What’s the wizard up to now? (All marketing is not what it seems…)

Interesting post from the folks at Brand Autopsy about Go Daddy’s Super Bowl ad. The working theory is the real purpose of the ad is to boost employee moral, not to generate business. See:

“If Bedbury is right, no internal memo issued from Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons has the potential to motivate his employees more than this one Super Bowl ad.”

One of the commenters astutely pointed out that a $3000 bonus (the ad cost divided by Go Daddy’s employees) would go farther on the moral boosting front. Whether employee moral is the real reason, and whether this is a wise spend aside… there is a marketing and advertising lesson here that I’ve touched on before. (See my Spiderman, Hidden Marketing Goals and Mark Cuban post.)

Namely, that all advertising is NOT what it seems to be.

Last year, I worked with a client who was selling his business. Turns out the advertising he was doing to grow the business (at an amazing clip, BTW) seemed too “salesy” to potential buyers. After a few comments from some serious players, he decided to run a typical, “ad-agency”, image-laden ad for the purpose of sticking it in his portfolio to show potential investors. The business sold, though it certainly wasn’t just because of this factor. Point is, the competition may have been sitting back in their chairs trying to figure out what “Mr. Smith” was up to, maybe even planned to copy it. In fact, they had no clue.

I have a friend whose independent, local business dominates a franchise-laden industry that is supposed to be “commoditized.” He does it with savvy direct response advertising, but to throw off copycat competition, he spends thousands on “image ads” just to keep ‘em guessing. The “marketing experts” advising the franchisees key on the ads they were taught and understand (the ones that DON’T work) … which keeps my friend relatively free of serious competition.

Many businesses… small, mid-sized, and large… make the me-too marketing mistake.

They believe that because the competition is doing it, surely it must be the right thing to do. In reality, this is ALWAYS a flawed principle… whether the topic is yellow pages advertising, store layout, consulting fees, or anything in between. You have to test the assumptions, track the numbers, and only then make your choices wisely.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous January 15, 2005 at 10:01 pm

Good point there.

Curious about the date format you use month-year-date. Which country is that format used?

Reply

2 Anonymous January 16, 2005 at 3:01 am

Good point there.
Curious about the date format you use month-year-date. Which country is that format used?

Reply

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