This week on the Round-Up we see the juxtaposition of old and new as we bid a tired branding trope adieu and become acquainted with the latest personification of the marketing industry.
Kleenex pan the man
After more than 50 years, Kleenex is finally disposing of their ‘man-sized’ tissues. But lovers of the product need not worry, Kleenex is not hanging up these hankies for good, but rather rebranding them in the name of equality. The Kimberly-Clark company are renaming the tissues as ‘extra large’, a change which is currently being rolled out. The shift comes as a counteraction to a building number of sexism allegations at the tired title. And seeing as the phrase ‘man-sized’ was originally coined as part of the company’s ‘Kleenex for Men’ campaign back in the 1950’s, we reckon this rebrand has been a long time coming.
In 2017 the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne introduced us to Graham as part of the Towards Zero Campaign. Graham, “the only person designed to survive on our roads,” was a prototype created to demonstrate the brutality road accidents can have on the human body. With an immersive campaign that featured the cover star, Graham, BBDO not only brought awareness to the cause but cleaned up at the Grand Prix at Cannes too. And it looks as though the praise for the campaign isn’t over yet.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, BBDO and the TAC must be blushing red with the parody of their creation. Earlier this week, media and creative agency, Cummins & Partners asked the public to Meet Grant. Depicting a white man with extraordinarily thick skin, less than average genitals, and no spine, Cummins & Partners introduced “the only person designed to survive a career in advertising.” A poke of fun at both BBDO’s success and the industry as a whole, BBDO’s Creative Executives reportedly dubbed the mockery as brilliant.
What’s in a name?
It’s no secret that Weight Watchers has been undergoing a bit of a transformation, from deploying the Oprah Effect to broadening their offering from weight loss to include wellness support also. We covered the changes to the multinational on the Weekly Round-Up earlier this year, noting the success Oprah Winfrey’s involvement in the brand had brought on, however, a recent report is predicting a sting for the slimming support group. Digital publication, Entrepreneur.com believes that the shift of company name from Weight Watchers to WW is a big mistake. Dubbing the activity as “a classic psychological blunder”, Entrepreneur warns readers of the damage a name change can cause to an audience's recall. “Our minds are wired so that changing things in our long-term memory isn't easy. Altering a brand name, or any well-established memory, is more challenging, even when we want to change it.”
All style, no substance
While most will claim that all style and no substance is their worst nightmare, latest reports are that this is, in fact, a winning combination for a successful brand in today’s market. In a recent article, industry expert, Leonard Sherman, spoke to the rising trend of startups putting the cart before the horse when entering the marketplace. I.E – putting the main focus on brand strategy as opposed to prototype perfection. “Only a few years ago, product was King. Founders focused on getting a minimum viable product to market, fast.” However, the tides have changed according to Sherman. In a world of eCommerce and Instagram, brands are now concentrating on their essence and their desired audience. Sherman believes that, while products can be refined, the brand must make the first impression. Using the world’s most successful brands, such as Nike and Apple, as an example he states, “From the outset, each of these companies clearly identified their target customers’ unmet needs, committed to a core idea that speaks to that need, and made sure every single consumer touchpoint reinforced their brand promise.”
Radio Ga Ga
The latest in Netflix’s plans for world domination comes in a slightly retro form as the binge-series facilitator looks to take on radio. In January 2019, Netflix will launch a 24hr comedy station on the American satellite radio station, SiriusXM. The channel, which will be called Netflix is a Joke, will feature extracts from shows of stand-up comics such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.
The move to the airwaves will be a new one for Netflix, however, according to a report in The Drum, the exercise is not one motivated by money but rather, marketing. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer told the publication that the move is one of “marketing synergy for a stand-up comedy initiative”. In a bid to create an immersive campaign for their audience, Netflix will target the public while they drive, the idea being that, according to Sarados, “when you're not on Netflix, you're more likely [to be] in your car.”
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