i got a surprising knock at my house from LBC – they delivered an odd sized package to me. quickly, i made a mental audit – am i expecting a package or document from anyone? the quick answer was – none. bells in my mind rang! oh, is this a surprise from someone?
i opened the pack and i found a mailer from Ford on their new car, the Focus. i checked the envelope and yes it was addressed to me and it had my address. i wondered if it was sent to “occupant” or if it was sent to my house by mistake. no such mistake.
i was impressed with the direct mailing effort of Ford!
it was impressive as this was the first direct mail i got through LBC and this was addressed specifically to me. sending direct mail through LBC is a very expensive proposition. LBC cost alone is a killer of advertising budgets.
the other thing that is equally impressive was that it was specifically for me. i was surprised they got my name and address. coming from marketing and advertising myself, i have for many years not given out my name, address and even cell phone number to almost anyone or any organization that i thought can turn my personal information into data in a direct mail effort.
the most i do is sign my name when asked by any organization, including the schools of my children, retail outlets, stores or any other organization. when an address is required, all i put is the city name, not the complete address. for telephone or cell phone numbers, i would usually put some random number and very far from my real cell phone number.
this ford focus mailer was very targeted, having the ability to reach potential buyers. a targeted direct mail effort is very difficult for many direct mail agencies to pull off. this means this direct mail agency has a very good data base.
although i was impressed with the direct mail effort, i was not at all impressed with the mailer material they sent out.
the main weakness of the mailer is that it is just a re-layout of their print ads and a restating of the key elements of their TV ad. not saying the mailer should have a different advertising strategy and ad components from the TV and print ad, as they should have the same but they should have changed the execution and implementation of the elements.
the mailer does not look like a mailer, it looks like a print ad but printed in glossy paper and folded. except for the letter that came with it, the mailer had nothing in it from a design and content standpoint that will get the recipient to take action or even just enjoy the mailer.
aside from coming up with a new design appropriate for a mailer, it should have some elements that exploit the mailer format medium. it could have been more interactive or leading where the recipient will want to read, interact with or manipulate the mailer because it is interesting or creative.
the Focus has a few features that are unique in the market and potentially very attractive to potential car buyers. while these were mentioned in the mailer, it was not exploited in a way that is creative and compelling.
the mailer as an advertising medium is self contained and has the target audience practically as captive, designing the mailer to exploit the great features of the car and the characteristics of the medium would have served Ford very well.
another key weakness of this mailer is that it does not include some kind of an incentive for the recipient to take action – for the recipient to go to the Ford showroom and look at the car or as the letter suggests to test drive the car.
the end objective of this mailer is not just to generate awareness on the features of the car, it is to get the target audience to go to the showroom to look and test drive the car. the weak design of the mailer fails in achieving this key objective.
the mailer may succeed in informing the target audience of the features of the car but it may be failing in getting them to take action.
lacking this incentive and the weakness of the design and concept makes this mailer a WAWAM! What A Waste Of Advertising Money!
we will be going to a Ford showroom to complete the experience and effort of this mailer. will post a write-up here.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
we join the multitude of netizens condemning the bayo ad as anti-filipino. we join them as a filipino and as a marketing/advertising practitioner.
from the advertising and marketing standpoints, it is very unfortunate since bayo is one of the country’s local fashion shops who is doing well in the market with many outlets in almost all the major shopping malls in the country. there is nothing worst that any one brand can do in advertising than being anti-filipino for a filipino clothing line whose market are filipinos.
for us, there is no question on the meaning of this copy : “Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”
filipinos with mixed blood are “beautiful and world class” while unsaid, the implication is clear that those with pure filipino blood are less beautiful and not world class.
there is no mistaking the meaning of that line. the whole intent of the line is to put “mixing” as a better or even superior option to the “pure” kind. of course they refer primarily to clothing choices but the reference to mixed races is clear. the use of an australian-filipino celebrity as model for the ad makes that crystal clear as well.
how can a filipino advertising agency and a filipino clothing company make such awful statements?
before that, let’s first go to a lesson in advertising 101 courtesy of the bayo spokesperson quoted by rappler.com
“The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.
