Tuesday 27 October 2015

The force is strong in this placement

On Monday night last week it was as if millions of voices cried out and were suddenly silenced, in delight. Like the Millennium Falcon out of hyperspace The Force Awakens trailer finally dropped. 

To an audience that, if hundreds of American high school flicks about jocks and nerds have been correct, are generally not science fiction fans. And contrary to received Kotlerian wisdom, this was a masterstroke. 

For brand growth - increased market share; sales - it's imperative to reach non and light buyers. Precisely what Disney did by showing the trailer during ESPN's Monday Night Football.

Where unthinking marketers would've intuitively played it during DC's Arrow or Flash tv shows, or at the start of a Marvel film as Disney did with the teaser - fishing where the fish are - Disney did not.

Fish where the fish are OR cast a wide net? 

Because, they know their heavy buyers don't need any extra motivation to see the movie (or trailer). If the census counted it, Jedi is a religion, and they certainly didn't need to preach to that choir.

And by reaching light buyers who may otherwise see another movie, and lapsed buyers - fans of the originals but disillusioned by JarJar - they increased the likelihood of more people seeing Star Wars. 

Marketing's job.

The only question is: who reached more light buyers and benefitted the most? Was the Star Wars trailer an ad in between the football, or was the football actually an ad around the Star Wars trailer?

Christopher Ott

Tuesday 13 October 2015

The only reason to ever rebrand

Brands are no more or less than memory-constructs in people's minds. When you rebrand you choose to shatter these memories. In other words, start again. So, why do it?

The Tropicana rebrand is a text book example, literally. From the familiar orange-with-a-straw image to a plain glass of juice, along with a logo change, Unilever rebranded their orange juice wholesale. 

And the result: It became unrecognisable. Its repeat buyers (or loyalists), as well as light and non-buyers couldn't find the brand they, at different levels, all knew. And, within 6 weeks, sales dropped 20%, or roughly $33 million. 

More than we'd like to admit (in focus groups), why we buy is intuitive over rational. We shop on autopilot with an inherent draw to the familiar, or memorable (Buyhaviour 1: Availability Bias). 

Which makes the role of advertising, including branding: to lodge your brand's distinctive assets - logos, colours, design, fonts, tone - into the mind and memory of your audience. 

Which can only happen if your brand has a consistent, unique identity. Of which, rebranding is the antithesis. So, save yourself mega-bucks. Refresh, reframe; just don't rebrand. 

Unless, of course your brand's been hijacked by an international terrorist group. Then, you should probably rebrand.

Christopher Ott