Tag Archives: marketing

Punchless

Yesterday at a traffic light I stopped alongside a tractor trailer. I don’t recall the name of the company, but the tagline stayed with me:

Ahead of the curve in refrigerated logistics.

Ooh, a clichéd metaphor matched with an esoteric phrase. Is this the latest trend in brand marketing?

I’ve been thinking about taglines lately, wondering if my little company should have one. I’ve long felt that I don’t need a tagline for the sake of having a tagline. After a brief online search of commentary on the matter, it seems most experts agree. In fact, there are plenty of arguments against.

Once, after completing a project, I received a note from the client, complimenting my work and saying that what I produced made her “comfy.” My firm’s president jokingly suggested our tagline should be “Making clients comfy since 2002.”

It strikes me that the Dish network’s “Let’s watch TV” or Delta Airlines’ “We get you there” were ripped off by their marketing firms, which set the bar as low as it could possibly go. No imagination, and no particular reason to choose one company over another.

On the other hand, these oversimplified slogans might be superior to over-jargoned technical gobbledygook, which might fit on the side of a semi but not on a business card.

Quick – what’s your nomination for:

Most creative tagline?
Most ambiguous?
Funniest, without intending to be?

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Filed under Marketing/Advertising/PR

Joint marketing

Since the beginning of this blog, I have wanted to tap into the intelligence and creativity of my readers by way of a contest. I just couldn’t think of the right topic. Until now.

I don’t want to get in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission or any other authority so I’ll be keeping the terms vague until I have a winner. The prize will be a surprise.

Here’s what got me thinking. A blog associated with Fast Company magazine recently ran a post entitled “Don’t Bogart That Name:  Medical Marijuana Trademarks,” which speculates about how companies hypothetically gaining approval to sell marijuana products would brand and market them. The speculation is based on the outcome of California’s Proposition 19 (“Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010”), to be put before voters this fall.

We know that product marketing is largely about branding. No doubt, lots of smart, clever people are already hard at work coming up with catchy brand names that will prompt Americans to ask their doctors about marijuana, should laws become relaxed. But we also know from the billions of dollars spent on drug advertising each year, it’s also all about product disclosure.

There is currently one branded cannabis-based drug on the market today, Marinol, that is approved for medicinal purposes, as medical marijuana has already been approved in several states.

The U.S. government and the makers of Marinol caution patients that the drug could cause, among other side effects: red eyes, weakness, sleepiness, elevated mood, sudden warm feeling, memory loss, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, unsteady walking, strange or unusual thoughts or “feeling like you are outside of your body.”

Here’s the contest.

Pretend Proposition 19 has been approved, regulations are in place for general use of marijuana and no judicial challenges are pending.

You are heading up the brand team for a company planning to get in on the action. What would be your 1. brand name, 2. tag line and 3. side effect disclosure statement?

Here’s an example to get you thinking.  “Cannibrex, the twice-daily treatment for excessive motivation. Caution:  Cannibrex can cause dry mouth, severe procrastination, uncontrollable laughter, lost train of thought or fear of the telephone. Tell your doctor if you have eaten a whole cherry pie, bag of semisweet chocolate chips, sleeve of stale saltine crackers or have considered dipping into the box of baking soda in your empty refrigerator.”

Please submit your entries via the Comments section by Wednesday, August 18th. Winner(s) will be announced later in the week.

Please remember Word Nymph doesn’t post on Sundays. She’ll be mulling prize ideas.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Health, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Politics

Operation Buzzword

Marketing firms have perfected the art and science of crafting compelling campaigns.  The best campaigns reach a level so deep that targeted consumers are left with indelible memory retention, emotional engagement and motivation to act.  Think back to some age-old advertising slogans.  Even after more than 20 years, we remember the peace of mind we had upon hearing “Don’t leave home without it.”  Or “Plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is.”  Or “You’re in good hands.”  

We know that marketing  and ad campaigns see the light of day only after they have been fleshed out, flushed out, looked at upside down and inside out, extensively field and focus group tested, to ensure the message reaches targeted eyes and ears in the most stirring manner possible.

I found it interesting to read recently that military operations are named using a similar process.  In “Operation Name Game:  Where Military Might Meets Marketing,” The Washington Post’s Christian Davenport looks at how U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are named–so as to rile the troops, intimidate or soften up the enemy or comfort those on the home front. 

For example, he points out that campaigns directed internally at the troops (e.g., Operation Scorpion Sting) are named differently from those aimed at local population (e.g., Glad Tidings of Benevolence) to elicit the desired response.

He added that campaign crafters are also charged with identifying potential downsides, to avoid serious consequences – such as being ridiculed in late night monologues.  Davenport upholds Winston Churchill as one of the best marketeers in history but notes Churchill didn’t have to worry about Leno.

But think about it.  The same opinion research, buzzwords and psychographics are in play among military strategists that might have gone in to Staples’ Easy Button.  Click; it’s that easy.  Northrop Grumman should get in on that one.

Read Davenport’s piece; it’s brilliantly written.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Marketing/Advertising/PR, News