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Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Is this the most disgusting marketing strategy ever? Probably.


The Atlantic has a fascinating piece on a new marketing strategy that cosmetic companies and other businesses in the beauty industry are seizing; however, the world is probably better off without it.


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By Fausto Mendez

    The new marketing strategy - a product of modern tech and social media - seems rather predatory but certainly effective. 

theatlantic:

Is This The Grossest Advertising Strategy of All Time?

Most of the time, targeted ads are pretty harmless. You searched for a flight to Denver? Here are some hotels in Denver. You looked for new running sneakers? Here are a few options.

But a new “study” from marketing firm PHD recommends a strategy that crosses the line from merely targeted to outright predatory, explicitly advising brands to seize on the times of the day and week when women feel the most insecure about their bodies and overall appearance in order to sell beauty products and other goods.

Women, the study claims to have found, feel less attractive on Mondays, especially in the morning. Thus, as the release explains, “Monday becomes the day to encourage the beauty product consumer to get going and feel beautiful again, so marketing messages should focus on feeling smart, instant beauty/fashion fixes, and getting things planned and done.  Concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments, aligning with content involving tips and tricks, instant beauty rescues, dressing for the success, getting organized for the week and empowering stories.” Yuck.

Read more.

    It’s hard for me to disagree with such effective marketing, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s morally correct. What do you think?


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Southern Comfort’s New Ad Hypnotizes with Bad Karate

By Fausto Mendez

    This liquor brand isn’t known for conforming to traditional advertising techniques, and Southern Comfort’s new TV commercial continues that tradition in same, beautiful, head-scratching fashion. Watch as this faux karate master partakes in “whatever’s comfortable” as he waits for his hair dye to set in at a small hair salon.

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How SoBe® Used Promotional Giveaways to Go Mainstream

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By Fausto Mendez

    John Bello used promotional giveaways to grow his beverage brand, SoBe®, from a niche set of bottled drinks to a mainstream phenomenon that PepsiCo eventually bought out. Today, he’s building up new brands with strikingly similar marketing strategies. 

    Promotional giveaway campaigns work. Need proof? Just ask John Bello, founder of SoBe, which he sold for $370 million, and the architect of SoBe’s wildly successful promotional campaigns. How’d he do it?

Promotional Products 

    Bello leveraged the power of promotional products and a fascinating and unforgettable logo. Combine the two, and you have a series of high-quality promotional products branded with SoBe’s iconic lizard. Here’s how it went down.

    His team would deliver a box of promotional giveaways, such as keychains, to as many SoBe dealers as possible, and the SoBe dealers would hand out the branded products to SoBe customers. The SoBe customers are already fans of the product, and the iconic lizard logo is beautiful and striking enough that it can be appreciated on its own. So the giveaway has two main effects.

Customers as Brand Ambassadors

    First, it makes the customer feel appreciated, and in the customer’s mind, it creates an association between those positive feelings and SoBe (and sometimes the store itself). That effect makes SoBe more memorable, so the customer is more likely purchase SoBe products in the future. The store owners tend to appreciate the free marketing as well. 

    Second, the customer would wear or use the promotional product in his or her day-to-day life, and the eye-catching lizard logo would attract others’ attention. As a result, the product becomes a conversation starter for the customer’s friends, family and acquaintances, and this introduces the brand to new fans.

Rinse & Repeat

    As Bello continued SoBe’s relentless promotional campaign, his effort slowly paid off as the brand grew to mainstream proportions, but he’s not one to take too many days off. After selling the company to PepsiCo, Bello launched a new beverage brand, and he’s using the same proven marketing strategies all over again. 

    In similar fashion, the new company’s logo is often sought for the mere fact that’s beautiful. “Part of the trick is having cool giveaways and a cooler logo,” says Marketing Officer Bruce Burke. The second half of the trick is getting those products into the hands of the target audience.

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