A Load of Crap: Charmin’s Go Nation

A Load of Crap: Charmin’s Go Nation
“Never mind that those ads featuring bears that can’t wipe properly are odd enough. Charmin now is on a mission to start a movement, we’re sure pun is intended, in which the entire nation can enjoy a “better bathroom experience.”

“We’re calling it the Charmin Go Nation,” it says on the website “… it’s made up of people who actually enjoy going to the bathroom because they have Charmin bathroom tissue.”

Sounds like the client wrote it. Utterly Ridiculous.

While we’re at it – shout out to the guys at Kleercut for telling it like it is.

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Social/ Advertising: Hovis “Buzz”

Hovis embarks on first ‘buzz marketing’ drive
Hovis is launching its first marketing advocacy programme, to promote its recently launched Hearty Oats product. The Premier Foods bread brand is mirroring initiatives undertaken by Procter & Gamble, which has also used word-of-mouth programmes to raise awareness of its products. The aim of the campaign is to recruit 8000 advocates to help support the launch of the product, as Hovis introduces a greater word-of-mouth element to its marketing activity. Hovis Hearty Oats is the UK’s first loaf baked with 50% wholegrain oats and 50% wheat flour. Premier Foods claims that it can help to maintain normal cholesterol; the company has received the backing of charity Heart UK. Meh. For me Hovis is still about the Hovis ‘Bike’ advert from 1973 (Britain’s favourite TV ad apparently)

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Social Media: P&G’s Rouge, Kraft’s iSnack 2.0, Coke’s Facial Profiler, Estee Lauder’s Makeover

Procter & Gamble Co. is enlisting help from mommy bloggers as it makes over its Canadian custom-published quarterly Rouge for a full-scale U.S. launch expected to reach 11 million households in both countries by next year. Custom magazines from package-goods marketers have been around for a while, such as Kraft Foods’ Food & Family, launched earlier this decade with a free circulation of 12 million, according to Redwood Custom Communications, which produces the program. But a new wrinkle in the U.S. rollout of beauty magazine Rouge, which began earlier this month, is the use of the mommy blogger community to help build the database of the relationship-marketing program.
rouge magazine
Kraft today announced that Australians have voted for a name to replace the seriously unpopular and high criticised iSnack 2.0. Kraft gave customers the opportunity to vote for one of six names in response to the negative publicity. We’re told that around 10,000 customers voted for Cheesybite, equivalent to 36% of the total vote making it the most popular name – just pipping ‘none of the above’.
If you’ve always reckoned you have an evil twin somewhere else in the world or that you were separated at birth but no one’s got round to telling you, Coke Zero’s ‘worldwide social networking experiment’ could help. The fizzy drink has created a Facebook app called the ‘Facial Profiler’ which has the aim of finding people’s online lookalikes. The app encourages people to upload a photo of themselves to a database, Coke then analyses the characteristics and attempts to find the nearest match from other uploaded images.
The venerable Estee Lauder cosmetics brand has found a seemingly natural way to connect with social media: offering free makeovers and photo shoots at its department-store cosmetics counters coast-to-coast to produce shots women can use for their online profiles. The promotion, which kicks off Oct. 16 at Bloomingdale’s in New York and will extend initially to Macy’s, Saks and other Bloomingdale’s stores in Southern California, Miami and Chicago, also includes a giveaway of a 10-day supply of foundation.
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Little Chef, Corporate Websites, TwitTv, iPhones v Advertising, Sorry, Tide Thursday

You’re probably already noticing business cards containing Twitter (Twitter reviews) usernames as opposed to domain names, bands promoting their MySpace (MySpace reviews) profile instead of their own website, and even ad campaigns directing people to participate in a social media rather than visit a branded website. The latter is exactly what Vitamin Water is doing through a multi-channel campaign featuring NBA superstars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
What’s Twitter doing? Going after a TV series. The San Francisco-based web phenom has partnered with Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment to develop an unscripted TV skein described as “putting ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format.”
According to a recent survey, iPhone users are more likely to recall mobile ads than non-iPhone users. US Mobile Phone Users and iPhone Users Who Recall Viewing Mobile Advertising, by Type, Q1 2009 (% of respondents in each group) iPhone users had higher rates of recall from all measured types of mobile ads than nonusers, including mobile display, standard text message (SMS), audio, picture or video messages (MMS) and mobile TV and video ads.
There’s one word consumers haven’t heard much that might serve these companies better than their current dirges: sorry. That thought came to mind as a rash of “We’re sorry” ads broke out recently across the pond in the U.K. an underwear manufacturer apologizing . Marks & Spencer recently ran a national campaign apologizing for for charging bigger-breasted women more for bigger bras. The headline, of course: “We boobed.”
When P&G Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley appears at one this week, some believe the near-term future of packaged-goods marketing — and the long-term future of Procter & Gamble — may hang in the balance. Some are even billing the appearance as “Tide Thursday,” a reference to “Marlboro Friday” in 1993, when Philip Morris, battered by value-brand incursions on its Marlboro brand, cut prices 20% and stepped up consumer marketing in a move that was ultimately copied by many in the consumer-goods industry, reshaping the way many marketers approached pricing and advertising.


