According to its website, Nestle is “the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company”.
It also says, “We enhance lives with science-based nutrition and health solutions for all stages of life, helping consumers care for themselves and their families.”
Personally, I like their chocolates (I have a soft spot for dark chocolate KitKats), condensed milk and milk substitutes while our pets like their range of cat and dog foods.
I’m not sure how Carnation and Coffee Mate, or for that matter chocolates enhance my life but let’s not go there. But perhaps they should add ‘and their pets’ to the above claim.
Anyway, the Swiss icon, which is now the world’s largest packaged food group, reported sales of US$89.3 billion in 2016, up 3.2% on an organic basis. Well below the 4.2% growth in 2015 and is the fourth time Nestle has missed its “Nestle Model,” that aims for 5 – 6% growth per annum.
What’s interesting is that in the years 2011 – 2014, Nestle spent a cumulative US$12 billion on advertising. Not marketing, PR, promotions or anything else, just US$3 billion a year on advertising.
That’s a huge chunk of cash. And it’s like they need to spend that amount just to stand still because growth of 3.2% is not much better than standing still. Surely there’s a better way?
Google the words ‘Visit Penang’ and you get the following results:
The next step would be to click on the visitpenang website link that takes the visitor to a site that has no video on the homepage even though a video on a homepage is reported to increase conversion rates by more than 20%.
Indeed, the way consumers are absorbing information via video is well documented. According to YouTube reports, mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Of course that will peak at some stage but it isn’t even slowing at the moment. In fact, more video content is uploaded in 30 days than all three major US TV networks combined created in the last 30 years.
And when it comes to travel and destination related videos, YouTube is the most used site with 79% of users looking at personal travel options. YouTube says that 66% of all travellers watch online films when they are thinking of taking a trip.
Someone sent me a link to a new tourism video for Penang and asked my opinion. The video, launched earlier this year lists a number of quotes stretching back to one from Yahoo in 2011. I presume the video is supposed to lure more visitors to the island but I couldn’t make out who it is targetted at.
I get the impression that it’s one of those ads designed to communicate with everyone that ends up communicating with no one. Yes it features everything that is well known about Penang but it didn’t bring us anything not already on the web. Penang is known for its Char Kway Teow and the dish is featured in the video but who is going to travel to Penang for a plate of noodles and besides, is it new?
Moreover, there are more popular, well established Vloggers on YouTube such as Roseanntangrs who have over a million followers including a Vlog about Penang food that has over 160,000 views (and plenty of negative comments that need to be addressed by the author). This would have been a smart channel to use to promote Penang food.
Here’s the Penang video. I feel like it’s about 20 years out of date, it’s like a TV commercial pushed out across digital.
It’s a real shame because Penang is a must visit destination for anyone coming to South East Asia. I felt this video didn’t do justice to the destination.
Inevitably after watching this I had to search YouTube to see if it was the worst tourism ad ever. I was surprised to find plenty of material including this one from Singapore that really is the worst destination ad I’ve ever seen or heard.
I don’t know what Singapore Tourism was doing when it commissioned this ad but it very thoughtfully pulled it off the visit Singapore site.
Thankfully or not, depending on your point of view, YouTube hasn’t been so considerate. Stick with it to the end because the punchline will have you heading for cringetowm.
Penang’s video isn’t as bad as Singapores but it will be as inneffective. Indeed after seven months it has only had 9,500 views. But what should Penang tourism’s approach be when developing destination videos?
Here are 6 top tips Fusionbrand recommends Penang take into account next time they want to use video as part of their brand strategy:
1) You can’t be all things to all people. And you can’t include everything about a destination in one video so don’t try. Hook the viewer with the first video and YouTube will do the rest of the work for you because they will link similar videos to the one the viewer first watched.
2) Think about the audience for your film. What will they want to get from a film about your destination and how can you make the content relevant to their needs? Because if it doesn’t resonate with a few seconds, they’ll move on.
