Adverting the brand


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Adverting the brand

  1. 1. Adverting The BrandPart 1Did you know that ‘Donkeys are commonly used by the IraqRebels to launch rockets!’ (Funfactz. 09) ‘more Monopolymoney is printed in a year, than real money printed throughout the world!’ (Funfactz. 09) and that surprisingly ‘in Japan, itis completely acceptable to name your child "Buttocks" or "Prostitute" (Funfactz. 09), all strange but true facts about theworld however, completely irrelevant to the topic of the essay. Now that have your undying attention (hopefully) willprogress to enlighten you on the subject that is branding.From the research that gathered, guess, advertising agencies owe everything to ancient Egyptians and cowboys, and asmuch as you would like not to believe me I’m afraid that to a certain degree this is true. Originally branding wasrecognized as ‘a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp’. (HWevents. 2010) Cattlebranding is said to date back as far as 2700 B.C where images of Egyptian hieroglyphics show the technique being usedto brand an oxen. In todays industry the principles of cattle branding still apply in the sense that branding is used as ameans of identifying a service, specific product, business, taking ‘form in name, sign, symbol, colour combination andslogans.’ (wikipedia. 2008) Branding products first started with the intention of making it easier to identify anddifferentiate products. To this day there is confusion about when the first trademark brand originated, the British beerBass, founded in 1777 ‘claim that their red triangle brand was the worlds first trademark’ (wikipedia. 2008) as it ‘was thefirst trademark to be registered under the Mark Registration Act 1875‘ (wikipedia. 2008), however Lyle’s Golden Syrupagues that they were in fact the worlds first brand as their ‘stamp’ has remained unchanged since is set up business in1885. But when did branding first become important to advertising? Branding as an Advertising technique didn’t becomepublicised until the early 1900‘s after ‘James Walter Thompson published a house ad explaining trademarkadvertising’ (wikipedia. 2008). Within this early demonstration of commercial work, Thompson made it his key point togive viewers a simple ‘explanation of what we now know as Branding’ (wikipedia. 2008). By doing this he introduced theworld of consumers to a new way of looking at products, prompting companies to adopt slogans-mascots and jingles thatappear on radio and early television. This new way of thinking allowed companies to keep connected with their targetaudiences on a more personal scale, enabling brands to direct their resources to those customers with high potential forsales growth, interest in the product and loyalty. Another way brands keep in close contact with their target markets is bysetting up brand values which are the ‘essence of a brand; expressed usually in a few keywords such as independencecreativity’ (Businessdictionary. 2010). Cultural changes have played a huge part in the way that people look at brandsand in the way brands operate. Web2.0 is no longer ‘a resource for information and transactions, but for interactivity(skype, instant messaging) and content creation (blogs, YouTube), co-creation (Wikipedia), and collaboration (screensharing).’ (Colyer. 2007) The internet is now in many cases rightfully described as ‘the world of second life’ a place‘where your alter ego can live, work, party, interact, and forge relationships with others online.’ (Colyer. 2007) Brandshave had to become a part of Web2.0 to survive, all major brands and many smaller brands now have websites and
  2. 2. online business’s and ‘take advantage, of the whole range of technologies and experiences out there, including therelationship and networking aspects.‘ (Colyer. 2007) Branding and advertising have gone viral. ‘Web2.0 is great forconversations, winning influences and ambassadors for the brand though open, honest talk, but it is still just part of thebrand experience.’ (Colyer. 2007) World wide the social networking website Facebook and video search engine Youtubeare the two most visited. Take these two sites as a playing field for numbers of audience attention. Use one simple sumto do so. Take the 932,000,000,000 page views between them calculated in January 2011’ + the number of branded andnone branded adverts and advertising campaigns that are viewed on these two websites alone and you should be ableto see how much of a geographical impact the changes in Web2.0 have had on brands and their clients.A target market ‘enables the brand to direct its resources to those customers with high potential for sales growth, interestin the product and loyalty.’ (Handling. 