Tag Archives: marketing

The great thing about social media is that is let’s you meet your brand’s fans. The bad thing about social media is that it can you end up talking only to your fans.

One of the great things about social media is that it let’s you meet your brand’s fans.

The ones who think your brand is just awesome!

So much so that it may occupy a disproportionate amount of their brainspace.

We all have brands that we simply looove. I, for example, am a superfan of Kerrygold butter. I haven’t yet liked them on Facebook but I would. It’s just amazing that butter. No, really. I mean, just look at it.


And it’s very tempting to spend all your time talking people who you KNOW love you. Of course it is. We’re only human.

The danger is that we will fixate on this geyser of adoration and affirmation and forget that our real task is to convert the non-avid lovers. The ones who currently don’t really give a fig.

And I fear this is one of the attractions of social media to marketers.

Not to blow our horns (cue: blowing of own horns!) but looking back on it, I think this idea we did for Wheat Thins a few years back was a good demonstration of how you can amplify your existing fanbase’s love to reach the non-avid user and so create new love.

(Blowing of horns, geysers of adoration, creating new love. Dr. Freud to reception!)

You can see the video here.



Herman Cain is seeking the republican party’s presidential nomination to become the second African-American president of the USA in a row.

Never thought I’d write that sentence. That’s progress!

And Herman is getting a lot of attention and support over here.

Herman used to be the CEO of Godfather’s pizza chain.

He was in retail. So he knows the power of a good offer.

And he has one. And it’s brilliant.


9% tax on corporate income.
9% personal income tax.
9% sales tax.

One thing I’ve learned is that Americans are obsessed with taxes.

Remember, this whole country basically got started because they don’t like taxes. I’m looking at you King George!

9-9-9 sounds great too. Herman is wisely betting that people will focus on the bits they like (lower taxes for me) and ignore the sales tax bit. And I bet they will too. “Hey, I can buy a second hand Maserati!”. Herman’s sales tax won’t apply to used goods. Which also suggests an environmental sustainability angle if he needs it.

But the real genius is that Herman has put something concrete (a product) out there for people to talk and think about. Not just a bunch of blather like everybody else.

I can’t tell you a single thing Romney is promising. But like all politicians he’s probably trying to cover all the bases, ie, the sensible strategy.

Cain has instead focused his message into something that gets analyzed. Something you care a lot about and something that he can potentially make happen.

And the more it gets analyzed and debated, the more people are talking about Herman Cain. And not talking about all the other guys who only offer talk.

Great marketing and great communication. In one!

Is Budweiser about to get emotional? *********sniff!*********

In a recent Ad Age article it is reported that Budweiser is considering a return to what is termed “emotional” advertising. Usually in the context of beer and esp. Budweiser, “emotional” means doing something reminiscent of the classic 1980s beer ads where beer was portrayed as a reward for a hard day’s work. Steel mill workers wiping their sweaty brows and having that first sip of beer. And that is completely valid. In our culture beer is the agreed upon means of letting off a little steam and relaxing.

But a lot has changed since the 1980s. Blue collar workers and blue collar jobs no longer dominate the culture. “After a hard day’s code-writin’, nothin’ beats a Bud” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. And “emotional” beer advertising is a lot harder to sell and execute do than comedic beer advertising. A belly laugh is a lot easier to gauge than a lump in the throat.

The problem with purely comedic beer ads is they can lack texture. You see them, you laugh, it’s over. Nothing sticks with you.The problem with purely emotional beer ads is that they can be too gooey for guys. “Come on dude, it’s only beer!”.

Part of the problem lies in the beer purchase decision process itself. It’s a lot more tricky than it might seem. The beer you drink says something about you. You drink Pabst Blue Ribbon? Then you live in Williamsburgh Brooklyn you’re 25 and wear Threadless t-shirts and ironically intended trucker hats. And it’s 2004…winking smiley face. You drink Budweiser? Then you…live in Ohio, you’re an average American. You probably like stuff…that’s cool. etc. I remember a great Bud print ad that read “What drinking one says about you is that you don’t care what drinking one says about you”. Which neatly sums up Bud’s place in the culture. It’s THE BEER in the USA. Like Guinness is in Ireland. It’s hard to both special and THE BEER in your culture. Budweiser is “special” in other countries where American beer is seen as exotic and cool much as Guinness is outside of Ireland.

One thing that I always found very telling and maddening about Budweiser in America was this. Young Bud drinkers would sometimes switch to Heineken when in a public social situation like a night club, ie when their image mattered. The glowing green bottle was considered smoover despite the fact that its contents had taken six months to get into your hand and so frankly couldn’t taste as good as Budweiser. But that just reinforces my point that with beer, it’s all in your head.

It’s easy to play laptop quarterback and tell Budweiser what they should and shouldn’t be doing. When I worked on the Budweiser business there was no shortage of people coming up to me and telling me what we should and shouldn’t do. Everyone is very familiar with both beer and tv commercials. But that doesn’t equate to experience of actually brewing and marketing beer in this country at this time. It’s a very big ship that moves very slowly.

Budweiser’s big problem hasn’t been brand image. Its problem is that for 25 years there has been a generational shift in taste preference away from light lager (Budweiser) to ever lighter and lighter lagers (Bud Light, Mich Ultra). So while on the one hand it (A-B) was losing share on Budweiser it was picking it up on Bud Light and Mich Ultra.

So will a more “emotional” approach work for Bud? Yeah, sure it could. At its core, a beer brand is your friend. Ideally your best friend. When you think about it, young beer drinkers ONLY associate their beer brand with fun and good times. Nobody ever cried tears of pain while drinking beer. That’s what whiskey is for!

So anything that works to “make friends” for the brand is a good thing. It’s all in the execution. And that’s why Budweiser, frankly, needs The Escape Pod. It’s not simply a matter of understanding the beer category or the Bud brand, it’s a matter of putting something on the TV that works like magic. And that’s the really tricky part.

Emotional beer advertising. Easy to parody, hard to create.