Sunday, March 30, 2008

Russian Beverage...Just for Women

A new Russian vodka , Damskaya, is heavily campaigning its brand as the vodka made for women, apparent in the slogan, "Just between us girls." Advertisements include the violet-colored bottle with its curvy design (no doubt intended to resemble the female body), dressed in a flowing white skirt that portrays a Marilyn Monroe flirtatious look. Damaskaya created a very powerful marketing campaign in order to generate female sales. Their strategy plans to target the 25-45 year old female market, with an average income, as opposed to the upper middle class women, who may have developed a palate more inclined to drinking dry wine.

This campaign strategy seems groundbreaking, as it defies Russian advertising precedent. Throughout Russian history, vodka has been considered a masculine drink and positioned as such. Taking on a different angle-with the repositioning of vodka as a drink that women can enjoy, sitting around the table with her girlfriends-may prove fatal to Damskaya's brand image. A serious advertisement campaign is vital in order to stay afloat, since the company is choosing to only target the female demographic, which means they are missing out on a large segment of the vodka-buying market.

Skepticism exists among the country, with many believing that this novel marketing strategy only leads to the furtherance of alcoholism in Russia. With an estimated 10% of the country suffering from alcoholism, some fear that a vodka brand targeted solely at women will create an increase in the number of women drinking alcohol, as well as an increase in the amount of female alcoholic consumption. In particular ads, the brand is labeled as a "healthy" beverage. Such labels, although legal in Russia, are not necessarily ethical, considering the substantial negative effects that result from frequent alcohol intake. This sort of health labeling produces a skewed message about the effects of alcohol, vodka specifically. While producing a less than accurate association between health benefits and vodka in Russia, Damskaya is not held to the same corporate social responsibility in Russia that it would be subject to if it were to consider marketing in such countries as the United States.

Misleading advertising in relation to alcohol health effects, surely limits the international advertising available to an alcohol brand such as Damskaya, especially in the United States where advertising is strictly regulated.

So positioning the brand as the beverage for women to sip on after a work-out in the gym, would not earn the brand the international success that it may reap while stationed in Russia, killing any potential dreams of reaching the status of such Russian vodka brands as Stolichnaya.

[Lileston, Randy. "Russian Distiller Creates Vodka Just For Women." USA Today 21
Mar. 2008. 30 Mar. 2008 russian-distill.html>.]

[Schwirtz, Michael. "Russian Vodka With a Feminine Kick." The New York Times 30
Mar. 2008. The New York Times. 30 Mar. 2008 03/30/fashion/30vodka.html>. ]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Trendy Beverage for the Drinking Scene Intended to Reboost Cognac Popularity

Last January, a Cognac industry trade group labeled the Bureau National Interprofessionel du Cognac (BNIC), gathered together seventeen bartenders from around the world, including top cities such as New York, London, and Munich (Germany). Together in Cognac, France, these selected expert, worked at inventing a new hip drink for the bar/club scene that involved Cognac. Their mission was accomplished with the invention of the Summit. This Cognac group hopes to see the Summit enter into the popular circle of bar cocktails, aiming to hit status of the ever popular Cosmopolitan.

Reaching the status of the Cosmopolitan is a goal, but with the underlying intention of increasing the use and popularity of Cognac, at the less expensive level. Much in the way that the Cosmo helped to uplift the sales of vodka, primarily Absolut sales in the 1980s, BNIC would like to see the Summit gain skyrocketing popularity which ultimately sends Cognac sales through the roof.

Previous marketing efforts for Cognac have been successful in the realm of hip hop rappers, celebrities, and high income consumers. Two brands that have done a fantastic job with their marketing campaigns include Courvoisier and Hennessy. These two brands successfully developed a brilliant campaign strategy that appropriately reached their market segment.

Although the expensive, high-class brands appear to be doing well, it is the Cognac aimed at a younger market segment, with less discretionary income, that suffers in earning sales. This is where the new Summit drink would be most effective, with this younger market, the sort of market who love new and trendy drinks.

BNIC, as well as the rest of the target market, will know soon enough if the Summit is capable of driving Cognac sales back to the top. Similar to the way Mojitos are vital the the brand image of Bacardi Rum, it is possible that the Summit could be that drink for the more social, trendy Cognac drinker.

