Did you catch the Ozzy Osbourne "Colonoscopy Sweepstakes" spot on the Grammy's Sunday night? Grand prize winner gets flown to New York for 3 nights in a luxury hotel overlooking Central Park, cash, and the main event - a free ride to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for a free colonoscopy! The hokey approach kind of threw me for a loop and I thought maybe it was a hoax. But it sparked my interest enough to check it out on the CBS Cares website.
Sure enough, it's for real. CBS Cares has been doing PSAs for a host of health care causes for many years. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's participation is inspired by Sharon's successful battle against colon cancer.
Personally, I'd rather experience the discomforts of this procedure close to home, but for the uninsured and/or adventurous, perhaps this is just what the doctor ordered! There's something for everyone and if it gets people to get their colonoscopy or garners interest in the topic, it's a winner in my book.
Take a look and tell me what you think of this innovative healthcare marketing example.
Have you heard of the “lipstick index?” This is a term created by Leonard Lauder during the 2001 recession. As the economy went down, Lauder posed, the sale of little, cheering luxuries like lipstick went up.
But in our current economic downturn, the news is all about nail polish. According to Time magazine, lipsticks sales are only up 14 percent this year, but the sale of nail polish has risen 54%.
This might simply be a fashion trend. Or it might be because nail polish is cheaper than lipstick. (In other words, even lipstick is too rich for our blood these days.)
But here’s a positive spin on the news: I think good nail care is a boon for women. At Brogan & Partners, we even bring in a manicurist once a week to give our employees some free pampering and—if they want it—polish.
This is a perk, yes, but I also think it’s a sound business decision.
I know that sounds a little bizarre, but hear me out.
When you think about it, your hands are one of the first impressions you make in a business meeting. You thrust out your hand and shake. And while men might focus on their grip, women think about their grooming. Manicured hands—with neatly shaped nails and no ragged cuticles—show that you’re put together. You’re conscientious, even meticulous. You’re on top of the little details. And you’ve got style!
All that conveys, and inspires, confidence. And this is no small thing in the business of marketing. After all, we’re not just marketing products and ideas. We’re marketing ourselves.
Not that polish is all about putting on a show. It gives the wearer a lift, too. How many times a day do you glance in the mirror? Maybe three or five?
But your hands are always in your sightline. When I type, gesture, or drive, it gives me a little lift to see a flash of color and shine. Does it boost my confidence? Who can say? I’ve been a diehard nail-painter since the age of eleven. I barely know myself without a coat or three of lacquer on my nails.
I do know that when I was going through my breast cancer treatment, I was appalled when I heard I might have to take off my nail polish for surgery. In her amazing memoir, Geralyn Lucas wrote why she wore lipstick to her mastectomy. I didn’t care much about lipstick when I went for mine, but my polished nails felt like the utmost symbol of my dignity. (And yes, I got to keep my mani.)
Nails might seem like a frivolous detail, but I think they’ve got some significance—in life or at work. So, even though it’s a sign of bad economic times, I’m kind of glad women are finding a pick-me-up in nail polish these days. In my book, it’s one of the better boosters out there.
“Invest in yourself first.” While I’ve always know this to be great advice on retirement planning and savings, I’ve recently found myself using it to talk to clients about everything from brand building to new product launches.
So it was a great coincidence when a friend shared David Warschawski’s January 26, 2012 blog post about internal marketing programs as a path to success in the new year. I think we as marketers often forget that while a brand is the public face of a company or a product, it is the group of people behind the brand that can make or break your initiatives.
Brands should constantly communicate with employees. From the mundane (status meeting on Monday), to the revolutionary (new social media policy implemented) and especially to the inspirational (your hard work has lead to a 20% increase in sales) – the employees that create a product and inspire the brand must be the first to know.
What’s the point of all this? Before investing thousands upon thousands of dollars campaigning to external masses who may or may not have an interest in your message, why not campaign to the internal masses who DO have a stake in your success. Invest in yourself first – in your assets. Your employees. Then let them be the megaphones that that push your message forward.
Got an iconic internal campaign to brag about? Let us know!
Madonna revived her 90's hit VOGUE at the SuperBowl half-time show last night. Prompting Bogan & Partners to revive BOGUE, our award-winning anti-smoking commercial for the Michigan Department of Public Health. Our client debuted it shortly after the release of VOGUE and we think it has held up as well as Madonna.
Many print publications are employing save-our-ship tactics these days. The latest is Ladies’ Home Journal. The magazine has announced that it will now buy its content from “real women” as opposed to professional journalists.
As a reader, I have plenty of questions about this move. Will the quality of the writing plummet? Or, as this Forbes article suggests, will a new generation of talented millennials (who can’t get journalism jobs to save their lives) start spinning superb prose for LHJ, giving it renewed energy? Only time will tell.
As a marketing expert, I’m more certain of my opinion about this development—I think it’s a good thing.
Savvy readers know that in women’s glossies, there’s a lot of back-scratching between the advertising and editorial departments. With “real” women writing about products like clothes, food and make-up, I think I’ll have more confidence that their opinions are genuine and independent.
