When marketing goes dog-shaped…

More marketing, content and copywriting-related bits and bobs

I have a love-hate relationship with marketing. On one hand, because I spent two decades in direct marketing I know a great campaign is a delight to everyone in the target market who encounters it. On the other hand there’s also plenty of rubbish, mad behaviour and marketing weirdness out there.
Here’s an almost wholly negative look at today’s marketing world… apologies in advance – I’m usually an annoyingly positive person!

Google Glass marketing mega-fail

I’ve mentioned before how I signed up with Google, giving them my personal details so I’d get updates about Glass. Well, I never did hear a word out of them. And now Glass is in the shops.
The lack of marketing communication makes Google seem breathtakingly arrogant. Having said that, I will still be buying Glass, but with a sour taste in my mouth. When a brand you express a specific, direct, personal interest in doesn’t appear to give a flying f*** about you, pardon my French, it doesn’t feel good.

Blog comments frustration

Do I want to give a load of random apps free access to my social media accounts and let them do stuff on my behalf? No I do not. That’s why I rarely if ever make comments on blog posts, even when the information they contain is sheer brilliance.
It’s a marketing no-brainer. The more obstacles you put in the way of spontaneous engagement, the fewer people will bother. Isn’t it better to take the inevitable spam on the chin and do your housework than force readers to sign up for invasive apps like Disqus before letting them comment?

Innocent as charged? Your reputation is still muddied

When you’re prosecuted you’re either found guilty or not guilty. Whatever happened to ‘innocent’, the diametric opposite of guilty? Not guilty is a totally negative phrase, a mealy-mouthed non-acknowledgement of a person’s lack of culpability. If you didn’t do it, you’re innocent. It might be ‘just’ semantics but as a copywriter, I know it makes a big difference.

Why do TV advertisers infantilise the British public?

Why do such a high proportion of TV ads aimed at adults feature cartoons and animated characters? I am a grown up. Why on earth would I respond to confused.com’s mega-irritating, childish, jabbering nonsense, for example, or the all-singing, all-dancing ridiculousness created by the insurance broker Admiral? Or those mad adverts where people cook a meal only to find their home is suddenly invaded by hundreds of gyrating nutters? WTF?
Next time you’re watching telly, count how many ads in each break are clearly infantile. Why are so many brands so determined to infantilise their audience? Am I the only one who finds it sinister?

What does loyalty mean in a marketing context?

Customer loyalty is a strange concept. What does it mean to be ‘loyal’ to a product or brand? It’s obviously very different to the pure, clean, powerful, intuitive loyalty we feel for friends and family. It’s multi-faceted, consisting of all sorts of different emotional and practical elements including the quality of the product or service itself, how closely it meets your needs, how convenient it is, what it costs, customer service and support.
As such brand loyalty is easily damaged, whereby real loyalty to the people you love is much more resilient. You don’t leave your lover unless there’s a very good reason. But you’ll switch brands like lightning if you’re the least bit pissed off or inconvenienced. If our local Co-Op closed down there’s no way I’d travel miles to find the next-nearest Co-Op and carry on as normal. I’d shop at Tesco instead, because it’s closer to home.
In a world where punters turn against you at the slightest provocation, there’s no room for complacency.

Telly fun – Messing with advertisers’ heads

Advertisers love to mess with our heads. In our house we like to turn the tables. Here are two games to while away the tediously frequent three minutes of (mostly) nonsense we’re expected to put up with.

  1. Turn the sound off  half way through an advert’s core proposition and create your own ending. The current TV ad for Kindle Paper White, for instance, kicks off with the sentence “We asked book lovers to…”, which you can finish off any way you like. My favourite, from last night, is, “take acid.”
  2. Turn the sound down and read the small print. It’s an eye-opener, especially unregulated sectors like the cosmetics industry which blatantly, gleefully lies about the effectiveness of its products because there’s nobody to make it tell the truth. Once you start reading the small print, a surprisingly large proportion of TV and off-the-page ads suddenly become far less convincing.

Banksy on advertising

Last but not least, I love what Banksy says about advertising. If you treat punters with less than the expected amount of respect, forethought, intelligence and consideration, this is exactly how they will feel about your ads.
Here’s an image, hooked from Twitter. I’d love to credit the source of the piece but since I don’t know where it originated, I can’t. If you know, leave a comment and I’ll do the decent thing.
What banksy says about advertising

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