One of those jaw-dropping "can't plan it" moments.
"This Food Network program is brought to you by Purina. Your pets. Our passion."
Of course, I blame the writer.
Except there wasn't one. Just a template. "This Food Network program is brought to you by [insert sponsor]. [insert tagline]."
If there'd been a writer, duty-of-care would demand that regardless of the smart media that says "Foodies own pets, Foodies spend more than average on pets," if you're advertising on Food Network and you're given a template for a network ID, you ask for an exception on behalf of your client and you rewrite.
So no one has even a hint that Purina's passion for Bowzer and Mr. Socks and Cleopatra is anything close to what folks at The Food Network spend every waking moment thinking about.
I was 58 before I understood what a sock drawer was for.
Naturally, I was straightening socks when it hit me.
Downtime -- real life -- is when the wellspring refills.
Not when you're asleep.
Not when you're making love (if so, heaven help you).
Not when you're staring at the frozen arc of zero space that will not be filled.
Only when you're sorting socks.
Vacuuming in dark places.
Do this, bring this offering to your god, and be blessed when you wish to draw from the well.
The most comfortable movie theater I attend is in the most uncomfortably designed shopping plaza.
I go because I know the place. But I hear friends swear they'll go anywhere else.
The problem is simple. The plaza is badly designed.
Navigation -- from a seemingly hidden entrance, to convaluated parking, to locating the 2nd elevator to get to the theater -- is anything but intuitive. This results in a lot of signage, also poorly done.
Resulting in a lot of confusion, which translates into massive lost revenues.
It's the same in marketing.
The more intuitive the access, the easier the sell.
If your entrance (name) is clear, it takes far less signage (headlines and copy) to get folks where you want them to go.
Do the work to get your name right, and it follows that business will grow farther, faster.
Visual? Nasty animated manifestation of threats. Powerful.
Tagline? "Power over pests." Great enough to trademark.
"For about $1 a day, we'll work to keep pests out."
Lame, lame, lame.
Macho green graphics help mask its lack of teeth. A tad.
Why even include it?
If the point of the line is to include the price, fine.
But the guarantee ends like it might once have meant something -- before Legal got to it.
Great concept, excellent execution, meh overall.
So close, and yet, so what?
Take Effen Vodka.
Compelling reason to buy? Smoothness. BFD.
Name? Dutch for "smooth." If you say so.
Strategy? For 5 years, it's been all about smoothness -- evidenced by cool design.
Hm. Must not be working. Print lines are working the frisky name.
("Frisky" as in "cheeky" at one end of the spectrum, "disappointing" at the other.)
For a year now, headlines have pulled out every tired "wink-wink, nod-nod" cliche:
What's better than Effen?
Effen in the dark.
There's nothing more satisfying than Effen on a plane.
Everyone enjoys Effen in the penthouse.
Snore, snore, snore.
If ya got nuthin' but attitude, it shows.
In contrast, this year's initiative, "Cocktails by Design," returns to the original strategy with what looks like fresh thinking.
Let's see if it pays off for the brand.
I haven't been listening to enough radio.
When did Walmart get a life?
Heard the spot for tees, the one with the legal in the middle?
I'll listen for it again.
Whoa. Hear that? A radio spot for Walmart tee-shirts that not only doesn't suck, is charming enough that I want to hear it again. Plus the rest of the campaign.
Kudos to you, nameless faceless copywriter.
You've proven that even a dull job can result in good writing.
Sargento and Boar's Head are both making the same claim of higher quality food.
They both use a call-to-action tagline to urge consumers to acknowledge and prefer their brands.
Their tags, respectively, are "Taste the Real Difference" and "Compromise Elsewhere."
Boar's Head wins.
Sargento's sounds like it was written by a committee. Consensus dictated the use of "taste" and "difference," with "real" (ugh) added for emphasis.
Boar's Head sounds like something you'd actually tell yourself.
It's sharp, amusing, and makes the point in a fresh and compelling way.
Even more important, at the point of purchase, I can actually do what Boar's Head suggests.
And since it makes me smile, I probably will.
Poor Sunsweet, running in the same flight with Beneful dog food.
Both have 1-2-3 taglines, and the prunes lose.
Beneful's message hierarchy is front 'n center in its tag: Healthful. Flavorful. Beneful.
Health first, flavor second. A new skew for dog food; a clear strategic niche.
Sunsweet, on the other hand, put the wrong foot forward: D'Lightful. D'Licious. D'Noir.
I've never met a delightful prune. It's a throwaway word, not the primary message of this product, and it's in the wrong place.
There was a shot at greatness, had they simply reversed it to "D'Licious. D'Lightful. D'Noir."
They'd lose the nod to Cole Porter -- and perhaps the over-50 crowd eat the most prunes and are the most likely to pick up on it.
But they'd gain clarity. And with it, credibility.
I missed the campaign launch at the Oscars in March, and haven't seen the complementary webinar.
But the ads have managed to percolate into my consciousness for their
1. clear and simple strategy, and
2. strong writing.
1. "Italy is Served" works. I may not know that they're selling frozen dinners; I know they're selling taste -- and that's far more important.
2. Among other nicely turned phrases, "...bring Rome home" is a throwaway call to action that resonates (and should be a busboard or billboard).
There aren't a lot of companies that would have the credibility to be this bold.
Bertolli nails it.
PS: Buitoni's "Create an Italian Masterpiece"? Yuk.
Posted by Mimi
5/17/2011 11:03 AM |
Just heard a spot that could've been brilliant.
Instead, it wasted totally client money and my time.
Good concept: you're selling food on the radio, so compare flavor to music.
Let us hear and imagine the Spanish / Mexican / tropical wonder of the product.
And there's the problem. What in heck is the product?
I heard its name a couple of times, don't remember it (poor name) and it didn't help.
So I don't have a clue what they're selling.
Cheese? Salsa? Wine?
I know 3 things:
1. the product is in the refrigerator section.
2. the client didn't get their money's worth.
3. the writer blew it.