“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.“
in fact the bayo spokesperson need to learn more than one advertising 101 lessons:
- do not release ads with words that are “badly put”. ads are supposed to make people feel good about the product being advertised. words used in ads are supposed to put the brand always in a good light. being put in a good light is definitely a necessity before desirability and purchase action kicks in. words in ads are as important as the pictures in them.
- “what you see is what you get“- that is one of the first things you learn when you take an advertising job for the first time after college. the audience absorbs what you put out in the ad, both in visuals and copy (words or text). visuals and copy contain your message/s. what you write and show in your ad is what the audience gets, not intentions, even good intentions as the bayo spokesperson was trying to say in his/her attempt to make a lame excuse for the ad. intentions are always invisible to the audience. so making a point of it when asked by media about a failed ad shows a very poor understanding of the communication and advertising philosophy and its dynamics. rather than say this, the spokesperson whould have just apologized for the error. we think this bayo spokesperson has done slightly worst than the ad agency that did the ad for bayo.
- release ads only if you are 100% sure it will build business – never, ever release an ad that is “open to misunderstanding” , even the with the slightest chance of “misunderstanding”. clients advertise because it wants to generate business. generating business through advertising demands brand building which includes brand image that leads to brand desirability which in turn leads to brand purchase. the ideal is to have advertising that generates all those positive points, the next best thing is “target market neutral” where they are not affected by the ad and neither are they repulsed by it. the worst of course is when the target market is repulsed by your ad. we have done this many times in our career in advertising – we junk ads that have in them even a single element that has even a slight chance of being interpreted as negative. the fact that an ad element has the chance of being interpreted as negative is like putting a tiny grenade in your handbag. it may be a small grenade but if something happens in your handbag, it can still explode. small negative elements in ads can be made bigger as your consumers talk about it and others who may have missed it are now made aware of it.
we think the “mixed race’ campaign idea in the ad has been brought about by the heightened national attention given to other “mixed race” celebrities that we have been recently admiring like the azkals soccer team, Robin Lim the winner of the CNN Heores, miami heat coach erik spoelstra and most recently just weeks ago, american idol runner up jessica sanchez just to name a few. the phenomenon of the celebrities with filipino blood being admired by the country is really a recent development, having started something like just in the past 4 to 5 years ago. the bayo ad wanted to ride on this bandwagon.
that is fine except that they used the idea of “mixed race” in a very wrong way. they wanted to create the analogy of mixed clothing is as good as mixed race. the mistake was that they put the idea of “mixed” on the superior level calling it “beautiful and world class”. the inclusion of ”world class’ plays up to the point i raised about the azkals, spoelstra, lim and sanchez who are all seen as world class.
it is twisted logic at its best. it takes the proposition from the backdoor, rather than a straight up communication of the message. it is an ad that is too intelligent. it asks the audience to go through a complicated thinking process to appreciate the message. “intelligent ads” are very tricky and prone to misinterpretation. these types of ads are very easy for the audience not to get what it means and or as it is in this case, to be misunderstood by them.
the creative team who wrote this ad cannot deny it – they were writing advertising with the intent of positioning the brand on a superiority platform. a superiority positioning is ALWAYS what creative writers aim for when they write advertising. superiority more often than not sells brands. consumers will hardly deny a brand that they think is superior over others.
that by itself is benign. a superiority positioning is the best kind of advertising. the problem is they referenced that brand superiority positioning with race – filipino mixed with other races versus pure filipino. that we think is more than insulting.
whenever we look at an advertising campaign, we always look for two things – what it says about the brand and if there are things in the ads that can generate negatives. having a hundred positives in an ad is turned worthless with even just one negative. that is the nature of advertising.
whenever we look at advertising research, we always look at the negatives and consider them in the decision making. in fact there are even advertising research tools that purposely look for negatives in ads.
advertising that works are those that are simple and easy to understand. having complicated ads not only result to poor communication, it can bring negatives to the brand as is the case in this bayo ad.
bottom line, it is a WAWAM – What A Waste Of Advertising Money.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
[VIRAL] Bayo’s ‘What’s your mix’ campaign earns ire of netizensBY RAPPLER.COM
MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos on social media are reacting to a recently-launched campaign by local clothing brand Bayo.
