Friday, October 10, 2008

1 of 3

It's been a while since my last post.

Yes, school is back in session. The Brandcenter time warp has begun...but this is the last year of my training. I'm this close to being a brand "Green Beret"

This one's for all the gold.

There have been so many things I wanted to talk about on here, but just haven't had time. Here are the top 3:

1. Tucks
2. How Diddy changed my life
3. Man, I hope I get a job.

America, I just did a presentation on Tucks Hemorrhoid cream yesterday. I've been working on this assignment for the past month. As I alluded to this year being for the gold medal, this year I'm proving myself on every assignment. *More on this in topic #2.

So in teams of four, we were placed into pseudo agencies.
One strategist (me)
One Brand Manager
One Copy Writer
One Art Director

Week One: The Brand Manager presented the current climate surrounding the brand.
Week Two: I had to present my strategy.
Week Four: Final presentation.

So as my team and I dug deep into hemorrhoids (no apologies.) I saw trends emerging from the comments roid sufferers were putting on various websites. Between Tucks and their main competition Preparation H, relief will come. Therefore we couldn't own a "Tucks is better quality" argument.

But, I noticed what people were saying about how shocked they were when they realized they had hemorrhoids. I noticed how embarrassed they were, and felt all alone. Most interesting, I noticed that with all of that, they still did wish they could talk to somebody about what was going on. I realized it wasn't a physical problem Tucks needed to speak to, it was a mental/emotional one.

My strategy was born: "Soothe their mind first."

And my brilliant creative team ran with it. We knew that this target went online first to find info (and stay anonymous), and we knew that Tucks did not have a dedicated web page. That was our step one.

We created A lighthearted, non-threatening, non-insulting safe web page which allows its viewers to learn what,how,and who gets roids. We showed sufferers they weren't alone.

We targeted 18-59 year olds. We planned to hit college students at orientation day. Why? because thats their first day without having mom's fiber balanced meals. We want this audience to know about us early.

We gave them a forum to discuss and vent on the pain it is to have that constant pain. We gave them the option to have Tucks sent to their home instead of that embarrassing walk up to the potentially judgmental cashier in CVS.

We made a little flip book with advice. We provided them with a checklist to fill out on our website that ehy can answer and had to their doctor. Why not make it a little bit less awkward sitting there trying to think of words to describe whats going on down there?

We're getting Americans to stop reading on the toilet. We bought Google AdWords. We optimized the website so soon as people search for any of the common misspellings of hemorrhoids, our page will come up in the recommended websites list.

We made T-shirts. We re-designed the package.

And Professor/Director of the Brandcenter loved it all.

We held it down.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ruby Tuesday's is than it was.

Ruby Tuesday's new re-branding campaign is very impressive. I appreciate their honesty in acknowledging that a complete overhaul of their restaurants is long past due.

We see a brand acknowledge that it has not kept up with times, poke fun at their shortcomings and as the following spot shows, make drastic improvements to their old ways. I think that the public will respond to these two dynamics positively as well.


Great job Ruby Tuesdays. You've done everything right. You acknowledged the problem, fixed it and are making strides to spread the word...*and even using the internet to speak to the younger demographic as well.

Okay, now that the word is out, I will be looking for the tangible motivators Ruby Tuesday's will use to get people inside the restaurants. Tangible motivators that reach beyond relying solely on the publics curiosity to see new light fixtures. Gas is $15 a gallon, what type of discounts will Ruby Tuesday's be sending in the mail?

Okay Ruby Tuesday's, we remember you're a restaurant, now what?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Brand Experience

I recently went into a Hollister clothing store for the first time on Friday. (NOTE* Hollister is not a brand that I felt spoke to Abercrombie and Fitch. Sue me.) My girl forced me to go inside the store, mainly because she knew I had no interest in it. Of course, I had to go in, and I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised.

Once I stepped inside those heavy wooden doors, Hollister won a good 15 brand points from me. All for the experience their store offers. Once those doors closed, the rest of the mall disappeared. The dark painted walls were brightened by the walls of televisions showing calm beach scenes. The music was light and fun. Clothing was displayed in a very neat, yet plentiful manner. I could tell that Hollister went through great strides to build many walls and corridors to display all of the clothing options. I was thoroughly impressed.

While I walked around the store I struggled to think of any other store in the mall that came close to dramatically transporting the shopper to a different place. I couldn't think of any, not in that mall at least. You tell me the difference between walking into an Old Navy and a Gap. Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren. None as drastic as Hollister.

This is the type of brand experience that I think makes a difference. Simply because it's memorable.

"Oh Ed, it's not that serious! Why are you exaggerating so much?!" Because I finally saw another business who seems to get it. Starbucks ranks pretty high for being a business who offers a premium in-store experience unlike its competitors. I think Hollister is doing the same thing, but for clothing. Kudos.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Off Brand.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I see London, I see...

