As I finish my first year of a marketing degree, I come to realise I’m working towards a career where I’ll be hated. Marketers are in the same league as used car dealers, lawyers and police officers when it comes to their public image.

Dr Con Starvos in this month’s Marketing (December, 2007) summed it up perfectly when he said “The childhood obesity crisis is still being blamed on marketers, who are also taking the heat for making children anorexic and image conscious”.

Why can’t we marketers market our profession a little more successfully?

Mitch Joel just posted about an interesting mini series titled The Story Of Stuff With Annie Leonard.

It raises some really good points regarding the consumption of products particularly the way in which we produce and dispose of these. But I could not overlook the rather negative view taken on us marketers.

“What’s the point of an ad except to make us unhappy with what we have?” says Annie Leonard, portraying a rather naive and simplistic look at the most basic form of advertising. Some what conicidently, I just purchased Clive Hamilton‘s book Affluenza which I’ll be sure to discuss upon reading.

According to Frederique Hull, Marketing Director of Reckitt Benckiser, over 90% of the Australian population recognise Louie the fly. Not surprisingly, when asked to name a product “that kills insects”, 88% of respondents answered Mortein.

Louie celebrates his 50th birthday this year, an incredible achievement of branding but what’s more is the clear link between the character, the jingle and the brand. This kind of long term positioning would not be seen today, even with successful results like this.

Can you think of any other long term campaigns this successful?

I read an article in Marketing (November, 2007) that brought to my attention a real innovation.

According to Luke Berry, managing director of Innovative Solutions Oceania Group, the 18 to 30 year old market tends to be resistant to most advertising. A perfect way to target this segment is with the Wizmark Talking Urinal Cake.

Basically, these small devices are installed in male urinals and when activated a recorded message starts. Usually placed in bars, there are many benefits to this innovation…

+ You have roughly 45 seconds of undivided attention where there is usually no other advertising and no chance to change the channel.
+ It is likely the consumer will return two, three or more times in a night.
+ As someone who falls right into the target market, its definitely something I’d spread through word of mouth with clear viral qualities.
+ Research indicates that if placed in a bar, you would have a reach to 59% of people aged 18 to 39.

Tooheys recently launched a campaign with the recorded message saying…

“Thank you for your excellent DNA sample. Please submit another sample after your next Tooheys Extra Dry Platinum. See you soon.”

Ambient marketing brilliance?

GeniusRocket has a brilliant yet simple concept…

1. Create a GeniusRocket Account
2. Choose a Current Assignment
3. Choose to Work Alone or Collaborate
4. Complete Your Project
5. Submit Your Project and Spread the Word
6. Earn Money, Network with Creatives, and Get Recognition

Its a really great opportunity for future advertisers and creatives to get a step in the door and earn some money at the same time. What I love most about the concept, is that its involving the consumers in their own advertising, really playing on Web 2.0 trends and consumer generated content.

Here is a look at one of my favourites and a recent winner…



So its been more than two months since Cadbury Schweppes revealed their ManCans shampaign.

As a consumer who would fall right into their target market, I am yet to see an actual mancan, or rather a 440ml can of Solo.

The build up and the word of mouth was so successful. In fact, the campaign was so influential it added a word to my vernacular, which I still regularly use. I’ve received my free stubbie holder and was a member of the webpage… but I still have not purchased. Not because I don’t want to but rather because I have not had the opportunity.

I’d love to see some figures on Solo can sales.

What is the point of a campaign if you can’t sell in the end?

Yesterday marked the mid of Movember.

For those not familiar with this, over the past few years a growing trend has been to sprout a moustache during the month of November. Up until today, I had thought it was somewhat of a parody, much like International Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19th) and had not realised it was actually linked to the charitable cause of men’s health.

This connection is rather disappointing. Other charity days such as Red Nose Day (June 29th) or Pink Ribbon Day (October 22nd) have been able to claim just one day, not an entire month. There is so much potential here yet it is lacking due to a poor link between the event and the cause.

Don’t get me wrong, last year alone they raised over $7,500,000 but I can’t think how much bigger it could be, even through simple traditional means of advertising.

It is like running a shampaign and not revealing the brand behind it.

Yet another piece of brilliance with a viral campaign, this time from Guinness.

Have a look at this commerical

 

 

Here’s a small list of some of the most memorable viral campaigns we’ve had in the past…

+ Victoria Bitter’s Stubby Symphony Orchestra
+ Pure Blonde’s Pure Gold
+ Carlton Draught’s Big Ad
+ Heineken’s Unchanged Since 1873
+ Victoria Bitter’s The Tash
+ Carlton Draught’s Flashbeer
+ Tooheys’ Bottle Opener
+ Hahn’s Love The Taste

And let’s not forget the mountain of great campaigns for Bud Light and other international beers.

Why is it that the beer market is leading in viral marketing? Perhaps sampling your product during the brainstorming stage is the key to success.

Surprisingly, the writers’ strike in Hollywood has not made the media here in Australia. However its easy enough to follow over at United Hollywood, basically members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have currently stopped production of big shows such as The Office, Lost, >Desperate Housewives, Scrubs, Heroes and Grey’s Anatomy.

The easiest way to explain it is by watching this four minute piece of footage



Seems like a pretty good cause to me.

But the purpose of this post relates to a post over at the United Hollywood, A Modest Proposal: Hello, Google!

“If Google wanted, they could scoop up THE ENTIRE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.”

It is an interesting read that really brings to light the future possibilities of the Internet. It seems far fetched, but is there some method in this madness?

Will we look back in five years time and laugh at the thought of a television not connected to Google and the Internet?

I always wondered if someone ever specifically sat down just to develop new words for the English vernacular. For example the marketing word prosumer, can it be tracked back to the person who first used it?

Well here I give you the first ever use of the word…

shampaign

n. sham·paign
a campaign where the brand or product remains unknown until later revealed through subsequent marketing

The word shampaign is a portmanteau of the words sham and campaign. An online dictionary defines the word sham as “something false or empty that is purported to be genuine” and “one who assumes a false character” which I believe is somewhat appropriate and allows for a good play on words.

Shampaigns have become increasingly popular and will continue to do so. As viral marketing becomes mainsteam, we will see more and more shampaigns as this is a technique that creates talk and can successfully carries consumers from one media to another, for example a television commercial to a website.

Just recently we’ve had Cadbury Schweppes’ ManCans campaign…



As well as Ebay’s Santa Kidnapped campaign…



There we have it, remember where you read it first in a few years time when the word becomes mainstream.