3) Think about how travellers use the IoT. Basically it begins with explore and discover before moving onto consider and connect. That’s followed by evaluate and engage and finally adopt, buyin, embrace and share/endorse/advocate. You must be clear about what part of the buyer process your videos are aiming at and the content must reflect that. Don’t try and cover everything in one video.
4) Be real and human. The days of the corporate controlled ‘big idea’ and message pushed out across media are over. Consumers don’t believe it and besides, it’s been done to death. Instead show events that happen during filming, things that go wrong and the people involved in the filming.
5) Instead of spending your money on expensive production of one video, make it real and make it often. Publish and share film on an ongoing basis.
6) Creating the video is only the start. You then need to share it, comment, respond, write about it and so on. An editorial plan should be developed around all videos.
Videos the future, for now anyway. But destinations like Penang need to stand out, not add to the noise. Otherwise branding investments are wasted and tax payers funds are too important to waste.
Malaysia Airlines’ latest Twitter campaign is live. It really seems as if the struggling carrier sees digital and social media as another version of mass media – as a channel for pushing a corporate message onto an unsuspecting public.
Over the last couple of years they’ve made some terrible blunders online and you can read about them here and here.
Today the attached post appeared in my Twitter feed.
In an attempt to increase sales of business class, the marketing department seeks to make the business class offering unique by telling you that if you buy a business class seat you can have access to the business class lounge before your flight leaves!
Isn’t that stating the obvious? Doesn’t every business class passenger have access to the business class lounge? Or does Malaysia Airlines not allow business class passengers to use the business class lounge?
And if you click on the link in the tweet, you go to the golden lounge page on the website. That’s it!
Seriously Malaysia Airlines marketing department, is this the best you can come up with? If it is, give me a call. I promise we can do better as you stop advertising, start branding.
Advertising campaigns are as common as muck. We’re oblivious to most of them and even when we see one we like, we very rarely buy the product. And it doesn’t matter whether it goes out across social or traditional media, the reality is most advertising is simply noise.
Even if we do buy the product, we’re often let down at some stage of the experience. Because most firms don’t spend enough time and money on looking after us once we’ve bought something, even if the product works well, any positive perceptions created early on are destroyed later when there is an issue and the brand doesn’t respond well. When this happens, many of us become brand activists, for all the wrong reasons.
In the social economy, this can have a devasting effect on the brand. Harvard Business Review went as far as to say, “Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations and corporate communications — is dead.…in today’s increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn’t work so well, it doesn’t make sense.”
There’s a small creative agency in London called Sell! Sell! The agency is run by Vic Polkinghorne and Andy Palmer and they’ve co-written a potentially interesting new book called ‘How to make better advertising and advertising better‘. This new book shouldn’t be confused with the equally new book ‘Stop Advertising, Start Branding‘ which was written by me.
But I think there will be some similarities between both books because neither of us are happy with the state of advertising today. Here’s a quote from the Sell! Sell! website. “And the poor old punter is left faced with advertising that is at best forgettable, and at worst insulting to the intelligence. Surely there’s a better way?”
Now what we think that better way is may be different. So I’ve ordered a copy and will let you know whether it is and what I think of the book. In the meantime, I have read some interesting reviews online and you can read one of them at the creative review website that is already generating some fascinating comments.
The book has also garnered some interesting testimonials including “This book is full of common sense. Which is rare, so it’s actually full of uncommon sense.” Dave Trott.
And this one from Bob Hoffman “The ad industry is in an unprecedented state of confusion. While the assertions and pomposity grow majestically, the advertising itself diminishes rapidly. Sadly there is no button we can push that will erase all the arrogance and self-delusion. Fortunately we have this book. It might be just the reset button we all need.”
Attached is a press release for Stop Advertising, Start Branding. This is a book about change. Yep, another one. The difference is, this one is about changing back to what you and everyone else used to do. It’s about laying the foundations before building the house. It’s about researching the destination before getting on the plane.
