Nike Makes Their Marketing Great Again ?

Nike’s Kaepernick tagline: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

The recent Nike advertisement makes effective use of appeals based on values & beliefs. Emphasis is placed on the higher needs presented in Maslow’s Hierarchy The marketing strategy acknowledges that the demographic shift within the American population means that at the end of the day, more will support & agree with the message they are conveying with their brand.

 

Americus Reed, professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, present an concise explanation for Nike’s marketing strategy as it applies to Identity loyalty ( when buying is being. Some brands, products, services and even organizations can transcend what they do to become a part of who you are) .

Full article , Nike notched a marketing checkmate with Kaepernick choice  was published by The Hill.  The advertisement makes effective use of appeals based on values & beliefs. The marketing strategy acknowledges that the demographic shift within the American population means that at the end of the day, more will support & agree with the message they are conveying with their brand. Included below are some key points from Professor Reed’s analysis.

  • Identity loyalty will create a buffer, a defence mechanism that protects the brand. The hardcore identity loyal Nike consumers will rally around each other and fiercely defend their community.

 

  • Nike also knows that one of the greatest things a brand can do is tie its own identity to the identity of iconic athletes as a way of creating that “aspirational self” — that image and thought that, “If I have this product, I can reinforce an important part of who I am.”

 

  • There is a sense of vicariously connecting one’s own identity to that of the brand and the iconic athlete that is a part of that brand. Again, it is all about identity and creating emotions through identity, whereby the product is the self-expressive conduit that symbolizes those values to yourself and others around you.

 

 

 

 

 

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When marketing context goes wrong ?

One of the problems faced with marketing using the digital text of current Mass Media, is how to effectively place your advertisement. Some marketers try and cheat by placing  advertisement into Social Media comments & links. The dueling Komodo dragons  connection to lady’s clothing seems  surreal and possibly inventive; unfortunately, the context was created by a sneak-placement on the National Geographic Twitter page.

The actual Twitter post was , Photo of the Day – Dueling Komodo dragons, January 30 .

The third comment was from a clothing advertisement for women. There was no attempt to create context with some comment on the photograph.

 

The consequence is that the viewer must create their own interpretation and association. They may ignore the advertisement or snark about it and perhaps create a ironic context.  There is a risk for the marketer that a comment could go viral and undermine the marketer & the product. Obviously, the marketer hopes that enough viewer will be curious enough to check out the Twitter page. The long shot that a viral reaction to the ad placement, even a negative one, could also potentially bring in a few customers. 

So did this marketing context go wrong or not ? On a superficial level, it may have  created a ridiculous surreal association in the minds of some viewers. If this association is something the viewer conscious of, then chances are that this will, at best, put the product line in a comical context. If the association is more glancing and barely acknowledged, then there is now way of knowing dueling Komodo dragons will encourage to purchase  a lady’s jumpsuit.

 

 

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Is Pizza are All Right ? – American brands negotiating fractured culture

Tiki Brand got an unwelcome association with the white nationalist movement in August when neo-Nazis and their allies carried Tiki torches in a nigh-time march in Charlottesville . In response they posted a public statement disavowing any connection the extremist views of the far right .

TIKI Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and are deeply saddened and disappointed. We do not support their message or the use of our products in this way. Our products are designed to enhance backyard gatherings and to help family and friends connect with each other at home in their yard.

 

A new problem has emerged in marketing in the polarizing political environment in the United States of America – various far right groups are seeking cultural normalization by associating themselves with a variety of American products & brands. Tiki Brand garnered unwelcome association with neo-Nazi activity, while Papa John’s pizza chain  when its chief executive’s Nov. 1 call with investors, in which he blamed disappointing pizza sales on football players’ protests against racism and police brutality (Source).

 As the marketplace becomes the latest battleground in the culture wars, brand strategists are advising companies accustomed to staying out of the political fray to proactively weigh in with bold statements about race — as Nike and Ben & Jerry’s have done — to thwart attempts by hate groups to adopt brands as their own.

 

More brands are also building up their crisis management teams in preparation for the next racial flare-up, said Tiffany R. Warren, senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Omnicom Group, a global marketing and corporate communications holding company. (Washington Post Nov 16 – )

 

 

Keeping in mind the basic Mass Media Principles of Business Interests, Target Audiences, and embedded Values, Ideologies & Beliefs, it is easy to see that in the shifting demographics and polarizing cultural changes of American society, maintaining a viable brand becomes more and more difficult. Social action and public expression of a set of wide inclusive  values & beliefs will become a necessity to prevent a brand & company from being isolated from the larger population and their buying strength .

Philip K. Dick’s World of Advertising: Branded Dreams

 

Philip K. Dick’s visions of an intrusive manipulated reality is portrayed in this short piece by Studio Smack . Dick explored the concept of consensual reality and the potential conflict between “two levels of reality” – one “objectively” determined, the other a world of appearances imposed upon characters by various means and processes.

 

“Reality is that which , when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.”

“Don’t try to solve serious matters in the middle of the (long) night.”

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep ?

“This is on a level, and it goes to show you

that you should never take your dreams too seriously.

Or else it shows that the unconscious

or the universe

or God

or whatever can put you on. ”

Studio Smack are Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels and Béla Zsigmond. All three of them studied at the AKV|St.Joost in Breda (Art Academy), The Netherlands. Their animated films gained awards at international film festivals. Studio Smack produces work that in the first analysis has an autonomous value, but often also responds to developments in society, the so-called Design for Debate.  Some of their happy clients are Dutch TV Networks VARA, VPRO and MTV NL, Greenpeace, MOTI, Next Nature, GOD, Graphic Design Festival Breda, Festival Mundial,..and many many more.

 

Here are the creators’ comments on this short media piece. 

“The real question is not: How many ads do we see? The real question is: What do we have to do to see no ads? And the answer is: go to sleep” (James B. Twitchell)

We see ads everyday and everywhere. They have become part of our life. While some people try to avoid seeing ads, advertisers keep finding new ways to reach us. However they are unable to reach us when we sleep. Our dreams are the last safe and add-free place so it seems.

But what happens when advertisers have the possibility to enter our dreams? Based on recent developments in brain science and technology this might be possible in the near future.

This animated short is an impression of a dream infected by a brand we all know…….

 

The question I pose is, … should we view this short a social commentary warning on Mass Media intruding into private consciousness, as Dick speculated on ? Or is it a deconstructed advertisement, masquerading as social commentary – a metaphor for subliminal imagery that is being planted in you dreamscape for later reference ?