Friday, February 29, 2008

Vaseline: Outdoor Advertising for the Blind

Vaseline has taken outdoor advertising to a new level with this one!! How many FMCG brand managers would care to take an extra initiative and market specifically for the visually impaired?? Well, this one did!

Here is an outdoor poster that conveys the brand's message "Your skin is amazing", but the language is Braille. This brand by Unilever is one of the first ones to have started advertising for this segment of the population. Just imagine how much Brand Connect Vaseline can establish with this segment by such an initiative! And don't forget the Brand Loyalty it will achieve amonst the segment!!

Hats off to you Vaseline!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Applying Aristotle's Philosophy to Branding!

"More than hard assets, branding has more to do with the soft assets of an entity (generally a product or a service)". This statement looks very obvious today. But this was not always this obvious.

Branding as a subject has evolved over the years and with time marketers have realised that more than the product attributes or functional benefits, a brand connects more with the consumers on the dimensions of Brand Value. This was conspicuously noted when there was a hue and cry in the USA over the replacement of their favourite Coke by New Coke. The issue was not just about a drink that now tasted differently, it was about the value system that the brand loyalists believed in!

But in the early days of branding, it was the hard assets that were given much more significance. And this approach traces its roots to the Aristotle way of thinking. The entire western way of thinking traces its roots to Aristotle.

Aristotle said that every entity has Four Causes: Material, Efficient, Formal and Final. Applying this to branding, Aristotle's Four Causes of Branding would be:
1. Material Cause: What is the brand physically?
2. Efficient Cause: Who makes the product/service?
3. Formal Cause: What makes it identifiable to the world?
4. Final Cause: Which is the ulimate reason for its being?

Applying this to the brand Diet Coke (as per the book 'The Philosophy of Branding' by Thom Braun)"

1. Material Cause: Carbonated Drink
2. Efficient Cause: Coca Cola
3. Formal Cause: Characteristic Pack Design
4. Final Cause: Cool Refreshment with no Sugar

As one can see from this, it is only the hard assets that are stressed upon. And imagine, it was this approach that marketers would have initially started with! Thankg God we have come a long way since then!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Post-it® Note Persuasion: A Sticky Influence

In a recent study by Randy Garner from Sam Houston State University it has been shown how a personailzed "Post-It" note along with a questionnaire or any response sheet can increase the probability of getting a response. This is a breakthrough study for all market-researchers, e-mail marketers and students of marketing! The abstract of the paper that has been published is given below for your reference:
"Four studies examine the influence of attaching a seemingly insignificant Post-it note to a survey packet on the likelihood of completing the survey. Participants who received a packet with an affixed Post-it note request had significantly higher return rates than participants who received the identical survey with (a) no sticky note,(b) the same message written on the cover sheet but without a Post-it or (c) a blank Post-it with no message provided. Furthermore, they returned the materials more promptly with higher quality responses. A more personalized Post-it appeal increased returns when the survey was long and time consuming but was no more effective than a nonpersonalized Post-it when the survey was easy to complete. Results suggest that the Post-it leads the request to be interpreted as a solicitation for a personal favor, facilitating a normative compliance response."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Contextual Marketing: Arrive Alive Tries it Out!

Contextual Marketing, as the term suggests, means creating an impact using the right product with the right message when the consumer is the right frame of mind. The term traces its roots to internet marketing when banner ads of Tylenol appeared whenever the stock market in the US dropped by a 100 points... The right frame of mind for the consumers (brokers in this case) isn't it!!

Today, contextual marketing has become a necessity for any kind of product or service in almost every product category. In-Store Marketing and Customer Contact Programmes are nothing but off-shoots of this concept.

Here is an example of how contextual marketing finds a place in a somewhat unkown but yet innovative application. Arrive Alive was launched by the North Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in October 2001. The aim of the campaign is to make the roads of North Wales safer by encouraging people to keep within the speed limits, reducing collisions and, consequently, reducing the number of people killed and injured. Today the same campaign has ben replicated in other countries too, South Africa being one of them.

In order to promote their recent campaign of 'think before you drink and drive', Arrive Alive decided to hit pub-goers in the right frame of mind i.e. use Contextual Marketing! Look at these stickers of paased out individuals that have been stuck inside toilets at pubs. Innovative and effective right!!

The agency Jupiter Drawing Room has done a good job with this campaign. But hey!! Right now they have a lot of real life volunteers to demonstrate the effects of drinking too much by actually getting passed out in toilets at pubs!! Hope stickers replace them soon ;-)