This column is not about food or supermarkets

July 23, 2014

Are promotions are getting a bit far fetched?

Or is it? 

I was shocked this past weekend when I went to the Bronx Zoo. I wasn't shocked about the hilariously overpriced foods and beverages (of course a 28oz. plastic "saving wildlife worldwide" soda cup with free refills all day SHOULD cost $9.99) nor the kiddie cup of Dippin Dots for $5+. What shocked me was the multiple Chevrolet Tahoe display areas.

It could have been worse. 

There was only one Tahoe in each area, all doors wide open to allow for the zoo visitors to sit and take a break, with a couple floor stand banners and the requisite sales "consultants" to answer questions. I won't comment on how much I think these displays inappropriate for the venue; no matter how much General Motors paid the zoo. After all, I think of zoos to be about fun, learning and empowerment about animals and nature for families.

Which made me wonder if even in the food world our promotions are getting a bit far fetched - especially as we struggle to understand what works and doesn't work on YouTube and in Social Media. Are we stretching our brands a bit too far away from the attributes and benefits of a product just for the hope that we have a viral hit?

"Cleverness doesn’t sell products and services. Original thinking in marketing is great, but not just for the sake of being witty or clever. If you aren’t thinking about connecting with your audience, building trust and selling your products or services when you sit down to write marketing copy, you need to reexamine your motivations. Don’t just create content to get credit for being clever — create content that will be helpful, insightful, or interesting for your target audience". - David Ogilvy