Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Increasingly companies, organisations and governments are entering into CSR programs. CSR is primarily an attitude that can be implemented in many ways.

It’s about being a good corporate citizen.

The customers or consumers can benefit from the CSR program of an organisation, as they are rewarded by choosing an ethically and socially responsible product or service.

Look how the Nike brand was damaged by using Sweat Shops to produce their products. The garment factory fires in Bangladesh has also had repercussions on retailers here and around the world.

CSR benefits the brand and its reputation, by giving the consumer another reason to chose it. When all else is equal, a brand’s reputation can make the difference.

There are many benefits in developing a meaningful CSR program, the obvious one is the associated good-will that is generated towards the organisation. However a ROI is also counted as a primary objective and benefit of the program.

The second day of the New Year’s cricket test, at the Sydney Cricket ground, is traditionally a day given over to the the McGrath Foundation and is known as the Pink Test.

This was the sixth Pink Test and to-date over 5 Million Dollars have been raised to provide Breast Care Nurses throughout Australia.

This year, as the major sponsor of The Ashes, the Commonwealth Bank were involved for the first time.

I watched it on TV and it was a fun day, with the involvement of both the Australian and English cricket sides, the Chanel 9 commentary team and of course the spectators.

The biggest surprise to me was that the Commonwealth Bank actually changed their logo for the day.

It’s a brave company that messes with their corporate identity, but it paid off.

The pink logo would have been noticed more in this test than any of the four that had gone before.

 The Pink Test players

Would you buy a ‘Gonski’?

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

If it was a fleet of the new Gonski Stealth Jet Fighters, then security and border protection would be the benefit.

If it was the Gonski High Speed Rail Link, running up the east coast, between Melbourne and Brisbane, then we would benefit from the convenience.

A Gonski Dam on the Ord River, would open up vast areas for cultivation and the subsequent benefit of increased food production.

Most Australians would see the value in paying 14.5 Billion Dollars for one of these Gonskis. That’s because we all understand what an fighter jet, rail network or a dam can deliver.

History has etched that in our minds.

Now the Gonski school funding reforms are different. It’s a complex issue to understand, let alone sell to the average punter.

There have been a number of newspaper articles written recently trying to articulate what a Gonski is. Here is the most recent one from SBS.

‘Selling’ has never been the strong point of the current government. They follow the polls when making policy decisions but don’t listen to the consumer when it comes to articulating their benefits.

They need a good advertising agency.

When the late, and very divicive, Maggy Thatcher came to power in 1979 she used the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi to sell her agenda. They came up with the ‘Labour isn’t working’ poster.’ This very quickly and simply articulated the Tory message.

I think Julia could take a leaf out of Maggie’s book and hire a good ad agency to help sell the Gonski.

 

Marketing by cross purposes.

Friday, November 9th, 2012

This poster, seen in Saint Gallen, Switzerland, was the centre piece of a window display for the watch maker Maurice Lacroix.

The copy, a quote from Sir Bob Geldof, reads:

“I don’t want to live like you. I don’t want to talk like you. I’m going to be like me.”

Now I guess that Sir Bob, due to contractual obligations, wears a Maurice Lacroix watch. And I am equally sure that the manufacturers of Maurice Lacroix would like you to wear one as well.

Why else would they spend all that money to use his name?

Therefore isn’t the whole idea of wearing the same watch as Bob at cross purposes with his message?

Osborne.

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

The Osborne Sherry Company was founded in 1772 by Thomas Osborne Mann.

In fact it’s the second oldest company in Spain.

In 1956 they started to erect posters, featuring their logo of a large black bull, designed by Manolo Prieto and the words ‘Brandy of Jerez’ painted in red over the bull.

The original posters were smaller but were later enlarged, to their current height of 14 meters, to comply with new laws prohibiting outdoor advertising to within 150 meters of a major road.

In 1994 another law was passed banning all outdoor advertising.

The Osborne bull was doomed.

However public response was so strong that they were allowed to remain, so long as they were painted completely black and the original brand name was removed.

I remember seeing these large, almost surreal, silhouettes in 1972, 2007 and then again in 2008.

The Osborne brand has always remained embedded in my subconscious.

Even without the product name they epitomise great branding.

The Osborne bull has risen beyond advertising and marketing to become the unofficial symbol of Spain.

He is seen on the backs of cars, on flags, stickers and key rings.

There are still over 90 Osborne bull silhouettes dotted all over Spain.

We drove nearly 600km to get some snaps of two of them.

Vodafone.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

We cancelled our contract with Vodafone in Australia because of their poor performance and inability to deliver on their promises.

Vodafone consistently spend large media dollars in hyping up their services. They have adopted the approach that if you continually promote a fallacy, it will become fact.

Their inability to deliver has lead to a class action in Australia and a mass exodus of their clients.

They have now suspended their considerable media spend, while they attempt to improve their coverage and services.

We stupidly selected Vodafone to purchase a broadband ‘Módem USB Stick’ for coverage in Spain.

Apparently this corporate leopard doesn’t easily change its spots.

