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Archive for Family Values

        What do Will Ferrell, a rapping family, and hover boards have in common? Oddly enough these examples were used to promote automobiles. These advertisements are quite different from the typical picturesque clips of cars driving over rugged terrains or depicting the performance capabilities of the vehicles on closed roadways. So why would automotive markets decide to use such unusual advertising tactics? The answer is surprisingly simple; it was culturally relevant at the time. Anchorman 2 was about to be released, young suburban families wanted to be seen by society as still being hip, and Back to the Future Part II had just opened in theaters. (Gill, 2015) The characters that these automotive companies chose to depict in their advertisements spoke volumes as to who their target audiences are and even who they would like their target audiences to be. For instance, Dodge’s decision to promote the new Dodge Durango with Will Ferrell suggests that the company is interested in targeting a younger generation, perhaps new drivers or those who have only been driving for a few years.

Toyota’s campaign “Swagger Wagon” depicts a mid-30 year old couple rapping with their two young children about how cool and trendy they still are. Families that own minivans need extra reassurance and Toyota is there to give it to their consumers in a catchy song.   Lexus wanted to target those that grew up with the cult classic, Back to the Future. Associating a nostalgic moment of watching Back to the Future and wondering if hover boards would really be the ultimate form of transportation and realizing that you have something better; the Lexus. These advertisements are “combining data from important real-time and historical moments in the consumer’s journey with demographic targeting to drive consumer engagement.” (Gill, 2015) The campaigns did engage their consumers but were only effective to a point. When looking at the long run did these ads truly interact with their viewers and create loyal consumers or did they just get a few chuckles? Although David Meerman Scott was referring to automotive websites when stating, “these sites were advertising to me, not building a relationship with me.” (Meerman Scott, 2013) This quote can be used to describe what all three of these advertising campaigns lacked; they were creating a connection but not a relationship. The advertisements are culturally relevant, especially to their target audience but are the ads humor and timeliness enough to be remembered or sway someone to purchase such a costly item? These advertisements are more entertaining than informative and for what the companies are trying to sell there should be a mix. The connection that was formed was due to the fact that the companies knew what their target audience enjoyed. However, a relationship is built after that initial connection was made. For instance, if the “Toyota Swagger Wagon’s” next advertisement consisted of the same family but discussed how they felt protected in their new Toyota or relate the car’s benefits to another type of intrinsic value could enhance the viewers opinion of the brand and then start to from a relationship.

        Companies should look at these types of adverts and realize that consumers need to see advertisements “upwards of 20 times” (Dietrich, Livingston, 2012) in order to digest the information. Thus, if the consumer is viewing an advertisement that is relevant or relates to their intrinsic values and ideal self, companies may have the chance to not only gain eyes on their advertisements but viewers may actually start to absorb, understand, and remember the messages. By engaging consumers with information that is culturally relevant or even just pertains to their ideal selves, could form a connection that may become a loyal relationship between consumer and brand.


Warning: Serious Tearjerker

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Go find a box of tissues. You’re going to need a few to mop up some happy, nostalgic tears.

Last month, British Airways launched their “Visit Mum” campaign, which is an attempt to make traveling home a little easier for Indian ex-pats. From this campaign, BA highlights the increased number of daily flights from more North American cities to more Indian cities.

This 5 minute ad, crafted by O&M NY, builds on beautiful images of Mumbai, and moves into telling the story of a son who hasn’t been home in fifteen years.

Aside from the fact that the ad is beautifully shot, the core of the message is completely universal, yet genuine and thoughtful. The ad doesn’t have to mention anything about the services or promotions offered by the airline. It centers in on the value of the mother-child relationship, and the pure joy found when families reunite. As a whole, the ad plays on the deep emotional connection between a mother and son, which in turn, engages the viewer with its core message.

This ad is a perfect example of how good advertising works. David Meerman Scott explains compelling stories educate, engage, and entertain consumers. Good (and effective) advertising is the strategic fusion of communication, culture, and creativity. This amalgam of innovative messaging is what inspires action.

Kudos to British Airways and O&M NY for telling such a sweet story.