[Colchester, Max. "Cognac Group Takes a Shot at Hit Drink." The Wall Street
Journal 27 Mar. 2008. 29 Mar. 2008 SB120657545346067017.html?mod=mm_hs_advertising>. ]

Friday, March 28, 2008

SunChips Take on Green Marketing Approach

SunChips have recently decided that want to be positioned as a environmentally conscious, savy, and resourceful brand. Choosing to incorporate a green marketing strategy, appearing as a bold step for the brand, was not a choice that came completely out of the blue. SunChips, a brand of the FritoLay division of PepsiCo corporation, has recently added solar panels to its FritoLay manufacturing plant in California. So in a way, SunChips is making more literal use of its name in the development of its product, by using the Sun to help make the chips themselves.

SunChips is adding a 10-acre farm for this project with the intention of having the farm supply roughly 75% of the energy required to make the product. This particular plant, which plans on using the solar panels, is located in Modesto, California, and is only one of seven that actually product SunChips. The new green marketing strategy is expected to be launched on April 22nd, and is intended to position the SunChips brand as an environmentally caring snack brand.

This new campaign will not be subtle. In fact, PepsiCo has designed an advertising campaign that includes television commercials, print ads, billboards, website info, and even Facebook advertisements, to link its brand name to the increasingly popular Social network among the SunChips' young target audience.

This new approach to advertising, is becoming extremely popular among international brands, including corporations such as Coca-Cola, Toyota, and Wal-Mart. Not all environmentally-focused campaigns are so easily accepted among the public. Much of the public is skeptical about the reasons behind a company's desire to switch to green marketing. Some skeptics resent the corporate world's attempt to play on the general public's concern for the environment. They feel that companies and brands are manipulating the public's environmental concerns, while redeveloping business strategies that can be considered green marketing. They have even coined a new term, "greenwashing," which can be defined as the act of companies and brands to inappropriately integrate green marketing campaign strategies to gain public interest for their brand.

Only time will tell if the SunChip brand's new green marketing appeal stays positive with the general public, and if consumers are willing to accept the SunChips brand as an appropriate environmentally themed product.

[Elliot, Stuart. Trumpeting a Move to Put the Sun in SunChips." New York Times 27 Mar. 2008. 28 Mar. 2008 27adco.html?pagewanted=1&ref=media>. ]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Innovative Global Advertising Campaign: Reebok's Freestyle World Tour Collection

Reebok has taken an entirely novel approach to international advertising with the Freestyle World Tour, a campaign designed to promote six new versions of the Reebok Freestyle shoes, chosen to exemplify the six cities world-wide known for their influence in and fascination with high-level fashion. The campaign pays tribute not only to these glamorous cities-Tokyo, France, New Delhi, Spain, London, and New York- but also to six “authentic and inspirational women” who represent the essence of each fashion capital.

For years, Reebok has positioned itself as the shoe for women, whether fitness sneakers or casual kicks. The Freestyle shoe campaign maintains this focus of a female target market, while combining the shoe line with an additional clothing line to match the themes of each city.

The marketing strategy of the campaign involves print ads as well as video content displayed on, a virtual world that reaches a large percentage of Reebok’s female target audience. Reebok’s online website will also make available video content for the campaign. Promotional events will also take place within each designated city, starting with Tokyo, where the campaign was launched on February 21st.

The female icons associated with the six specified cities involve rising stars of each individual market segment. This includes Tokyo’s first NFL cheerleader, a young French songwriter/singer, a Bollywood actress of New Delhi, a Spanish model, a female DJ from London, and an actress from New York who stars in the film “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” These women were selected because they are genuine, real-life inspirational women to their particular communities. They represent a diverse group of women from around the world, each one portraying a unique style which is manifested in the design of the Freestyle shoe and the accompanying clothing lines.

The Freestyle World Tour comes one year after the 25th anniversary of the Freestyle shoe. This Freestyle shoe is illustrative of Reebok’s history as the innovator to female high-top shoe fashion.

This campaign is the first of its kind, with the representative women paying homage to their respective cities, and each clothing line appropriately complimenting the style of the shoes. Reebok executes a compelling global campaign with well positioned advertisements that brilliantly capture the modern, edgy style and personality of its female market across the world.

Daily 195.37 (Feb. 2008): 17. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Ithaca
Coll. Lib., Ithaca, NY. 22 Mar. 2008 login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=31275645&site=ehost-live>. ]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cheil Attempts to Break from Samsung and Join International Team, with Haines Leading the Plays

Cheil, South Korea’s leading advertising agency, seeks to expand its business ventures beyond Korean borders. With Samsung as their most dominant, successful client, Cheil has developed the reputation as a “one-client” agency, and they wish to change that image by establishing international connections with the powerful markets including New York, New York and London, England. Former Leo Burnett London chief Bruce Haines was hired by Cheil to help launch their global presence.

