Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tone Diversity vs Media Diversity

Why don't we diversify our style of message rather than diversity our choice of media?

When planning a campaign, diversity of media is front of mind. The whole media environment has changed. So a campaign is built around the core idea and leveraged across multiple media options. Or a TV ad is pooled out into other media and often cheekily post rationalised as 360 degree planning.

What I don't see a lot of is the same message being delivered in different ways in the same medium.

Here's an example.

Years ago I launched Finish Tablets onto the Australian market. We launched with a global ad that had the pièce de résistance - a Lionel Ritchie song - a surefire winner coming from our Dutch head office.

Finish was always advertised with a tonality of being the technical expert, with a strong product demo always centrepiece. It had a harder, efficacious edge and drew upon it's innovation credentials.



This was great for launch. We quickly got 12% of the market. But then sales plateaued. The message wasn't getting through to non-triallists. They were either falling asleep or turning off the TV and boogying the rest of the night away to Dancing on the Ceiling.

From research, we knew once people tried the Tablets, they became loyalists. They worked as good, if not better than the powder, and the convenience benefit became obvious. (although that was never made the core proposition as we could never own it).

We also knew from research that the launch ad attracted the early adopters. The housewife equaivalent of the first iPod users. Consumers who really got into the technical details and the product demo. Or Lionel.

Other consumers didn't care. They just wanted to know that it cleaned dishes better than anything else. Don't tell me about the V8 engine, just let me know that the car drives super smooth.

In other words, we went to the trouble of understanding how consumers were responding to the tone and manner of advertising

So we then made this ad, which delivers the same message. Yes, it's contrived, but it's tone is more approachable, warmer and more human.



The result? Finish Tablets share went from 12% to 20%. We resonated with a lot more non-users

It was the same message, just delivered in a different way.

What if we took it one step further and did another ad where the same message was delivered in a really creative way. Even though they worked their socks off, neither of the ads above are very creative ('Stuck on You' clearly the obvious exception). Perhaps that was another option.


So if you have a clear understanding of how the target market is likely to respond to different styles of advertising a similar message, is this as valid an option as leveraging the same style of message across many mediums?

3 comments:

Stan Lee said...

First time I've ever seen the term efficacious used outside of the medical arena. Congratulations!

Gavin said...

Nice case study Vando. I think you are right ... do what you need to do to create the results you want.

Who cares about medium?

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