Friday, October 17, 2014

Apple's social strategy is its products

Recently, Christopher Heine, digital editor of Adweek was quoted on Smartbrief as saying "It's really hard to figure out what Apple's social strategy is -- if it has one at all."
This comment stems from the fact that unlike most companies, Apple doesn't have a legion of ninjas, commandos, wizards and rockstars tweeting, posting and instagramming inane content for them all hours of the day and night. Instead they decided to drop a few hundred grand on a promoted tweet for the iPad Air.
Rather than manufacturing news, here's Apple's social strategy: They manufacture remarkable products their owners love to talk about.
Just because a brand doesn't talk about itself on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram doesn't mean it doesn't get talked about on those platforms. And in the end, what is more valuable, Samsung telling everyone how cool they are, or Apple users telling everyone how cool their iPads, Macbooks and iPhones are?
Yeah, I thought so.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The penalty of idiocy

The Cadillac ELR is a fine car. Not great, but not bad at all. It's comfortable, well-appointed and drives nicely. If you're looking for a luxury electric, you should test drive it. But that's not the point of this post.

This post is about the god-awful spot that launched this pretty good car.

By now you've probably seen it. The all-too-proud American mocking others for their work ethic (or lack thereof). But in case you haven't, here it is.

First of all, Cadillac is not expecting to sell too many ELRs, especially given that this electric sled will set you back $75K. So being polarizing isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just as important for a brand to know what it doesn't stand for as what it does.

The ELR is a statement car, one that's supposed to halo the brand. Unfortunately with this spot they've made the statement that the Cadillac brand is all about "me." Egoistic, self centered, arrogant and unapologetic.

GM's PR team have argued that the spot is about success, but that's not the message one takes away from the wink and sneering use of French at the end.

I think somewhere in their misguided heads, the creative team at Cadillac's new agency, Rogue, thought they were updating this classic and brand-defining print ad from 1915 for a new generation.

If  that's the case they whiffed badly.

It's one thing to voice your objection to the critics. It's another altogether to poke fun at other people and cultures.

In doing so Cadillac has alienated the very people they are hoping will buy new ATSs, CTSs, SRXs and ELRs; BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar owners.

It's time for Cadillac to admit their mistake and pull this spot.

"N'est-ce pas."

Friday, February 28, 2014

What the uncommon have in common

There are a lot of lists of the best restaurants in the country. The food magazines have them. Zagat has one. 

And then there's this list from Yelp. 

Created by mining the data from their site using a combination of ratings and number of reviews, this list features everything from hot dog shacks to Michelin Star restaurants. It's so diverse that at first it's hard to make heads or tails of this list. 

But read a few of the reviews and you realize there are a few common threads in all of the eateries on the list. 

They're all remarkable.
They each have a point of view.
Their points of view extend beyond the food into everything they do.
They don't compromise.

If you want to create a business and a brand that customers rate as the very best, you could do worse than emulate these restauranteurs.

I think I might need to do some field "research" to gain a deeper understanding of this topic.