Thursday, December 21, 2006

BN: The blog you should like totally read

Recently came across two really horrible tag lines.

Greyhound's "Let's Go Dog" and Advil's "I'm All Advil"

Ok, to be fair, it's not easy being a bus service or a pain killer. These products are about as sexy as grandma's thong (Yes, I know I'm asking for more trouble). So now imagine that you're the brand manager for these brands and you have the unenviable task of trying to push more product. Good news though, finance just approved a sweet new marketing budget. You immediately round up the agency talent and have a meeting.... it goes something like this:

You start the meeting with some objectives (because that's what they told you to do in business school).

"People, we need a new direction. It can't be different than the old direction because we spent a lot of money building this brand and we can't mess with it. One more thing: it can't be similar to the old direction because that's not interesting anymore. Ok? Let's brainstorm."

"What about a concise and exciting tag line?" Joan, the copy writer, says.

"What about a new logo?" Daniel, the art director, states more than suggests.

"We need our own 'Just do it" Joan says, jotting down the phrase in her moleskin notebook. She then doubles back to reinforce the crosses on the t's, each stroke appearing to strengthen her confidence in the idea.

"Yeah like that swoosh logo." Daniel says, nodding in no one in particular. You hear the distinct sound of an out of control pen tip ripping across paper. The moleskin closes with a snap.

"How about a catch phrase?" You offer.

There's a pause, more than likely the brilliance of the idea is sinking in. Joan looks like she likes the idea and says, "I like that idea!". From the other side of the table, Daniel leans back in his chair and begins to intently examine the back of his pen.

"Ok, come up with some options and let's regroup next week." You say with satisfaction.

"We're going to have to get back to you on the timing" says an account executive that you swear wasn't there a moment ago.

"That'll be fine."

Weeks go by and finally you get to see some concepts. They're all horrible. You try to reject them all but you're told revisions would take a few more weeks. You don't have time like that; top floor Sharon wants to see results this quarter. So you go with the concept you hate the least. This turns out to be...

Let's Go Dog! (or I'm All Advil!)

The good news is that they went ahead with the site idea you had. You've been reading a lot about consumer generated content online so now you're all about starting conversations with your customers. You required the site to have that very trendy "submitted content" content. In fact, you even called up the agency just to make sure they have the bandwidth to cover all the people that'll be coming to the site. "Maybe we should hire some college kids to filter out the submissions. Will 20 kids be enough?" You ask yourself.

You start to wonder if your consumer generated stuff will be as big as YouTube. Suddenly, two words pop into your head: Bumper Stickers! You dial the agency.

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