Advertising Your Competition

One of my marketing hates is when a campaign, usually a television spot, advertises an industry and not a specific product.

Most advertising fails to integrate the content with the brand. Throwing a logo at the end of a commercial rarely does anything. Same with making the logo bigger. This spot promotes online casinos, not Ladbrokes Casino. This joke of a campaign advertises instant noodles, not Fantastic Noodles.

But when you see an Apple iPod commercial, you know it. They aren’t advertising any MP3 Player, they are advertising iPods.

Same with Coke and Pepsi do it well too. Schweppes has done it well here and I think Solo has pulled it off here too. In all four cases, they promote their specific product and brand, not the soft drink industry.

Yet so many campaigns don’t. A waste of money and one of the many reasons the television spot should ensure their will is all in order before a long and painful death.

  • Julian Cole
    Posted at September 13, 2008 12:21pm, 13 September Reply

    I totally agree with you on the point about advertising a brand rather than an industry. A point that I really had not thought about.

    You have lost me though on the point that these commercials on the industry is going to lead to the demise of television commercials. Isn’t this a point about the message rather than the channel?

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at September 13, 2008 12:31pm, 13 September Reply

    I would suggest that the channel is being killed by the message. A lot of hits and a lot of misses are starting to have an effect on ROI that can’t be denied.

    It’s not the key reason, but I would say one of many that will see television advertising’s death. At least with new media we haven’t defined a formula just yet, because what we reached with television established a limited approach that no one was willing to change.

    Hopefully with new media we will reach one that is sustainable over more than a few generations.

  • Duncan
    Posted at September 15, 2008 7:44pm, 15 September Reply

    The distinctiveness of campaigns for Apple’s iPod and iTunes, Coke and Pepsi, is more to do with the packaging than the advertising. You see white cords and you know it’s the iPod. You see the distinctive bottle shapes of Pepsi and Coke and you know what it’s all about. Fantastic has a huge job delineating themselves from the others in the market, because their pottle looks like any other noodles pottle.

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at September 15, 2008 7:51pm, 15 September Reply

    @ Duncan

    I would disagree, but I think you still raise a great point.

    Apple commercial are most famous for the silhouette dancer, which cannot be found on their packaging. Schweppes has a nice tie in with the bubbles but also not relevant to their packaging. Fantastic could improve here immensely.

    But I do agree their pot of noodles looks like everyone else’s pot of noodles. If they were to package themselves in a Purple Cow, it would certainly stand out and be remembered.

  • Matt
    Posted at September 29, 2008 9:47am, 29 September Reply

    Hey Zac, sometimes companies need to promote the industry rather than just their own brand, especially if it’s a new market or concept.

    If the market in Australia for hybrid cars is 100,000 people and Toyota has a 90% share, they’re far better of increasing the overall market to 200,000 people than trying to win an extra 10% market share.

    Working off the same principle, Pharmaceutical companies need to convince people that there is a solution to their problem (or that your doctor won’t laugh at you if you ask for help) before they can sell them a product…

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at September 29, 2008 12:59pm, 29 September Reply

    @ Matt

    Excellent point. When establishing a market, or it’s relatively new and you have an incredible market share I think you can get away with it.

    But there’s far too many examples where this isn’t the case! Something worth considering though, thanks!

  • Rick Clarke
    Posted at October 10, 2008 10:42am, 10 October Reply

    I think online gambling is probably an example of an area where the company may be better off trying to expand the industry itself rather than simply taking bigger market share of a small industry.

Post A Comment