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Procter & Google

Interesting piece in the WSJ about P&G and Google swapping staff:

A New Odd Couple: Google, P&G Swap Workers to Spur Innovation
At Procter & Gamble Co., the corporate culture is so rigid, employees jokingly call themselves “Proctoids.” In contrast, Google Inc. staffers are urged to wander the halls on company-provided scooters and brainstorm on public whiteboards.

Now, this odd couple thinks they have something to gain from one another — so they’ve started swapping employees. So far, about two-dozen staffers from the two companies have spent weeks dipping into each other’s staff training programs and sitting in on meetings where business plans get hammered out. The initiative has drawn little notice.

p&g

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Social Media: Waste of Time, Waste of Money, Kills Campaigns?

… just a few things that came up today …

social-media-waste-of-time

Is Social Media Marketing A Waste Of Time?
Well, someone thinks so: “Social media is the next big thing! No, it’s the big thing! It is here, now, and it is big! Let’s face it, if you’re not aboard the cluetrain to social media marketing city, you’re sitting on that station alone!”

P&G’s McConnell Not Sure Marketers Belong on Social Networks
Ted McConnell, general manager-interactive marketing and innovation at Procter & Gamble Co., said social networks may never become a natural advertising medium — in part because the content on social nets and what is in general characterized as user-generated media may not be media at all. In a talk at the Digital Non-Conference in Cincinnati, McConnell said: “Media is something you can buy and sell. Media contains inventory. Media contains blank spaces. Consumers weren’t trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody.”

How Twittering Critics Brought Down Motrin Mom Campaign
Johnson & Johnson did manage to offend some mothers with an online and print campaign for Motrin that implied moms carry their babies as fashion accessories. But was it a genuine groundswell that felled the effort — or an alliance of the few, empowered by microblogging service Twitter? Two days after a new ad push for Motrin triggered an online backlash, J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is pulling the campaign, from the New York office of independent shop Taxi, and begging a vocal mommy-blogging nation for forgiveness. The campaign, which was featured on Motrin’s website, as well as in several magazines, was an attempt to connect with moms through the common experience (and pain) of carrying a child. But the implication felt by some of the campaign’s more vocal critics was that moms wear their babies as fashion accessories, or because it “totally makes me look like an official mom.”

Pain reliever Motrin recently sparked a firestorm of controversy over an advertisement which attempted to be humorous, sympathetic and perhaps edgy but ended up insulting the very consumer group they were targeting. The offending video portrayed the practice of carrying a baby in a sling as an uncomfortable fashion statement, something that makes a mother look more “official”. The ad copy also implies that such baby carrying causes back and neck pain – which Motrin will help alleviate.This point of view did not sit well with the “baby wearing” mothers of the internet. Over the weekend, Twitter exploded with negative commentary and blog posts racked up attacking the ad. In their defense, Motrin acted quickly and took down the video, but the damage may already be done.
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Jim Stengel LLC

Veteran Marketer Promotes a New Kind of Selling
Jim Stengel, the outgoing global marketing chief at Procter & Gamble, is moving from a big advertiser to a small start-up, hoping to remedy some of what he thinks is wrong with the industry. Starting Monday, the 25-year P&G veteran is opening Jim Stengel LLC, which will try to persuade companies to buy into a newfangled way of selling. It’s called “purpose-based marketing,” which Mr. Stengel says is about defining what a company does — beyond making money — and how it can make its customers’ lives better.

I am a big fan of Jim Stengel, I have used his quotes in many presentations and wish him all the best with the new venture.

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