Subtle branding for a stronger message

Women’s Day is a really bad excuse for a public holiday.  I keep thinking it’s about women’s rights in general and, until I was reminded this morning, forgot that it is intended to honour the women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest the pass laws. And I’m probably I’m not the only one who sees it as just another public holiday, rather than a rallying cry for women’s rights. But since it’s a whole three months since the productivity-sucking surfeit of public holidays we enjoy every year around Easter, I’m happy to sit back and enjoy a day off.

Consistency is the key in marketing – and everything else!

I went swimming this morning.  This is significant because I loathe swimming and I’m a really bad at it – and still I swam 700 metres.

In late October, I stumbled and sprained my ankle quite badly.  Or so my doctor told me.  A month later, I finally demanded an x-ray and discovered it was actually broken in three places.  And no, neither chardonnay nor high heels were involved.

Selfies are like tattoos

Selfie was the 2013 word of the year, and its inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary has given it an unanticipated aura of respectability.  But selfies are still fairly polarizing and, like tattoos, elicit strong emotional responses.

But who’d have thought this social phenomenon would extent as far as it has.  I knew there was one song that mentioned them, but I didn’t realize there were 13!

In short, advertising should generate sales!

There are plenty of reasons to advertise: to create brand awareness, build credibility and ensure a sustainable business. But in short, we advertise to increase sales.

No matter how high-minded our marketing objectives, it all boils down to making sure our target market believes that we offer the best possible answer to their needs, and that they remember our brand name so they can find us when they’re ready to buy.

One clear, single-minded message

It’s marketing strategy 101.  Define your consumer promise tightly and don’t try to be all things to all people.   Pick the single most important thing about your brand, and communicate it clearly to your target market.

Of course, that’s not always simple. So often we can’t focus.  We love so much about our brands that we want to tell our target everything – if only they would pay attention!

Two great South African TV ads

Every so often you see a TV commercial that makes you want to stop, rewind and play it again.  And while you might be more likely to want to fast forward, here are two of the great ones.

I love Nedbank’s Eugene ads, this one in particular. It’s brilliantly cast and Eugene is likeable and very memorable.  And the writing is great. Lines like “I want to need it” and “It’s like fairies moonwalking across my tongue” just make me smile.

Advertising Lessons from the Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics start today and P&G have produced fabulous advertising that I just had to share with you.

Figure skaterMy daughter used to be a figure skater and my son played ice hockey, so I’ve spent more than my fair share of time freezing in ice rinks and this ad really speaks to me on a personal level.

3 Christmas ads that make an emotional connection

I’m a big proponent of making a connection with your target market, finding something that matters to them and showing them that you understand their needs.  And making an emotional connection an be particularly powerful.

Needless to say, there’s more than one way to do this.  And nothing proves this quite as much as retail advertising at Christmas.

Advertising you just can’t ignore

On Friday, a very strange green car sped past me as I crossed the Umgeni River.  I was fascinated and needed a better view.

Now isn’t that the ideal response to an ad?  This road is notorious for speed traps, so I wasn’t going to chase after it, but for once, I hoped for a red robot so I could catch up take another look.  Happily the robots obliged, and I whipped out my cell phone to take a photo.

The most entertaining TV ad this year

I could analyse this TV commercial.

I could comment on the value of surprise in advertising, its relevance to its target market, the strength of the branding, over even the production values.

But Friday seems a good day for a little work-related entertainment, and the real reason I’m sharing this ad is simply because it’s brilliant.

And since 59 million people have already seen it, I thought you might not want to be left out.