2010) In an advertising context ‘branding is a marketing discipline which insists thatyou define your audience, know your market sector, differentiate yourself, choose a route market that will be bothappropriate to the brand as well as making the brand stand out’. (Leeds Met. 2011) Target markets are one of the mostimportant factors to any business, brand or advertising campaign as without them they would have nothing to aim theirproducts at. A target market is the term used to describe the group of consumers that, in this instant, the brand hasaimed their products at. They do this by grouping members of the public together and generalizing them based oncharacteristics such as gender, age and status whether it be low class, middle class, student, pensioners, working classbut to name a few. Over the years brands have had to adapt themselves to current situations around the world such ascultural, economic and social changes resulting in their target audiences changing. Take the world famous make upbrand Max Factor a brand with over 50 years of history surrounding it, in the 1940s their target audience would havebeen older women as it was seen as unacceptable for teenage girls to wear make up, however due to cultural changes itis now quiet the opposite, in todays world, due to the current celebrity culture forced upon us by the media, make up ispractically forced upon teens meaning that Max Factor has had to adapt itself to become more appealing to a youngergeneration. Target markets have a huge impact on how brands work and what brands do ‘It’s not what you say it is, it’swhat they say it is’ (Neumeier. 2003 p3). A trade mark is a name given to a brand protected by the law. The brand Coca-Cola, currently the worlds leading brand in profit value is a widely recognized trademark representing a global brand.In advertising ‘A BRAND IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE ELEMENTS IN AN ADVERTISING THEME as it is there todemonstrate what the management can offer to its market.’ (wikipedia. 2008) Brands and advertising agencies lean oneach other as they are both as important to each other as they are to themselves, by this I mean that without the rightmarketing and adverting a brand would not get the recognition it needs to succeed and without brands in generaladvertisers would have nothing to advertise. The term brand is used when referring to the identity of a specific product orbusiness, the identity of a brand can take the form of a ‘name, sign, symbol, colour combination or slogan.’ (wikipedia.2008) However, a brand is not a logo, it is not an identity and it is not a product. ‘A brand is a person’s gut feeling about aproduct, service or organization’ (Neumeier. 2003 p2/3) because brands work so closely with their target markets ‘brands
  3. 3. are defined by individuals, not companies or markets.’ (Neumeier. 2003 p2) People name brands. Audiences makebrands ‘. ‘Brands distinguish products from one another. Brands sell products. Brands make clients and companiesmoney. A brands creates a discernible response between itself and its consumer.’ (Neumeier. 2003) Brands gain the trustof their markets by making promises to them, ‘all brands want brand loyalty it’s the job of the brand to build up arelationship with the customer to get them to remain loyal and keep them buying’, (Neumeier. 2003) they can often obtainthis through keeping to promises and brand values. Brand values are the essence of a brand for example Adidas’s brandvalue is ‘authenticity, inspiration, honesty and commitment‘ (Manning-Schaffel. 2002) these four words are a base foreverything Adidas stands for, making it a trustworthy brand for customers to invest their money in. A brand with negativitysurrounding it is not a trustworthy brand, therefore any negativity needs to be removed from the brands surroundings, forexample take the fashion brand “Dior’ which recently had to dismiss English fashion designer John Galliano fromdesigning for the brand after evidence came to light about racial remarks made by him about the Jewish religion, ashaving him associated with the brand would not work well in Dior’s favor. Jewish Oscar winner Natalie Portman iscurrently the face of Dior. Brands are mainly about recognition and to get recognition brands need to gain trust. ‘Brandinghas continued to evolve to encompass identity - it affects the personality of a product, company or service’ (wikipedia.2008) In todays worlds ‘brands are co-opted as powerful symbols in larger debates about economics, social issues andpolitics. The power of brands to communicate a complex message quickly and with emotional impact and the ability ofbrand to attract media attention, makes them the ideal tool’ (Brandorganisation. 2011) for agencies to use as a means ofcreativity. Brands influence our everyday decisions, the choices we make, the foods we eat, the drinks we buy, the carswe drive, every aspect of our daily lives is influenced by branding and the promises the brands make to us which is whyit is important that the brand can be trusted at all times.Part 2Advertising campaigns have always played a huge part in the uprising of the brand Adidas AG, it uses advertising ameans of getting their deep yet relevant messages across to their chosen target audiences. ‘Authenticity, inspiration,honesty and commitment - are derived from sports‘ (Manning-Schaffel. 2002) values which Adidas has followed sinceentering the marketplace over 50 years ago, values that are similar to that of an actual athlete, linking in well with theiroriginal target audience. In 1920 Adi Dassler the founder of Adidas created his first pair of shoes after coming up with‘the simple yet brilliant idea to provide athletes with the best possible equipment.’ (Adidas. 2010) The Adidas logoconsists of three stripes, originally they were meant to keep the foot in place. Since being formally registered as a brandin 1949, Adidas AG has managed to developed has worked it’s way up the brand ladder to become ‘the worlds numbertwo athletics brand’ (Manning-Schaffel. 2002) placing only behind Nike. Although Nike ranks higher in terms of profitoutcomes Adidas comes across as a more loyal, more trustworthy and inspirational brand, which keeps in touch withtheir original brand values.