The campaign, which caries the tagline, “What’s your mix?” features Filipino models of mixed descent accompanied by text that “breaks down” their genealogy.
The campaign in itself has been mildly controversial on social media, but one particular ad is being branded by netizens as “racist” and offensive.
The ad features Fil-Aussie Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and is accompanied by copy explaining the “What’s your mix?” concept.
“This is just all about MIXING and MATCHING. Nationalities, moods, personalities and of course your fashion pieces,” the copy reads.
“Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”
The ad was never released on any of the brand’s social media accounts, a Bayo representative told Rappler; it was uploaded on their official website to explain the rationale behind the campaign.
One user, however, supposedly took a screen shot of the ad — that’s when it went viral.
Users on the thread cried foul over the ad’s implication that Filipinos of mixed descent are superior to others, while others said that reactions to the ad were exaggerated, adding that they didn’t see anything offensive in it.
“The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.
“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.”
in our ad review, the above ad suffers from two fatal errors -positioning RH as anti-sex and the bigger fatal error, as anti-children. we think that error was brought about by a lack or no strategy and consumer insight.
rerad about it here: http://on.fb.me/niFq2p
it’s official – doing ambush marketing can get you arrested at the world cup 2010. read more here:
the screw-up at NBC on “The Tonight Show that involved jay leno and conan o’brien is getting unscrewed. or at least that is what NBC is hoping it is trying to do.
we think it is such an amazing story that it could have very well been written for a drama series aired on tv and could have won them awards and a top rating. not even reality shows could top the way this story started, evolved, twisted and got screwed-up.
there is a nasty question that is left after reading the whole story – how can one of the country’s top tv networks, ran by highly paid executives with all those smarts, salaries and bonuses screw up so badly?
when you get some answers to that question, one more question pops up that takes you back to where you started – NBC’s bread and butter rest in a very large part to satisfying the audience, why did they suck at reading the minds and preferences of their audience? sure, they have writers, producers and stars that pull in the ratings and ad revenues but all that is worth nothing if they are not masters of the mind of the audience.
this all started when the venerable tv station launched the Zucker Experiment launched by NBC chief Jeff Zucker who decided months ago to move jay leno into an earlier time slot, the 10 pm slot which is prime time. the thinking was the tv station will save a lot of production money by removing all the drama shows occupying that prime time slot. apparently the production cost of a talk show like jay leno’s is much cheaper than that of drama shows.
together with this move, conan o’brien was moved to take over the tonight show that jay leno was going to vacate. at the time of the move, the tonight show with jay leno was a top rater during the time slot.
after a few month’s of the Zucker Experiment, network affiliates complained on the side-effects of the experiment – they were losing revenue due to a loss of audience. NBC has said jay leno from a show quality standpoint was doing well but the dynamics of the change and the available choices from competitive tv sations for the audience, jay leno at an earlier time slot was not getting it done.
the result of the Zucker Experiment is one lesson every brand manager knows – DO NOT BE A SUCKER TO CONSUMERS. every brand manager learns this lesson very early in his/her career – screw up the product (formula or packaging) and you lose your consumers. more importantly, when you screw the product, change its formula or packaging based on a desire to reduce product cost (to improve profits), you can be asking for a loss of market share.
every product manager knows the product or the formula is most important to the success of a brand. a reduction in cost is a most dangerous thing to do as that usually involves a change in quality and product performance which can result to a loss in market share.
and yet this is exactly what the Zucker Experiment did. it is an experiment that made the audience as suckers. NBC seemed to have ignored the consumers and focused too much on costs and profits.
what they committed is an epic fail in marketing 101 – screw with a number 1 brand, the tonight show was number 1 with jay leno in it by changing it’s formula by putting in conan o’brien in the formula all based on an intent to cut on costs and increase profits, all done with the audience not being considered in the mix.
