Are there any worse examples of marketing than the commercials shown on the Big Ten Network for the member schools?
There are just a couple goals I accomplish when I market something. One is finding out what makes that something remarkable, or at least different from the crowd if it is not truly remarkable. Two is making sure that the remarkable difference in that something is communicated to potential customers. For example, if the car you make is the only car that gets more than 60 miles per gallon, don’t talk about the fact that your car has doors in your big commercial.
When you are watching the Big Ten Network tomorrow, pay some attention (as little as possible) to the commercials for the schools. I guarantee that you can interchange the name, slogan, colors, and celebrity voice-over of any commercial and the commercial will not be greatly affected.
These commercials are probably approved by a sub-committee, then a committee, then a senior committee, then a stearing committee, then an executive committee. Everyone on every committee has one thing in common. They do not want to get fired. They will do anything they can not to stand out, be noticed, or take a risk. Any of these would increase the chance of being fired.
However, when was the last time you took notice of something that didn’t stand out? Never. The things you took notice of are different. The Crysler commercials featuring Eminem during the Super Bowl or the Dominoes Pizza commercials where they spotlight their own mistakes. These commercials stuck and were extremely successful. You know remarka when you see it.
Why aren’t multi-million dollar institutions, with all of their differences and remarkable stories, marketing that way, then?