Thursday, November 29, 2007

Airline Safety Video Enhances Brand Experience

Like Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic has worked hard to brand their unique flying experience. Not in terms of logos and stuff, but the actual experience.

Now, thanks to the Experience Curve blog, we have a look at their airplane safety video. It's not amazing (they have a job to do), but it's very cleverly and subtly different and Virgin branded.

Just goes to show, branding limitations are often not all that limiting...

Thanks to Ignite Lisa for pointing it out to me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Brutal Honesty, the new marketing advantage?

Two companies have used marketing tactics recently that whipped my head around (figuratively, fortunately). Both were brutally honest. It was amazing, funny and rereshing.

Remember that 1990 movie with Dustin Hoffman and Darryl Hannah called Crazy People? He was an ad exec that went crazy and started writing lines like, "Metamucil. It helps you go to the toilet. If you don't use it, you get cancer and die." and "United, most of our passengers get there alive." These two companies suggest he might have been on to something.

The first,, offers only one product every day at a deep discount. When it's sold out, you're out of luck. When it's the next day, you're out of luck. What I really like is their FAQ section. Here are some excerpts:

I want to talk to a live person there, can I call you?
No. We are busy sourcing new products and shipping orders. You can post a comment to our community board, but we don't guarantee we'll respond. You should Google for the manufacturer contact to get product answers – we suggest a dating service, magic 8 ball, or ouija board for general life solutions.
Will I receive customer support like I'm used to?
No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don't end up liking or you have what marketing people call "buyer's remorse," sell it on eBay. It's likely you'll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn't work, find out what you're doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it's probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know.
Maybe I'll just wait until this item becomes more widely available, so I know what other users think of it.
If that's how you want to live your life, sure. Fine. There are those who would say that your type will inherit the earth. Until then, though, the rest of us will have all the coolest gizmos.
Boom. Loved the company instantly. I now check it daily and yes, I wooted and bought something... Cool.

The other is Buckley's Cough Medicine. Their ads compare the taste of their product to the liquid that collects at the bottom of a garbage can. Apparently, they've been doing this shtick in Canada for years, but now they're rolling out down here. Reminds me of Listerine's brilliant campaign to battle Scope by acknowledging that it tasted bad, but it worked.

I haven't tried Buckley's yet, but I think ALL cough medicine is horrible, so might as well suffer a bit extra to get something that works...

What do you think, is brutal honesty a trend? Probably not, but it's giving these two companies an edge.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fat (Phat?) Marketing Idea

Let's say you work for a state agency charged with keeping obesity down. You have limited marketing funds. Oh, and it's the holidays, where the American dream is an overstuffed belly and a blissful turkey-induced nap.

You can give up, or you can get clever. My client, the NC Dept of Health and Human Services, got clever. Check this out (and maybe join up). I think this is a pretty good idea:

Sign up for the Eat Smart, Move More...Maintain, don't gain! Holiday Challenge!

Pumpkin pie, turkey with stuffing, fruit cake, fudge....the holidays are here bringing all sorts of delicious foods with them. Unfortunately for most, those holiday sweets and treats mean a couple of extra pounds gained. But we have a solution!

The second annual Eat Smart, Move More...Maintain, don't gain! Holiday Challenge begins on November 19. Registration is now open at Participation is free.

Your goal for the holiday challenge is to maintain your pre-holiday weight. You will not try to lose weight; just avoid gaining any during the remainder of the year. This can be tough, especially with all of those holiday goodies!

To help you do this, we will send you a weekly newsletter that includes tips, strategies and advice for dealing with one of the many triggers that can cause holiday weight gain. Recipes and a quick and easy menu idea will also be included.

During the Challenge, you are encouraged to download an activity log, food diary, and weight log from our website to track how much activity you do, what you eat, and your weight each week. In addition, you will be able to read a blog with expert advice on avoiding gaining weight during the season.

Be sure to sign up now! We hope you will join us in the challenge to maintain your weight over the holidays.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Can't Fight Tivo? Use it...

Let's say that you're a local car dealer in Utah and you fear that everyone is using Tivo to skip over your TV ads. You can fight it, whine about, move your TV budget elsewhere, or get clever.

Tony Divino Toyota decided to place two 15-second "bookends", spots that run at the beginning and end of a commercial break. Check them out. (There are two sets below, each of which would ordinarily be split by other commercials. )

Pretty clever. Can't do it forever, but it will likely get good buzz for them for a couple of months.