Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Responding to competitor attack ads

AT&T counters Verizon's claims

Early in fall 2009, Verizon unveiled a new advertising effort attacking rival AT&T to complement its long running "Can you hear me now?" campaign.

Using coverage maps, Verizon's new campaign claimed AT&T's wireless 3G coverage paled in comparison to Verizon. Verizon hoped that a picture was indeed worth "a thousand words".

AT&T did not wait long to respond
However, it was a lawsuit petitioning the court to require Verizon to stop the ads. The request was declined.

If at first you don't succeed...
Immediately after their court defeat in November 2009, AT&T moved to counter Verizon's claims with an advertising campaign of their own. Since then, AT&T advertisements have been run across media. The ads had themes similar to the ads below.

Where things currently stand
There has been no slowdown at year end 2009 as the wireless giants continue to trade advertising punches. However, AT&T is not allowing Verizon to solely frame and control the messages put out to the public.

And in the meantime
Sprint and T-Mobile will be happy that Verizon and AT&T keep beating each other up.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taking advertising for a drive

billboards + SUVs + word-of-mouth = new twist on advertising

For the last several years, "wrapped" buses have acted as moving billboards.

Now, companies are getting family vehicles into the act as well.

By selecting the drivers carefully, advertisers not only get roving promotion... they get product ambassadors who provide word-of-mouth about the advertised store or product to family, friends, acquaintances, and the otherwise curious.

Here's how it works:
Today Show, 12-23-09 -- Jenna Wolfe reporting

Monday, December 21, 2009

The shopping experience

Dressing rooms, merchandising, the senses, and more...

This morning, the Today Show showed an interesting segment on retail shopping. The segment shows several retailing strategies and tactics that facilitate a pleasurable experience.

The portion of the segment below features a visit to a mall by the reporter, Janice Lieberman, and Marshal Cohen -- the author of "Why Customers Do What They Do".

Retailers need to analyze if, and if so how, their stores provide customers with experiences that makes shopping pleasurable and interesting.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The last shopping days before Christmas (2009)

'Twas the last days before Christmas, when all through the stores
Not enough customers were coming thru the sliding front doors.
The shopping carts were arranged in a tidy neat row,
Awaiting frenzied shoppers to spend lots of dough.

The registers were staffed by an anticipating crew,
With hopes that paying shoppers were surely soon due.
And the manager with keys and the new hire named Don,
Had just checked the front sign to make sure it was on.

When out in the parking lot there arose such a stew,
Employees rushed to the windows to see the new view.
Away from the panes they returned to their places,
With not a grin but frowns on their faces.

For it was not future buyers making the fuss,
But just a trash truck and a big passing bus.
Now time was short to start making sales,
Discounts and coupons should cure all that ails.

But customers still did not buy in quantities sought,
Retailers scared of low revenues from products not bought.
Wishing but knowing that holiday earnings wouldn't be stout,
But in the back of their minds, Congress might bail them out.

Maybe this is a time to just try to scrape by,
And come back December 26th to give it another try.
For then unwrapped gift cards will be burning a hole,
In wallets of shoppers ready to give it another go.

To get what they want, to make post-Christmas hay,
Let's hope they spend until this New Year's Day.
Retailing is tough, this holiday season two thousand-eight,
Let's just survive and see next year's fate.

So from the advertisements giving it one more last try,
"Happy Christmas to all, and please from us buy."
Not much has changed since last year --
re-posted from this blog (12-18-08)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A viral - guerrilla marketing hybrid

T-Mobile's "dance" spread virally, impacted spectators

Definitions (adapted from Wikipedia)
Viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives through self-replicating viral processes by users spreading a message among their various reference groups and associations -- analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages.

The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional; potentially interactive; and consumers are targeted in unexpected places.

How it's a hybrid promotion
Viral marketing: The T-Mobile video below was passed along to me by a family member, who had received it from a friend. Naturally, I watched the video since I received it from family... score one for T-Mobile!

Guerrilla marketing: As you watch the video, notice the reactions of the spectators. One can safely assume they talked about this to friends, co-workers and family for quite some time... score another for T-Mobile!

Three things that can be learned from this promotion:

  1. Businesses have the opportunity to make promotions that are not "just the same old thing". Such promotions can often cut through the clutter of advertisements that consumers are bombarded by on a daily basis.
  2. Fun can work... it does not always have to be about celebrities, sensualness or fear.
  3. People are willing to be a "message emmissary" -- passing along to others what they find fun, cute, interesting, unusual, etc.