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Archive for the ‘Consumers’ Category

WaMu: Please Fire Your Copywriters

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 14, 2008 at 7:49 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Dear WaMu,

There are a few issues with rebranding that I’d like to bring to your attention. First of all, there is little that you can do to distract people from the fact that your stock and business are in the toilet. In these situations most companies take the predictable approach of working to reaffirm their commitment to their consumers and to regenerate trust. You, dear WaMu, have decided to go in a different direction.

You’ve tried to brand what you are calling a “Whoo hoo!” moment. What they heck is a “Whoo hoo!” moment?! It continues to make me believe that you are opening a line of red-light massage parlors and yet, it seems as though they are just banks.

I get the fact that you are a nicer bank. One that historically has given really big loans to people that didn’t necessarily deserve them. That was really nice of you even though it doesn’t seem to have worked out so well. And even if that isn’t quite what you were getting at here, you have to remember that you are a freakin’ bank! Unless your ATMs add zeros to my account you probably aren’t going to elicit a Whoo hoo from me.

This strikes me as the result of a bad focus group laddering exercise where someone says they want a bank that makes them feel happy. The moderator asks, ‘what does happy feel like?’ and they say ‘joy.’ The moderator probes, ‘what does joy feel like?’ Eventually someone says “Whoo hoo!” and WaMu starts printing posters.

And don’t even get me started on the stupidity of spending money to put arrows right outside the bank. It’s as if you’ve discovered a segment of mouth breathers who only stare straight at the ground when they walk and didn’t notice that they were right next to a WaMu. If this is how spend your own money in a crisis I’m not sure it’s the safest place for my money.

Who Wants A Hug? Get Your Hugs Here!

In advertising, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 3, 2008 at 10:24 am

hat tip to the crazy kids of Chicago at Coudal

Would You Like Some Abstinence Pants with Your Chastity Belt?

In Branding, Consumers, strategy, trends, Uncategorized on June 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Never one to miss a chance to cash into a trend late, K-Mart has launched its teen-oriented Abstinence Pants. Unlike traditional methods of padlocks and attack hamsters, K-Mart has opted to write messages on teenagers behinds in really small font so you have to look really closely. No word yet as to whether they will come packaged with En Vouge’s 90’s hit single, “Never Gonna Get It.”

Automotive Monogamy

In Consumers, trends on May 29, 2008 at 11:10 am

As a firm believer in the anti-trend and a photography lover, I’m drawn to the photographic project of aptly named Matteo Ferrari. In an age when consumer goods are often renewed as frequently as the sweater box is brought out from under the bed, it’s great to see the faces of those drivers who have stuck with their car over the years. What other product categories have fostered such loyalty and become such a definitive and emotional part of the users identity?  Watches, jewelry, furniture perhaps…but the list isn’t long.

hat tip to new favorite CupOfJoe

Apple gets serious about marketing

In Brands, Consumers, marketing, strategy, Uncategorized on May 23, 2008 at 11:38 am

Deep in my bi-coatiality I went to the Apple Store in SoHo yesterday to pick up a base station. (Yes, I know there are cheaper routers but this one looks cool!) My surprise came when the checkout girl asked if it would be ok if they e-mailed me my receipt.

First thought: ok, I’m environmentally friendly, sounds like a good company policy, why don’t more companies do this?

Second thought: HOLY COW, now Apple can track my purchases to an email address, know how long its been since I purchased something, and cheaply and easily send me coupons and incentives to upgrade, buy adjacent products and deeper entrench myself in MacFandom.

I’m not sure how many consumer brands could get away with this. I wouldn’t give most companies my email address but Apple, sneaky little devil, of course you can have it. Now get to sending me coupons for the iPhone. I’ve gotten over my aversion and now I think they are pretty cool.

Because Sometimes You Need a Drink

In Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy, trends, Uncategorized on May 22, 2008 at 7:59 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Growing up in Ohio I remember how the first day of hunting season would clear out a classroom. All the same kids who complained about an 8am school bell were suddenly out in the woods at 5am. I, predictably, would be in class.

Well, my guess is that those same schoolmates are sending out a rousing ‘hell yeah’ in response to Miller’s decision to issue camo-cans this year. You think it is a little extreme? Hunters have been known to cover their bodies in imitation deer piss so as not to be given away by their scent. That’s a little extreme. This makes total sense.

hat tip to adfreak and plaid

Walk of The Shamefully Good

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on May 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

Nice new work from AMP positioning themselves as the energy drink for the other half of the day.  BUT, to the same audience that got all f-ed up the night before.  Really good.

Agency is BBDO until someone tells me otherwise..

Alert: The History Channel Has Run Out of History

In Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on April 29, 2008 at 2:18 pm

The History Channel has run out of history. It’s a shame because, like oil, there seemed to be so much of it last time I checked. But alas, it’s true. Napoleonic wars, done it. King Tut, done it nine times. Lindberg, Anne Frank, George Washington, you name it, done it. Which explains their new move toward old growth trees and the reality show Axe Men.

Hypothetical meeting conversation:

“Why not stop covering history and start predicting it? We all know that trees are going to be history so let’s preempt it!”

“Let’s give that man a raise! Brilliant!”

“And we can compete against Discovery and Deadliest Catch. Logging is dangerous too! And not just to the trees!”

Abercrombie, Sponsoring Losers Everywhere

In advertising, Branding, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on April 24, 2008 at 4:52 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

The thing I love about strategists and trendspotters is the amount of time we spend thinking about what things “might” mean. We are like brand conspiracy theorists that live slightly to the left of any sane consumer.

So let the debate begin. Is Abercrombie and Fitch subversively getting product placement on national television; or as most of us realize that these backdrops are carefully choreographed, is Obama playing to the mainstream fashion (in)sensibility of America?

OR, is it even more sinister, is Obama covertly courting the gay but-look-like-robot vote?

UPDATE: it turns out it wasn’t an Abercrombie marketing campaign, although I’d argue it became one anyway. So that leaves the decision at the foot of the Obama campaign– which of the above reasons drove them to put these guys in the camera’s eye?

hat tip to adrants

O2 Memory Project

In advertising, communications, Consumers, marketing, Uncategorized on April 20, 2008 at 1:16 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

I’ve been in London for the past few days and stumbled upon the O2 Memory Project in London’s Southbank. A beautiful industrial cylinder greets passers by and snaps 360 panoramics of the scene every few minutes. On the inside you can see the images that have been captured and through hand gestures go back in time to see what has come before. A nice effort from O2 and Jason Bruges.

Not entirely sure what it has to do with O2, which was probably a missed communication opportunity. The host who I spoke with only admitted sheepishly that it wasn’t actually just a cool art project but that there was a corporate father.

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