Ron Tite’s Customer Service in the Digital Age

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Ron Tite relates how his negative airline experience really took off. It’s a great story that is told perfectly and carries a lot of valuable lessons.

I actually got to see Ron Tite back on May 18. He was a tremendous speaker who talked my kind of language. I am just tickled to see that he has a ton more videos on YouTube; they are worth checking out.

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Sometimes, People Will Believe Anything

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This picture—which is a hoax—has been making the rounds on Twitter lately. Brandchannel has a great write-up on this situation. Aside from the content itself being ridiculous (At the very least, why would McDonald’s alienate a large segment of the audience like that?), the phone number shown at the bottom is for the KFC headquarters.

What I find interesting about this is why people take it seriously. The main reason is that we tend to suspend disbelief when we see things like this online. We assume that someone, somewhere, has taken the time to verify this. We assume that because it exists, it must be true.

The other reason this works is that it looks legitimate:

  • The typeface looks correct.
  • Everything is lined up properly (with nothing centre-aligned).
  • The language sounds like it came out of a head office.

In fact, the only visual clues that suggest that this isn’t legit are the masking tape sloppily tacking the sign up and the odd margins (especially on the right side of the sign).

I’ve found that you don’t have to be a designer or a marketer to be pretty savvy about what looks like legitimate communication. People are very good at sensing when things just don’t look right, at least at a very low level. This is why the email scams are appearing more and more “legitimate” nowadays. It is also why it’s so important for your collateral to be designed to reflect your brand’s promise: your audience can sense when your materials don’t reflect your message.

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Ferd F-Teenthousand

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This is a pretty funny sendup of the TV spots auto manufacturers use to sell pickup trucks. These things start as satire, but they inevitably end up in the actual commercials.

Trucktober. Coming to a dealership near you.

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A pitch-perfect beer commercial

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Brandchannel writes:

Hey every other single beer brand ever, how does your commercial playing tired male sexual stereotypes against female ones feel now? Pretty inadequate, huh?

‘Nuff said.

It kind of reminds me of DQ’s latest spots, which use a similar concept.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VtH5xdbMtU

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Brand differentiation done really well

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The Alamo Drafthouse is an independent cinema chain in Texas that has a strict “no talking, no texting” policy. Recently a customer was ejected from the theatre (no refund was given) for repeatedly texting during the movie despite warnings. She called and left a long, rambling NSFW message detailing her experience. And then things took an awesome turn:

The theatre has turned it into a commercial!

It helps that the patron doesn’t come across very well, so she’s easy to dislike. The theatre pulls off this execution brilliantly.

You can’t watch it and not love the vibe you get from the theatre. A quick perusal of its Wikipedia page suggests that the cinema does a lot of other really interesting things to build the culture around its brand, and to separate itself from the competition. I would love to visit these guys—they seem to really have things figured out.

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Now Hiring?

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I stumbled across this photo, and it made me chuckle. While whoever created the sign obviously had a sense of humour, I’m always amazed at how many organizations communicate with really poor English. My rule of thumb is that regardless of how “hip” you want your brand to be, always use full and proper English in all of your communications.

 

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Billboard vandalism or just social commentary?

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Click to see it in all its glory.

I stumbled across this collection of humourously defaced billboards and thought it was good enough to share.

The funny thing about outdoor media (like billboards) is that despite it being intended as a monologue, advertisers end up opening themselves up to some very public feedback, as we can see above.

Plus, advertisers also risk attacks from other outdoor media, as is the case in this example:

For more examples of the audience pushing back on advertisers in outdoor media, have a look at The Sharpie Image.

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