Oh, and the #visitmum website even includes Ratesh’s mother’s Bhindi recipe. Nailed it.


Gifts That Do: What Will Your Gift Do?

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With the “Gifts That Do: What Will Your Gift Do?” Campaign, Best Buy proves that ads do not need to be cause related to promote positive change.

In a series of 30 second spots, Best Buy demonstrates how family members can inspire and motivate loved ones to pursue dreams, business and even love through the gift of technology.

The campaign integrated true representations of traditional families of all genders, races and generations to exemplify that anyone has the ability to change lives with the gift of technology.

Best Buy also built a relationship with viewers by stating, “Let us show you how the right gift can make all the difference”, implying a hands-on and personalized in-store experience. They want to help you make a difference in someone’s life. They want to make your purchase matter.

This campaign is an example to the industry that although we, as an industry, are selling products & services, we can make those products & services create a real difference. By simply encouraging consumers of all races, genders and ages to make a difference, the industry itself can make a difference. This socially responsible theme can be seen across all of Best Buy’s campaigns this year.

Capitalism has now become a cycle of consuming for consuming sake. By means of Cultivation Theory, if all campaigns found a way to create a sense of “making a difference” in some form (cause related or not), then perhaps the idea of consuming could be altered into consuming in the best interests of the whole.

By using an emotional appeal, Best Buy brought a sense of warmth, belonging, and inspiration to their campaign. They created aspirational characters that used technology to generate positive results. They cultivated a relationship with viewers by addressing that they want to help you make a difference in someone’s life. Best Buy is changing their industry and influencing ours by nurturing the idea of “making a difference”.

In a day and age where fast food is made up of ingredients many of us are oblivious to, it is refreshing to see a company stand out from the rest and base their entire marketing mantra on a concept unfamiliar to many people in this fast paced, “I want it now” society we live in. The idea of “Going Back to the Start” is the face of Chipotle’s new viral marketing campaign aimed at informing consumers that there is such a thing as “food with integrity,” which is simply natural, family-grown or raised, and ultimately socially responsible.

An article by the Chicago Tribune discusses Chipotle’s recently released video featuring Willie Nelson’s rendition of Coldplay’s popular song, “The Scientist,” which depicts a small town farmer shifting away from his traditional farming roots and adopting an industrialized and unnatural method of cultivating his livestock. Eventually, the farmer realizes his original way of farming was far superior and decides to do the environmentally responsibly thing and “go back to the start.” Chipotle does an excellent job in getting people to think about the serious issue, while promoting its brand in the meantime.

The advertisement, which is intended to create somewhat of an emotional reaction to people viewing the harmful effects that industrialized farming brings with it, creates a sense of sadness and empathy for the farmer. It really gets people thinking about the differences between Chipotle as a fast food chain, as opposed to say, your typical McDonalds ad.

Sustainable farming, which Chipotle bases their entire positioning off of, “uses techniques such as crop rotation, soil conservation, natural fertilization and polyculture planting. In livestock production, they use pasture-based systems, feed animals what their bodies are designed to digest, and treat their animals humanely. Sustainable farms produce foods that are tastier and more nutritious than foods produced on factory farms, while also preserving the long-term health of our environment.”

Simply said, this is responsibility at its finest, despite the negative stereotypes that many fast food restaurants must battle. Chipotle seizes that opportunity in the marketplace to finally provide a fast food experience that defies the typical processed and unnatural methods of creating food and opts for an experience that provides healthy, fresh, locally grown, and socially responsible options. By raising awareness about what responsible farming is, they are fostering a need for healthy and naturally raised food that many people were unaware they had.

As many people are trying to do their part in going green and helping the environment in any little way, Chipotle has made the responsible choice. The powerful “Going Back to the Start” video sets the agenda that people should be concerned about where their food comes from originally. But, while many people may view this as just a healthy food option, when going to the roots of what Chipotle is really doing, they are keeping small family farmers in business and helping the economy along the way.