NBC simply failed at applying what they are supposed to know best – being the master of the audience (consumer). clearly, the Zucker Experiment sucked and henceforth, we think a new phrase will be added to the launguage used in the tv industry – “Don’t be such a zucker!”
we have written about lorelei fajardo, one of our favorite spokespersons of president arroyo in this blog last december 1 (read here: Memo To: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – fire Lorelei Fajardo, the Maguindanao Massacre aftermath).
we just read a news article saying she has quit being the presidential spokesman of president arroyo. (read article here: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/18/09/fajardo-quits-deputy-presidential-spokesman)
we do not know if arroyo or anyone in malacanang reads this blog, but we think getting fajardo fired, err to accept her resignation, according to this news article a “career choice” is the right thing to do.
it is this statement of hers which is the basis of our recommendation to president arroyo that t fajardo be fired from her job:
“I don’t think the President’s friendship with the Ampatuans will be severed,” Lorelei Fajardo, her deputy spokesperson, told reporters Thursday in Filipino. “Just because they’re in this situation doesn’t mean we will turn our backs on them.”
fajardo made that statement november 26, we wrote the piece on december 1, fajardo got fired, err she made the career move decenber 17. wow, that took a long time from the time she made the unfortunate declaration of how arroyo views loyalty to friends.
this statement of fajardo has stuck in the mids of media people. i have read quite a number of articles written on the maguindanao massacre where many foreign media uses that statement as lead in to the kind of treatment the ampatuans are getting within the philippine judicial system. it really is a very unfortunate statement.
this firing err resignation of fajardo as presidential spokesman of arroyo has been carried by the major newspapers as well and it is quite interesting that each article included the fajardo’s statement on arroyo’s special friendship with the ampatuans. it looks like that statement of fajardo has made a lasting impression on the media outlets.
for myself i will be using that statement as a top example on “what not to do when you are presidential spokesman” when i do lectures or talks on PR or communication. now we are wondering what are the qualifications to get hired as spokespersons in malacanang?
just a note to end this peice – todate malacanang has not retracted the statement made by fajardo.
bro. eddie villanueva, presidentiable – big time surge in polls and why he should fire his communication team
noteworthy is the big time surge for bro. eddie villanueva who after just 4 days of being included in the poll now has 6% of the votes putting him at 6th place behind 5th placer roxas who has 7%.
this is the first time we have seen such a magnificent surge in the 2010 Presidentiables Poll. we did not see this kind of surge for newcomers like perlas, teodoro, panlilio nor madrigal.
communicating the wrong message or being inconsistent in the messages is a most serious incompetence in communication. we appreciate your effort at articulating your philosophies or platform, we think that is what all candidates should do, but your communication team has done you harm.
bro. eddie, we think these are major infractions that should lead you to fire your communication team. get rid of them now when you are at the very start of your campaign, they might make more major errors in the future, the time when you need them the most.
no, that wasn’t a joke. and i got pictures to prove it.
that’s paris hilton in a tv ad. and the ad got me confused. is it a WAWAM! or does it have ADS Sindrome?
find out here and to enjoy the paris hilton’s scenic views here: http://tinyurl.com/ckll6t
mar roxas takes anger management therapy, shows it in his latetst ad, “padyakitos” tv ad but pedals to advertising mediocrity
mar roxas takes anger management therapy and shows it in his latest tv ad, “padyakitos” but this ad has so many failed components that it has pedaled roxas into advertising mediocrity.
this ad was developed to address 3 key factors important to mar roxas. each of these components are legitimate and we agree they should be addressed. what went wrong was the way they addressed those points in the padyakitos tv ad. its biggest error – the ad is not at all strategic and way too executional.
