Let’s consider the marketing for two products you have bought. The first is your latest car. How did that automaker market to you? You probably saw TV commercials, newspaper ads, maybe online ads as well. In other words, likely a very ‘traditional’ marketing model was used by this automaker to connect with you and get your attention.
Now recall the marketing that was used to promote the latest CD or song you bought on iTunes. How did that artist promote themselves to you? Did they use commercials? Probably not. Newspaper ads? Nope. Direct mail? Be serious.
And yet, you bought the rock star’s product, despite the fact that they did little to no direct marketing to you.
The reason why rock stars can sell their products despite the fact that they do little to no ‘traditional’ marketing represents a fundamental difference in the ways that rock stars and most brands market their products.
It’s been said that “any publicity is good publicity.” The corollary, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” is in good company with other variations. Some TV ads during the Super Bowl stretched that concept, perhaps to the breaking point.
Why the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is perhaps unique in sports in that many people watching the game on TV don’t even like football. They actually ignore the game and focus on the commercials. Between the football lovers and the ad lovers, there is an enormous audience available to advertisers who are willing to spend an enormous amount of money to make a quick pitch. (In 2013, “enormous money” meant nearly $4 Million per ad.)
Some things are easy to predict. Some are hard. I’ll try to include some of each kind.
Just for the record, I’m not giving myself any credit for things that have already happened or been announced prior to the actual start of 2013. Of course some of those things certainly might give us a bit of a head start of figuring out what’s coming.
Years ago I recognized that TV news had become primarily entertainment.
For decades, editors have said that “If it Bleeds, It Leads,” meaning that the most traumatic story would lead the newscast (even if it wasn’t the most relevant to viewers). That is all the more true in this age of round-the-clock reporting on TV, online, and social media.
After seeing all of the media attention toward multiple-victim shootings, I was reminded that the media essentially rewards violence, perhaps to the point of encouraging impressionable people to “just do it”:
Clearly, to go out in a big way you should make a very public attack: The media will immortalize you.
Have you seen the commercial with the guy in the toll booth? The guy takes a sly look back and forth, pulls out an Almond Joy candy bar, and palm trees suddenly fill the booth. It’s a well-executed ad, but why does the “unwrap paradise” theme not work for me?
One other thing I should mention: I likeMounds candy bars, the companion product in the ad. Maybe I’m just not motivated by the thought of plastic palm trees popping-up around my desk. Maybe it’s something else: That ad doesn’t really touch my senses – except that I do perceive the texture and scent of plastic palm branches when I see that ad.