community.  The book is, of course, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan.

Also #extraM launches on Sunday.  If you haven’t heard about it, save the tag – this will be a new hashtag discussion on Twitter about marketing.  Topics are announced every Sunday and last a week, so you have plenty of time to get in on the conversation.  We look forward to your input – it should lead to some interesting insights and networking connections – see you there!

High Tech Marketing

22 Jul

I’m currently reading Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore.  It’s a great book that’s stood the test of time.  Definitely a must read for anybody interested in the fields of technology and marketing.  I found this awesome little nugget in the Foreword:

This is what we mean when we talk about “owning a market.”  Customer do not like to be “owned,” if that implies lack of choice or freedom.  The open systems movement in high tech is a clear example of that.  But they do like to be “owned” if what that means is a vendor taking ongoing responsibility for the success of their joint ventures.  Ownership in this sense means abiding commitment and a strong sense of mutuality in the development of the marketplace.  When customers encounter this kind of ownership, they tend to become fanatically loyal to their supplier, which in turn builds a stable economic base for profitability and growth.

Can anyone say Apple?  Fantastic read so far.  I’m less than fifty pages in and have already stumbled upon more than my share of nuggets like this one.

Wisdom-packed books like this one seriously rock.  Post the ones you’ve found in the comments.

Inception Marketing

21 Jul

*Spoilers below.  Use extreme caution if you haven’t seen Inception yet.*

I read a post the other day titled Inception Marketing – timely, yes.  Maybe a bit exploitative?  Probably – it’s part of the game.  But accurate and thought provoking?  Definitely.

As with all good cinema, Inception has something to teach us about life.  Sounds melodramatic but it’s true.  I read a fantastic post – unfortunately, I’ve lost the link – about how the movie could be interpreted as one large analogy to the movie business.  Architects are directors, dreamers the audience, etc., etc…dreams can be cathartic, more real than reality and impact the real world – just like movies.  But I want to focus on something different in this post because the essay already covered that topic in detail.  If you find the link, please, post it in the comments.

Inception is about the power of an idea.  In the words of Cobbs – “the most resilient of viruses”.  The trouble is, you can’t just insert a fully formed idea, you can only use it’s most basic form and allow it to grow on it’s own.  So there’s a bit of an art to it.  If you’re too obvious, the target’s mind recognizes a foreign intruder and puts up walls.  Nolan (the director) uses the movie as a medium to talk about making movies.  His point is that you can’t be too blatant, you need to trust the audience to interpret for themselves.  The same can be said for marketing.  And just like marketing, the better you know your customer, the higher your chances of success.

Look at Starbucks.  They never explicitly say that drinking your daily latte makes you hip, upscale and trendy.  They provide the cues – atmosphere, barristas, music selection, wifi, location, etc – and you, the customer, make the final statement.  You say that Starbucks is an upscale brand.  That positioning is more powerful because you arrived at it on your own.  Yes, Starbucks planted the seed but you connected the dots.

Their’s a parallel to social dynamics too.  Trying too hard to be ‘cool’ in high school made you (or others) look like a poser.  If you have to say it, the magic is lost.

Leave the blatant, over-the-top statements for late night TV.  Use some subtlety and tact and your communications will be far more powerful and persuasive.

There’s an app for that…

15 Jul

This is something that popped into my mind yesterday while driving around Calgary.

Tell me, how many times you’ve been in this situation, say on a road trip or even in your own city, where you just want to know where the nearest Tim Horton’s is (replace with Starbucks if you prefer specialty coffee or don’t live in Canada) so you can get your caffeine fix and continue on your way.  I would venture to say that we’ve all been there at least once.  It can be a frustrating ordeal when we have to leave our normal environment.

An iPhone app from Tim Horton’s could solve this problem.  Instead of spelunking around in Google Maps, all you have to is tap the Tim Horton’s icon.  Directions will appear on screen to guide you from your current location to the restaurant.

Now that solves our problem but, it’s kind of simplistic.  Not really worth the hassle if you’ve already got Google maps.

So let’s crank things up a notch: what if you could order your Extra-Frappo-Mocha-no-fat-a-chino w/ Hazelnut from your handheld.  When you arrive at the store it would be ready and waiting.  Also, if you’re ordering from your iPhone, you don’t have to fumble around for change because the app could be tied to your account or credit card.  All you have to do is show the cashier your iPhone.  It’s that easy.  You’ll be back on the road in no time.

Edit:  Erm, apparently Tim Horton’s is one step ahead of me.  There’s a reason they’re one of the top brands in Canada!  Check out TimmyMe for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.  Now we just need the mobile-enabled ordering to make this app truly extraordinary.  An Extra Large Double Double and a Toasted Blueberry Bagel (plain cream cheese) to go please!

Starbucks has a similar app and one that lets you use your phone to pay in select locations.  Now they need to roll it out across the continent and put the two apps together and they could put a dent in those morning line-ups.

