Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Discovery of Insight, and the Brands Embracing it
There’s an article on the front page of today’s WSJ Marketplace titled, “Subaru’s Got A Big Problem: Its Selling Too Many Cars.”
Not sure how many of the readers have seen any recent Subaru advertising, but the ads might be some of the very best that capture the emotional context of the brand experience.
There are no spokespeople, no cars driving in an unrealistic environment, no cars speeding at 100 mph, no gimmicks, no animation, no flashing rebate numbers.
The ads are snapshots of the common life of their brand equity target customers.
The picture of the Subaru in this morning’s WSJ displays the Subaru SUV up against a backdrop of a forest of trees.
The name of the model showcased is “Crosstrek.”
Some of my friends say that I watch way too much television.
And I am the first to say that television is really no longer the premiere medium of advertising.
Broadcast today spans the spectrum across everything from the laptop to the smartphone to the iPad… anything that connects to the Cloud.
One of the reasons why I watch television is to watch the commercials.
Sometimes, I actually watch commercials, see how bad and off target they are and then pick up the phone and connect with the CEO of the brand being advertised and actually net new business.
I don’t make that up.
There are a lot of brands out there today in which the ad is nothing more than the CMO speaking from a podium about the physical make-up of the physical brand.
Nothing about the brand experience and interaction with the brand. Nothing about the person using it. Nothing emotional.
As I have shared in this blog before, in order for the human brain to store something encountered in long-term memory, the right side — the emotional side — of the brain has to be stimulated.
Now back to Subaru.
If you Google Subaru, there is a set of links that appear on the first page about how Subaru has become the top brand purchased by Lesbians.
I can see how Subaru might be favored by Lesbians. Go back up a few lines and read about the picture of the Subaru Crosstrek in this morning’s WSJ.
Whatever the case, the ads that are running right now on TV capture the experience and not taut how the vehicle physically is built nor place the car racing on an imaginary, high-speed track.
Subaru is cashing in on how insight can drive their car sales. Literally.
There’s another set of ads that I applaud.
They feature the brand experience and interaction with one of the P&G brands… Swiffer.
When I first saw one of the ads, I immediately thought there had to have been one fabulous account planner working with the P&G creative team.
The ads feature an older retired couple interacting with the product.
Part of me thinks that the couple might just be the grandparents of the account planner and he took the camera guy over to their house on a Saturday morning unannounced and gave them a Swiffer and said try it out.
I don’t really think that P&G is running the ads to target seniors.
I think that the ads actually target the Millennials.
The Millennials likely perceive the senior couple in some ways like their “helicopter parents,” and the commercial as a YouTube video.
All of that is much more trustworthy to a Millennial as they watch “TV” on their iPad.
I know that for some of the MBA marketing folks and agency A/Es, I might be speaking in a foreign language they don’t understand.
There is actually a series of these Swiffer ads and they are all smack on target as far as I am concerned.
Lastly, there was an article about 10 days ago in the WSJ about KIA and the success of their KIA Soul ads.
These are the ads with the hamsters driving the KIA Soul and dancing to funky street music.
KIA developed the Soul and launched the campaign to target Millennials.
The article cites KIA Soul 2013 sales exceeding projected goals.
Fascinating however, is that the folks buying KIA Souls are not the Millennials.
But, instead, the Boomers. The Aging Boomers.
Turns out that the jiving Hamsters reach deep into the Boomer headset and bring back the nostalgia of their youth.
Left-brain MBAs and A/Es will understand this… the KIA Soul is also a quasi-SUV that is very easy to get into vs. the conventional SUV.
There’s a bunch of hype this week about how media buying is being automated.
Some of the writers go so far as to speculate that advertising, as we know it, will be automated soon too.
Some folks… especially the ad agency A/Es like to tell clients that what I do is research… data analytics.
Actually computers can do data analytics far faster than I can.
That’s why I type these blogs on my MacBook Pro.
My title is Discovery Chief.
Computers… and left-brain MBA execudites… often fail at discovering insight.