While most deodorants usually try to communicate that their product makes you stink less, Axe took a completely different route by positioning their deodorant body spray to improve success with women. Axe, a brand of Unilever, created a need for male perfume and their marketing has successfully spread the idea across multiple countries. The ads focus on the simple message of improving success with women by featuring a young man who sprays himself with Axe causing an immediate aphrodisiac effect on every woman who inhales the scent. The woman says “Bomchickawowwow”, a phrase created to be understood in every language as the feeling of intense desire caused by Axe spray. Axe was able to alter behavior across the globe by positioning away from competitors and communicating a simple message that is highly important to the target market.

Authenticity of Nike

You have to appreciate the authenticity of this commercial. They’re not saying what you would expect but what most people really feel. “Running sucks, but man boobs really suck”. Although authenticity is highly desired in a low-trust world, you just don’t see this type of candor very often.

When something like 70% of Americans don’t exercise regularly, it is smart for Nike to appeal to this audience of potential customers. Nike and their agencies could work with the Ad Council to develop a strong marketing campaign to fight the obesity epidemic in this country. Nike would be a big winner if they could somehow manage to grow the category.

Most Annoying Ads

A great episode of Podtini this week discusses a study that found which where ads annoy us the most and where they seem more acceptable. The study was conducted by Arbitron.

Ad Location / Percent Who Found Ads Acceptable
Movie Theater (53%)
TV (46%)
DVDs (36%)
Internet (18%)

This study shows that movie theater ads annoyed people least and internet ads annoyed people most. Movie theater advertising has been shown to have considerably higher recall rates and they are presented to a captive audience. The average movie attendee arrives 24 minutes prior to the film starting, so that’s a lot of time the audience is waiting around and likely to be receptive to an interesting ad.

Will DVR Kill TV?

According to APM Marketplace about 17% of Americans have DVRs that can zip past commercials. My strategy is to start watching a show like Lost or 24, 15 minutes after its start time, so that I can skip through all the commercials and finish watching the same time as someone without DVR.

Thanks to new data studies by Nielson Media Research, executives can determine a good estimate of how many people actually watch commercials. It turns out more than half of audiences skip commercials and this rate will surely increase as DVR technology saturates the market.

Seth Godin coined the phrase, The TV Industrial Complex, in which firms bought TV ads to build demand for their products, which then created additional revenues that they put into additional ads, and on and on. But as the DVR adoption rate increases, the perfectly efficient market of quality TV for ad views will inevitably crumble. Although advertisers are using creative ways to catch the attention of viewers, such as mini-shows and more product placement, no rational human will choose to watch commercials they can skip. Will television shows have to go to a pay per view format? Will free TV become only as good as PBS shows?

Source: APM Marketplace Podcast, Jun 1,2007 (at the 17:21 mark)

Check out this video collection of some of the world’s funniest ads.

In the Tivo age, humor is one way to catch the attention of an overexposed and busy audience. People want to listen to your message if it is valuable to them, and everyone loves to laugh. Just make sure that the message sticks. When your audience remembers the joke, but not the product, you might as well be freelancing on You Tube.

My favorite commercial of all time…