Thursday, June 16, 2011

CP+B sends BK out with a flaming pile of c*@#

Now I know why Burger King fired CP+B.

Based on their latest (and hopefully final) execution for the company, it's pretty clear they don't know how to sell anything anymore.

Here's their idea: We'll make the client pay for a special channel on Direct TV for BK and then when people watch it, we'll give them free Whoppers.

And now they're thumping their chests about having given away 50,000 burgers after people have watched over 300,000 hours of a Whopper spinning on a  flaming pedestal.

Last time I checked, the point of advertising is to SELL STUFF!

Any moron can give away free product. And if that's all your marketing strategy is, then close up shop and get in line at the welfare office.

Advertising and marketing is about demonstrating the value of the product so people are willing to pay what it's worth. Sure there are times when giving stuff away makes sense - sampling a new product or closing the door on a competitor who's about to launch a similar product - but those instances are rare and should be targeted.

Giving away a signature product to people who have nothing better to do than stare at a flaming burger on TV for hours at a time isn't marketing. It's a joke.

I'm sorry to see an agency that I admired for so long become so utterly bankrupt of ideas that this was all they could think of.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The relentless pursuit of consistency

From its debut Lexus has promised the "relentless pursuit of perfection" in one form or another. And though the campaign has evolved over the years, the fundamental promise has remained the same.

Such is the case with this latest iteration using the subtheme, "Engineering Amazing."

The spot uses the stacked glass vessels as a subtle reference to the original launch commercial and shatters the wall of glass to signal that Lexus is ready for a new era. Just what that era is, who knows, but apparently "Lexus Hybrid Drive Technology" will be at the center of it.

I may be able to quibble with the lack of specificity in this spot. What I can't argue with is the consistency. 

While BMW has dabbled with Joy and Mercedes Benz walked away from its engineering position for a while, Lexus is a strong brand today because they've found a meaningful benefit in the luxury car space – perfection – and owned it since 1989.

And in an era when automotive advertising campaigns live about as long as the average fruit fly, that is truly amazing. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's all about the brand

Yesterday featured an article about Panera Bread's new campaign that focuses on its "brand."

It's a nice spot that talks about their corporate philosophy, the fresh ingredients, the quality of employees, the overall experience. But since it doesn't mention price, apparently it's part of a "brand" campaign.

Here's a little something I learned long ago: every campaign is a brand campaign.

When your advertising focuses on the dollar menu, you're saying something about your brand.

When your advertising focuses on service, you're saying something about your brand.

When your advertising focuses on convenience, you're saying something about your brand.

When your advertising focuses on product features, you're saying something about your brand.

When your advertising focuses on your CEO, you're saying something about your brand.

You can't separate price, product, convenience or promotion from your brand.

They are your brand.

(Click on this link to see the spot)

Monday, June 13, 2011

And now for something completely different

Chevrolet is on a roll.

Thanks to four-dollar a gallon gasoline, an earthquake that has debilitated the Japanese auto industry and a really good small car, Chevrolet was the country's leading seller of sedans in May according to Road & Track.

Corvette racing overcame adversity to come from behind this weekend and defeat Ferrari in the world's most prestigious sports car race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

And even with just triple digit sales figures in the first few months of its limited market launch, the Volt is getting credit for creating new manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Not a bad few weeks for a brand that's been battered about for years.

Now if the PR folks at GM could just keep Dan Akerson from saying things like...

"It's just like the Communist Party in China in the 1960s: There has to be a cultural revolution here."

...about the company he runs, that might allow the GM's critics to focus for a few minutes on the progress that's been made instead of his incomprehensible blather.