Category Archives: Brand

Portraying Advertising, Marketing as the Bad Guys

A love story 4 minute animation from Chipotle Mexican Grill to launch their new marketing campaign.
A love story 4 minute animation from Chipotle Mexican Grill to launch their new marketing campaign.

I just watched the 4 minute Chipotle animation that launches their new marketing strategy.  It was just posted about 2 months ago and has 7 million views. After a week, it had 4 million views.

It’s about business competitors trying to out do each other and ends as a love affair with sensible food.

Is the point of this video that marketing, advertising and promotion helps you to lose site of your values?  In this video the marketing and advertising influences are portrayed as the villain in the story.

Portraying Advertising as the Cause

Marketing is demonized by plenty of people, not just this video.  Is it really the fault of marketing?!?!

Is marketing the problem with the fast food industry? Marketing made them put food additives into the food?

Maybe I’m missing something, but I never thought the problems at Chipotle were about excessive advertising and marketing.

Their website outlines the outbreaks in 2015 in a very straightforward crisis communications manner. Social media has rumors of an unscrupulous conspiracy designed to give them a bad name.

Maybe I missed something. Was there a secret love affair gone bad that caused the rumors (or fact) of health problems due to food?

Are they trying to redirect and blur their story?

Is this love story actually the story of how Chipolte was founded?

What is the strategy behind this animation?

Obviouly I have more questions than answers about this subject.

I originally wrote this post a few days after the short video was released, but didn’t publish it. I waited because I thought I might figure it out. Instead, I’m throwing this out to my readers to explain it to me. 

What’s the deal with this… I just don’t get it? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Food Marketing versus New Year’s Resolution

Today is the last day of 2015. Tomorrow morning many people will wake up with a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

Since 2007 I’ve been working on getting more healthy. I started this blog in 2006 and “coincidentally” gained quite a few pounds as I spent approximately an hour more a day working on formatting, writing, connecting and building readership.

In 2007 I had a wake up call and have shed quite a few of those pounds (with a LOT of work and constant vigilance) and try everyday to keep those pounds off.

In the past 8 or so years, I’ve learned a lot, but still have a lot to learn.

Looking at the changes in the numbers of people who are overweight in America since 1991, it becomes clear to me that it is not just me. There has been a significant change. The maps in 2011-2014 are different, because in 2011 they changed the way they compared things, but still a strong trend toward significant weight gain.

is the food marketing industry responsible for these obesity_trends_1990_to_2010

I am no expert but I think it’s due to two things:

  1. electronics
  2. food marketing

Are Electronics to Blame?

I say electronics because of all the time I spend sitting in front of a computer for work and for play.

Emails and texts have replaced much of the communication.

Even many of my meetings that used to be face-to-face in real life have become Skype, GoToMeetings, JoinMe, or FaceTime. In the 80’s, I remember running from building to building to try to make the meetings on time… and doing “rounds” with each of the stops checking on the product development, graphic design, engineering shots and running out to the factory for new product start-ups. Now it’s usually considered a “waste of time” to meet in person unless there is a specific reason.

No one can deny the change in the world today because of the smartphone, the computer, videos and the internet.

Is the Food Marketing Industry to Blame?

But maybe even bigger than the internet, is the change in the food we eat during the last 20-25 years. The convenience of fast food. The thought process around food for celebrating successes and for comforting during sorrow. Processed foods in every aisle of the grocery store. Food marketing makes it so easy to choose what to eat for snacks, for meals and what to eat when we’re busy. Even when we have time, the foods we chose are not necessarily the most healthy when we’re relaxing, on vacation or taking a holiday.

Each morning, I have been trying read at least one article about exercise, diet, food, health and so on. One writer I particularly enjoy is a doctor from Canada who blogs at Weighty Matters. I’ll warn you, he’s definitely farther out on the on the “what’s wrong with food marketing” scale than I am.

At the same time however, when I watched this 13 minute video called “What’s the Food Industry To Do”, I feel there is enough truth in it to make me feel embarrassed to be a marketer.

Towards the end, he (barely) gives the marketers a break. “It’s their job to do so… They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make profits… ”

Many of the brands and marketing campaigns that he mentions would be considered outstandingly successful from a branding and marketing standpoint. But this made me cringe.

What about the ethical line in the sand? Watch this. Then you decide if you think the food marketing industry has pushed it too far.

Please leave a comment below.

Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year

As a marketing professional, I like to follow trends and color is certainly important in marketing. So I subscribe to Pantone’s email and look forward to learning about their new color announcement each year.

This past week the 2016 color of the year is actually two versions of blue and pink:

Pantone color of the year 2016

First impressions for me revolve around a baby’s room. Then I remembered back to the colors of the 70’s when dusty rose and cornflower blue seemed to be everywhere.

The color is certainly not as vibrant as the teals and florescents … or even the emerald shades that have been selected in other years. Whether you like it or not, you should be aware of it in the selection of your marketing colors.

You need to be aware of color trends in many situations: If you are adding skus to your product line If your product is needs to coordinate with other products as an accent. If you’re developing websites and need to be on trend. If you’re reviving your brand and updating the colors for a fresher more contemporary look.

Other articles about colors:

Your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.

Minorities are Becoming the Majority of the United States Demographics

Photos courtesy Pixabay.com
Photos courtesy Pixabay.com

Here’s a riddle.  When is the minority, the majority?

I’ve written about the boomers as the huge demographic impacting the US consumer spending.

For many years, the focus of many consumer marketers was on the baby boomer generation.

Don’t get me wrong, there still is a huge buying group of boomers, but now it’s definitely time to shift focus to the millennials… and the group that is actually younger than the millennials!

The boomers (born around 1950 to 1965) are retiring at the rate of something like 10,000 people a day. And millennials, also known as the internet generation, are coming into the workforce and making a huge impact. But it is the next generation that are really changing the face of the U.S. Demographics.

Yes while the “Millennials” are a huge demographic.  Born in the 1980’s/90’s and 2000’s they are the internet generation. And it’s the partly the millennials, and also the next generation that are becoming the new majority demographic.  The majority this group are minorities.

Minority groups account for 50.2 percent of U.S. residents age 5 and under, 47.8 percent under the age of 20 and 46.4 percent under the age of 30.

In contrast, only 23 percent of those age 60 or older are from minority groups.

This may seem obvious to some people, but I continue to see very few minorities represented in many of the major consumer brand advertising and marketing.  When you look at demographics in the US, this shift is something that marketers must do more than just consider when selecting photos for websites, brochures and casting for videos.

The descriptions of minority and majority will blur for marketers with regards to the United States Demographics.

The answer to the riddle is the melting pot: The minority is the majority if your target market’s birthday falls after 2010!

I’m not really sure what this group of people will be called yet. Generation Z?  (I’ve heard “Homeland generation” but I don’t think that name is going to stick. ) Maybe this group seems a little young to worry about this now, but the time to look at your marketing is now!

So if you’re promoting a consumer brand, particularly if it’s a consumer brand focused on American under 30 years old, take a good hard look at your marketing visuals.

Do the visuals reflect the changes in the US Demographics and the marketplace?

Alphabet becomes Google’s Holding Company

Alphabet logoGoogle is going thru a branding and rebranding of sorts with the formation of a new holding company called Alphabet. Read all about it at ABC.xyc

Interesting name and logo, right?

We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha‑bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for!

Plain. Red. Simple.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page will head Alphabet and Sundar Pichai will become the CEO of Google. Susan Wojcicki continues as the CEO of YouTube.

 

UPDATE (8-12/2015): BMW owns Alphabet.com.