Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brink’s New Target Audience

For years Brink’s Home Security (or now Broadview) has had the same feel to their commercials. As real and frightening as it is, they have always shown a family being attacked. Whether it is the wife at home alone, the wife with the kids, the kids home alone or the entire family, Brink’s has been targeting the family market. With this newest commercial, Brink’s is going after a different market, the single female market.

My focus of this post is not the commercial itself. The commercial does a fine job of depicting a female preparing for a first date when a man dressed in the burglar uniform smashes a sliding glass door in an attempt to get it. The burglar is quickly scared away by the sound of the Brink’s Home Security System. Besides the avalanche of information that is thrown in at the end, I think the commercial does a good job of conveying the main idea Brink’s is seeking.

My goal for this post is to analyze the switch in target markets. The switch seems like a natural one. Women are seen by society as being more vulnerable to an attack of this type, making the visual images of this stick in the mind of the consumer even more. But I wonder what brought on this switch in focus from families to single women. Does it have to do with more women living alone because of the increase in divorce? Does it have to do with people delaying marriage and therefore more women living alone, or with female roommates? Does Brink’s get any type of halo effect from this? Does it carry over from single women, to families or even the elderly?

I guess this post is more of a question than anything else. I like the move on Brink’s behalf to show the vulnerability of a single woman and the safety and protection that a Brink’s Home Security System provides.

What do you think about this commercial? Does the switch in target markets or branching off of target markets help Brinks in your mind?

- Dennis

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brain Rules - A Book Review

I found Brain Rules by John Medina through my Twitter feed. I was skeptical at first. How could a book about the brain be any use to me? I decided to check out the website and was instantly turned. The website made me believe the book would provide an interesting perspective on the brain and how it is used in the business world. I was still a little unsure on whether the book would make any sense to me or be useful.

I could not have been more wrong. The book, while technical in spots, is written in a very manageable style. The technical aspects are explained thoroughly and in such a way, you are actually left looking for a more in depth explanation. The information in the book, both from an advertising, and human perspective, is amazingly interesting. Every chapter offered another “wow” moment. So many things about the brain I never knew, explained so thoughtfully made me a huge fan of this book.

Below I’ve singled out some chapters and sections I found amazingly interesting and useful not only in advertising but business in general.

Chapter 1 – Exercise
- Exercise improves brain function including creativity.
- Agencies creative departments have always been different maybe treadmills would fit well.

Chapter 4 – Attention
- ECS – Emotionally Competent Stimulus – VW Crash commercial example.
- Why Mac’s 1984 ad worked.
- The brain remembers emotional aspects better than others.

Chapter 5 – Short Term Memory
- Most events that predict learning happen quickly. In the first two seconds of exposure.
- Environment has a major impact on learning.

Chapter 6 – Long Tern Memory
- New information given gradually and repeated improves long-term memory.

Chapter 7 – Sleep
- The amount of sleep a person needs will vary by person.
- An afternoon nap may be a biological urge felt by most of the world.

Chapter 9 – Sensory Integration
- Our senses work together, which means more learning is aided by stimulating multiple sense at once.
- PowerPoint presentations are great tools, if done properly.

Chapter 10 – Vision
- Vision is our most dominate sense.
- Learning and remembering is done best through visual mediums.

Chapter 12 – Exploration
- Humans are natural explorers. Providing an outlet for this tendency is a good thing.

I found this last chapter on exploration to be the most meaningful to me and my career in advertising. It proved to me that consumers are naturally inquisitive and they do not need to have information crammed down their throats. If a consumer is in the market for your product the best thing you can do is present the benefits and supporting information in an interesting manor and support their decision making process.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. Even the parts that had no direct relevance to advertising or business provided new and interesting information I didn’t know. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to understand how people receive and analyze advertising.

If you’d like to find out more about the book, visit the website. Or if you’ve seen enough and want to buy it, you can find it here - Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Has anyone else read this book or one like it? What did you think? What did you take from it and apply to your craft?

- Dennis

Full Disclosure – I have no affiliation with the author of this book or the publisher. The text link to the book on Amazon is an affiliate link.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Open Letter To Under Armour

Under Armour, I am your biggest fan. I love your product, follow you on Facebook and Twitter, and I am an overall ambassador for your brand. I have recently decided to get back into shape, which got me thinking. Where is your customer engagement?

There is no community aspect to Under Armour. Your Facebook and Twitter accounts are used as broadcast mediums. Your website is great for shopping. It is easy to navigate and intuitive, but there is no place for me to trade training stories with your other customers.

Imagine if you started a conversation with your followers on Twitter or Facebook? What would happen to your brand if you engaged your fans? If you made your customers feel like they are a part of something bigger. If Under Armour were more than just amazingly comfortable and functional gear for athletes you would have a tidal wave of excitement from your fans.

Use Twitter to send out an update on your newest technology breakthrough, not to send me a 10% of coupon. I can get that same 10% from your website before I check out. Take the honor of being invited directly in front of my face, in a preferential position and use it to engage me.

Use your website as place for me and other Under Armour faithful to chat, exchange stories and build a relationship with each other and your brand. Right now I only go to your website when I want to by something. If I was going to your site daily to talk on a message board, I may be more likely to buy more gear.

Personally, I don’t care if all you did was sell gear. I love your product so much I would buy it with or without any changes. However most people don’t feel the same way I do. Building a community and giving current and potential customers something beyond your products can do nothing but help your brand.