Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Meaning of United

The actions of people as they come together in a musical performance may be the best example of the concept of community. Each person has a voice, yet works in a united manner with others so they may together reach a high ideal.

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This is admirable advertising showing how the core values of a brand can reach out to attract and reinforce the brand community. And, the message is that people who work in a united manner can accomplish the highest goals.

This is a lesson with far reaching implications.

The United Airlines commercial was done by McGarry Bowen.

      Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Character and Brand Community

One pathway to better advertising is to break stereotypes.

This can be especially true of brands consumed in social circumstances. Personal identity and reference group influence come into greater play.

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In this Guinness commercial our expectations tell us we are watching a group of guys go at each other in a rough and tumble game of basketball. The game captures our interest because of the unexpected intensity and skill of the wheelchair basketball players.

We are surprised when they all stand, and are momentarily left with feelings of being deceived.

But when we see one player still in his chair, we experience the influence of our own stereotypical thinking and realize the importance of character.

This commercial demonstrates the importance of core values and the role of character in building the strongest brand communities. Altruistic values, in particular, are the basis of long-term sustainable relationships between brands and their customers.

  Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Jell-O and the American Dream

When it comes to market segmentation, the well-known VALS typology points to the importance of a broad sector of the American population driven by ideals. They are conventional people, following established routines of work and family. They are practical decision-makers hewing to well-known brands.

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For advertising account planners, this commercial is a remarkable demonstration of consumer insight.

The hard-working father, stressful commute, and the actions of an insensitive boss reveal the everyday experiences of our times. In the face of these challenges, this archetypical father in the middle class continues to accept his responsibilities and remain an optimistic soul. Indeed, his son also acts in an archetypical manner carrying forward his father's example by making a helpful action of his own.

This is admirable advertising in modern times, placing true-life circumstances in a charming context, while pointing to the value of a well-known brand.

This work for Jell-O was done by Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

  Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Advertising and American Core Values

The American Declaration of Independence begins with the statement that all men are created equal and that the purpose of government is to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In 1956, General Electric advertising framed our nation's ideals in an economic context.


The advertising copy is particularly relevant on Labor Day.

"We in America believe in high wages, high productivity and high purchasing power. They must occur together. One without the other defeats its own ends, but together they spell dynamic growth and progress."

These words support the General Electric corporate slogan of that era, "Progress is Our Most Important Product."

In 1956, General Electric clearly understood, as did Henry Ford a generation earlier, that workers and consumers are the same people, and as such they are the leading force of the nation.

Here is yet another example of the power of advertising to reveal who we are and what we can be.

  Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.