Cheil originated from within the parent company, Samsung, which has now become one of South Korea’s biggest corporations, highly ranked internationally as well. The company plans on working towards becoming a full-service agency that is capable of working with multiple clients on a personal basis. Hiring Bruce Haines was a positive step for Cheil in the direction of developing international offerings. Bruce Haines has prior experience in global campaigns for Samsung that make him qualified for effectively spreading the word of Cheil, as some industry players believe. Others, less convinced by Haines’ previous work with Samsung, believe that perhaps Haines isn’t as capable of changing Cheil’s situation as the agency lets on to believe.

Whether seen as a effective brand person or operations manager, Haines recognizes the importance of avoiding the mistakes that have been made by Japanese marketers in wrongly targeting the Western world, without properly looking at them through the eyes of people in the Western world. Haines believes that his experience in working with people of the Western world will significantly aid his plans for expanding Cheil’s clientele basis.

The future will decide whether Cheil can successfully establish itself as a global agency, gaining business from Western countries including England and the United States. Cheil is looking for the opportunity to embrace success and business outside of its connection with Samsung, and based on the campaign work designed for this global project, Haines will help determine whether or not Cheil can stand alone without parental support of Samsung brand name association.

[Lester, Robert. "Is there more to Cheil than Samsung?" Marketing Week 31.9 (Feb.
2008): 11. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Ithaca Coll. Lib., Ithaca, NY.
18 Mar. 2008 pdf?vid=5&hid=6&sid=2539a05f-1b9a-4461-9b6b-e02f19cfb1cc%40sessionmgr7>. ]

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Biggest and Most Attractive Emerging Market: China

International advertisers are beginning to take their business to the very promising, open market of China. But China market isn't for everyone, and more importantly, China's market in its entirety is not meant for one marketing message. China has approximately 1.3 billion consumers, and this group is exceedingly diverse. It would be highly unrealistic for marketers to assume that implementing a a single marketing message to the whole country would be effective. The market segment of high-income, Western-oriented consumers can be even further divided into groups of young royals,established money, patriots, and value players- four very distinctive groups within a single segment of the overall China market.

This elite group, with its further separating subdivisions, is often assumed to be most profitable group for international advertisers to target. However, with the advancement of many Chinese products, these native consumers are not naively concluding that expensive, western-produced products are immediately better. As a result, this market is not so willing to spend high amounts on foreign products, perhaps making this group not as desirable of a targeted market segment. It then becomes more important for new foreign marketers to target the middle class consumers, even the bottom of the market.

Nokia Corp, based in Finland, employed an effective marketing strategy towards the mainstream consumers of the Chinese market. Nokia has a 35% share in the China market, which places the phone company as the number one company in China phone sales. Nokia discovered that many rural Chinese consumers were having difficulty texting Chinese characters, provided pen and scratch pads to facilitate easier texting opportunities. This market segment adaptation allowed Nokia to retain a solid number of consumers as well as gain members of this group who were in search of a texting solution.

Nokia was able to uncover important information about this Chinese market segment through research performed by established, local partners in the China market. Forming such partnerships allows for an easier transition into the market, proving successful for companies such as Nokia, who developed these partnerships in order to then build upon domestic operations.

In combination with specific market segmentation, well-established partnerships and domestic relations help generate exposure to the best chunk of the market, in the most trustworthy, personalized way. Partnerships within the market demonstrate company credibility as well as provide for necessary assistance in conducting research on the intended target market. Further creation of specialized domestic operations allows for personal interaction with the consumers, an important step in bulding relationships with the members of the Chinese market. The China market is huge, open, profitable and full of opportunity for international advertisers. Along with smart business planning and a willingness to adapt, China could be the optimal place to expand business.

Bolgar, Catherine. "Staying Power and Adaptability are Key to Corporate Success
in China." The Wall Street Journal 11 Feb. 2008, Accenture sec. The Wall
Street Journal Accenture. 8 Mar. 2008 accenture>.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Citation for last entry

The article that inspired the last post:

Cheng, Jonathan, and Geoffrey A Fowler. " Ad's Insult to Industry in China?"
The Wall Street Journal [Hong Kong] 6 Mar. 2008, sec. B4: B4. 7 Mar.
2008 .

Refined Chinese Consumers Resent Crude Nature of Advertisements

Chinese consumers are emerging as a sophisticated audience, raising their current expectations of advertisers in their choice of brand messaging and strategy execution. This group is now well-versed in the innovative work of foreign ad agencies since their onset in the 1990s, has adjusted their standards for both local and foreign television commercials. They insist on higher production quality and unique message-delivery to captivate their attention and win over their approval.

