Archive | August, 2014

Are We Getting Too Sensitive: Do Brands Need to Rethink Using Global Campaigns?

22 Aug

Apple’s new TVC featuring their new exercise Apps on the iPhone 5s has offended some audiences because of the use of the song ‘Go You Chicken Fat, Go’. So does the creative over-shadow the message?


The story gets exciting when you look into the history of the song. Actually most things do don’t they? Marketers love to copy what has gone before them… tweak it slightly, and the slight alteration to the original idea can be very clever. The Apple ad uses The Youth Fitness Song aka as “Chicken Fat” song.

In 1962, the song was written and composed by Broadway composer (Robert) Meredith Wilson (The Music ManThe Unsinkable Molly Brown), and sung by actor/singer Robert Preston. It was part of President John F. Kennedy’s Council on Physical Fitness program to get schoolchildren to do more daily exercise. The song was distributed to American schools and played every morning for students to do calisthenics. Very similar to how Australia’s Federal government supplied milk to children in primary school between the 1950’s and the mid 70’s. Every morning about 9am, a small bottle of milk – 1/3 pint – would be delivered for each child. The milk would sit there (in the sun) until morning recess, when each child would get their very own (now warm) bottle of milk. I have horrible childhood milk memories and I did not drink milk as an adult unless the milk was freezing cold or flavoured. And I never drank the bottom bit.

Back to our story! The visuals in Apple’s TVC are motivating, and the use of the phone’s physical-fitness Apps are clear, but it tends to be overshadowed by the song, as I was thinking while watching the TVC, ‘what does this mean?’ Am I supposed to find this funny? Is Apple trying to motivate me or scare me? Then the tagline kicks in, which reads: “You’re more powerful than you think.” OK, but how does the chicken fit in?

The song could make American Baby Boomers’ nostalgic for a time when they were told to “Go, you chicken fat, go,” however, there is no point of reference for anyone else watching the ad. For the rest of the world, Apple appears to be telling its customers, possibly in a questionable manner, to get off the couch, and start exercising. However, the main message was the great new exercise Apps, but that was lost.

Classical conditioning has been used in a clever way by Apple, teaming the song with memories of exercising. Apart from Americans who may remember doing their morning callisthenics to this song, it is lost on all other global audiences. I wonder if like my primary school milk memories, these weren’t happy? Which begs the question, should music with such strong associations – both good and bad – be used in advertising campaigns? Much research has been conducted on the use of teaming music with advertising. Apple has been clever, but they should have considered only using this song for American audiences.



4BCs Spin Cycle #3

10 Aug

This week, Patrick Condren sifts through the spin with marketing and advertising gurus Simon Dell from Two Cents Marketing Group in Milton and Dr Edwina Luck, Senior Lecturer in Advertising, Marketing & PR at QUT’s Business School.

Our Spin Cycle panel talk about the Superbowl. It costs $3.4m to buy one commercial at the Superbowl, but considering 57% of Americans will be tuned in, it could be worth every cent. And what about the global audience it reaches?

As well, Clive Palmer’s unsolicited endorsement of The Brisbane Times, Chinese New Year, and the revival of 80s music stars; will the INXS bio-pic be a hit?

Listen here.

Spin Cycle #2

3 Aug

After kicking off with a bang about tennis and Apple in our first show, this week Spinners Simon Dell and myself chat with Patrick Condren about the week that was in all things marketing on the 4BC Morning show.

This week the Spin Cycle features the celebrity fitness craze and in particular, 24 year old Gold Coast local Ashy Bines, whose diet has received cult-like status with almost 1 million likes on Facebook and over 100 000 participants in her 12 week challenge.

Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby is edging closer to release, but if you were her PR manager, how would you re-brand her image? Should convicted criminals be allowed to profit from their crimes?

And white, black, grey and silver are Australians’ most frequently chosen car colours- so how does colour influence what we buy?

Listen in here.

4BCs Spin Cycle #1

3 Aug

Each week Simon Dell from Two Cents Marketing Group and I discuss with 4BCs Morning show host Patrick Condren everything marketing. This is our first show! We discuss The Australian Open, the high temperatures, Bernard Tomic misbehaving and Apple.

Listen here!

You Can’t Have Just One – Tic Tacs are back

3 Aug

Actually, Tic Tacs never have left us, but the latest integrated CHEW-CRUNCH-ROLL campaign by Tic Tac saw Brisbane bombarded this week with transit bus stop posters, TVCs, a quiz in mX newspaper and placement on the back of seats on QR trains. You can take the quiz here.


Tic Tacs have been in Australia since 1976, so could be considered to be in the mature product life-cycle stage. Besides the original Fresh mint flavour, new varieties have been added over the past 25 years including: cinnamon, orange, and an orange and grape mix (in 1976), spearmint, peppermint, powermint, sour apple, mandarin, tangarine, berry, fresh orange, strawberry, wintergreen, pink grapefruit, orange and lime together, cherry, passion fruit, pomegranate, mango and lime. The grape flavor was eliminated in 1976 because of health concerns about the red dye. Exotic Cherry, Berry Blast, and Paradise Mint are the newest range. 

During this time there have been some great tag lines. The first was “The 1½ Calorie Breath Mint”, however  changed to “Two hours of Tic Tac freshness in less than two calories”. In Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and the United States, the successful slogan of “it’s not just a mint, it’s a tic tac” was used. The Tic Tac girl was also a successful add in.


Which are you?

Which are you?









Interestingly, this recent integrated campaign saw sampling being utilised. However, only one Tic Tac was distributed. There could be debate as to the success of just giving out one Tic Tac; weighing up the cost versus the intended benefit. Giving one Tic Tac could be seen as a great teaser campaign, but also shows the insight into consumers wanting more. The theory of economics and consumption also applies here. Supply versus demand: oooh that does taste good, I will have to buy me a packet. It also places Tic Tacs to the top-of-mind for many consumers who may have forgotten about them. Long-term memories are evoked, as consumers would have had previous interactions with Tic Tacs. So many psychological aspects goes into such a campaign. So I must ask the question, is a sample of one enough for you?

Is one enough in a sample?

Is one enough in a sample?

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