Recycling is all the rage. For those of you who follow these posts you know we love the Weiden+Kennedy series of ads for Chrysler. The images of Detroit, the driving music, the soaring choir and the great voice work of fellow Michigander Kevin Yon. Remember this from the Super Bowl?
This past week our friends at HyVee, a midwest grocery store chain, released this piece that seems very familiar. Almost too...
For the first few seconds I honestly thought it was a new ad from Chrysler. But nope...it's for a "gas card". It's one thing to do an ad that has a focus on resurrecting a city and an iconic brand. It's another to promote a...gas card. We think it's nice but odd.
I was in a meeting the other day when members of a business based non-profit were talking about their fund raising project. The leader of the
committee said, "The advertising spaces on the calendar just have not sold very well this year."
Advertising spaces on a...calendar?
I get it. This is a fund raiser for a non-profit and the "advertising spaces" tend to really be a gift of support. But (and this is critical for us to understand) even gifts need to generate something in return for the...gift. And while selling ad space in on a calendar was a neat way to generate income...ten years ago...it ain't so hot today.
But here is the clincher. The group leader went on and said, "One of the advertisers, who dropped their support, offered a coupon last year but didn't see much return."
Changing times create the need to change the way in which we sell...anything. But, at the same time we need to be aware that WHAT we are selling must be relevant to the consumer. If it is not...nobody is buying.
One of the biggest errors companies (profit and non-profit) make is doing the same thing over and over again. Even when it is failing. Rather than doing that wouldn't it make sense to sit down and examine the consumer base and then come up with something that matches their...needs/wants?
I am a capitalist. I think. I love it when a client listens to our advice,
sells more stuff and becomes successful. That is what we're in business for. If our clients were not successful we would be out of a job. So, I am a capitalist but I also want to be...fair.
This is an image of the Des Moines Register advertising section from the Thanksgiving Day edition, 2012. Yes, the paper had some "news" but over 80% of the daily was...advertising. (Who says print is...dead?) Going through this edition it's clear that "big box" has the upper hand with their advertising dollars. Not many "mom & pop" ads for small businesses.
I get it that these chains and "big box" hire local folks but I also know that independent business owners and workers want you to shop them as well. That's why several years ago I vowed to make 80% of my holiday purchases from "Indies". That starts tomorrow during Black Friday.
Market Day is a monthly event made up of "Indies" that takes place at the Des Moines Social Club. But, Black Friday is special. Dozens of artists and retail shops will sell useful and often querky stuff you'll find nowhere else. And, doing business with these folks is a joy. (Here's a preview of some of the vendors.)
This year...why not be a capitalist and do that shopping local...really local...hyper-local. If you're in the Des Moines area you can meet up with us at Market Day, Kirkwood Hotel, 400 Walnut Street. Door open at 9AM. See ya there!
Happy Thanksgiving and...Happy Market Day Shopping! Want more? Quick video from last year:
This past Sunday a friend of ours spent 12 hours on a television
commercial shoot. That's right...12 hours. It was a full fledged operation with set building, lighting, talent and removal of the set. Twelve...hours.
This is the part you need to pay attention to: Our friend has had this client for several years and for most of that time he's said, "You are selling really high end stuff but your television ads look like...crap."
Did the client listen? No, not until my friend formed a focus group familiar with the business to review about a dozen television commercials that had been shot over the years. Their opinion was, "You are selling really high end stuff but your television ads look like...crap. You are sending mixed signals to consumers. Stop it."
So the questions are obvious: Are you sending mixed signals to the consumer? Does the product/service you sell match the marketing message or are you confusing the consumer?
Everything is in play from your business cards to your advertising message. It all matters.
That's what we shared with our friends at the new Urbandale (Iowa) Hy-Vee last month when we authored "The SM Break Up" piece about their
"tired" Twitter Stream filled with "corporate speak".
Yesterday we learned that an "in-house" person has been tasked with monitoring and responding for all the social media platforms the new "super store" controls. And, we couldn't be happier. Not because we did anything other than point out that doing social media well isn't a cost...it's an investment in learning and interacting with consumers.
So... @UrbandaleHyVee welcome back to the conversation and thanks for the acknowledgement that there is real value in social communication. Glad we could help. We'll be watching and sharing!