As it has become simpler (and quicker) to produce commercials and place them, we have begun to see many campaigns that are launching to coincide with specific events. What might have once been considered a waste of money are now considered the norm – whether they are a waste of money or not. With the ability to launch these micro-campaigns quickly and effectively, we’re seeing that it happens more in this “I want it now” society. Add in to the mix that today might be the end of the world, and you’ve got a recipe for some fun. That is, if the creative and placement is done right – as JELL-O seems to have done with their latest TV Spot. Perhaps its the best JELL-O shot at saving us from the apocalypse?
The 60s spot is a fun one that offers up JELL-O brand pudding to the gods in order to save us from the end of the world. It seems that they did spend a bit of money – or at least found a solid vendor who could produce it on a tight budget. I saw it on ESPN last night and I guess you could say that the audience is ripe for chocolate pudding – if even in a nostalgic way.
While they did a funny commercial that has a short shelf life – much much shorter than the shelf life of the product they are selling – seems as though their press release went out on the 17th – they might not have prepared to leverage whatever media was bought. They announced in the release that there will be a contest and that people should use the hash-tag #funpocalypse and they also announced the url, http://www.funpocalypse.org but that just goes through to the Facebook page.
I would have liked to see more integration into their main site or even just placement of #funpocalypse on the commercial. There were a couple of people who searched for @unclejimsays – which was clearly shown within the spot. Unfortunately, it was not really managed by the company.
It is great to see these compelling bits of content coming out in support of products, but there is an acute risk of leaving value on the table by not extracting the most value from any campaign element. I look forward to seeing more of these fun, time-specific offerings, but hope that any campaign elements are dealt with holistically to make sure there is the best ROI possible. Because, if you’re reading this on the 22nd of December or later, JELL-O was successful in keeping the apocalypse at bay – and businesses will have to continue turning a profit.
Posted in Core
Tagged #funpocalypse, #mayan, 12/21/12, @unclejimsays, Advertising, Apocalypse, Commercials, Integration, Jell-O, Marketing, micro-campaigns, Planning, ROI, Strategy, TV
It is now nearly two months after the Wendy’s fast food chain announced that it was updating its branding and environment. Wendy’s had coverage and articles all over though they knew they weren’t changing over until March of 2013. Its understandable that changeovers cannot happen with the snap of a finger. But, did they have to make a big bang about it six months ahead of time? Was there a strategy in Wendy’s announce strategy, or has the company responsible for “Where’s The Beef?” let the meat get a little cold?
Wendy’s Old and New Logo
I am not a Wendy’s fanatic, but I do appreciate a couple of fries dipped in a Frosty drink every once in a while. With that, I’ve had my eye on any change in marketing or signage to help make a smooth transition from the imagery of the past three decades into the future. Strangely, I’ve seen nothing of the sort and have even seen an on-air media cycle that goes full bore with the old branding.
It might not be a surprise that Wendy’s is still holding on to the past. Their slogan has always been Old-Fashioned Hamburgers and there is an odd bit of values presentation in the restaurants with Dave Thomas’ image and his signature on posters. On a side note – I totally respect the use of the deceased founder of the company and the food values under his image – I just find the bizarre facsimile autograph style that insinuates that he has personally signed off on these posters from the grave. But all of this really plays into how much the franchise values its history and old-fashioned ideals AND highlights that it is a big step to go in this new direction.
Wendy’s is missing an opportunity. Either they missed it by announcing the switch too early, or they’re missing it now by not leveraging existing spends to create anticipation for the forthcoming transition to the new. Hell, they could even be playful and relate it to the atmosphere of most everyone who can’t wait for 2012 to be over and the Economy to grow. Either way, they continue to spend a lot of money on propping up the three-decade-old look of the brand.
I can buy into CEO Emil Brolick’s attempt to modernize the brand and reposition it as a high-end burger joint, but just get on with it. Any buzz that could have been generated by the press coverage will surely dissipate by March. If you knew about the March timing, did the announce have to come so soon? And if it had to come so soon, couldn’t there be smarter awareness programs to bridge the gap? The worst thing that could come out of this is the redesign of all the restaurants and the change alone not generating excitement that drives sampling. It would have been a whole lot easier to keep that buzz going by doing any of the things listed above – otherwise, people might not care enough about the beef.
Posted in Ruminations
Tagged Announcements, Brand, Branding, Bridge Programming, Buzz Programming, Communications Cycle, Coverage, Culture, Dave Thomas, Emil Brolick, Environment, Fast Food, Marketing, Media, Repositioning, Strategy, Timing, Wendy's