Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sandwich II: the Fashion for Smiley Consumers Here, There and Everywhere.

No sooner written about (below), than more sandwiches are showing up in more ads everywhere. Example: the latest number of Real Simple magazine (which editorially seems now to be equating “body” with grown women who weigh no more than 67 pounds). In its pages, you will not only see another Hellman’s® ad with a different sandwich-stuffed face; you’ll also find the Nature’s Pride™ ad pictured in this post.

Next move on to Woman’s Day. Look at the print ad from Oscar Mayer entitled “Score.” This time, it’s a kid with the sandwich. Sean Marks, Oscar Mayer’s director of marketing, is quoted as saying of the ad campaign launched in January, “Our goal is to capture these spontaneous, real-life moments to demonstrate the relevance our products have in the lives of people today.” It doesn’t look to me like the Kraft brand’s agency broke much of a creative sweat on the sandwich execution.

Maybe all of America’s art directors met and pronounced, “Let’s always show a happy smiley face our product(s).” Maybe it’s the summer cycle, time for casual eating.

On the biz-side, we have called this the “rig-in-the-sunset” problem. A huge number oil and gas-related ad executions shows an oil rig, onshore or offshore; with a sun either rising or setting in the background. For our industry right now, sunset is probably appropriate.

The real question (for both food and energy industry advertisers) is this: can you afford to look just like your broad-image competition? In the cases of Hellman’s, Nature’s Pride and Oscar Mayer, apparently so.


Geraint Holliman said...

Ah, the old chestnut of 'differentiation', Richard!

How can we expect customers to distinguish between offers if everyone is doing the same thing. The worst thing a marketer can do is NOT stand out. Second worst is failing to innovate and then falling, lazily and sloppily into the conventions of communication.

After all what is the definition of ‘madness’? It's ‘doing the same thing over and over again but expecting something different to happen’!

Richard Laurence Baron said...

"The worst thing a marketer can do is NOT stand out." Geraint, you nailed it, thanks.

Feel free to send over a "smiley-sandwich-face" example or two from the UK. Meanwhile, fair wind and an open sky to you from Houston!

Leigh Lerner said...

It's all because some psychologist decided that smiles sell better than anything else. Now, as I walk to work, every car on the street is grinning at me from its grill. I'm ready to kick in the front end of a Mazda 3, which looks like it's admiring the perfect flossing job in the mirror, only its teeth are black. The marques that have "it" don't bother with this fad. Did the front end of a Rolls ever smile at you?

Richard Laurence Baron said...

You could be right, Leigh - you mostly are. There's a blog post in this subject, too. Want to write it as a "guest blogger?" Thanks...