What is Acer doing with its new marketing and advertising push?
Check out this voice-over set-up from one of the ads:
“We all have our hidden passions. For Megan Fox, this is a passion for marine life. That’s why we designed the new Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook so Megan could follow her dream and talk to dolphins.”
If the video posted on Acer’s YouTube channel is indicative of the branding the company is hoping to build, my response is: Huh?
Sorry, I don’t get it. Yes, the video is interesting to watch, but how does it help build and define the Acer brand?
Granted, Acer probably has a blank slate with its brand image/positioning, other than low-price, but talking to dolphins? Here’s Acer’s marketing perspective, from a company press release:
“The campaign underlines Acer’s new brand positioning ‘Explore beyond Limits’”, says Maarten Schellekens, Acer’s Global Brand Director. “It is all about people living to their full potential and exploring their passions. It will be brought to life in a series of new product launches over the next three years.”
This lifestyle technology positioning with scientist Fox is a stretch. It could work from a brand awareness standpoint, but that’s likely to be short-lived. However, the TV ads are running globally in local language versions (U.S., China, the U.K., Russia, Germany and France, per Ms. Dou), so it’s possible there may be more traction overseas than here in the US (playing off Fox’s and Transformers’ overseas popularity?).
I do like Acer’s product benefit ad, which is contemporary, well-done and effective in explaining the new computer.
Maybe this type of hard sell coupled with the awareness-generation of the Fox spots will be a winning combination. But still, talking dolphins? Come on.
The Fox campaign comes on the heels of a similar effort (also Huh?) featuring cupcake-lover Kiefer Sutherland on behalf of the Aspire S5 Ultrabook. Give Acer credit for consistency at least. Watch the video here.
Look, positioning and building a brand is hard work, especially targeting computers to the consumer market; and I applaud Acer for trying to take the brand-building road. But the Fox campaign seems to be focusing on short-term awareness, which is not the same thing as building a relevant, meaningful and lasting brand relationship platform with customers. I have to say the odds are stacked against Acer.
By the way, the dolphin video was likely very expensive to produce, so let’s not ignore the financial side of Acer’s go-to-market strategy, as the WSJ’s Dou’s cogently states:
“The move is a risky gamble, analysts say, as any increase in marketing expenses will put more pressure on Acer’s already slim operating margin of 0.3%. It will also leave less room for design and R&D, which take long-term investment, but are crucial for developing differentiated and innovative products for technology firms constantly battling change.”
Sorry, Megan Fox talking to dolphins is not a reason to buy an Acer computer. Maybe I’m missing the boat, but there should be more than that to an Acer brand-building campaign, especially when reallocating and investing limited company financial resources.
Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success. Contact him at hchimoff at gmail dot com.