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Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

CPG Brand Colors – Why is Diet always so boring?

February 10, 2009 4 comments

Head to the soda (pop, whatever) aisle of your local supermarket and take a look around. It makes for a fascinating study in branding, color trends, and CPG marketing in general.

Recently, I noticed something obvious, yet never really discussed. For each brand or flavor of soda, there is a distinct color, logo, and tone in design. With each brand’s diet flavor though every brand I could find did the exact same thing – took the normal style, and made it grey. They took out the color, desaturated the packaging, or just generally swapped neutral colors in for the bright bold colors the regular brands get. Some examples:

Comparison of regular and diet soda cans

Comparison of regular and diet soda cans

Is that really the best that millions of dollars ad budgets and legions of designers, art directors, marketing people, and brand managers can come up with? It gives you the distinct impression that the diet version will be a blander, less fun, less bold version of the regular. I understand you want to retain the value of the original, but surely there’s value in distinguishing the diet flavor as its own product, not simply to be a watered down, less interesting version of the regular?

Let’s see some originality here; there’s no rule (I’ve ever seen at least) that says diet soda has to look and feel just like regular soda. Give it a brand, give it its own personality! From my experience the consumer who regularly purchases diet soda may not even be interested in the regular version. Should they not be engaged and treated as well as the consumer interested in the regular equivalent?

Ads that defy convention can generate more buzz than traditional ads ever could

September 23, 2008 Leave a comment

As a copywriter at a full-service web design and online marketing agency in Northeast Ohio, I can appreciate a good ad when I see one. It doesn’t matter if the ad is printed, filmed or published online–a good piece of advertising will stick with you. Who can forget the Geico caveman or the Budweiser frogs? Such campaigns can leave a lasting effect on their audiences. This can mean big sales when the consumer is ready to buy and thinks favorably of a certain brand or product.

There are plenty of clever ads out there—here’s one that I read about recently.

A campaign in San Francisco for a new video game called “Spore” (ad pictures and discussion here) features a tiny billboard so small that it requires a telescope to see. People were drawn to look through the fixed telescope and see the 14” x 7” advertisement, mounted on a building far away.

The ad is effective because it’s out of the ordinary. People will go out of their way to look through the telescope to see the ad. Had it been a conventional billboard, people might have passed it without thinking twice. By defying convention, the agency behind the ad successfully managed to have people take notice of the ad and talk about it. By getting people to discuss the advertisement, the agency successfully generated more buzz for the product than a normal billboard ever could.

While this is just one example of an outdoor ad, Web agencies like ours can challenge the norm of online advertising with creative ways of informing consumers of our clients’ products and services. By utilizing the latest Web technologies, we can create new and interesting ways of conveying information.

Google Chrome browser – a boost to web designers and developers

September 4, 2008 3 comments

Google recently released their Chrome browser, to mixed reviews. In short, Chrome is an open source browser promising performance improvements, new features, and better integration with Google services like Gmail and Docs. There are many more details and reviews available, but regardless of how it performs or how people like it, it’s great news to those of us creating websites everyday.

What’s exciting to me as a web designer and (occasional) developer is that it gives users everywhere another viable, free, and well publicized alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer, especially version 6 (IE 6).

Quite a few users still use IE 6, and most of them are probably content with it. For any company creating websites or web marketing however, IE6 is a monster that brings with it wasted time and resources, multiple versions of code, and severe limitations from both a technical and creative standpoint.

IE6 is an old, outdated browser. IE6 was released in 2001, and many of its shortcomings stem directly from the fact that it is simply outdated when compared to modern browsers like IE7, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple’s Safari. There are too many problems to list here, but security concerns, lack of PNG 24 alpha support, CSS layout inconsistencies and web standards compatibility issues are all sources of endless headaches for designers and developers here at DigitalDay and beyond. Additionally, there are interesting new techniques and creative approaches being discovered every day in the world of web design, but many of them are limited to newer browsers.

Some companies have officially just decided to stop supporting IE6 entirely, while others continue to plea their case to clients, etc. What ultimately matters though, is whether or not users can access the information and brands we work with. We don’t design for the brands, we design for the users. Unfortunately right now, approximately 25% of all users we measure are still using IE6. So, we have to keep them in mind with everything we do.

The exciting thing about Google Chrome is that it is a modern browser supporting web standards, with none of the headaches IE6 brings to the table. It is such a media darling that more than a few IE6 users who had never heard of Mozilla might give it a try. Every user who takes a step forward and downloads a modern browser will see what they’ve been missing, and the creativity and efficiency of web design and development across the board will grow.