I recently started a new exercise regime, along with a new diet. Have you read some of the diets that are out there right now? I came across one that is based on chocolate cake! It begins with what they called “Prep Week”, and all you eat, for a straight week, is chocolate cake. Then the real diet starts. Luckily, because by the end of that first week, you feel so sick, the thought of eating chocolate cake turns your stomach, and the act of actually eating it is sickening. Your body and your taste buds rejoice at the healthy varieties of foods. Never again will a plain salad taste so good!
I’m not going to go on that diet. It was interesting to read, however, and full of psychological reasons why it works, and how it keeps you off of junk food for a while.
Think for a moment about your marketing style, and current advertising structure. How often do you serve the same chocolate cake? Week in and week out, are you simply serving up the same exact ads, and hoping that your customer’s sweet tooth is still excited to see it?
If variety is the spice of life, perhaps your marketing needs a little spicing up.
One reason for adding in variety is to try and capture different customers. Geiko has its little lizard, and he tells you all about how 15 minutes can save you 15%. The company has a caveman who finds it insulting when you use him as the basis of comparing ease of use to his level of sophistication. Who can forget the man asking a rhetorical question that gets answered in another set of commercials, with bears doing what they do in the woods, and the little piggy screaming in the backseat on his way home. Or perhaps you remember the stack of money with the googly eyes fondly… There is a variety of style, which can potentially reach everyone. The brand message is not getting placed in stale commercials.
Of course, you need to keep the actual brand messaging the same every time. You don’t want to completely reinvent your company’s image every time you put out a new commercial. The rest of the ad should have content variations. This will allow you to continue to reach customers, and not just become white noise. The more out of the box the commercial, the more likely it can generate a buzz. Changing the buzz, in order to keep your customers talking about you, is the goal of advertising.
Even if your ad is brilliant, it needs to be relaxed for a while. I was pleased to see a Wendy’s commercial that features a man buying a retro t-shirt, which reads, “Where’s the beef?” Random people then read his shirt aloud as he walks down the street. I wouldn’t have been excited, and probably wouldn’t have noticed, if they hadn’t stopped this ad for 20 years. I can’t tell you what the last thing the Energizer bunny did, since he hasn’t changed his ways in a couple of decades.
The moral of the article is, no matter how great your current ad campaign is, let it go. Get something new. If it was truly great, let it rest, and see what happens if you re-launch in a couple of years. Don’t simply serve chocolate cake every day for the rest of your business life. Sometimes, a little raspberry sorbet will hit the spot, instead.
And sometimes, the bland salad tastes great, after eating just junk for a week straight. Although the jury is still out on that one…
Written by Chris Gregoire