Monday, May 12, 2008

The Banality of Selling Consumer Products

I like the saying, "Branding is something you do when you don't have anything important to say." However, the banality of advertising today, what products and brands are saying about themselves, to sell themselves, borders on absurdity. Now I know that marketers don't want to stick their necks too far out on the line. And they'd rather be safe than sorry, especially in a rough economy. But it also reminds me of the saying, "Ships in a harbor are safe, but that's not what ships were made for."

I make special note here of the new advertising being done to sell 7-Up. Now with real, natural flavors. Who cares! It's a soft drink. I got through all these years with artificial flavors, so what strategic rocket scientist at Cadbury-Schweppes decided this was the best way to go? Reminds me of Procter & Gamble days where the soaps and surfactants division toyed around with the idea that washing your clothes "sanitized" them. DOH! Who cared? My clothes were clean.

Last year, Cadbury Schweppes beverage division, including Snapple and 7-Up was up for sale. And nobody bought. So there's been little growth in the division, and no one wants to buy the division. Don't you think it would be time for a little creative thinking and strategic innovation? This effort isn't picking the high fruit from the tree. As a matter of fact, it isn't even picking up the dead fruit from the ground.

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