Monday, October 27, 2008

You'll love us because other people hate us!

I'm thinking back to my Marketing 101 class in college -- there were the 4 P's, brand positioning demographics, target markets, etc, etc.  We covered a lot of theoretical and practical ground.  I just can't seem to recall the day we talked about selling a product by showing how much people hate that product.  It's a maverick technique, as shown in this commercial for a local steakhouse:

(15 second shot of a piece of a gristly steak being grilled)

This is why good food photographers make a killing.  Because when amateurs try to film food, this is what you get: a greasy, rubbery piece of meat bouncing up and down on a grill.  My favorite part is when the camera pans completely away from the meat and over to an empty, blurry background.  Just makes me chuckle.  Was that supposed to be arty in some way? Did a high school photography student direct this?  "It's the rule of thirds, man!"

Vegetarians hate us.

"You!  Over there!  Queer guy who doesn't eat meat!  Hey, check out this huge hunk of animal!  Hungry yet?  Oh yeah, get a whiff of that greasy, bubbling flesh....  Want some?  Oh, guess what, you can't have it! Because you choose not to eat meat!  Hah -- suck on it!"

There are some kind of weird, good ol' boy undertones to a line like this.  I wonder if the meatatarians were behind this one, too.  But, yes, I suppose it is true that a group of people who don't eat meat wouldn't be fond of a steak place. What I fail to see, however, is the connection between illustrating that fact about vegetarians and attracting people who do eat meat to your steakhouse.

I mean, is this all they got?  Nothing about how they only serve the choicest cuts of meat?  Or how they were voted best steakhouse by a local magazine (if that were true)?  Or anything unique about the restaurant?  No?  You just wanted to lash out at a small percentage of the population that doesn't like your product.  Got it.


No, you're not sorry!  That one lazy copy line was the entire reason for this commercial!  Own up to it, dick.

"A Cut Above the Rest"

Just a pet peeve of mine.  You don't need fucking quotation marks there!  It's your slogan, you're not quoting somebody.  

This reminds me of another local ad, a billboard for a conservative radio talk show on WIND 560 AM which read, "Liberals Hate It!"  So automatically you've already lost 50% of the population who lean democratic.  Now granted you weren't going to get them to listen anyway, but you're trying to woo the other 50% by saying "there's a group of people who think we're assholes!" -- you think that's going to work?  Like someone will think to himself, "Well if Al Gore wouldn't listen to it, maybe I should tune in..."  

If you're considering running an ad campaign that tries to reach people by saying "Group X hates us" -- then I would suggest you put the kibosh on the whole deal -- the advertising, the product, your business -- everything.  You're admitting to everyone that there's so little that's new and great and unique about your product that you can't come up with a single noteworthy thing to say about it.  And that, for the record, is a business problem, not just an marketing problem.


Windier E. Megatons said...

That reminds me, have you seen the new Budweiser ad? It's just a 15-second shot of beer pouring into an icy mug, followed by a graphic reading "Teetotalers hate us." And then there was the one for Hummer that shows an H2 driving down the highway with the graphic "Environmentalists hate us." Oh, and the one for Axe body spray with the graphic "Non-douchebags hate us."

Tyler said...

What bothers me in this ad is the font choices, especially at the end. It looks amateurish.