  4. 4. Football is the most played sport in the world and makes up a large proportion of Adidas’s business, it has been anofficial sponsor of the sport for over fifty years. Adidas has long held a lock on it’s relationships with FIFA, football’sgoverning body, for sponsorship of the sports signature events, giving it strength over Nike in this area. In 1954 Dasslercould have possibly single handedly changed the way football was played forever after inventing shoes with screw-instuds specifically designed for the German national soccer team to help keep their footing. Adidas was in fact the firstbrand associated with the sport, allowing it to form well-established business relationships, Business relationships meantrust, trust means consumers, consumers mean money, money means allowance to spend on major advertisingcampaigns.In 2003 Adidas’ first 3 quarter sales saw a dip of 16%, due to the early recession. Although 16% does not seem much, ona scale of how much money the brand usually makes yearly this does translate into a significant amount of revenue loss.Adidas knew that to get their percentage back they needed to re-energize business within the USA. Working along sideAd agencies 180, Amsterdam and TBWA, San Francisco, Adidas introduced the largest ever advertising campaignundertaken by the company costing $50 million. The ‘impossible is nothing’ campaign included print and internet ads andtelevision commercials. Adidas ‘wanted to extend their philosophy of ‘forever sport’ to a personal level by encouragingeveryone to overcome their personal challenges that seem impossible’ (Grincha21. 2009) keeping in touch with theiroriginal brand values. Adidas’s target market is and always has been first and foremost athletes. The brand straplineimpossible is nothing appeals to sports personnel on a deep and meaningful level, It is obvious to everyone that sportscompetitors enter competitions for two reasons only, the first being passion for their chosen sport and the second to win.Adidas want their mantra ‘impossible is nothing’ to stick in peoples heads. The message of the campaign is vitallyimportant to the brand as they are using it as a platform to re-enforce their brand values onto the public. ‘Adidas wantedto position itself as the most inspirational sports apparel and athletic footwear brand, the appeal of the message isuniversal in that life poses impediments and challenges regardless of profession, age, gender and status. The idea isthat the attempt is worth the effort and Adidas wants to be the shirt or the shoes or the equipment that the consumer hason when attempting the impossible, regardless of the outcome.’ (Grincha21. 2009) Adidas encouraged their message byworking along side 22 sports icons, with the likes of David Beckham sharing their journeys to success, subtly remindingus that these top athletes were in fact every day people and that their own impossible dreams have come true.The target audience of the ‘impossible is nothing’ ‘campaign is 12 - 34 year olds involved in sport’ (Grincha21. 2009),Adidas have worked well in marketing this campaign to best fit the needs of their market, by frequently increasing theamount of air time during prime times shows such as ESPN. Resent research gathers that ‘men ages 18-24 spend moretime online than watching television, the same research showed that people like to multi task while watching television.Adidas took advantage of this to promote themselves online via behind the scenes videos and downloads. ‘On the daythat the Laila Ali commercial featured online there was a 125% increase in the use of the search term ‘Adidas’ on yahoohome page- with the highest number of views from men ages between 13-17 years,’ (Grincha21. 2009) perfect for the
  5. 5. reception they were trying to get from their audience. Although the brand was invented for athletes the brand has pickedup a loyal urban following after signing the ‘first endorsement deal between hip-hop artists and a majorcorporation’ (wikipedia. 2008) This deal was so effective that Adidas now has a sub brand ‘Adidas originals’ entirelydevoted to urban clothing. The advertising campaign ‘the street’s where the originality is’ takes a different approach asthey market themselves as a more stylish brand. The urban culture begins to grow as musical styles such as grime anddubstep make it into the mainstream.During the recession of 2009 Adidas ‘got a kick in the teeth as it saw earnings slump by 93%’ (Reuters. 2010)understandably the recession hit many companies and business’s forcing them to close but luckily Adidas had gainedenough loyalty to survive, Adidas aims to save more than £84m from 210 by cutting 1,000 of it’s 39,000 staff this yearand by closing regional offices and potentially some of its stores. Luckier still at the time Adidas was being hit they had anew line of trainers about to be released. Adidas planed to use the force to fight the recession and battle rivals Puma andNike. A limited addition collection of trainers added to the lifestyles sub brand based on the star wars theme “star wars isabout hope’ It embraces the idea that one person can make a difference’ (Roffman, 2010), The lifestyles brand of thecompany makes up about 20% of Adidas generating an annual revenue of roughly 10.8 billion euros. Due to therecession and some of the major brands it has demolished we have all learnt that ‘nobody is immune from the globaldownturn, but Adidas seems to be coming out fighting’ (Footasylum). Adidas has a world wide presence in 200 countries.Although it is not the top sports brand it does however have the largest market share in Europe, the performance ofathletes wearing the brand has giving them a strong reputation in achieving sports performance products.To conclude I feel that Adidas’s adverting campaigns were incredibly beneficial to keeping the brand alive. Without themthey wouldn’t have been able to reach out to their audience on the personal level that they wanted, they would also havehad a weaker chance of surviving the recession. In light of the current focus on promoting sport and fitness I have notrouble thinking that Adidas will remain successful for the foreseeable future. ‘Sportsmen and women often speak of theenormous pride they have in representing their country, a sense of belonging to a wider family. We see this vividly at thecommonwealth games, for example, which is known to many as the friendly games and where I am sure you havenoticed that it is always the competitors from the smallest countries that receive the loudest cheers’. Let them becheered, let them achieve everything they want to achieve in life, may their goals be scored and their races be run.Nothing is impossible. Let it be Adidas.