Monday, January 10, 2011

Name that Product!

I was checking out this post of Minimalist Label design and it got me thinking about marketing in general and how we have been semi-brainwashed by over advertising. 

I'm not talking about how Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite are each marketing a product that tastes identical and isn't really beer at all...and I'm not dwelling on how crappy beer will keep you thin and get you lots of chicks either.  Although, I do want to ask you something along those lines.  Who is the official beer sponsor of the Super Bowl?  I'll give you a hint...It's not Bud!  ANSWER HERE

I'm also not going to get into another Super Bowl beverage war...Yeah I'm talkin' to you Coke and Pepsi!  Keep it clean or I'll find a damn Shasta!

I'm talking every day things.  Here are some simple questions.  (Oh, sorry I forgot to mention this is more of a pop quiz than an blog post today)

  • 1.) What do you use to clean out your ears?
  • 2.) What do you use when you blow your nose?
  • 3.) What do you put on a cut to help it heal faster?
  • 4.) What do you put on top of said cut to keep it protected?
  • 5.) What do you put your home cooked left overs in to be stored in the fridge?
  • 6.) What do you wrap the top of a bowl of Aunt Erma's delicious ambrosia that not a soul touched during Christmas dinner before you stash it in the fridge?
  • 7.) What do you put your left over Christmas ham sandwich in to take to work?
  • 8.) What do you take to get rid of the head ache the previous seven questions delivered?

    Alright, those questions weren't as simple as I meant them to be.  It's harder to not mention any descriptors than I'd given it credit for.   Oh and just to clarify, a bottle of wine was not the answer to number 8.

    OK, in case you missed it, I'm leading this somewhere. 
    • 1.) That'd be a Cotton Swab...QTip sure does make a good one though!
    • 2.) Hand me a Facial Tissue just doesn't roll of the tongue the way Kleenex does huh?
    • 3.) I've never in my life said Triple Antibiotic Ointment, have you?  I don't think I've actually bought non-generic Neosporin in years though.  Of course my grandfather would have answered this Cut Heal.  Go ahead, follow the link...yep that's Horse Salve and damn if it doesn't carry a foul odor...I swear gangrene would be more tolerable.   
    • 4.) This is what really started it all...I burned the crap out of myself the other day and taught my fascinated daughter the word Band Aid.  My wife cut her finger and our daughter went around chanting "Mommy Band Aid Owie!"  We've now run out and I noticed that no where on our box of Curad brand Adhesive Bandages did it say what they actually were.  
       They looked like this.
      Though I don't think this is an example of 
      simpler marketing like the above link provided.   
      I really think it's more like "If Band Aid 
      can be that cocky, so can we!"
      • 5.) Um, that's just a plastic container.  But Tupperware is all I've ever called it.  I don't even know if I've owned actual Tupperware.  Do you remember when Glad began making those deli meat packages and marketing them as take and toss containers?  They tried to get Gladware to catch on.  It better not is all I have to say...microwave that shit and you'll die...let alone the recycle factor but don't get this half hippy started!
      • 6.) Plastic Wrap...I actually did say this in the restaurant biz.  I guess Saran Wrap is more on the consumer side versus professional.  Oh and I'm pretty sure they don't make mega rolls like we used at my high school warehouse job.  That comes in super handy when shrinkwapping the boss's car on April Fools too!
      Those were the days!

      • 7.) Plastic Baggy is what my wife calls them so I'm gonna concede if you do too.  Me?  When I ask your ass for a Ziploc bag, your response better not be will Hefty do?  It better be Sandwich, Quart or Gallon sir? 
      • 8.) Yes I too need an Aspirin.  Oh and you all in the Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Heroin delegation can just zip it!
      OK, so that was a hell of a lot of fun huh?   So how many of these do you just instinctively associate with a major brand instead of what the actual product is?  Crisco and PAM are a couple others I'd come up with but was too lazy to figure out how to distinguish the two.  Oh and I'm sure Apple effing hates the fact that we all use PC as interchangeably as Computer (iPhone glory aside) where I've never heard anyone say, "Lemme jump on the Mac and find that."

      Brand recognition is everything.  We all know what McDonald's is, so why on Earth do they keep pumping millions into advertising?  Because we the consumer are fickle lovers and have no shame flirting with Jack in the Box while the King broils our buns...and you don't wanna know where Wendy is right now!


      1. I use the name-brand names for most of those except Saran Warp and Ziploc. I usually say "plastic wrap" and "sandwich baggies." ("Baggies" isn't a particularly manly thing to say, but I make up for that by, um, blogging.)

        I'm trying to come up with other examples, but nothing really comes to mind. (Except maybe those states where "Coke" refers to any kind of soft drink.)

      2. I was raised in a "Wanna Coke?" "Yeah." "What Flavor you like?" state. I always called it "pop" growing up though. I've been teaching my daughter soda. So I guess I'm forcing the diversity.

      3. Oh yeah and I wouldn't feel bad about the whole manly thing...pretty sure Drug Dealers use baggie too! And they're willing to kill a mo fo. You manly John, you manly.

      4. I was thinking about this some more and forgot to mention that I've always wondered why companies with well-known brands -- like McDonald's -- both with advertising.

        Going with that specific example, I understand pizza chains advertising. There's been many a Sunday when I've been watching a football game and a Domino's (or whatever) commercial goes on and I'm "inspired" to order a pizza. They deliver, so no big effort is required on my behalf. But McD's is more like "Eh, I'm driving and hungry... What can I get?" and then I see the golden arches and pick something up, you know?

        Well, maybe there's value in keeping America aware of your presence. Perhaps it helps embed the brand in the public's subconscious. (Still seems a tad unnecessary to me, though.)

      5. Keeping us aware and not just brand recognition, but brand association is the whole agenda. I work for a rental company. I'm in charge of three different divisions for my area. On the Local Market Car side of the business, one of our biggest struggles with clientele is that we are not Enterprise. Whereas the general populous not flying into an airport instantly thinks of them when their car breaks down. (shady business practices aside) they dominate 80% of that market. At the airport though, they own less that 5%. Those are figures that can't be written off as chance. They plaster the airwaves with marketing. I think it's a true testament to brand recognition (cause it sure isn't their customer service or clunkers...oops, did I just say that?)