Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Diamond is a Cad’s Best Friend

By Jarvis Cromwell for The Reputation Garage

“Eternally basic is how people live.”

This holiday season, marketers aspiring to be trustmeisters should think about the quote above from the late, great Ted Bernstein of The New York Times.  His point was that any scrap of information, every communication, ultimately connects back to people and their lives.

At the end of the day, it’s all about us -- NOT the product, market, basketball score, database, or holiday gift.  Marketers call this an emotional connection, but somehow many have forgotten what that means.

Which brings us, strangely enough, to the next quote.

"Stay out of the doghouse this holiday season."

Always good advise, and in severe circumstances what is often required is, well, diamonds.  

Luxury goods aren’t easy to sell right now. The ways in which people are thinking about leading their lives in the current setting doesn’t make one bullish on diamond sales.

And it’s more than just consumer retrenchment.  As noted in my 11/30 dispatch, Faith Popcorn sees a movement of anti-over-consumerism taking hold among consumers – a “we can't afford it, so we might as well hate it” sentiment. Unfortunately, this is perfectly in sync with the low trust levels of our times.

Below is an approach that we think adeptly disarms the anti-over-consumerism backlash -- a funny viral campaign from the jewelry shop at J.C. Penny titled "Beware of the Doghouse." At 4 minutes it’s bit long, but totally worth the watch.  It follows the foibles of, excuse the language, a dual-bag and uses humor to make a trust point:  you live and die by your actions.  Other positives in our view:

-- The message deeply relates to the audience (or at least to a few of us guys here in the Garage)

-- Great leverage of Facebook

-- Viral power (it starts a fun conversation)

-- Feels authentic

Fellow trustmeister Paul Dunay said it initiated that “damn I wish I thought of that feeling when I saw it.”

The true test of something viral is whether the recipient will “buzz it forward” to more than one person.  If N > 1 it will go viral. If N = 1 or is <>

This campaign has N>1 written all over it. We hope it makes JC Penny some money this season.

Watch “Beware of the Doghouse” HERE.  Enjoy.

Copyright 2008 by The Reputation Garage

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