Sunday, May 14, 2017

What we can learn from this weekend's hack on the NHS

The gods must have felt in a mischievous mood. The first thing that I read was about building an engaged ageing strategy, published by the consultancy EY. Nicely produced document, but little more than a rehash of a rehash of what has been published a zillion times before. Lovely concepts like 'increased connectivity via a single platform of apps', the use of mobile and data etc etc. The next thing that appears on my screen is how the NHS has been badly compromised by the hack and ransomware attack. The papers listing how much of the NHS is crawling along using prehistoric PCs running antediluvian software etc etc. This didn't come as a surprise to anybody who has dealt with IT in the public sector.

Smiling was my first reaction but it was too serious an event for humour.

I guess what this illustrates is the world of possibilities that do exist for the ageing business set in contrast to the reality of how things are for most people.  

If there is one rule of marketing it is that you need to make decisions about the world as it is and not as you would like or dream it to be. A lot of us (including most people in the ageing blob) would prefer to inhabit dreamland. Dick Stroud

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The new Heineken ad. 6/10 for entertainment. 0/10 for effectiveness

Mark Ritson gives a superb account of the new Heineken ad and what it tells us about so much of today's marketing.

So far the ad has clocked up nearly 12 million views on YouTube, not doubt its visibility on Twitter and Facebook has been equally impressive. But will it sell more beer. Ritson thinks not. I agree.

Does Heineken want to sell more beer or feel good about itself. More to the point, do the marketers at Heineken want to parade their liberal, progressive, socially aware, do no harm, be nice to everybody, socially inclusive credentials or are they interested in the return on investment? Ritson thinks the latter. I agree.

I was left wondering if this ad was funded from CSR or the marketing budget. Maybe Heineken has combined the two?

Our experience of helping companies understand and profit from population, was that whenever our clients lost sight of what we doing - trying to make lots of dosh from older consumers - and started to confuse it with the CSR objectives, then we were in trouble. I suspect Heineken is falling into that trap. Dick Stroud

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Marks & Spencer 'spend it well' campaign. A step in the right direction

Poor old Marks and Spencer has been having a rough time of it recently. But, after a series of dreadful advertising campaigns, it might be back on the right track.

Way back in March,  the company spoke about its intention to promote a 'shared attitude' that connects with consumers regardless of age or demographic.

This is the first ad of the campaign that is  built on this philosophy and it certainly does attempt to be age-neutral (ish).

Marketing Week had its own take on the campaign.

I had a look at the web pages that are supporting the campaign. To be honest, these look as if they were put together by somebody in a hell of a hurry with very little budget. Considering how much the ad must have cost I think they could have come up with something a tad more inspiring.

Now all the company must do is build an inshore experience and design the clothes to match the aspirations of the ad. That might take some time to achieve. Dick Stroud