Many people may think, however, why haven’t I seen these advertisements? Chipotle is again set apart from the rest, they choose not to engage in heavy television or radio advertising, but instead to stick to simple movie-theater ad placements, word of mouth, and public event sponsoring to raise awareness of their brand’s positioning as an environmentally responsible company. These ads create a positive impact on those who view them, while informing and motivating consumers to learn more. Chipotle also discusses their farming methods and responsibility in using sustainable farming techniques all over their website in order to raise awareness about the importance of such a trend.

This popular concept of going-green, being environmentally responsible, and incorporating organically grown food helps Chipotle to solidify their standing as a company that truly cares about the implications of their actions. Their growing popularity and extreme success in the business world teaches other companies in the fast food industry that caring about the long-term effects of your business’ actions will carry with it many positive benefits.

In the case of Chipotle, this is truly marketing with integrity.

Chicago Tribune Original Article

Chipotle’s Webpage: Food With Integrity

Sustainable Table: The Daunting Techniques of Factory Farming

Ad Week recently reported that in response to pressure the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children is considering making changes to their proposed voluntary guidelines for food marketers targeting children. The controversy over the regulation is indicative of our increasing concern as a society over both childhood obesity and the effect advertising might have on that problem. In a nutshell, the plan proposed that marketers either change the formulation of certain products aimed at children to make the foods more healthy or cease marketing those products to children. While the proposal has a number of Senate Democrat supporters, it has generated strong criticism for being too heavy-handed (despite being completely voluntary) from both the advertising industry and GOP congressmen. While the goal of reducing childhood obesity is laudable, those in favor of increased regulation of advertising need to realize that, in this case, regulation of advertising may not achieve the desired effect.

At first glance it may seem like regulation is the way to go. While children aren’t making most of the final purchase decisions, they do play a strong role in influencing their parents’ decisions which is part of the rationale for marketing to children. Yet because children aren’t fully developed mentally, they may be more prone to impulsive behavior and less capable of making rational decisions, making them more likely to be misled by advertising. As childhood obesity is now widely recognized as a major social problem it therefore might seem like a no-brainer to push the kind of regulation the Interagency Working Group is proposing.

However in this case regulating marketing efforts may not be the best way to go about achieving the ultimate goal of promoting healthy eating during childhood. Faced with the prospect of the stick rather than the carrot, advertisers may simply find ways around the regulation while technically remaining in compliance. In fact this might already be happening to some extent. An earlier piece by Ad Week mentions a report by the Rudd Center noting that while advertisements for junk-food aimed at children are down, children’s exposure to junk-food product placement is up.

For their part, advertisers need to realize that concern over childhood obesity and worries that marketing efforts are exacerbating the problem aren’t going away. Rather than continually taking defensive action against this kind of regulation they need to consider the benefits of developing and advertising healthy products that kids actually like. Easier said than done, but considering the influence children have on family purchases how much easier would it be to increase sales if the foods they wanted didn’t cause parents concern?

Ad Week: Feds May Soften Controversial Food Marketing Guidelines

Ad Week: Study: Industry’s Found Sneaky Way to Keep Advertising Junk Food to Kids

Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children’s Guidelines


The Enterprise Way

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car. When you hear this name what is the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps it is a picture of a wrapped car and the slogan “We’ll pick you up.” This could be because Enterprise has had the same advertising campaign for over two decades.

Earlier this year, the company announced a brand new advertising campaign that will be focused around TV commercials and social media. The campaign emphasizes the brand’s main philosophy, “Take care of your customers and your employees first, and the profits will follow.” Founded by Jack Taylor, and currently owned by family members of Mr. Taylor, Enterprise is a company that deeply cares about its customers.

“The Enterprise Way” created by St. Louis based Cannonball Advertising focuses on the most important values of the company. “The Enterprise Way” campaign uses current employees to tell the story. Each employee expresses how they feel about the brand’s customer service, heritage, and culture.

Along with TV spots, the campaign is also relying heavily on social media outlets. Their Facebook page includes all of the TV spots, but it also shows additional interviews with Enterprise employees as well as outtakes from the commercials. The company is also utilizing Twitter, YouTube and Flickr outlets to promote the new campaign.