mar roxas, a presidentiable has a new tv ad – “payakitos”. don’t look at me, we did not invent the term “padyakitos”, it’s the title of the tv ad that most likely the admen coined to refer to the young child who is working on the “padyak”, the trycicle manually run.
that’s an obvious attempt to be cute and that is the beginning of this ad getting mar roxas to pedal to political mediocrity.
that is next at: http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/ view the tv ad in the same link.
kim chiu with her period rides the neck of gerard anderson – whisper sanitary pad’s eww, eww, eww tv spot
sure, ads that demonstrate on screen product efficacy are good ads. those are the kinds of ads we like to see. they sell very well.
but does it work when you show in a tv ad kim chiu, a popular teen star who has her menstruation rides the neck of her boyfriend, gerard anderson? that body part of the woman where you put the sanitary pad on not only leaks menstruation but also smells. and when you have your period, do you really want to have it on the neck of your boyfriend?
ewww. ewww. and another ewww.
i don’t think there is a filipina alive today who will EVER, EVER agree to do something like that in real life when she has her period. there is no way a woman will ever do that. even if she uses a dozen whisper sanitary pads on that body part of hers.
this whisper ad is over the edge of sanity and stupidity. i think it succeeds on the torture test idea only in the minds of the ad agency that created it. it fails on believability, empathy and definitely wins on the ewww and ewww factor.
this is a WAWAM!
there is a new microsoft tv ad. it continues the “i’m a pc” ad line that microsoft copied from the successful apple/mac ads and positions microsoft/windows/pc on a good value poistioning.
view this new tv ad here: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/
so now we have microsoft/windows/pcs saying they are cheap and they are not cool. at minimum, that kind of positioning can be polarizing – some people will love it but some people will hate it. it’s always risky to release an ad that has the potential to polarize your target audience. the thinking is you release the best ad you can make and that usually entails you are 100% the ad is perfect. the risk you take in releasing polarizing ads is that the negative might eventually overpower the negative.
here’s the marketing scenario : holistic dog food was out of stock from metro manila pet food stores for 3 to 4 months end last year. that means holistic’s market share plumeted to 0% market share and ill-will of buyers has increased to 1000%. all holisitc dog food buyers for sure have switched to other brands and are all angry at holistic.
holistic had a promo when they got back to re-supply the market with their dog food. this promos as we can assume with certainty is meant to get their market share up again and remove the 1000% ill-will they generated among holistic dog food buyers.
any sensible person expects a gang-bang promo, right? well, read here to find out for yourself what promo they had : http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/
red mobile launched last year on a best value strategy obviously going after sun cellular. sun is a far third among the big 3 mobile service providers which offer unlimited texting and calls to other sun subscribers.
we think red mobile’s brand strategy is a mess and not at all mobile to achieving its marketing goals. we think its a WAWAM!. the core thinking behind their brand strategy does not make sense. read about it here: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/
launched in WAWAM! today, tHe idiOts proMo! read about it here: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/
we have all encountered these consumer promotions launched by brands that when we get to know about it, we shake our head and think for ourselves – why the hell will i want to buy that product?
consumer promotions are supposed to entice consumers to buy the product. it’s supposed to increase sales. but there are just some consumer offers that it will take hell to freeze before you bite into it.
smart has this funny tv ad, wrong send, where it shows people how it is very important to be careful in sending texts to people – they just might end up in someone else’s cellphone.
while it is an interesting ad, one wonders why do it at all and spend the time and money when it does not build brand equity nor does it build sales.
read about it here: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/
nike has used the same offensive athlete on the cross image in england before and has caused the same kind of reactions. it is a very similar idea to that of the manny pacquiao ad and the same kind of being offensive to religion.
read about it here : http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/search/label/nike
there’s great art in nike’s ad for manny pacquiao that we see online, but in the same ad is an insult to the catholic faith which i find very offensive. it mimics a most revered catholic icon whose story is central to the catholic faith.
read about it here: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/