Archive for April, 2011

Trust me, I’m in advertising.

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Nestle have spent millions of dollars, or Swiss Francs, using George Clooney as the face of Nespresso.

This poster, I found stuck to the window of a coffee shop in sleepy Queenscliff, is a perfect parody.

And trust me it’s working, as the café was full.

Some B2B advertising is bad for business.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

I will put the disclaimer for this blog right up front.

I work for a B2B (Business to Business) advertising agency, so there is a vested interest here.

However that doesn’t distract from the fact that most B2B advertising is appalling.

And it’s appalling on so many levels.

Go through a B2B publication, there are hundreds of them, and you will see what I mean.

The ads lack a strategy or an idea, are poorly written, poorly branded and look like they were designed by the boss’s 3 year old.

They make a dog’s breakfast look like the winner from Master Chef.

You could almost expect a lack of creativity and communication skills in an ad for an EP/NN100 Coal Mining Conveyor Belt from the Shuangma Rubber Co Ltd.

But why is it well-known consumer brands suddenly take on a chameleon persona as soon as they run an ad in a trade publication? They spent millions of dollar building equity into their consumer brands then flush it down the toilet, by running a trade ad that mimics the rest of the dross in the magazine.

Isn’t the consumer, who is looking to buy an industrial air conditioner for a factory, the same one who might be looking to put a reverse cycle wall unit into the family room?

There shouldn’t be one brand strategy for consumer ads and another, inferior one, for B2B.

The consumer sees one brand and it’s bad for business if that brand doesn’t see one consumer.

Football (Sorry, Australian Rules Football).

Thursday, April 14th, 2011


I don’t follow football, so what I am about to write may be obvious to those who are sports aficionados.

Being a layman has its advantages, as you actually see the world from a novice’s perspective.

I went to a lunch yesterday where the guest speaker was Paul Hamilton, General Manger Football at the Essendon Club.

Paul went through their reasoning for appointing the new coach, James Hird, and their rationale for also appointing Mark Thompson as assistant coach.

James has never coached before while Mark has an enviable track record, as senior coach, at Geelong, winning two premierships there.

So why appoint the novice ahead of the proven professional?

The answer is ‘marketing’.

James Hird is a legend at Essendon, an inspirational captain and player. Regarded by many as one of the greatest players of the modern era.

Getting him to coach the club was as much a marketing decision as it was a game winner.

James has a loyal following and is regarded as part of the fabric of the club.

So what they did was hire the personification of the brand, with the hope that this would lift their fortunes.

James Hird isn’t an ego like so many others. He is a genuine person, a team player.

It must be noted that Mark Thompson also has a great history with Essendon, after all, his nickname is ‘Bomber’.

Given the reception that Paul Hamilton received yesterday, I think this marketing exercise might just work.

It’s all about the idea.

Friday, April 8th, 2011

There used to be clever campaigns.

They ran on TV, radio and in print.

The medium wasn’t important, the idea was. And the idea was so clever that it could run anywhere.

If the 1980s campaigns, by CDP, for Hamlet Cigars or Heineken Beer ran today, they would still be media neutral.

There would be iPhone apps, social media and of course the obligatory website, all built on the back of the core idea.

So why is there a proliferation of executions that only involve one media?

Like social media that only communicates if you tweet in ‘leetspeak’ or installation ads that speak to a miniscule audience with the hope of attracting PR.

I once had a creative director that would never approve one off ads. He was always looking for the campaign idea.

He believed that techniques went out of fashion while clever ideas were timeless.

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