Wednesday, 24 June 2015

It's chaos out there

The chaos theory is a popular theme in adland, the very idea that a small variation in any given system could produce larger and possibly long-term disturbances in the larger world is somehow an awfully enticing metaphor.
After all it’s a marketer’s dream that a new product should cause such a series of ripples that it alters the normal behaviour of the consumer forever. The makers of that classical foodstuff Heinz Baked Beans must have had such grand ambitions when they launched their Curried Beans variation. Of course it might have had more impact if they hadn’t followed it up quite so closely with Baked Bean Bolognese, Baked Bean Chicken Curry, Baked Bean Chilli Con Carne, and the rather splendid, Baked Bean Sausage Casserole.

Brand cannibalisation, or crapping on your own doorstep, as it’s commonly known, is that curious process by which many major companies seek to steal customers away from their primary Brands by launching sub-lines. Naturally it’s not their aim to pilfer consumers from their own mainstream products, they obviously hope to attract totally new and shiny buyers, Coke Zero, for example, picked up a lot of drinkers from Coke Light/Diet Coke but managed to gather a totally fresh consumer base as well. Maybe that was due to the advertising? It can happen you know, get a taste of life as it should at:

Besides the danger of eating your own babies banging out new messages every few weeks even on one Brand can be a tad confusing. Refreshing the Brand image is something that has long been the purview of every new Marketing Director when they reach these dizzy heights. The new broom, or new sheriff, approach is a dangerous ego ride that causes dismay from headline writer to logo designer and all points in-between.
Under the guise of new product lines, new marketing drives and just pig-headed “it’s my train-set” years of great work is often jettisoned for the “next big thing.”
Mind, adland is packed with lazy buggers who firmly believe the tedious mantra that “if something’s not broken don’t fix it,” the poisonous chant of those who fear change.
Between these two poles it’s often hard to see how any new product makes it to market at all. But make it they do, thank god.

“Beauty”, the latest Mercedes-Benz commercial from our German cousins has all the marks, sorry Euro’s, of a new broom. For a start it’s funny, pull in for a look at:
Then again, the latest ad promoting the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, (It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it), can only come from a life long understanding of the Brand. “ChinChilli Day” is a spot about the excuses guys make to get their bosses to sign off on their long weekends in Vegas, no excuses go watch it at:

Sometimes, rather than a new product you have to find a new way of looking at an old problem
A new look at the Army in the UK has created a new campaign from Golly Slater in Wales. A young guy is booking out from his army camp for the weekend, he shouts bye to all his mates and hops onto his powerful motorbike. We see his family at home going through their breakfast routine waiting for him. As he hurtles down country roads his mother hears a noise, she looks out of the kitchen window as it implodes, around her the family are flung about wildly. Cut back to the soldier as he crashes fiercely
Super up lines: “It’s not just you who feels the impact.
British Troops are twice as likely to die on the roads as civvies.
Drive carefully, you’re tough but you’re not invincible.”
It’s a nice ad, beautifully shot and acted. It won a Gold at Cannes so I’m not alone in this belief. Have a look for yourself at: My dear art director, twirling her glossy beads in the air pointed out one major problem with the whole thing; are the British Army really losing so many of their highly trained killing machines to bad driving that they need to run a national TV campaign to stop them? Now that really is chaos.

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