today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

new balckberry storm - storming its own brand equity into bits

i don't own a blackberry, but i thought this review at the new york times has an excellent insight on brand equity.

No Keyboard? And You Call This a BlackBerry?
by: David Pogue
The New York Times

Research in Motion (R.I.M.), the company that brought us the BlackBerry, has been on a roll lately. For a couple of years now, it’s delivered a series of gorgeous, functional, supremely reliable smartphones that, to this day, outsell even the much-adored iPhone.

Here’s a great example of the intelligence that drives R.I.M.: The phones all have simple, memorable, logical names instead of incomprehensible model numbers. There’s the BlackBerry Pearl (with a translucent trackball). The BlackBerry Flip (with a folding design). The BlackBerry Bold (with a stunning design and faux-leather back).

Well, there’s a new one, just out ($200 after rebate, with two-year Verizon contract), officially called the BlackBerry Storm.

But I’ve got a better name for it: the BlackBerry Dud.

The first sign of trouble was the concept: a touch-screen BlackBerry. That’s right — in its zeal to cash in on some of that iPhone touch-screen mania, R.I.M. has created a BlackBerry without a physical keyboard.

Hello? Isn’t the thumb keyboard the defining feature of a BlackBerry? A BlackBerry without a keyboard is like an iPod without a scroll wheel. A Prius with terrible mileage. Cracker Jack without a prize inside.

the question the author asked - "what? a blackberry without a keyboard?" is excellent in terms of the most fundamental and strategic question on brand equity. the last paragraph says it all - "isn't the thumb keyboard the defining feature of the blackberry". yes, the thumb keyboard is the very core of what the blackberry is all about.

the blackberry storm, with it's touch screen is obviously an attempt to match and answer apple's iphone. since the launch of the iphone, the market has been looking for the iphone killer.

the intent is fine. but what is not right and in fact most likely will cause an implosion to blackberry is that they are attempting to kill the successful iphone by removing the brand's strategic core of the thumb keyboard by being a copy cat to iphone's touch screen. the thumb keyboard and the touch screen are two extremely different consumer experience of the products. they are worlds apart.

the history of marketing has been brutal to copycat brands. being unique is one of marketing's most revered commandments. it is one of the top holy grail of marketing while being a copycat is poison, a sure path to failure.

that reminds me of burger king when it first launched in the philippines. burger king in the philippines essentially had the same sort of offerings as in the US, one of which was the bottomless refill of sodas (coca cola products). it was a first in the philippines for any fast food restaurant and was a hit among consumers.

a top official from burger king headquarters in the US visited manila to look at the operations here. one of the big discussions with the marketing team of burger manila was the bottomless refill of sodas. the BK official had asked that the offering be stopped, obviously to improve margins. the local marketing people objected arguing that it being a first in the country, it was a top draw among consumers. BK was head to head with the leaders jollibee and mcdonald's and any advantage it can have was one of the things the local marketing team was defending.

the BK official stood pat on the direction and i agree with it. he said BK is all about its charbroiled hamburgers, not sodas. it is their key brand equity.

cellphones are very much the physical design as its features and software. cellphone brands have their own unique physical designs that not only do we remember them, we buy them for that reason. that is true with Motorola's slim flip phones which became an immediate huge hit as during the time of it's launch most cellphones were thick. and the most recent success of course is the iphone with its touch screen.

the blackberry was weathered all these new physical design innovations from their competitors. the blackberry continued to have very good market share and a large and even growing number of loyal users. and all that because blackberry's thumb keyboard was able to fight off these competitive design onslaught.

until now, when they removed the thumb keyboard in the blackberry storm.

it would be interesting to see if consumers agree and confirm this marketing law of "though shall not remove thy brand equity".

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