Category Archives: Advertising

Humorous Twitter Character Fights Severe Drought in California

Changing behavior is one of the hardest things to do in marketing.

In drought-stricken California, the nonprofit Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) has rolled-out a creative marketing campaign to persuade consumers to conserve water.

Photo: Southern California Water Committee.

Photo: Southern California Water Committee.

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Dodge Durango Marketing and the Legend of Ron Burgundy

Did you see Will Ferrell being interviewed in Ron Burgundy character last week on Conan O’Brien?  Funny stuff.

It was part of the marketing for the upcoming movie sequel: Anchorman 2 – The Legend Continues.

That marketing also includes Dodge Durango using Ferrell portraying Ron Burgundy to sell cars.

Photo: Dodge Facebook.

Photo: Dodge Facebook.

Dodge-Anchorman Marketing Connection

Beyond the Conan O’Brien show laughs, I noted and then had to check Conan’s comment about how the Ferrell/Burgundy commercials increased Dodge Durango sales 59% in October.  Yep, Conan had his math right.  As for the causal effect, more in a moment. Continue reading

T-Mobile Creates Ticked-Off Parents to Sell Global Travelers

It’s bill-shocked Mom and Dad versus globetrotting son Jeremy in T-Mobile USA’s smart, new, integrated marketing campaign.

The message comes across loud and clear, but there’s some doubt whether T-Mobile can deliver a positive customer experience.

Photo: T-Mobile website.

Photo: T-Mobile website.

The wireless provider is touting its plan that saves users on international data service charges:

“With the Simple Choice Plan, each line comes with unlimited talk, text, and data while on our home network—and starting October 20, unlimited data and text in over 100 countries at no extra charge.”

The marketing campaign includes television advertising, a dedicated website, social media interaction, a contest to win a trip around the world, and airport communications.   There is also a companion effort in Spanish.

Photo: T-Mobile YouTube.

Photo: T-Mobile YouTube.

What stands out, though, are the TV ads.  

Give T-Mobile and its creative partners credit for coming up with an advertising idea that both gets attention and communicates the service benefit.  There’s no “did you see that great ad, but I don’t know the company” here. Continue reading

Sports Branding: Time to Say Goodbye to the NFL Redskins.

Is it time for the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their name?

A Native American organization says yes, and has mounted an aggressive marketing campaign to see it happen.

Let’s look at five key aspects to this story:

  1. Derogatory Term.  It’s not hard to understand that a National Football League team called the “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans.
  2. Incredible Commissioner.  The NFL commissioner’s letter to Congress suspends reality.
  3. Strong Marketing.  The advertising campaign is clever.
  4. Insensitive Owner.  The team’s owner ought to be more diplomatic in his public comments.
  5. Brand Management Implications.  The name has been used for 80 years, but is it a good brand management decision going forward?

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Duke Libraries Tell Stories to Raise Funds. Plus 3 Tips for Your Marketing Team.

How do you motivate alumni to give money to libraries?

Or, more generally put, how do you persuade someone to do something that’s not top of mind?

You tell meaningful stories.

Storytelling has been a powerful marketing communications tool for a long time.  Today, it’s often talked about in association with content marketing.

And while it’s not a new tactic, when used effectively, it can produce important business results.

Duke Magazine - Special Issue 2013

Duke Magazine – Special Issue 2013

Take this ad for Duke University Libraries, for example.

The photo caught my attention and led me to read about how Duke assigns a librarian to every first-year dorm.

To me, that’s an interesting story I’d like to know more about.  The eye-catching visual, along with the text, quickly dimensionalizes an abstract concept and makes it easy to understand and relate to.  There’s a URL to get more info.

The result:  Duke has a greater chance to raise funds earmarked to its libraries. Continue reading

Norfolk Southern Taps Consumer Marketing Playbook for B2B Success

Even industrial marketers can utilize consumer marketing tactics to get their message out.

The latest example is transportation company Norfolk Southern.  If you’ve watched any television during the past two months, you still might be humming their song “What’s Your Function?”

Since being hired in 2010, the marketing challenge for Norfolk Southern’s agency RP3 has been to turn an industrial brand into a magnet brand.  Previous work was built off the tagline:  “One line, infinite possibilities.”

The overarching message this year is that “trains connect us all.”

Specifically, the new ad is designed to “remind everyone how Norfolk Southern connects businesses, creates jobs, and keeps the economy moving.”  That’s bold. Continue reading

Retailer Sundown One Fights the Big Guys with Pizza and Beer

When you compete against “big box” retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart, you need a clever way to win.

Especially if you’re a one-store, “little guy” electronics retailer.

Sundown One, located in Central Illinois, has found the formula.

The company has put together a nice marketing mix to carve out a distinctive brand image and personality, featuring:

  • Information-based advertising, themed with modest humor and featuring the owner/operators; plus
  • Comfortable, in-store special event product demonstrations.

(Disclosure – I’m a satisfied former customer who’s on his own with this marketing commentary.)

Here’s the postcard for their June 2013 event:

Sundown One - Card FrontSundown One - Card Back Continue reading