A television spot produced by Heng Yuan Xiang Group (a leading Chinese wool manufacturer) received national criticism and rejection which forced the company to stop running the advertisement. The 60-second commercial, which was intended to promote Heng Yuan Xiang’s sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics, failed to interest Chinese viewers, who responded negatively to unadorned message, a result of the elementary production. Not only were viewers unimpressed, but also offended, believing the ad to be so terrible to the point of intellectually-insulting.

No longer accepting of basic, repetitive television spots, Chinese viewers now express intolerance for overly simple, cheap advertisements. The Heng Yuan Xiang Group appeared to take a “caveman approach” to their marketing strategy: employing a technique designed to beat consumers over the head with your message. Such simplicity does not fly with the now, sophisticated Chinese consumers, who possess greater expectations for the marketing efforts targeted at them.

With the addition of foreign ad agencies playing a role in the raising of the bar, these foreign marketers typically take a more experienced approach to targeting the Chinese market, although not with a perfect history. China was forced to ban Nikes 2004 TV ad which illustrated basketball star LeBron James fighting a kung fu warrior. China claimed the ad was an insult to the dignity of the nation.

Some criticism of local Chinese TV advertisement blames these overly simply, repetitive ads on their cheap production. In reality, the production value on many China ads matches that of either the US or Europe. China’s ad market, highly valued, is predicted to overtake Japan as the second largest in the world, in terms of spending. This results from the higher standards placed on US Domestic Chinese brands. Heng Yuan Xiang simply did not meet the raised bar, demonstrating a lack of growth.

Chinese consumers have grown wiser to the advertising methods of the industry, more critical of the ads themselves. Advancement in technology, especially the internet has designated consumers with more control than ever before-in terms of when they are exposed and the how they perceive ad messages. As a result, this experienced, empowered market is increasingly particular about the brands they choose to accept and, ultimately upon which, to bestow brands loyalty.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Internet Advertising for Eastern and Western Markets

Internet advertising receives a lot of attention from multinational advertisers who seek to reach as much of their target audience as possible through one medium. International corporations understand the importance and effectiveness of differentiating advertising tactics towards different national markets, adapting strategies so that they speak more directly to a specific culture. These international advertisers do not necessarily have to target markets on a country-by-country basis but perhaps differentiate marketing techniques between Eastern and Western markets. A study which compared two groups of nations, sought to uncover the difference between global brands advertising techniques in targeting local markets. The two groups involved in the study were Eastern and Western nations. The Easter nations consisted of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The Western group included Japan, Korea, and China. The study revealed a highly noticeable difference in the visual content of website advertising used by global brands to target these separate markets.

This study raises a lot of questions about the strategies global corporations should execute. Internet marketing, having gained such international popularity among advertisers, proves very effective and direct in targeting a vast number of consumers. As a result of having such unrestricted extension, capable of accessing such percentage of a target audience, the issue becomes whether or not more specialized advertising is required, reaching different market segments with more individualized messages. International businesses must consider if standardized international advertising is ineffective for their brand, although many find that market segmentation is highly effective in relation to differentiating cultures and national markets.

A style exists among Eastern nations which stems from our similar cultural values, and backgrounds, forming a particular way that this audience prefers to be advertised towards. The Eastern style includes a preference for internet advertising that focuses of audience lifestyles, brand images, and mood-creating symbols. A less literal message is warranted and more symbolic meaning is desired. Direct and aggressive website visuals would not be the best way to target the Eastern group because they are highly involved consumers, they are very responsive to the added meaning of a product or brand. They are very receptive to advertisements that involve celebrities because of the added meaning a celebrity portrays-a certain level of importance.

Concerning the Western nations, they too have a preference when it comes to the way in which they want advertisers to target them. They want website advertisement visuals that explicitly display brand name and company logo, along with lengthy product information. These consumers are not looking for the symbolic added feature-they want to know the facts about the product. These countries like direct communication of brand names and information because it is a common cultural form of communication. This style is specific to Western groups, and differs from the communication style of Eastern groups.

International advertisers should investigate whether this specialized market segmentation is necessarily for their brands. If they conduct proper market research on their international markets, they will probably discover that advertising visuals should reflect the communication style of the targeted national market in order to be effective.

[Daechun, An. "Advertising visuals in global brands' local websites: a
six-country comparison." International Journal of Advertising 26.3 (2007):
303-332. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Ithaca Coll. Lib., Ithaca, NY. 1
Mar. 2008 login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=26246061&site=ehost-live>.]