“So, why would I buy a magazine to get word-of-mouth dish from a quasi-girlfriend,” you might ask, “when there are thousands of online bloggers who will give it to me for free?”
I have two answers for you.
WiFi is not available the world over. When I’m at my kids’ sports practices, in a doctor’s waiting room, or on a plane (at least during ascent and descent) I’m wireless. And to the tell the truth, sometimes I like it that way. I’m just (just, mind you) old enough to occasionally prefer my dish on paper. I don’t think I’m alone. As much as I adore the internet, I think we all need a break from it now and then.
Editors. There are some amazing bloggers out there, but they’re generally self-edited. And anybody can tell you that if you want a publication with a strong point of view and high quality control, you need professional editors. Ladies’ Home Journal has got ’em, and that gives advertisers and marketers a strong platform to work from. It also makes LHJ an intriguing new hybrid medium that just might catch on.
The new version of Ladies’ Home Journal launches in March. I certainly plan to check out this game changer. How about you?
The period. It's the monthly reminder of how as women, we are all connected. It punctuates our lives with bloating, back cramps and chocolate cravings. For years, maxi pad advertising has tried to connect by showing women dancing through fields of flowers in white pants or the tired blue dye absorption ratio demonstrations. In fact, up until a few years ago, a pad with wings was the only innovation in this industry.
But this Kotex campaign broke the cycle and was revolutionary because of its honesty. It acknowledges and apologizes for how lame maxi pad advertising has been. Kotex laughs at itself and therefore brings us in on the joke. As women, we must laugh in the face “Aunt Flo”, so PMS doesn’t get the best of us. The U by Kotex website continues with the “Get Real” campaign and invites women to engage and share with the company and their friends. They can create their own period video spoofs, and even design their own maxi pad. I love that the visual when this fun feature is loading is a white pad filling with blue liquid--that is spot on! I hope other companies can learn from Kotex when it comes to Marketing to Women and break the cycle of bad advertising…even if for a moment it feels unsettling like a hormonal rollercoaster ride. How do you really feel about feminine product advertising? Do you think they are really connecting with the ladies? Want to see more, check out the first post in my series 20 examples of Marketing to Women that Connects.
I like this Abilify ad for a simple reason. The cute grey blob. He symbolizes depression, which is not so cute, but somehow Abilify has made him kind of endearing. He's in every cartoon frame, following the not-as-depressed-as-she-was lady around, signifying to us that her depression is always there. In some way, shape or form. He starts out as a black hole she falls into, but once she gets out, he becomes smaller and shorter, as she gets her depression under control.
By the end of the spot, it's clear this lady is the boss as she picnics with her family and he flattens into a grey blob on the ground. I like the simplicity of the imagery that gets this rather distressing disease information across in a light, original way. It's also clever how the advertiser gets all the disclaimer blah blah out while showing the cute grey blob sitting on a chair taking notes on the disclaimer info with her, bobbing along on the family walk to the picnic site, etc.
I can't say I know a lot about the drug effectiveness (altho people have posted some pretty nasty YouTube comments), but I can say this is an effective spot. Take a look and let me know if you agree.
It’s really easy to find stories about the hard knock life of professional women. There’s not enough equality in the workplace, not enough good childcare, not enough balance at home, not enough hours in the day. . . It’s the (true) stuff of many, many magazine articles.
But, this Bloomberg BusinessWeek story Behind Every Great Woman, I’m happy to say, is not one of those stories. Instead, Bloomberg Businessweek profiles a few women who’ve made it to the top of the corporate ladder without having to sacrifice their marriages, children, or sanity.
They did need help though, and they got it from their husbands. These men chose to scale back on their careers, or give them up completely, to be supportive corporate spouses, household managers, and primary caregivers to their children.
The stay-at-home husband (or partner) is far from a new phenomenon. Who among us doesn’t know a stay-at-home dad? Okay, maybe two.
But the point of the Businessweek article is: that number is about to rise as women continue their ascent in the workplace. (Unfortunately, men have lost more jobs in this poor economy than women and that’s contributing to the shift as well.)
So, what does this mean to us marketing to women experts? Our business model is shaped by the fact that women—whether they work outside the home or not—are their household’s primary decision makers, money managers, schedulers, social directors and myriad other roles responsible for 83% of all consumer purchases.
If more men start staying home while their partners work full time, this fact might change. (I sure hope it will!) And that means the way we do business at Brogan will have to change, too, just as it did when the internet took over the planet, and as it is again in the era of the smart phone and tablet.
Even though that will send me and my colleagues back to the books, you won’t hear anybody cheering more loudly than me.
Now I’m just wondering how long it’s going to take before the stay-at-home husbands graduate from being newsworthy tokens to being a force to be reckoned with (and marketed to).
What do you think? Are you seeing this shift in your community?
Media for women.
This is a term that makes some people shudder, picturing a pink ghetto where pundits ponder vapid topics like hemline heights and dating etiquette. But others see women’s media as I do—a useful way to reach an audience with a particular point of view.
