Saturday, January 31, 2009

Creating the T-Mobile Dance Advertisement

OK, first read the prior post and watch the T-Mobile advertisement. 

Then, watch this video on the making of the advert. 

What's really, truly amazing is that the advertisement was all real! The producers actually staged a live, unannounced event in the Liverpool Train Station and got passerby's to join in. I love the passerby interview clips at the end! How very, very cool!!

Cultural Trends Toward More Personal Marketing

Great article in Ad Age about cultural trends toward more personal marketing: "What T-Mobile's 'Dance' and Ikea's 'Du' Teach Us About Messaging," by Gunnar Brune.

Related to this week's Basic Marketing topic, the external environment, I think Gunnar's observation that cultures are moving away from a me-centric orientation to a we- or us-centric orientation is quite fascinating. And, let me (us) be completely honest: the videos are AWESOME!! 

In case you can't get to the link, here's the text and the youtube videos. 

In meetings with almost all our clients the same topic comes up: Will our relevant market be hit by the crisis and if so, how hard? While the specific answer differs according to the different scenarios, of course, there is one element all these discussions have in common. It is a growing sense of family, community, society or "We." It will be the most important positive word for 2009. While "We" values have always been elements of the messaging in certain markets (especially food), today it is a different story for two reasons. The first is the reflex of "bunching up" in times of uncertainty, crisis or danger, which elevates the importance of social values vs. individual benefits. The second reason is the opportunities of modern social media -- where the consumer is in control, not the brand. "We" communication does also mean communicating with the consumer on eye level.

This puts those brands that are already positioned as "We" brands at an advantage. Brands like Ikea, for example. Ikea's customer loyalty program focuses on eye-level contact: "IKEA FAMILY is different to regular loyalty schemes. We want to get to know you, our customers, and so we reward each purchasing visit you make to our stores, regardless of how much you spend" (that's an extract from the U.K. site). Some languages, like German and Spanish, offer a "We" approach in the way the brand speaks -- Ikea in Germany, for example, uses the "Du" instead of the formal "Sie" ("Sie" equals "Usted" in Spanish).

There is a recent trend for brands to go for this more personal language. Even the biggest German social campaign -- an initiative of a number of the biggest German companies -- says: "Du bist Deutschland." This would have been a great issue not long ago, as it would have been considered "improper language." A different -- but very exciting -- "We" approach is the much-discussed T-Mobile viral, which is taking the "We" beyond family into a completely new field of social interaction.

All of these are examples already in the market. We will see which brands are the first to go for "We" as a response to changing consumer behavior in the crisis. It will be an interesting thing to see which of them get this right in 2009. They will be the cases we talk about in 2010.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Really? Tasers are "great fun?" Really?

Amazingly disturbing video from Ad Age interviewing the Taser EVP of (not really all that) Strategic Communications. Most amazing thing to come out of his mouth - and there is a lot to choose from - Tasers are "great fun." Really? Considering we're discussing ethics this week in Basic Marketing, I can't imagine a more interesting case study regarding whether marketing a product is ethical or not. Calling Tasers "fun" just seems insanely irresponsible! Nick Papas, the EVP, has "worked for Taser for a year." I think it's time to let him go..... 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Want them to learn? Eliminate Mass Lecture Sections!!!!

Great article in the NYT today regarding how MIT (yes, that MIT) has done away with the large lecture section of basic physics and replaced it with smaller class sizes that utilize hands-on learning and a lot of small assignments. This article makes ME feel great because it reinforces a lot of my own beliefs about how to teach and what's wrong with trying to teach 440 people marketing by standing up and talking! My favorite quote in the article is:
“Just as you can’t become a marathon runner by watching marathons on TV,” Professor Mazur said, “likewise for science, you have to go through the thought processes of doing science and not just watch your instructor do it.”
Awesome metaphor!! I agree!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

M U C H Better!!

Here is the REVISED poster for's Model Search! (This is an iPhone photo of the flier at Xtreme Health Club in South Tampa - so there's some degradation in quality compared to the original.)

MUCH, MUCH better!

Notice how much cleaner the entire poster/flier is? Notice how the POINT is clear.
What I find most interesting is that the new version uses the exact same models with flags - and it works because all of the confusing symbols related to Barack Obama's Inauguration are gone - as they should be, since that had NOTHING to do with the point and only confused things. And look! We now know that the event is happening at the Lime on South Howard! (Pretty important clarification for any USF community members who might want to try out. And don't worry, I'm not going to try out...LOL!!!)

Anyway, just another "everyday case" of marketing - what works, what doesn't, and why....

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Help David Norrie Create New Fliers

Basic Marketing participants: you saw this ad on Monday night or Wednesday day. When I asked David Norrie (who runs what was up with this ad, he said "It's a play on the Obama Inauguration." I said, "OK, I kinda got that -but what was the purpose of the ad?"

OUCH! To be clear, I really like David a lot and think he's a great guy. I just can't help myself when I see stuff like this - especially if I know the person and I'm worried that they won't get the outcome they desired.

So here's a challenge - if you're up to it.
Create a new flier (or perhaps a number of different fliers) given the goals that David stated he had for the event:
1. Get people to compete to be models for his website,
2. Get people to come to the venue (Lime - on south Howard, I'm assuming) to see the competition and patronize the co-sponsors of the event and, finally - and most importantly,
3. To increase awareness of and traffic on

David's e-mail is davidnorrie6 at A O L dot com....

Tell him Dr. G sent you;-)

UPDATE: I misspelled "flier" about five times in the original post as "flyer." UUGGHHH. But now it's fixed. (Ironically, Firefox web browser pointed out the misspelling - but I missed it originally.)