Why Direct Marketers Hate Beer Commercials and Branding
I’m going to take some heat for this next statement: I’m not a big football fan. I grew up playing and watching hockey, and never really “got” football.
But usually I love the Super Bowl. Actually, I should say that I usually love the Super Bowl's commercials. They’re clever, funny and make my annual trip to my friend's Super Bowl party much better.
But I’m not really sure what happened this year. Ninety percent of the commercials were just plain stupid, other than Brett Favre's spot for Hyundai, Volkswagen's punch buggy ad and the Letterman/Oprah/Leno commercial for CBS’ "Late Show." And I loved the sheer perfection of Google's spot. It told a story and made you feel it.
Oh, and seeing Betty White and Abe Vigoda playing football was funny, but I have no idea the following morning what was being sold in the ad. All in all, this year's trend seemed to be men in underwear and condescending beer spots.
If You Build it (Brand it), Will They Come?
I’ve also never been a big branding guy. I've always believed that branding is something you do while you're stimulating orders and leads via direct marketing. To me, making someone laugh while watching a commercial doesn’t exactly cause new customer acquisition. You do that with offers, calls to action, superior guarantees and, of course, products that measure up to and exceed expectations.
Direct marketing is immediate, purposeful, in your face and compels you to take action. It’s not about creating a funny TV spot and the eventual purchase of a product based on message recall. Direct marketing is about measurability.
And while I admit that general branding agencies are getting better at using direct marketing principles, it’s not enough. Just slapping a URL on a TV commercial doesn’t make it direct marketing.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.