Thursday, March 1

Did You Have To Go There?

The New Year's campaign for Blackberry asked us all to "Be Bold!"  Well that's exactly what Liquid Plumbr is doing with their new product introduction, Double Duty.  If a brand is ever exhibiting "Go Big Or Go Home," it's this one.

The new product itself seems quite smart -- a liquid product to unclog a drain along with a "snake" to help with the really stubborn clogs.  We've all been there ... hence "Double Duty."  Makes sense, and is completely on brand as they say.

The advertising, however, is quite shocking coming from company Clorox.  It features a woman who is basically fantasizing about "double duty" with two men.  It's attention grabbing and shall we say "thought provoking," but will it drive sales?  Awareness, yes ... I'm writing about it for one.  But sales?



Gotta love the scenes at the end in the grocery store ... pay close attention.  This move by Liquid Plumbr sparks the question, "Do You Have To Go There?"  And is it ok to go "there"?  Should a brand be bold and step completely out of its comfort zone and brand equity to launch a new product?  Is it ok to move completely away from brand character?

Go to the website, and it's the Liquid Plumber brand you expect.  No double entrendre for the Double Duty.  Is it ok for a brand to present a different "experience" across touchpoints?  There is Facebook integration where you can send a message to a friend from the two plumbers.  Creative.  And when you like the page, you get a $1.00 coupon - love the promotional integration.

In my book, I tend to opt for consistency.  But then again I am a marketing purist in many ways and I believe that every interaction with the consumer should be on brand and consistent from touchpoint to touchpoint.  A brand can be provocative, appropriately so, but needs to do so in context and in flow throughout the entire marketing mix.  A brand can evolve, but still consistently with its brand.

But I do applaud the creativity and give kudos to the brand for being bold!

What's your experience?  Jim

Jim Joseph
President of North America at Cohn & Wolfe
Author of The Experience Effect series
Professor at NYU

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