Archive for January, 2013

A “Booking” BRILLIANT Idea . . . Or Is It?

January 25th, 2013

Initially I had mixed emotions about this TV commercial for booking.com, which bills itself as “Planet Earth’s #1 Accommodations Site.”

On the one hand . . . It grabs your attention and does a spectacular job of leveraging–and registering–its brand name seven times in sixty seconds, which is critical for a brand that’s relatively new to the US market.  It also does a nice job of visually demonstrating the benefits it apparently provides its customers.

On the other hand . . . Much of the impact described above is due to its intentional and frequent use of the word “booking”  in place of an “f word” that almost rhymes with “booking.”  While I personally find this to be pretty clever, and I think a lot of people will find it entertaining, I also suspect that a lot of people will find it offensive.

So is it a brilliant idea or not?  If–as I suspect–booking.com is consciously targeting younger, liberally-oriented consumers who like an edgy approach, then I think it is.  However, they need to realize–as I again suspect they do–that they’ll be turning off a number of older and/or conservative consumers who will find this spot to be in extremely poor taste.

The essence of effective marketing is knowing your target audience, doing whatever it takes to thrill them, and not worrying about what people you aren’t targeting think.  As the late advertising legend Hal Riney once told me, “When you try to appeal to everybody, you usually end up appealing to nobody.”

And the more I think about it, the more I think Hal would have found this commercial to be “booking” awesome!

Latest Subway Ad a Real Turkey

January 21st, 2013

The only thing worse than not being clever is thinking you’re clever when you’re not.  Exhibit A:  this latest TV commercial for Subway, one of the least clever advertisers on the planet.

Do Subway’s executives, or their ad agency, actually think the phrase “Turkeytopia” is clever?  Worse yet, do they think their audience thinks it’s clever?

If we’re to believe this ad, Ndamukong Suh, one of the celebrity athletes featured in this spot, finds the phrase absolutely hysterical.  Then again, he thinks it’s fine to stomp on an and maim opposing players on the football field, so his judgment is suspect to say the least.

Speaking of questionable judgment, who thought it was a good idea to feature Suh–the NFL’s dirtiest player with numerous off-the-field mishaps as well –in this commercial?  Generally speaking, the rule of many hapless advertisers seems to be, “If you don’t have a creative idea, use a celebrity.”  As it is wont to do, Subway was so lacking in creativity that it decided to use three celebrities in this spot.  Thus, not only is the commercial totally lacking in cleverness, it’s also unnecessarily expensive.

I’ve always liked Subway as a provider of reasonably healthy and tasty fast food, but I’ve never understood why they can’t get it together from an advertising standpoint.

And if Subway doesn’t like the opinions I’m expressing, they can Suh me.