marketing

Fashion Quote of the Day


It is good that for some people this approach works 🙂

 

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Happy Birthday H&M! But… please reconsider your marketing.


Going in the Metro the other day I was handed a pretty newspaper-like brochure, from which all I could read was FASHION. So I smiled, took it, said thank you and went to get on my train.

The pretty brochure was an ad for H&M, announcing they are celebrating their tenth birthday in the USA. That’s great I thought pretty pictures, sale, lovely message at the back… It took me less that 30 seconds to flip through it, as there was only one picture a page for the total of like six. The one thing that I noticed was that the paper was very heavy, and then I thought how many six page newspaper-like handouts have been given out , and then how many trees were killed before that to make these brochures, and how much money it costs to print them, and how many girls were wasting their time to hand them out… And it goes on… All the resources that were spent for me to look at that brochure for few seconds and perhaps throw it away (or recycle it, in my case). Was it all worth the price of the material hand out I was given…

And then I got to thinking about improving that campaign. So many ways… Like make that brochure digital. And/or use an email or a mobile bar-code and a digital ad that takes you to a blog or something… It is not that hard to figure out a way to make people see the same thing but using the little devices that are in everyones pockets- iphones, blackberies, droids, laptops. Of course to make it personal you can still have a little card handout or a pretty picture handout but not ten pages of heavy paper.

I wish fashion brands such as H&H used the advances in digital marketing better. There are so many things they can do to announce their H&M birthday sale that are a bit more creative, cheaper, and definitely better for the environment. All it takes is a little creativity and a good developer. And as for the heavy-duty paper if they want to kill trees, make the sheets into notebooks or drawing pads and give them to underprivileged children for education and creativity development.

PS: I very much apologize for the bad photos. I folded the ad to fit it in my purse, and then it never fully recovered to be photogenic enough…

More Awesomeness from Old Spice


So yes it has been all over the web, and everyone has been talking about the Old Spice viral campaign… but to be honest there are few things peeps are missing… I just saw a vlog of a “SOCIAL MEDIA PRO” who was mainly talking about the volume of the responses and the fact that the Old Spice man was talking to celebrities… and there were all these comments that the campaign is not actually winning money for the brand…  or that it is degrading… ugh people seriously!?!

Well here are my 5 cents… and no I am not a social media pro, guru, evangelist or anything of that sort… I just listen, read and draw conclusions for myself.

As I said before the campaign is genius. I do stand by my thoughts even more now after the second part of the campaign. You might agree, but if you don’t think about it- it is funny, creative, endearing, talks directly to consumers (even a little from above), and it is everywhere just because of that.

The viral nature of the videos are not because they were tweeting about them in high volume… sorry but it is not the volume of the content you put out there – it is the quality. If it was some boring ad campaign it doesn’t matter if they put 20, 30 or 100 videos on youtube, tweet/facebook/blog about them and then call you to check if you have seen them… you would not have because they were boring. The Old Spice ads are not. Mad props to the fast witted Wieden and Kennedy for that! Great content goes very far!

And it is funny too, content is even better if it is engaging. After reading Brian Solis’ book “Engage” – that is one of the main words that is floating through my brainwaves when I think of social media. I think Brian deserves a hug for his wisdom and insight! It is so very important to know who your consumer is, to make sure you understand them, to spark a conversation and to provide content that is not imposed, but is engaging.  And these videos were that- what is better than simply responding to comments about your brand? Well… responding to comments about your brand in a funny witty manner.

Also persistence pays they say. Constant and dedicated high quality content is what makes this campaign successful. And the more than 200 videos do that, although for just a day and a half.  Engagement with celebreties such as Kevin Rose, Alyssa Milano and Ashton Kutcher also helps… Create buzz, get people talking, that is what social media does; and in this case it is doing it quite successfully. Also the voicemail generating website is hilarious! An innovative tool, not previously used (at least to my knowledge), funny and original, but still carrying the message of the campaign- http://oldspicevoicemail.com/ is pretty well thought of… I played with it for like an hour, and yes tried all possible combinations, but no it is not my voicemail (not THAT professional if you know what I mean, and I am an employment searching individual, so probably it is not going to be my voicemail message anytime soon, or maybe  if  WK will offer me a job and THEN I will have the full right to use it… anyway, got carried away)

