Role Reversal: brilliant break-ups, not-so-brilliant branding
My new pal Sean Howard pointed me to this new video...then my old pal Kris Hoet asked for my feedback on it. All I wanted to do was stay in my bliss over books. Alas, of all things, I'm talking Microsoft...well, actually, I'm talking Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, which is too much of a mouthful for this mouthy marketer but more on that branding boo-boo in a bit.
First, here's the "Break Up" piece and my feedback follows (RSS readers, go here):
What I love: I love the creative and the message of this new video. And I really appreciate Geert, the manager who spearheaded this project and writer of the Bring the Love Back blog. I instantly like the guy because he is very open in saying "feel free to love it or flame it!" He truly wants feedback and is very responsive to his readers. And anyone who listens gets love back from CK.
What I don't love: But I still can't get my head around Microsoft being in the advertising business. Not! Geez, I already give Microsoft double the positioning love as they occupy "software" and "operating systems" in my very full head...my mind doesn't have room for a third area of advertising. Are they trying for a mental monopoly, too?
This will continue to be an uphill climb for them. The answer? A new brand devoted entirely to online advertising, not "Microsoft +Digital +Advertising +Solutions." It's too many spaces to try and occupy and way too long a brand name. Seriously, that's branding 101. Tsk. Tsk.
What I would love to see: Creatively, I think this would be KILLER if the "advertiser" were a ballsy female and the "consumer" a sensitive male. Stay with my thinking...if we're gonna reverse roles where the consumer is more in control...then let's go full-tilt and REALLY reverse roles. That's innovative. Perhaps an idea for another version? Hey, I'll even play the ballsy female ;-).
What is nagging me: But what I continue to grapple with is--what is Microsoft doing to aid this (advertiser) role reversal? I went to their website on this offering but nothing felt innovative to me...it seems there are online advertising offerings but I don't see ways for advertisers to empower and dialog with their customers. Am I missing something? Or is Microsoft missing the mark?
It seems the messaging is there (great piece, Geert & Co.!) but the pay-off is not. Net/net: As a marketer working to advance my clients into a mindset of "more listen/less talk" I'm focused on the actions after the ad. Maybe Sean can tell me as he writes-up some feedback he has from Geert right here.
Update (about 3 hours after original publishing): Geert commented straight away and I offered him time over a concall to review recommendations in which Sean Howard and Kris Hoet will be joining in. Net/net: As marketers we're all in this together, regardless of whom we work for or where we work out of. When we speak next week, Geert will be in Greece, Kris in Belgium, I'm in NY, Sean is in Canada. No matter, blogging brings us closer, it also allows us to connect off of our blogs. And when we help one another we improve the entire industry...I think that most definitely qualifies as bringing back the love, eh? (this medium rocks ;-).