Enterprise Facebook

These two TV spots are very simplistic and straight to the point. It is obvious that Enterprise values the fact that the company is family-owned. This campaign is responsible in the aspect that the commercials are not trying to shove the brand down the consumer’s throat, compare themselves to another brand, or market tangible items. Instead they are reinforcing some important values that customers find important such as family, hedonism and authenticity. This campaign is relevant to the large percentage of the population it will reach, as the values it touches upon are shared among our culture. When watching the TV spots, consumers will get that warm and fuzzy feeling by knowing that the company will be there for them in a time of need. The way that these commercials promote the brand is very successful because it will motivate the consumers to go to Enterprise when they need a vehicle, whether it is because theirs is in the repair shop or just because they want to go on vacation.

In the “Family Business” commercial shown below, it touches upon the aspect of not only getting a customer to come to Enterprise once, but keeping them for the long run. By showing the values that the company is based on and communicating good customer service to potential consumers, those consumers have the opportunity to develop enduring involvement with the brand. After all, everyone will probably need to rent a car at some point in life, right?

The portrayal of the company and showing that they will be there for their customers has made for a very successful campaign. Through “The Enterprise Way,” they have communicated that consumers will have peace of mind when working with Enterprise, and any experience they have will be one to remember (and hopefully one that promotes a long lasting relationship!)

Below are two additional commercials from the campaign:

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We all saw the ad: Tiger Woods stares stoically and misty eyed into the camera in his usual Nike apparel.  The voice of Earl Woods, Tiger’s late father, questions him about his infamous adulterous escapades.  “Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion,” Earl Woods says. “I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything?”

Talk about powerful advertising.  Nike is a company that sells sports gear, but this commercial is proof of just how far advertisers in our culture have come from simply selling products.  For years, Tiger Woods has been the face of Nike, establishing a fiscally beneficial situation for both parties, who grew into a kind of comfortable codependence.  Tiger was able to finance his yacht (or whatever it is celebrity billionaires do with the cash from their endorsements) and Nike was able to capitalize on an athlete whose talent on the golf course was matched only by his squeaky clean image.  Tiger was a marketer’s dream, and Nike amassed the revenue to prove it.

Nike sold Tiger’s image just as much as his short game and swoosh-embossed polos; he was a family man to be revered for his unwavering morals.  In the face of the past and present multitude of adulterous athletes who still received millions in product endorsements after their transgressions (think Kobe Bryant), Tiger Woods was a wholesome breath of fresh air.  As a company, endorsing Tiger Woods meant representing his personal life, which at the time, was all about the values of our country.  Or so it appeared.

Did consumers buy Nike products partially because they believed that Nike was a company with a similar set of values to their own?  I’m guessing the marketers at Nike have heard of value segmentation, and targeting consumers who placed high value on family or who admired Tiger Woods for both his professional career and admirable personal life wasn’t a coincidence.  Tiger Woods was a figure whose life was consistent with Nike consumers’ values, or so it seemed.  When the Tiger scandal hit the media, the endorsers who had made him the most highly paid athlete in the world were faced with the big decision: damage control or exit stage right.

Several of Tiger’s endorsers did in fact choose to bow out, deeming his reputation irreparably damaged.  But not Nike.  Nike’s response to the scandal was this commercial, which in one thirty second spot repositioned Tiger as a living commentary on our society’s changing values.  Instead of marking him with a letter “A” and writing him off as another professional athlete turned modern day Hester Prynn, Nike did what they do best: emblazoned their famous logo on their fallen spokesman and used the media to cleverly redefine him as a man who needed his father to help him through a difficult time in his life.  Nike battled the public’s critique of Tiger’s tainted family values with the ultimate trump card- more family values.  The only way Nike could continue to endorse Tiger, who at that point was so ingrained in the culture of their brand image and company that dropping him would mean redirecting efforts towards an enormous and risky counter-campaign, was to fight fire with fire.