Transferring Innovation

15 Jul

We regularly see innovation become the norm in one field and then transfer to another.  Today’s post is about this type of idea, taking innovation from (of all places) the ski & snowboarding industry to automobiles.

So let’s start with some history.  Our story begins in 1995 with a garage-based start-up called Line Skis.  They were eventually bought out by a larger manufacturers – K2 but to this day are operated independently.  Their mark on the ski industry has been immeasurable.

The catalyst behind Line’s creation and our mission still today is the simple concept that a skier needs innovative product to progress their riding and the sport.  All of today’s most popular action sports grew in popularity thanks to this evolution in the 80’s and 90’s.  Unfortunately, this was not the case with our favorite sport of skiing.  Through the years, ski designs hadn’t changed outside of graphics and model names.  They were all long, pointy, straight, stiff, essentially designed for elite Olympic racers to go faster on ice around poles wearing spandex.

This was one of the most popular skis of the time.

In the 90’s, skiing was a declining industry.  Snowboarding was pushing forward as the cool sport for youth.  Line changed this.  They were innovative in two ways:

First, they borrowed ideas from snowboard design to create ‘twin-tip’ skis which were more forgiving, fun in the parks and basically bad-ass.  Additionally, Line moved away from the boring geometric shapes and stripes of the day to customized, hand-drawn graphics.  The ski became a canvas for the artist – a work of art; the design, an extension of the skier.

Nowadays Line has gone mainstream.  As previously mentioned, they were purchased by K2 and are now sold around the world.  Other manufacturers such as Salomon and Rossignol have adopted the same style with twin-tip skis and gnarly graphic options for every type of skier.  The boring geometric shapes and stripes have been left to the history books and for the first time in years, skiing has gained ground on snowboarding among youth.

Here we come to our crossroads.  Like ski manufacturers of old, North American auto-makers are losing out to foreign manufacturers (snowboarders in our analogy).  Innovation is necessary to move the industry forward.  Back in the day, Line’s tagline was “Because Skiing Needs A Future” – couldn’t the same apply just as easily to Ford, GM or Chrysler?

Cars today are designed with solid colours and a few chrome highlights.  What if auto-makers were to use the vehicle’s body as a canvas for artists, just like Line did with skis 15 years ago?  Your car would become an expression, a statement of who you are, more than the have or have-not symbol that dominates the auto industry today.

A work of art.  A timeless, priceless masterpiece.  Leave the solid colours to the competition.

You don’t need a Corvette to turn heads.

Also, please check out – they’re awesome.  If you’re curious, I own the 08/09 blend,  pictured here.

Edit:  What do you do if you’re an auto-maker who doesn’t want to do this across your extensive product line?  Update one line and use it as a prototype.  See what the reaction is like and go from there.  OR make it an option and market it as a premium upgrade.

Old Spice Changes the Game

14 Jul

By now you’ve probably seen the @OldSpice campaign that has taken the Internet by storm and put advertisers on notice.  From Yahoo! Answers to Reddit to Facebook, Old Spice is reaching their target group by engaging in a new way.  This is potentially game-changing for many reasons, let’s look at a few below:

1.  Videos are shot in one or two takes and released the same day because you have to keep up with a real-time stream. Old Spice released one or two clips every hour – pretty impressive when you consider the production values.  If you’re organized to do it, you can react quickly to take advantage of changes in the external environment.  Can you imagine if Axe had been able to mobilize a response, in real-time, to the Old Spice man?

2.  Clients will have to give up some control.  Putting something online requires a willingness to let it evolve and change.  You simply don’t have time to go through the bureaucratic chain to approve every little detail.  Agencies and their clients need to put their brand in capable hands and trust them to do amazing things.

3.  Targeting influentials, as a stand-alone strategy, isn’t enough.  Influentials can get you started but the real gems of the Old Spice campaign came from the contributions of regular people.  Did you know that one couple is now engaged as a result of Old Spice?  Respond to your customers.  Give them a memorable experience that can be shared for years to come.

Imagine an introspective Don Draper, reminiscing about his childhood in a smoke filled room while sipping a bourbon.  Or the Geico lizard fielding questions about (insert bizarre topic from left field).  What if the characters of Toy Story had appeared on a Youtube talkshow prior to the movie’s release?  The Woot monkey running tech support for a day?  That annoying Fountain Tire guy on a cross-country roadtrip, talking to real customers.  It doesn’t even require a full-day assault.  A seemingly out-of-the-blue video response to a well thought out forum post from the GM of the Calgary Flames would certainly get people talking.  Campaigns that surprise and delight customers are a surefire way to build brand equity.

Other creatives are going to respond to OldSpice.  Their clients will demand it.  In the next few months I expect we’ll see a few copycats but also marketers that took the idea and made it their own –  in a way that fits their strategy.  I eagerly await the latter.