Event Marketing Archive
The Purchase Funnel of Love
Thank God for Thanksgiving! It's the only celebratory event that has no exclusive connection to one of our religious holidays. We all know it's very Un-PC to be derogatory about any person's religious beliefs as well as Thanksgiving itself. We feel that way ourselves; but still, Thanksgiving gives us free range to discuss a frustrating thing about the holidays that have become universally nauseating to almost every person, race, color or creed.
May we speak for everyone when we exclaim a giant, "Yechhh!" What is to be done with it? Answer: nothing. Doesn't that stink? Maybe if you're a 10 year old kid - and have been dreaming about that Game-Boy everyone else has in class all year long - you probably wouldn't agree. But staying away from other holidays, for better or for much worse, 95% of those reading this know that Thanksgiving kicks off what retailers call the "straight six." The all important six weeks until the end of the year, where sales goals are either met or not; where either bonuses or pink slips are given out.
For most industries, these "straight six" are what many use the other 46 weeks preparing for. There are many brands and products where 70% or more of their year-long sales occur during them. We work on a few of those businesses. We know how serious and important they are.
For this, we are very thankful for them since on a personal level - behind the camera - we know that the more products sold of any particular product during this time, means that more people will keep their jobs, will collect a paycheck to take home to support their families, who are extremely thankful for the gift of employment, so that, by extension they can pay tax and thus hopefully help maintain a stable community in order to maintain, if not improve the quality of life for themselves and those they love.
No argument there. But once you punch out for the day and are no longer technically required to focus on how to sell more widgets, you come into contact with...
... the "Purchase Funnel of Love".
Like the Tunnel of Love...
...the experience going through it is anything but warm and fuzzy, especially if you work on Madison Avenue, where you can walk up and down the aisles and just envision the creative brief, the USP, the ego, the production, the competitive set, the target audience, the VP,Marketing, the VP,Sales, the Dog and Pony trade Shows and last and certainly absolutely first, the sales numbers they have to hit; for each and every SKU.
There's no advice to give here, except perhaps that there's not one of us who would not appreciate having some GPS radar system which would warn us to steer clear of that-with-which makes us nauseated during the holidays. It would be great if it gave us a warning signal to either avoid the jingles, trappings, long lines, traffic jams, company parties, wrapping presents, smiling at people you don't want to, or even find a way to get around that obligatory pressure to purchase a token gift for someone you are not terribly fond of.
Note to self: Great holiday gift product void to fill: a special programmable holiday junk GPS radar: "The Naus-Buster." It alerts you to prepare for (or avoid) some upcoming holiday stuff you find nauseating.
Makes a great gift!
Over dinner recently, someone at the table said that she didn't need one day a year to give thanks. She does so everyday. We like and agree with that. Many might see that as positive ROI (refreshing original information). So maybe the lesson here after all is that we should in fact be thankful that the straight six only comes once a year; 42 days which may contain one or more overly commercial things we come into contact with that get on our nerves to no end. Thank goodness for the other 323 days of the year when we don't have to deal with the hype of marketing, sales and exaggerated claims; when the almighty dollar is not the main one we all must pay homage to, infront of or behind the camera!
P.S. Is it just us or are Turkeys the main instigators for the holidays getting under our nerves, considering their endless, hypnotic and incessant "Gobble, Gobble, Gobble?"
Ludacris and Green Day might have been better music acts than Stevie Wonder and Rolling Stones, the legendary musical heroes from the 20th century. The new age music-doers would have fit in with most of the advertising, which was clearly aimed at the Millennial generation. Still, we would suggest that the NFL was correct at going with yesterday's music icon heroes.
We would also recommend that all the SuperBowl's brave sponsors who advertised or those who studied the SuperBowl for clues for their campaigns not fool themselves into thinking they have figured out the mystery of how to speak to our next generation of product-service purchase leaders. In fact our advice would be to "do as little as possible" before they think, act, advertise and finalize anything.
For those watched the game at a bar or neighborhood party and couldn't hear the ad game between innings, check out Google to see and hear them all. Last year's Paul McCartney and this year's musical talent was surely NFL's knee-jerk reaction to the backlash they had from the MTV-produced Janet Jackson 2004 whiplash.
For as dated as the NFL's selections were, we think that was not a bad idea. Why? The answer to that question is both part mystery and stark reality.
Let us explain. Following in the NFL's footsteps, we ask you to take a walk back with us to Chinatown, the baby boom era film. Still considered the best screenplay ever written, it's always had a mystery to it which has relevance here.
The gist was that while strategy is important, the US won many of its wars because of its attention to logistics, execution and sustainability. Read it. It's well worth it. One may see parallels to it in how to survive modern-day corporate warfare just as emperors, kings and princes were as well instructed in their time from Sun Tzu's The Art of War or Nicolo Machiavelli's The Prince.
The battle plan mapped out here is based on the experience I have in the conference room trenches between agencies that either produce brand-level consumer advertising or consumer-level, brand promotions.
As with governmental/military systems, marketing programs also rely on solid structure and intelligent planning for sound execution. However, we all know that things can and will go wrong on the ground, which one may have to redefine the terms friendly vs. un-friendly fire.
Church and state, the classic Time Inc. term Mr. Hency Luce once used to describe the imaginary wall between his magazines' editorial and ad sales staffs has little relevance today, what with the mating ritual Paradise Publishing and Madison Avenue have given birth to.
The birth of "creativity" being inserted into once purely numeric media planning analyses has fertilized "the street". "Advertorial" is now here and wants everyone to take notice, much like a new born baby getting Mom and Dad's attention at 3AM in the morning.