Saturday, August 28, 2010

Humor without sacrificing customer image

To differentiate themselves from competition, two long-running television ad campaigns focus humor on things people dislike about their industries.

Some things about banking consumers dislike:
  • hidden bank fees
  • treating new customers better than current ones
  • not giving all customers full information
  • fine print
Some things about buying and owning stocks consumers dislike:
  • impersonal service
  • high fees
  • feeling that best interest of investor is not broker's priority
  • lack of information and support
So how do Ally Bank and Scottrade deal this such dislikes?  By using humor to highlight such common negative perceptions against their own brand positions.

Ally Bank Commercials

Scottrade commercials

One final thought... note that neither ad campaign used their customers as the butt of the joke (see the August 26, 2010 post). 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why would anyone want to be like them?

It might be funny but who would want to be like these people?

It is an aspect in some advertising that has been bothersome for some time (refer to my October 10, 2008 blog entry) and I still don't get it.

Why do some companies portray their customers as clueless (or worse). If this is the way people who do business with a company are, why in the world would anyone seek to be like them?

If this is how Netflix customers are, I'd rather read a book!

Progressive has effectively used humor in other ads in their "Flo" campaign... but why make customers act like this?

The point is not to be too picky or lack a sense of humor. But does humor have to be at the expense of customer image?

The next blog post will give examples of advertising campaigns that effectively use humor without sacrificing customer dignity.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Retro comfort factor

In these challenging economic times, companies give consumers "comfort" via retro offerings

It's comfort food without the calories... products that remind one of the "good ol' days". Here are a few more recent examples. There are many more.

ThinkGeek's retro style blue-tooth headset (handset?):

Pepsi's temporary return of the retro can labels (even with "real sugar"!):

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Proudly showing your age

Promoting the idea that a company is strong and stable by showing you've been around a long time.

Prudential's new ad campaign seeks to assure consumers of the company's strength and stability by highlighting how long the firm has been around.

Highlighting the changing logo:

Television advertisement

Friday, August 20, 2010

Is your packaging doing enough?

Going a bit beyond product protection, promotion & display

Packaging is an often under-utilized aspect of marketing. It is designed to protect products during shipping, act as a "billboard" in a store to attract attention, and to aid in store display (stacking, hanging, etc.).

Some businesses are finding ways to use packaging to add a bit more customer value and act as a differentiator from competitors . While some can be more substantial, many are smaller in nature. Here are a couple of examples:
  • Sun Chips (from Frito-Lay) offer chips in 100% compostable bags.

  • 1800 Tequila having its lid measure a shot (turn it over to fill up the lid).

Could your packaging be doing more?