Monthly Archives: February 2009

Crazy Week Yet Again

I am relocating to Toronto, leaving my current job for the time being. Expect to see some major re-workings on this blog.

Gatorade, or, You Can’t Fix What’s Broken With the Same Concept

 

Is It In Me? Yes, but the question is how we can actually get it OUT THERE.

Is It In Me? Yes, but the question is how we can actually get it OUT THERE.

The new round of Gatorade commercials are kinda cool, I guess, and I’m not the only one who thinks so, but where I disagree with undoubtedly wiser heads is this: the client needs to capture a larger market, and with these ads it is not doing it. The first is an homage to the slang praise ‘G’ and the great athletes of past and present. It’s narrated by Lil’ Wayne, so I assume it’s designed to appeal to youths. Fine, although I still don’t think it comes close to the ads of the 90s, which communicated more with simple neon sweat and the line ‘Is it in you?’ (see above). An incitement to drink some gatorade while playing sports, perhaps with a little subversive sex thrown in. Combine this with athletes pouring branded water coolers on each other at the end of every game and you have a branded ritual too.

Problems arise in their ‘quest for the G’, which seems to appeal specifically to white hipsters, or specifically, since they’re already targeting youths, kids who have seen Monty Python and might think it’s ironic to parody a parody (again, hipsters). Unfortunately, hipsters can’t drink gatorade, it brings back bad memories of gym class and high school bullies. It’s a symbol of the very image of cool that they hate; it’s the nectar of that exclusive set that can not only quantify excellence, but does so by drawing a rubrik based around physical achievement. The other funny thing about hipsters is, you can’t really get them by appealing to them directly, certainly not if you’re obviously mainstream. Their humor is derived from the ironic quips they make about your trying too hard. You want to be ‘hipster cool’? Start by alienating just about everybody else, then like Chuck Taylors, rainbow-colored Ray Ban knockoffs, and silkscreened t-shirts, they may just find you un(mainstream)-cool enough to be hipster-approved.

 

Not just good for these guys, it'll step up your game too! So why aren't sports drink producers telling you this?

Not just good for these guys, it'll step up your game too! So why aren't sports drink producers telling you this?

 

 

But that actually shrinks your market instead of growing it. So fuck the hip white kids, they don’t really play sports anyway, and start seeing the innate values of electrolyte for what they can do. Reposition the product in such a way that it has versatile appeal no matter what. Maybe gatorade still wants to associate it with glory and success and sweat and blood and all that, no problem. Jocks and die-hard fans are the only ones for whom sport is life, for the rest of us life is a sport. Convince people that gatorade is a sports drink for the latter, and you’ve gone from exclusive to inclusive.

Here’s how: Run a campaign in print, in video, online, whatever, and stick to a sports theme, but focus on how it can help the average joe. Make it a talisman for our energy, make it part of our rituals too. For example, in print we might have somebody fixing his tie with one hand, holding a gatorade in the other, wearing a suit and clearly on his way out of the apartment and into work. His wife, girlfriend, whatever, lies in bed, hand on alarm clock (with 5 am on it, digital) and a calendar on the dressing table showing that it’s Monday. Empty booze bottles all over the floor, maybe one dangling from the lady’s hand. On the bottom right screen have the gatorade timer with the ‘game time’. 

Next one might focus on play, DJ dancing above the crowd with his turntable, people are watching him stadium style, but it’s clear it’s a club, the dance floor is like a basketball court. He’s got the one hand on the headphones, he’s sipping gatorade from a straw. He’s the best at what he does.

Another might be construction worker, with a hammer, in a helmet, the suspender uniform emblazoned with fake endorsement logos, he’s posed dramatically. Again, gatorade in his tool belt.

The tagline would be something like “For the urban champ” or “Whatever your game” or “Good at our game, and good for yours”. You can even bring back the sweating neon thing (just avoid yellow if you can, it reminds me of urine, or maybe you could save it for the one about the porn star?–KIDDING!).

Anyway, gatorade is a damned good hangover cure and in some cases a better substitute/cure for caffeine, why not capitalize on this? If you really want the broader youth, they’ll know what you’re talking about when they see it.

As Promised, A Rough of My Ad

Feel free to criticize…

 

ad-for-jer-copy

Pete Tong

The week has NOT gone according to plan. No post, no ad, but I will rectify this soon.

Copy for LSAT Tutoring Course

 

This is not actually what Jer looks like. Although even if it was, he'd still need to advertise.

