It Is Summer, So Maybe It’s The Heat And Not Faulty Marketers

Three thoughts for a beautiful summer day. (Or is that my brain melting?) One: Hard to decide if RadioShack’s effort to rebrand themselves to “The Shack” is off to a good start… When I Googled it came after a book called The Shack, and in news it followed the story “Woman Found Dead in Homeless Shack was Murdered, Authorities say…” Leave “the” off the name and I got sidetracked by Scuba Shack and Klezmer Shack. I love RadioShack for the geeky hardware store that it is and I’m curious what is going to happen to the product mix as they try to ‘update’ their image. But I gotta think that if they felt Radio was old fashioned, how in the world did they decide Shack would be ‘with it’? (Isn’t the iPhone a radio-computer? Seems Radio could be hot, but that might be the heat.)

The Power Of Familiar

The folks that bring us Pepsi, Tropicana and Gatorade have done the product management world a favor by performing a very large logo experiment in public. Tropicana went for a radical new package design dropping their familiar ‘straw in an orange’ image for what I consider a rather generic box. Gatorade traded the logo and their name for a large letter G and reduced lightning bolt. Pepsi traded their single circle for a series of happy faces and fat birds and stylized type. I’ve reported disasterous Tropicana numbers earlier (down 20%) and that they have abandoned the logo change. Evidently the Gatorade numbers are just as terrible down more than 13% in the first quarter (with Powerade picking up 6 points of marketshare). My guess is they won’t backtrack here. (Two admissions of extreme error in a six month period. Nope.) (UPDATE BELOW) I haven’t seen anything about Pepsi results, … Continue reading

Good Taste In Advertising?
Quiznos Tests Taste.

Quiznos’ new ad campaign. It made me laugh. But it did not make me hungry. Does that make it a bad ad? Attempting to get noticed, brand managers approve creative that some consider edgy – others decry as bad taste or even indecent. (In this case Quiznos’ approved a bit of locker room humor that intentionally ties a sub to a male body part. There are at least two versions, one slightly sanitized for earlier time slots.) Sometimes edgy works brilliantly, and sometimes it falls flat.  The definition of edgy is high risk, but  to be honest safe campaigns fail all the time as well. (Nothing risky about the bland  Tropicana package redesign, right? Wrong.)

Are Most Customers Simply Not Cool Enough
For Your Advertising Agency?

Infomercials are the bane of most advertising agencies.  We can’t believe the things work. They make the skin crawl with their crass, carnival like sales pitch.  …And they work like gangbusters. Years ago, local markets were covered with terrible, grating ads for local car dealerships.  Pitches that embarrassed Detroit and Madison Avenue alike. Took the wonderful brand and sold it like magic ointment at the state fair. …And they worked for the dealership like gangbusters. I once sat over coffee with an artist friend who was complaining about having to ‘touch-up’ a greeting card we knew as ‘The Pansy Cart’ at Hallmark. “It’s old fashioned — I want to be working on bigger things — It will never go in my portfolio…”  …And it sold like gangbusters. So often we trick ourselves into thinking old fashioned ways of doing business don’t make any sense simply because we don’t like the … Continue reading