I've noticed that both Nintendo and Playstation's newest batch of ads are just targeting kids and teens. I noticed it first with the Nintendo DS ads advertising all of the brain exercising games available. This along with their ads showing grandparents swinging Wii controllers in the air is an obvious display of product use..."for the WHOLE family."

3 points for pulling in new users, giving them a reason to investigate and experience your product.

Playstation seems to be fostering an "unapologetic gamer" tribe which gives gamers not only pride in their hobby, but also permission to play their games...a lot. The VO is heard saying "us" and "will be my brother" repeatedly. This defense angle is very interesting.

Playstation isn't advertising a game, they're advertising gaming as a whole. Keep in mind what Prof. Earl Cox (Strategy Don) said about John Q. Public. "You shop with the brands you like. People aren't rational, they're emotional." So as Playstation is the brand defending gaming, they're banking cool points with John Q. 4 points for Playstation for presenting itself as the system for gamers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A 2008 Negra

Notice the little colored boy even has an afro! "Gotta be authentic!"

I have a college degree and I'm working on my Masters. I don't care how you cut it, this ad does not speak to me, or my circle. I will not go as far as to say that this ad is racist, but it is surely uninformed.

The sad part is that I cant even berate: the shop that conceived this surface creative or the kool-aid execs that cleared the storyboard. Because at least 90% of ALL ads that call themselves targeting minorities seem to be speaking to the least intelligent of us...or maybe thats how the agencies see all of us.

We are a much more complex people than the current spots give us credit for. Advertisers need to stop being lazy when it comes to selling to black folks. Stop taking the easy way out by doing any of the following:

1. Narrarating in poetry
2. Nararriting in the first person ("We are a strong people...")
3. Only casting black women with natural hair
4. Only casting those african models to represent african-americans
5. Setting commercials outside a club
6. Setting commercials outside a church
7. Setting commercials at a cookout
8. Setting commercials at "Big Momma;s" table
9. Playing Jazz music in the background
10. Speaking in slang
11. Using the slang wrong
12. Using slang from 94'
13. Spot shows 5 people, one is black
14. Setting commercials at a sporting event
15. Never casting a black in a position of power (supervisor...OWNER?)

This is why advertising needs more diversity. Somebody that'll stand up and say, "thats not what black folks act like." I mean I don't know where these folks are getting their information from...I just pray it's not BET.

But that's a whole 'nother rant. Till then, step ya'll game up.

Monday, June 9, 2008

League of Freakin Clutch!!!

Method's League of Clutch campaign for Gatorade is brilliant.

As an armchair athlete, I watch these spots and get goosebumps. The music sets the tone and the visuals bring it home. These spots capture the notion of athletes in pure Gladiator...dom.

Motionographer blogged and spoke to the drama the spots echoed. I concur, but I applaud the grit and intensity the ads convey. When watching Eli's spot I smelled the dirt and sweat of 2-a-days. I get goosebumps when I watch cause I hear coach Anderson words of encouragment (cursing us and our family) as he motivated (high-knees) us.

Sidney Crosby's ad actually made me wanna watch hockey. I have no interest in hockey, but the spots make me care as they inform me that "every game does need a hero"...

So, here's the strategy I see Method implementing:

Remind sports fans of the moments that mattered.
The execution however seems to accomplish a few other feats though.

1. Puts the viewer in that moment. Actually bringing all the sweat, passion and intensity to life for the viewer.
2. Shows the common links between athletes. I never really been interested in basketball. I felt like they were cupcakes who cried foul anytime the wind blew in their direction. But, after seeing Kevin Garnett's spot and seeing the intensity in his face on the Jumbotron as the ad opens, I feel a point of brotherhood. "Man Respect" if you will. Sport is Sport. Intensity is Intensity and these spots foster the creation of an overarching athletes tribe.

Heck, you present the intense moments of cricket like this and you'll get my vote into the fraternity.
3. Motivate. I get goosebumps at two points when watching these ads. The first when the music comes on, the second when "Is it in you?" comes up on the screen. The spots masterfully display every facet of sport, but at the end of the day they challenge you to: Go make history, defy the odds, put the team on your back, ride till the wheels fall off, [insert catch phrase] and when you're down to zero, don't worry, Gatorade's got your back.

I wonder if the message to buy Gatorade to fuel your history making efforts gets transmitted on a subconscious level. Kind of a "History making=Gatorade" type effect.

We'll have to see if this positively affects Gatorade's bottom line. Regardless, they get 4 million cool points from Ed, and those are priceless.

ps. HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE WEBSITE?!? Most perfect consistent branding I've seen yet. Way to go Method. I'm not worthy.