The connection was poor and there were problems in recharging our account online.

So much so that we had to drive back to where we purchased the key and get it manually recharged there.

Their explanation was that the online service wasn’t working today but would be ok, ‘mañana’.

It still isn’t working.

Marketing works well when the delivery lives up to the promise.

Vodafone in Spain are following the Australian or more possibly the international strategy of promise first then try and deliver later.

Advertising will only work when it’s based on truth, anything else is phoney.

 

Sound and light at Petra

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The simplicity was overwhelming.

Candles, two musicians and a monologue.

The Bedouin delivering the ten minute narration asked us, in the words of John Lennon, to imagine.

Imagine Petra as it was 2,000 years ago.

Imagine the water flowing through viaducts, down the gorge and bubbling up through the nymphaeum in the Roman colonnade.

Imagine caravans, laden with gold, frankincense and myrrh, passing through this ancient city from the exotic east to the Mediterranean coast in the west.

Imagine the streets, palaces and tombs lit by 8,000 olive oil lamps.

And then finally, imagine what the people were like who could conceive and build this amazing place.

This was far more moving than the over produced, over scripted and contrived Son et Lumière that you’ll find at most tourist destinations.

 

”Mr Moustache”

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

This was the most common way I was greeted by the hawkers outside every tourist attraction, from Luxor to Aswan.

What happened after that, varied with every encounter.

They have all developed their individual ways of trying to separate you from your money.

Some are humorous and charming, while others are persistent and annoying.

A bit like being tied to a chair and forced to watch thirty minutes non stop of Harvey Norman ads.

What is also common to the hawkers, is the unwavering optimism they have, that they will make a sale and it will be from you.

This optimism turns from frustration to desperation as the backside of last tourist disappears up the steps of the tour bus.

I think we are all over the constant hassle but it’s easy forget that this is how they put falafel on the table.

And with tourism running at about 62% of what it was before the revolution, their desperation is understandable.

Biggest.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

There is a belief in advertising to always try and make a positive claim about your product. That’s not a bad thing, if your claim has a consumer benefit like strongest, safest or most reliable.

However a number of brands, having achieved market leader status, rely on being ‘biggest’ for their claim.

They forgot what got them there and just reflected on their achievements, in the belief that this is important to the consumer.

The trouble with this strategy is that sooner or later their position at the top of the ‘biggest’ tree will be challenged by someone else.

Then they become second biggest and who wants to be in second place?

Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, boasts a lot of ‘biggest’ things.

The world’s biggest indoor ski slope.

The world’s biggest indoor aquarium with the world’s largest acrylic viewing window.

The world’s largest shopping mall. In fact Dubai will soon have five of the seven biggest shopping malls in the world.

And of course, they have the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

In marketing terms this strategy might doom them to a certain fall. But their ‘biggest’ positioning has also become their strategy.

When you build a city out of the desert, on an area that 60 years ago had little more than a few houses, camels and date palms you need to do something spectacular.

When oil was discovered in 1966 the then ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid, used the money to start a development program that would eventually lead to modern day Dubai.

They needed a city that would attract attention and investment from all over the world.

Their way of creating a unique product was to go with a strategy of ‘big’

They didn’t become big and then fall back on that, they started off with the idea to be big.

The entire city is a work in progress, building bigger and bigger things. I wonder how long this race to collect the most Guinness world records can last?

 

Symbolism.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

There are two seafood BBQ restaurants on the outskirts of Tekek on Tioman Island.

We have been there twice and both times one was crowded and the other empty.

There appears to be no real difference between the two.

Normally it would come down to reputation and repeat business. However in this instance the patrons are predominately tourists and are only on Tioman for a few days at a time.

I put it down to symbolism.

The guy hovering over the hot coals, at the popular spot, has a hat and it’s a very symbolic hat.

Leave well enough alone.

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

So much for blogging about globalised advertising and marketing.

I have just witnessed, first hand, what a lack of marketing to can do for a tourist’s experience.

I am currently on Tioman Island, a small pearl shaped dot off the east coast of Malaysia, in the South China sea.

It’s marketed as an unspoiled paradise.

Admittedly this is the off season but so far it has lived up to the spin. There are no touts and no pressure to buy this or do that.

What has amazed us most is the way the animals cohabitate with the locals, and the tourist.

Apart from the numerous birds and butterflies there are somewhat larger critters like giant monitor lizards and families of monkeys.

What is so surprising about Tioman is that these animals are very happy to respect your right to be there if you just let them be.

This is in stark contrast to places like Bali, where the locals have made the monkeys so dependent on food, sold to the tourists, that the they have become a pest. The Bali monkeys have become so aggressive that people are now too scared to visit some of the original tourist attractions that made the island so famous.

The fauna isn’t the only inhabitant of Bali that is discouraging the tourists, the locals are doing a great job as well.

Touting on the beaches, in the bars and on the sidewalk has become so aggressive that many people are put off returning to what was once the paradise of South East Asia.

The over marketing, of the natural and human resources, has lead to a devaluation of what was the original attraction.

"Don't monkey with me"