Friday, May 25, 2007

Time for Diversity

Co-branding is a well-known marketing technique. The first co-branding dated from 1960. Today, a surprising co-branding takes place in the UK. McDonald's puts Innocent-smoothies in its Happy Meals. Will both brands gain from this collaboration? Research suggests that positive associations between both brands will be exchanged, while negative aspects don’t affect the other partner. Seems like a good recipe for a successful marriage!

Read all about it in this week's column.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

30 seconds

Over the last few years, several sources have announced the end of traditional advertising and the 30 seconds commercial. The latest campaign and sales figures of Apple provide proof of the contrary. Since 2006, Apple uses the same 2 characters in a simple white setting in its commercials. One of them is the personification of a Mac, the other more formal person plays a PC. In the commercials the benefits of Apple are stressed out. At the end of each commercial, Mac is the smart guy and PC the idiot. See the latest commercial below, or the whole series on the Apple website.

The commercials didn't harm the sales figures of Mac: in the first 3 months of 2007, sales went up with 36 percent, 3 times more than the market. The Mac-case shows that good advertising still works. Consumers are not averse to advertising, as long as there is a good story and original idea, that expresses well what the brand stands for. However, innovation is key, both in concept and communications channels! Read all about it in this week's column.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

House for sale

One month ago, one of my colleagues decided to sell his house. Besides putting his house on Immoweb, he made a movie he posted on You Tube.
The movie shows his family and their favorite activities in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, garden etc. One wonders what it's all about, until the following text appears 'You can't buy happiness ... but you can buy our house'.
The movie of the pink house is a great hit, after 2 days more than 1000 people viewed the movie. Some days later, some neighbor friends put a spoof version on YouTube, in which they friendly ask potential buyers of the house to paint it in another color. Some days later, Spotter, a competitor of Immoweb, decided to participate in the battle, and reworked the original.
Want to know the ending and key lessons of the story? Read all about it in this week's column.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hyatt launches 'personal style' hotels

Hyatt recently announced the launch of Andaz, the company's newest addition to its global brand portfolio.

The word Andaz means 'personal style'. In addition to a focus on personal style and independence, the new brand will offer a highly functional environment characterized by sophistication, innovative design, local identity, casual elegance and service that is attentive but not pretentious and without 'attitude'.

Besides the personal touch of the hotel, the brand will also be as environmentally friendly as possible, through various features that would include serving organic food and beverage, using fully biodegradable products and focusing on energy efficiency. As the brand develops, new hotel structures will incorporate ecologically friendly building materials and building systems.

The first Andaz will be in the City of London and is targeted to the new generation of tourists.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

De Kijk van Van Dyck: 'Planckendael'

Planckendael, the animal parc situated near Mechelen, has welcomed more than 100 000 visitors during the last Easter holiday and has thus doubled the number of visitors compared to last year. The nice weather is one factor, but the effect of 'Het Leven zoals het is Planckendael', the weekly TV show on the national channel 'één', clearly has had its effect too.

The TV show is the perfect example of excellent product placement: the presence of a commercial brand in a mass medium like a movie or TV show. More classical examples are the presence of Jupiler in 'De Kampioenen' or Toyota in 'Flikken'.

Vlekho Business School has researched the effect of product placement and finds that product placement is a valid alternative for classical tv-commercials, depending on the objectives of the brand.

Want to know more? Read all about it in this week's column.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Challenges for marketers

The importance of integrated marketing communications is illustrated in the top 10 of issues for senior marketers in 2007, published by the National Association of Advertisers. The top 10 is composed as follows :
1. Integrated marketing communications
2. Accountability
3. Aligning marketing organization with innovation
4. Building strong brands
5. Media proliferation
6. Consumer control over what and how they view advertising
7. Globalization of marketing efforts
8. Growth of multicultural consumer segments
9. Advertising creative that achieves business results
10. Attracting and retaining top talent