That’s right, it’s about getting the fundamentals in place before coming up with the creative, the quirky, the clever, the funny, the whatever. Far too many brands try to compete in their markets today without doing the right research. Without even communicating to their staff what they are trying to say. At other times they don’t even know if they can deliver on the promises made. That’s mad and why so much advertising doesn’t work.
Stop Advertising, Start Branding is a book that doesn’t have a title with an animal name in it. It won’t win a creative award for the cover even though it looks great. It’s normal, it’s a bit thicker than many branding or marketing books today but that’s because the information you need to build a brand takes up this much space. Sorry.
But if you read it I’m confident it will make you stop advertising and start branding. Which means it’ll save you a lot of money because let’s face it, most advertising doesn’t make much of an impression on anyone.
And you can use the money you save to build a brand your people buy into and want to work for. And once they do that they’ll be able to deliver on the promises you make. And when they do that, your customers will come back to you time and time again and they’ll tell others how great you and your product are. And when that happens you’ll make a lot of money.
OK, it’s not that easy but that’s why the book is 300 pages and that’s why I wrote it. If you want to find out how to build a brand without wasting massive amounts of money on advertising, I suggest you get a copy from your local Kinokuniya, MPH or Times bookstore in Malaysia and Singapore or from Amazon in the UK. And if they don’t have it, make sure you complain and order it or call us at +603 7054 2075 and we’ll sort something out right away.
Malaysia’s January automotive sales nose dived 12% to 44,591 units although this was expected after the record highs of December 2015. Japanese firms were hardest hit with Toyota sales down 27%, followed by Nissan 22% and Honda down 12%.
Proton continued its slide with sales down 13%. And even though Perodua sold less cars this Janaury than it did in 2015, the relative newcomer to the industry saw its market share increase to 35% giving it more than double Proton’s market share. In an effort to stem the bleeding, Proton has created a new logo and tagline but Perodua is undeniably Malaysia’s number one automotive company.
Mercedes Benz sales went through the roof with a year on year increase of 139%. Mercedez Benz sold 1,027 units in January 2016, up from 430 in January 2015. Mercedes Benz was the only top 15 brand to sell more cars in January 2015 than it did in December 2015.
BMW and Audi probably spend more on traditional advertising than any of the other luxury brands and have been particularly active recently but neither brand was able to match the performance of Mercedes Benz. Audi sales were down over 40% in January over the previous month although they did manage a modest 9% gain over January 2015.
BMW fared better with a gain of 23% over January 2015 but compared to December 2015, sales were down 25%. This fall in sales would probably explain why BMW is now offering a longer warranty although anecdotal evidence suggests the BMW brand is losing its lustre in the local market.
But of most interest to me was the performance of Mazda. Mazda has come from nowhere to take 3% of the market share in Malaysia, up from 1% five years ago. This is an extraordinary feat because Mazda spends very little on advertising. Which is probably just as well because the advertising they do revolves around the words ‘ZOOM ZOOM’ and poorly written copy.
For instance ‘A new era of driving experience’ doesn’t make sense. The copy begins, ‘New levels of freedom, new levels of versatility. New levels of pure enjoyment on the road.’ Obviously the person who wrote that doesn’t drive on the roads of KL. Certainly not during the daily commute or on a wet Friday afternoon.
The copy also breaks the cardinal rule of not providing any solutions to problems but instead rambles on about nothing. I mean seriously, how can the CX-3 really be ‘designed and engineered to evoke emotions by closely matching human sensibilities?’ Get real. The copy is cold and doesn’t talk to anyone and ends with Zoom-Zoom is unique. It certainly is. I could go on but I’ll spare you the pain.
This is what I meant when I wrote my book Stop Advertising, Start Branding. It’s not that you should stop advertising, it’s that you should stop poor or weak advertising. Mazda is doing really well at the moment in Malaysia and globally. It has tripled its market share and could be on to something spectacular. But it needs to do more than churn out this sort of advertising because it is wasting money and it may have a negative effect on the brand. It needs to Stop Advertising, Start Branding.
I am yet to visit a Mazda showroom so can’t tell you about the experience. I will endeavour to do so and we’ll do some research and report back to you.