A new political blog from the Washington Post called She The People does a particularly good job of it, I think. The bloggers (all female) aren’t content to just search the news tickers for sound bites about Hillary Clinton and Michelle Bachman. On a recent day, there were posts about Newt Gingrich’s latest gaffe and a diet book protest in front of the British parliament.
These weren’t “women’s” stories, per se, but they were told with an eye and ear for the way women read the news. We’re looking for nuance, context, and a perspective that includes ourselves and minorities. She The People has all that, in my opinion. And so does Slate’s equally smart blog, XXfactor.
Not everyone agrees with me. Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti doesn’t want female or minority offshoots of general publications. She’d rather see more female leaders and reporters working for the pubs’ main sections.
To that I say—our society is segmented whether you like it or not. And it’s not just divided along gender, race, or class lines anymore. Dream up any and every subculture, and you can find it on the internet.
Trying to wade through all of that to find news that’s relevant to you can be daunting. Readers need curators. And that’s where blogs like She The People (whose motto is “The world as women see it”) come in.
Of course, marketers benefit from niche publications. But readers do, too.
That’s why I’ll be browsing She The People for political news this election year. I just like it. I like the bloggers’ savvy tone and I like the smart (but readable!) content choices.
I even like the part of She The People that Valenti hates most—that slash of red lipstick in the logo. Rather than offensive, I think the lipstick is bold and powerful. Like a pair of bright red lips, this blog owns its femininity—in a big way.
What do you think of niche blogs like She The People and XXfactor? Are you reading or rejecting them?
Axe has been marketing to men since their introduction to the United States in 2002. A typical ad has been a classic scenario of nerdy guy before he sprays Axe getting no action from the ladies and then after he sprays on Axe he becomes a chick magnet.
Well now they are expanding on their demo and starting to market an Axe body spray to women. They have created a robust Social Media campaign called Anarchy. This campaign consists of a real-time, user-generated graphic novel. In other words, you write what happens next and Axe will publish the excerpt. You can go to YouTube, Twitter or Facebook to engage in this extensive promotion.
Here is my question:
Will the Axe strategy of marketing to women work?
Let’s assume their target demo is women 18-24. I did a little research, on this demo, in Nielsen @Plan. This is what I came up with…women 18-24 who have purchased deodorant or a fragrance within the last 6 months are 12% less likely to collect comic books. However, the male counterpart target is 51% more likely to collect comic books. Traditionally speaking, men are more into comic books than women.
Coming from an agency that specializes in marketing to women, I can say using Social Media was the right avenue to market to women. Those same women (as above) are utilizing and more engaged on social networks than the men. Men are 8%* less likely to make a comment or post on a social network, whereas women are 26%* more likely to comment or post.
I personally like comic books. However, reaching the masses, I’m just not sure their creative strategy will work. This makes me wonder if they have a male creative team who may not know what women want. Do you think the strategy will work?
*Source: Nielsen @Plan
Academic Medical Center advertising can be boring. All trying to push the research and education angles, with lots of high tech blah blah and no break-through messaging. Not so at the Medical University of South Carolina. Their "Changing What's Possible" TV campaign is a refreshing gripper. Patient stories unfold in a unique way with beautiful, touching footage.
Each spot is narrated by a different doctor but the great thing is you don't know it's a doctor until the very end, when the doc says "I came to MUSC to change what's possible in cancer care" or whatever the clinical area is. The patient story is the star and we are convinced and humbled by the fact that this doctor came to this hospital to offer patients treatments that don't exist anywhere else.
The epilepsy spot is my favorite. Maybe because I have a nephew with this disorder which is preventing him from taking drivers ed like all the other kids in his class. The spot focuses on Independence Day, juxtapositioning a hometown parade with an older male patient opening his door to celebrate independence from the fear of epilepsy. All due to the revolutionary surgical procedure developed at MUSC which has helped thousands of epilepsy patients.
Take a look at this Healthcare Advertising Award winning spot and let me know if it makes the emotional connection for you like it did for me.
Moving in to 2012, social media continues to be a highly influential form of marketing. There are many contributing factors to social media’s success, one of them being user-generated content. The users personally help continue to grow these sites with their posts and contributions.
That being said, it was only a matter of time before other media caught on. In studies we have read, it shows that women trust information coming from their peers more than other sources. It doesn’t surprise us that sites and publications targeted towards women have taken notice and started to apply this to their own brands. HelloGiggles, a site started by women, including TV star Zooey Deschanel, is complete with content for women. They have witty and humorous posts about current events, entertainment, reviews, etc. The women behind this site understand the concept of user-generated content and have made a call for contributors to their readers, giving them a personal chance at being a part of a wildly successful site.
Taking this a step farther is Ladies Home Journal. In a recent article from Ad Age, it has been announced that starting with their March issue, the publication will now dedicate a significant portion of each issue to content written by the readers. With a circulation of 3.2 million, it is the largest print publication to make this switch in style. The editors of LHJ think it will help gain some needed traction with advertisers and the next generation of LHJ readers. They are also hoping this change will help engage their readers and build a more loyal community.
What do you think of this shift towards user-generated content? Would you rather read articles by your peers or professionals?