This is not actually what Jer looks like. Although even if it was, he'd still need to advertise.

 

 

A friend of mine, who I call Jer, has solicited my help for a couple simple posters to put up around the city for his LSAT tutoring. Jer himself got a perfect score with time to spare on his first test and I pointed out that we really wanted to emphasize this. We are trying to stress 2 major points:

1. The program offered is cheaper than the big competitors.

2. a. That the program is more effective at getting results, because it worked for Jer.

2. b. That Jer is so confident in his program he is willing to offer the first session free to those not satisfied.

In response to point 2. a. I have asked Jer to include his LSAT score on his posters, and will circle them with big red markers. This re-emphasizes that he is himself a confident practitioner, and not just a guy with a guidebook on how to teach a course. From my research I discovered that Kaplan has a practice of giving out snacks to their pupils the day of the test, useful as stress relief and to provide them with one thing less to worry about the day of the test.

What follows is lifted from the e-mail conversation between us and my copy for his campaign: 

“Hey Jer,

Thanks for getting me the LSAT score in a timely fashion, You should see something from me in poster form by Monday. I want to go with some slogan like “Perfection has a price, and it’s $40” and in the body copy explain a little more about your rates. I have two major ideas right now. I want to do one where we have a little paper bag with the Kaplan logo on it (I’ve seen them give out these bags with snacks to test-takers on the day of) on the top of the poster and put underneath in big bold words: 
Ad#1:
YES, IT’S CUTE THAT OUR COMPETITORS OFFER SNACKS THE DAY OF YOUR LSAT. BUT AT $1200 ISN’T IT LITTLE STEEP?
Especially if you don’t get the score you want. 
At just $40/hr Jer will show you how he got his perfect score with time to spare. The most effective way to get the best results in the least amount of time. For your first session we won’t charge if you’re not satisfied. 
No Snacks. No B.S. No Risk. TRY US.
JERXXXXXXXXXXX: Perfection has a price, and it’s $40
email:xxxxxxxxx@gmail.com
This text will go over your LSAT sheets, which I will fade out except for your score. We can circle the score with a red pen after you photocopy the posters.
Ad #2:
Take the hardest logic game we can find (the one that only 1% of people are supposed to get), and you will show on paper how to solve it in your most efficient manner:
YOU HAVE TO FIGURE THAT A GUY WHO DID WHAT 99% OF LSAT TAKERS COULDN’T IN LESS THAN 30 SECONDS CAN SHOW YOU A THING OR TWO BEFORE IT’S YOUR TURN TO TEST. 
Jer solves answer answer here… giant red check mark next to your scantron bubbled answer. “% people who got this right: 1. Person who got it in 30:05 seconds: Jerxxxxxxxxxxx”
WHAT WE CAN’T FIGURE OUT IS WHY HE’S ONLY CHARGING $40 AN HOUR FOR IT, AND OFFERING YOU YOUR MONEY BACK AFTER SESSION 1 IF YOU’RE NOT SATISFIED. THIS WHEN HIS COMPETITORS ARE CHARGING AT LEAST THREE TIMES AS MUCH.
STILL, WITH NO RISK, WHY NOT TRY HIM OUT? 
AFTER ALL, IF JEREMIE CAN DO THIS IN 30 SECONDS, IMAGINE WHAT HE CAN DO IN 60 MINUTES.
JXXXXXXXXXXXXX: Perfection has a price, and it’s $40
email:xxxxxxxxx@gmail.com

These are my two main ideas, lemme know what you think.
Hope all this helps,
aRTie”
Incidentally, I will post these ads here when they’re finished, so expect to see something next week.
While a lot of it seems to be body copy, it will nonetheless be effective because we will have incorporated a visual element, and what better way to catch the attention of potential LSAT takers than with a perfect score promptly displayed on a poster? 
With Ad #2 I pun off the ‘figures’ sketched out for the purpose of solving a logic game, and the ‘figuring out’ of people wanting to learn. It may not be clear enough, so I may add a little ‘fig.1’ beside his demonstration. 
Ad #1 is a bit more direct, while the second is a little more subtle. Ultimately it will be interesting to see which people respond to better. I want to make ads that are unpretentious, to which people will respond personally. I will likely write a post at some point explaining how I believe ads in future should try to interact on a personal level.
I welcome all comments and suggestions. Please let me know how you might improve this or what your thoughts are. Once the final versions are up I hope what I’m saying will make more sense.