Friday, December 19, 2008

Burger King is brilliant




Burger King has done it again with the launch of a new viral initiative "Flame". Following two incredibly smart programs (1. the launch of branded xbox video games with the King, and 2. the fully integrated online/offline campaign 'whopper freak out') - BK has introduced a new fragrance "Flame." The company describes the spray as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat." (see USA Today article).

BK gets viral content. They understand the irreverence and humor that is required to break through in the new world of media consumption. Too many advertisers would dismiss these type of initiatives as being unrelated to core business strategy or just plain odd. Although it is clear that all their programs drive key messages (a flame broiled whopper is way better than a fried McD's burger), but just does so in a way that is far more entertaining than a standard retail ad.

Still, they don't begin or end their viral initiatives online. As was the case with the xbox games, they sell the fragrance at a NYC retailer or online - creating tangible real world proof that their committed to their marketing strategies instead of just creating an online experience. This is the critical part of these programs, to bring the full 360 degree experience to the customers and not just end it in the virtual world. It is critical to always think about how marketers can bring the 1:1 or grassroots elements of online back into the real world and extend the brand experience.

BK also does a crack job on their site. It is dead simple, yet some the level of detail is impecible. The Barry White-esk voice is great, but is even better when you click on items small BK logo that redirects to the corp site and he says 'Let's get corporate'.

My favourite post in reponse to this campaign is Dr-Wayne "I hope Long John Silvers or Red Lobster doesn't go along with this idea!".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GlobalLive key target is 45+, so why social media?

According to marketing site One Degree, Anthony Lacavera says his new cellphone service will initially target women age 45-plus when it launches during the fourth quarter of 2009. He says this customer, who is the decision maker in her household and has an eye for value, will be sourced from the Yak customer base.

While it is obvious that the 45+ crowd is largely ignored by the major wireless carriers, it is odd that this is the stated target segment for Globallive given their marketing activity thus far.

They launched wireless soapbox - http://www.wirelesssoapbox.com/ - a good effort to collect market and industry data in their pre-launch efforts, but they don't collect any information on the people posting on the site to help understand what are key drivers by segment. I assume they've identified their core target based on penetration levels, but jumping into the 'social media' space doesn't seem incredibly aligned to their target behaviour - particularity if you look at the forrester participation rates of this target in this type of activity - http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/profile_tool.html

Although I applaud their efforts to start branding efforts on a grassroots level, they need to align their 1:1 marketing against their core strategies. Understand what this crowd really wants in the social media space and align that to their core business objectives. For example, if Globallive wants to compete as a value brand against koodo, fido and solo - they may want to lower their aquisition and retention costs by onboarding customer via the web and create robust forums for customer servicing or educating on the products/services. Sounds simple, but the 45+ crowd isn't naturally inclined to use the web for customer service - this would require a bit of work to get them there (easier if you already have channels of communication if they are a Yak customer). But if the value is there, it amazing what will motivate people.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Listen In - Using mass media for the masses and driving search.

On the surface - this ad for listen in seems like another in the slew of crappy infomercials -


Everything but the kitchen sink is in the brief - trying to appeal to every possible segment that may potentially buy this product. Is Listen In for you? Well, the product wasn't appealing at all to me until they showed the mothers in the park using it - then I thought there could be some practical applications for it for people besides seniors in churches.

These guys have ignored those marketing rules that tell you to have laser like focus on your key segment and have opted to try to cast the net to every key segment. And that is where the brilliance lies - they have heavy late night advertising - using mass media to appeal exactly to that - the masses. They know that mass media doesn't have the targeting they would ever need to segment the product, so they cast the net as wide as possible to build interest and drive product awareness. And then they get smarter - after they have established awareness for product and 'Listen In' branding - they own search. Google it (or search it on youtube or other google products) and you will always be greeted to and add for Listen In.

This is a great use of using mass media to drive universal appeal and own search for your product. And the scene with the guy in the gym makes me laugh.