So the whole campaign for me is actually to reposition the brand…  to dust it off, make it cool and desirable by people who are below the age of 50… And yes if Aqua Di Gio could do it with half naked hot men, why would Old Spice not be able to… And it is happening, I would buy Old Spice body wash for my b/f, not because I want him to smell or look like Mustafa, but because I like the ads, and, believe it or not, want to try it. Also the whole image of “oh my dad uses it, and I would not touch it” will disappear, because yes- now a super hot guy on TV is using it, so why not…

So even if the market share is not increasing as spontaneously as probably Old Spice peeps thought it will, the campaign will earn its money in the long run…

In conclusion for me it is a yes-  the campaign is a winner,  playing the social media cards right and providing everything necessary for it to be considered a success.  Even a catchy tune… Do do do doot doo do do dooot .

Old Spice in a New Way


The male fragrance market is pretty saturated. Who has not watched the funny cool ads about the Axe effect, or seen any of the prints for Aqua di Gio.

And amongst all that fragrant hotness, how many people really liked or bought Old Spice?

Personally I think the brand was a bit outdated, the cool factor was gone, and even the packs of the products were  tad antique-looking. Until now:

As you see Old Spice has reinvented itself with an amazing viral marketing campaign. It’s all over the internet, and people are “loving it”. The Old Spice YouTube Channel is funny, sassy, and sexy, just as the ad. The clever sense of humour in the ads make you want to watch them  over and over again, and the handsome funny actor is just adding to the overall coolness, with his perfect enunciation and inflection.  All the other ads on the channel are funny too. However they have a little scent of the Axe ads in them, pun intended.

Also great PR on their part-  Isaiah Mustafa (the hot actor from the ad) was on Ellen’s Show. He was very pleasant and funny, and talked a bit for about the scenes. The ad is one long shot, and they had to shoot it more than 80 times. It was all worth it though.  Great final result.

On a final note I love that the ad above is talking to the ladies. It is not a macho, “yeah I’m a man! Grr!” aggressive type of an ad, it is subtle in its macho-ness presenting “what women want”, with a clever wink to the guys.

Great job Old Spice!

To innovate or not to innovate?!


So what a day, huh? Steve Jobs uncovered the new tremendously cool new product that we all have been waiting for and speculating about, and biting our nails to figure out. Well, here it is: the iPad. As a true geek-wannabe I was watching live streaming from the press conference, and reading several blogs simultaneously, trying to figure it out. Is it truly THAT cool?! Mr. Jobs called it “magical device”, the buzz online was immense, the buzz on Twitter was close to ridiculous… but in the end is it that amazing?

Let me start with the name. My first thoughts when I heard it was that it is way too close with iPod, I mean it is just a-typo-away to mess them up… but then… it got renamed very fast, because it really sounds like a female hygiene product…Yeah, pretty bad name dear Apple people. It is hilarious, though, that on Twitter there was no #iPad trend, but there was #iTampon. And yes.. the jokes are still streaming like a flooded river. I am pretty sure after the developments on Twitter some of the marketing folks were in a huge “ooops, we did not see that coming!” state of mind. It is quite rough start, I shall say, they could have thought better. Especially with the speculations of the iSlate, it is so much more sleek and sophisticated name. But, anyways, the iPad it is.

However, is it really that worthy of all the buzz that was created and circulated for the past few weeks. It was supposed to be revolutionary, and to change the way we all use computers and communicate. Well… kind of disappointing I must say. There are very cool apps, and functions, and it is very mobile… but it terms of innovation and improvements- not so sure. It is described as revolutionary and magical device, but I definitely don’t see pink flying elephants and unicorns jumping out of it. It is just a larger version of the iPod Touch. Really. It has no features that are completely novel, exactly the opposite, it lacks a camera, and 16 gigs are definitely not enough for such a machine, I mean my iPod has more memory, for crying out loud. As Stan said in his blog, perhaps we should expect more in the next version.

How about the price? Steve Jobs said he wants to put it in as many hands as possible, but $500 for the basic, Wi-Fi only, 16 gig version is way too much. It is as much as a little cheapy notebook, if not more. And if you want it all- the high memory, 3G version and the keyboard and stand/cover, it will come close to a $1000, which if you think about is expensive; and on top of that put a monthly fee from a 3G provider for the data and internet… So it is not going to be in my hands, at least for quite a while.

