Thursday, 31 January 2013

The future of brand communications

In his book "Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man" (1964) Marshal McLuhan states that "the medium is the message". At the time he was trying to explain this concept people had a hard time understanding the theory behind it. However, using just the simple analogy of a light bulb really helped to flick the switch. The message is simple , the medium affects society not only by the content it delivered, but also by the characteristic of the medium itself.

 If you take the concept of a light bulb it is merely just a glass ball, there isn't any physical content within. However, as a medium it has an implicit social effect in the way that it allows people to create a visible space at night. McLuhan states that "a light bulb creates an environment, merely by its presence"

Jessi Baker has made a vital connection between McLuhan's findings and the future of brand communications. Something I found very interesting in the article she wrote for Campaignlive , was the correlation that she explained between this somewhat old theory and today's current market.

Firstly, you need to think about marketing campaigns more like a story told by the marketer, brand and product itself. Everything done in a single campaign complements each other to try and convey this story to the consumer. Consumer needs are drastically changing and the way that this story need be told needs to be revolutionised. Now instead of just existing the medium should now be able to interact with consumers on a personal level.

This got me thinking about the timeline of brand communications , if we look back 100 years ago the only way consumers were really communicated with was through fancy packaging, the product itself and maybe the odd poster. The biggest revolution in brand communications came with media itself , fist the radio but mainly the television. This is where one way communication came on a mass scale , however, everyone knows that to communicate effectively it needs to be two way. Brands were telling people their story's but were they effective? Did consumers appreciate them?

I think that it is imperative that 2 way communication becomes a standard platform from which marketeers build from. The term I've heard a few times is "the hyper connected age of marketing", this basically means that we move on from simply trying to differentiate brands. This is an old strategy that will set brands up for failure in the long term, instead brands need to offer the consumer something that will genuinely make life better.

I heard a great example of this from Umair Haque with Nike's running shoes. Previously Nike would sell a pair of shoes with the concept that if you buy these shoes one day you might be able to run a marathon or jump as high as Michael Jordan. However, now with Nike plus helping runners to plot their runs, keep track of timings, help find running partners etc. They are now taking on the challenge of amplifying and enhancing human potential. If you buy a pair of Nike trainers and use Nike plus it will make you a better runner and they will help you to reach that goal of running the marathon you have always dreamed of.

This is the future of marketing.

Marketing Student.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The power of nostalgia

Being part of "generation Y" I absolutely love this advert , when I first watched it I was smiling the whole time. Personally I think it was a very smart move, Internet explorer has become obsolete and very much needed re-branding. How do they tackle this problem ? They appeal to the hearts of the generation that are emerging into the economy.
I don't need to explain the ad to you as it is pretty self explanatory. Please leave a comment to let me know your views and opinions on it. Am I just a sucker for nostalgia or have Microsoft hit the nail on the head with this one ?

Friday, 25 January 2013

better your best

Asics have just launched a new "better your best" campaign that is going hit the world on a global scale , spanning TV, print and social media. The focus behind it is to motivate every day athletes , personally I love the 60 second advert. It sure makes me want to get my running shoes on!
As with most modern strategies it is vital to integrate social media as a marketing tool , whilst Asics are doing this I feel like they aren't doing it as well as they could do. They don't seem to portray a solidified brand slogan across their social media websites. Maybe this is a deliberate ploy to allow themselves to target their branding geographically to meet the needs of customers at a more local level ? This seems to be the case with Asics twitter pages as they have nearly ten pages all categorised by country , allowing more opportunity for effective direct marketing.

The advert itself shows an attractive woman with prominent red Asics trainers, tying her shoe laces getting ready for a run. She glances up to see a hooded figure run off in front , this is where her race commences. She isn't quick enough to beat the hooded figure but with dedicated training and the help of her brilliant Asics running shoes she can. It shows her competing in races and out training but always behind this mysterious figure. I like the symbolic part in the middle where she falls , pauses and realises she needs to pick herself up and do it better. After all , even in the business world we need to fall to learn how to do it better and eventually succeed. Have a look at the advert below to see who this person is and if she manages to finally beat it.