The question remains: did Nike make the right choice?  Was this commercial just about the money, and saving face?  Or does it speak to our culture’s values at large?  In spite of his egregious transgressions, Nike supports Tiger Woods.  Advertising as an industry now carries a lot of social responsibility that it never did before, possibly because agencies now brand their image with meaning beyond simply functions of the product they’re selling.  No matter what, Nike’s decision was going to make a statement, and the impact of the decision and the ad are unmistakable.  Instead of changing their spokesman to an athlete who was a better representation of their values, Nike changed their values, and attempted to change ours as well.  Did we fall for it?  Like I said: talk about powerful advertising.


Let’s Fix Dinner

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I’ve been seeing a lot of Stouffer’s ads for their new campaign “Let’s Fix Dinner.” Let’s fix dinner has a double meaning, you could see it as let’s cook dinner or fix dinner as in let’s change it for the better. Stouffer’s ads encourage families to have dinners at the table more often. In the spot Stouffer’s say that there a number of statistics that prove that having family dinner can keep kids off drugs, keep girls from developing eating disorders, and improve family relationships. I didn’t believe these claims at first until I visited the website and there are actually some pretty good claims, such as “teens that have family dinners at least 5 times a week are 45% less likely to drink and 66% less likely to do drugs.” If this is actually true, its a pretty good idea to base a campaign around. Eating dinner as a family does increase family relationships, and I think it is great and appropriate for Stouffer’s to advocate bringing families back to the table.

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Family values are a central part of the traditional American life. The traditional family presented in images and media consists of a stay-at-home mom, a working dad, and their children. Today’s modern families, however, don’t necessarily fit this mold. Modern families may consists of dual career parents, single parent, same sex parent families, or families with no children at all.

With a variety of modern family types, some Americans believe the traditional family values of love, security, and nurturing are losing their importance in modern culture. How can advertising help to promote these family values? Through messages that emphasize family over work, family teamwork, and spending time together as a family, no matter what your family may look like.

Dual-career families are more prevalent than ever in modern society. Families with two incomes tend to have higher discretionary spending and less traditional household decision roles. But most importantly, dual-career families can suffer from role overload, meaning parents may have less time because they juggle a career and family.

This TV spot for MassMutual depicts a workaholic father who faces a difficult decision between work and family:

The father, who has a great office with a fantastic view, chooses to move his office to home to spend more time with his daughter. The commercial asks the consumer, “What is the sign of a good decision?” The spot clearly supports spending time with family as a good decision. This classic debate over work and family has been featured many times in popular media, including movies like Click with Adam Sandler.

This TV spot for Stouffer’s uses family values like teamwork, spending time together, and creating memories to promote their dinner entrees:

The copy states: “Tonight’s dinner specials: teamwork, time together, real conversations, and memories. All for under $2 a serving.” Stouffer’s attempts to position their dinners as a way for families to connect and spend time together.

MassMutual and Stouffer’s are just two examples of brands using family values in advertising messages. These brands recognize the diversity of modern families and a problem that many families face: choosing between work and time with family.

Family values are not uncommon in advertisements today, especially within household product categories. It takes consumers like us to identify the positive messages and family values in advertising today and to realize the socially responsible implications of these messages.

What examples of family values have you seen in advertisements lately?

Categories : Family Values
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“Today’s the Day” at JCPenney

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This is an example of using advertising as an effective sales tool while not being too in your face. JCPenney shows their wide range of products without reverting to the cliche “car salesman” technique.

The simple concept of having an item for every room in your house is combined with promoting family values and reminding consumers to stop and appreciate the little things in life. The simplicity of the spot is beautiful and the lack of a voiceover is a welcome change from the usual commercial.

It also uses vignettes from everyday life that the target market can relate to and see themselves in. Using this technique of self-referencing creates an affective involvement with the consumer and helps them to remember the brand.

The virtuous aspect of this ad comes into play with the potential impact it could have on society and family “norms.” This is a great example of how advertising can “mold” society in a positive way. By promoting family togetherness and a general sense of love, this commercial projects a slice of reality that should be more celebrated.

Since it’s the holiday season, maybe this spot will convince you to consider JCPenney’s for your holiday needs. And don’t forget, “Today’s the day” to start living your life, because “Everyday matters.”

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