The truth is that, although not super impressed, I think it is a nifty device. It is handy, thin, high quality picture, great for everyday use- movies, games, reading, presentations, note taking in meetings. It is big enough to read on it without straining your eyes and giving up after 3 pages, but small enough for fitting in my purse and carrying around. However it did not deserve all the buzz and talk, speculations and gossip… it is far away from Minority Report, and not that magically revolutionary in any way.

There is much more to be desired, I would love for it to have the writing on the screen feature, of course a camera, voice recorder, and perhaps a cheaper alternative for the monthly data usage from a provider. But in the end it is Apple, and no matter how everybody claims they are disappointed, we will all jump on the bandwagon and come Christmas 2010 the iPad will be the most popular gift, beating the competition in the face of Kindle, X-box, and even the iPod touch. But for the competition of the iPad and Apple product cannibalization on a later note…

*image courtesy of Apple.com

Grad-school revised


I am a graduate student, I am completing my MSc in International marketing in one of the top 25 (ranked 22) schools in the WORLD! What do you read, when you see that? Kick ass preparation, ready for life, give me a project and I will kick ass! Ummm… sorry, not really.

So far the actual preparation for real life management has been, let’s say… in the words of a dear friend of mine: “meh”.

I was studying for my market structure and competition exam today and I was reading about the broadening of marketing and how the theory is shifting from a product dominant logic to the service dominant model. There was it- co-creation of value, so important in… 2 slides… and then a whole semester of dry boring theory that contributed nothing to my real world preparation for bad-ass-future-pr-ness. I think there is something wrong in education today… I am learning more from the blogs that I am reading, and the YouTube videos that I am watching than from my teachers.

For a whole semester we have not even mentioned concepts like – social media, the power of buzz, YouTube,  even the internet… How come this is a world level marketing program if we are talking about articles from the 70’s and 90’s and wasting classes talking about the Structure-Conduct-Performance model, to only have our lecturer tell us after the whole class that this model is not used anymore, and it is outdated?! really!?!?

Granted we have to know theory. No doubt about it. I like my theory, I like perspectives and different lenses through which one particular case can be viewed and examined, but seriously… we need something more. Marketing changes so quickly, there are so many innovations, and so many ideas up in the air at all times that we need to be able to find them, to appreciate them, to create them.

I was looking at the T-mobile campaign that was created in the past year: T-mobile: Life is for sharing

It is all about the buzz, the co-creation of experience, co-creation of value, people participating, having fun.  They are not consumers in the rational marketing sense; they are partners, participants… allies in producing something extraordinary. Marketing is not about selling a product anymore, it is not even about creating a service, it is about awareness, visibility, and mainly ability to create, pursue, and carry out ideas that are catchy, and likable. That is what social marketing is about. Putting the” social” part in, is so important, and there are so many great resources… it is sad and a pity that we are not even covering the basic idea of buzz, consumer relationship or reviewing groundbreaking ideas and campaigns as part of our curriculum.

Evian babies

Because as seen in the Evian ad, it is not about the water, it is about the fun, the catchiness, the sole idea that this ad was seen by several million people, and sent across the globe several times. There is a way to learn to do that, to think like that, to be outside the box as much as possible, but definitely we are not getting it here and now. And we should.

I stumbled upon the OraBrush ads on YouTube. http://www.orabrush.com/store/index.html It is genius. It covers all bases, it is interactive, innovative, funny, educational… I will order the product myself…. But hey, they give it for free if you visit the website and join the Facebook group and invite your friends to view the fan-page. Genius! They even have iPhone apps, they place their ads on YouTube, they use humor, have consumer feedback… yes, I know, I know… we can’t learn how to do that in school, there is no scheme to how to create a creative campaign that is groundbreaking… they can’t teach genius into me… but honestly I think programmes, especially graduate programmes in marketing should put bigger emphasis on what is going on right here, right now. It is not that hard.

Schools should nurture creativity, and enable people to create ads with LED sheep, and not cable-tv infomercials! No one needs the next snuggie afterall.