Hot campaigns, clueless PROs...
I REALLY am getting just a bit tired of breathless digital marketers trying to tell me – and their clients – that Facebook “likes” are somehow indicative of a successful campaign.
You can’t eat likes… which is another way of saying likes are meaningless, really. What matters is the bottom line and how many widgets you move off the shelves.
And when it comes to moving widgets, we in the “dinosaur” media can still do exactly that, and more cost-effectively than some of the newtech solutions.
But not all print ads are created equal. For me, the trick is to have a good, eye-catching image and a similarly arresting tagline. Once the attention has been grabbed, you’ve got to put in a “call to action”, with a good price so people will be attracted further along the road to purchase.
A really good example of a print ad which hits all of those marks is the current one for Wilderness Safaris promoting its camps in Namibia for SADC residents.
A photo of a group of desert elephants wandering through the seemingly inhospitable Kaokoveld (where Wilderness has some of its camps) instantly calls to a soul yearning for space and peace after the bustle of the city.
The tagline gets right to the point: Discover Namibia. From R1 500 per person per night. That’s a good price for the quality on offer and Namibia is a “bucket list” destination (I lived there for five years and I long to go back). The offer is for SADC residents as part of the company’s campaign to make its camps more affordable for locals.
I bet you it will work, too. Welldesigned ad, well-written copy, good offer. It deserves an Orchid.
Business should be about professionally delivering goods or services for a reasonable price and in a way which generates profit. It’s a hard and sometimes inhuman world. But we all know business is about relationships – and marketing, done well, is what helps to build those relationships for your company or your brand.
This was brought home to me this week at a breakfast meeting in Sandton with Carter Murray, worldwide chief executive of the Draftfcb group. The fact that a full house of marketing journalists made a trip of at least an hour each through rush-hour traffic to meet Murray is indicative not only of his importance in the global world of advertising, but of the high regard in which Draftfcb, and especially its Joburg operation, is held by those of us who comment on the industry.
That’s a relationship which has been built up over years and is founded on mutual respect and trust. Draftfcb and its South African CEO, John Dixon, don’t always agree with what I say, but they listen, they respect it and they don’t hold grudges.
From my side, I recognise the agency still does uniquely South African work… and which is often, sadly, not given the recognition it deserves at awards, although its clients, like Toyota and Old Mutual, appreciate it.
Much of that relationship has been built on good public relations, via Draftfcb’s agency, C Cubed Communications, and its “old hands”, Cathy van Zyl and Petra Peacock. They understand, exactly, what my requirements are in terms of news and always deliver what they promise.
They provide a stark contrast to the sort of slapdash PR churned out by incompetent people (I hesitate to call them practitioners, because I can hear the redoubtable – and professional – Marcus Brewster chiding me for glorifying them with that description).
This week, I was tearing out what little hair I have left over a PR person who compounded her own incompetence by playing the wounded innocent when I told her to “get her act together”.
An outfit called Younique Concepts, irritated me twice last year by thinking I was the editor of Student Life (do I look like a student?). Despite being told I wasn’t, their Stephanie Steckel repeated the same gaffe earlier this year.
This week, however, took the cake. Steckel e-mailed me to ask for a PDF of Page 2 of the Saturday Star, in which her client’s piece had appeared. Hearing my wife’s voice reminding me not to be grumpy, I duly went to our PDF library, searched for the page and found it – but not a trace of the story.
I e-mailed that to her and and got a response: It can’t be – I have a clipping here.… Page 2, 48Hours. Two different products, so clearly you don’t know the difference (see PR 101). So, still swallowing my irritation (and hearing that voice again), I got P2 of 48 Hours and sent it to her. Oh no, she said, I wanted the one from October 5.
That is weapons-grade stupidity and when told her to get her act together, she replied: “Being friendly doesn’t cost anything…”
First of all, Stephanie, do not presume to throw your Hallmark platitudes at me, I did not get off the Mthatha bus yesterday morning. Second, I am not your friend, I am not your brother or your father. I am someone you have inconvenienced because of your incompetence. If that makes you feel offended, then too bad.
Business is about professionalism first. Once you’ve got that right, then you can think about building a relationship. In the meantime, take this Onion. Sorry – please take this Onion (did you notice how polite I was?)
GOOD EXAMPLE: Eye-catching image, arresting tagline, call to action.