I wanted to briefly discuss what I would like to call OVER BRANDING or OVER MARKETING. As we all know it is important to generate a buzz about a product, film, song or something new. But there is a line that one can cross when too much is simply too much.
Spreading the word is all well and good, but eventually, if we over promote or over brand then we can start desensitizing consumers (or customers) to our message, product or service. A good and probably easy example is music. When a new song is released DJs begin playing it, and if it is popular they play it even more. This can be good to begin with and cause the song to grow on some people who were unsure if they like it. However, it can also hurt the song in the long run. Eventually, the song can become tired or even annoying when played every ten minutes.
This example can be carried over into marketing and advertising. The goal is to spark interest in what we are marketing. However, we do not want to irritate consumers and or customers. Therefore we have to gauge how far we can take a campaign or thought or product without making it too obnoxious. Over marketing, branding and promoting can turn people away quickly or even cause a distaste for what we are trying to sell.
I think a current example of overdoing something at the moment is Star Wars. The name Star Wars alone will easily generate enough buzz to promote the new film. Add Disney to the mix and you have sparked an even bigger curiosity in the film. However, at the moment, you can not enter a store without being bombarded by images of Star Wars. Do not get me wrong I will watch the film…but I want to share an example of how overdoing something can be somewhat pointless, sickening and mind-numbing.
It is wonderful to pair up products that help promote the film, however…when I see Star Wars mascara sitting on the shelf in Germany I have to really debate if the marketing teams have not gone too far. As I said, the hype is already there and you do not need to promote the film with things such as mascara. Personally, a limited edition Nutella jar (like what they did for the new Peanuts film) would have been a better way to go rather than partnering up with a mascara line to promote the film.
Do not get me wrong, there may be one or two collectors who want to add that to their collection. But will a product like mascara generate even more interest in seeing the film? Probably not. Like I said, the hype is already there and I think that their marketing teams are doing a good job…overdoing it a little. But this extra marketing will not increase the box office number (which will already be huge). It is better to pick and choose how to promote something versus overdoing it.
Of course, there are a million examples of over branding and marketing…and, even worse, there are a million examples of not doing enough.
At a certain point, it can cross a line where people become complacent. Things can get old or boring fast…and as marketing professionals, we really want to avoid creating that movement. We want to keep the hype going and keep that bond with the consumer. We want to keep what we are selling at a high value and in the mind of the consumers. We do not want them to walk into a store and see something [that makes them] immediately feel like they want to vomit.
Let’s go back to Star Wars and Disney…because I do want to point out some things they did right (even if they have done too much). I think the partnership with Air Hogs was brilliant [setting] off a media frenzy that drove fans wild! New Star Wars toys that were not only innovative but cool. Air Hogs flying Millennium Falcon or mascara…hmmm…which had a stronger effect? Which looks dumb (sorry)? As you can see there are smart moves, and then there are moves that will simply leave people scratching their heads. I think the promotion itself of the film could be a good case study…what types of promotion, branding, and marketing generated more buzz and what simply was not worthwhile.
Kudos to the Peanuts film which kept their marketing simple in Germany. Partnering up with Nutella… creating the jars and giant Christmas Kinder Eggs with Peanuts toys inside! Smart move. Honestly, I do think they could have done more marketing, however, in Germany since convincing Germans to see the film is probably a little more difficult than convincing Americans to do so. But they kept it relatively simple and [it was] not blasted in our faces. Thus, we are not tired when we see Snoopy in the store. Granted I do not think Snoopy can compete with Han Solo as far as box office sales go. But that is to be expected. One thing that does surprise me with the two, neither Star Wars or Peanuts targeted Kids Meals or Happy Meals in Germany. Which, to me, would have been a great way to push their marketing further.
The point we should take away from this article is that it is important to promote, brand and market things. We must remain conscious in knowing if we have not done enough or if we have done too much. Being continuously blasted with a message can dull the senses and make the consumer immune to the message. Not doing enough can push the product, brand or service forward. We have to find that happy medium where we generate the right amount of buzz that informs the public without leaving a sick taste in their mouth.
Share your opinions on products, services or brands that you find to have over-promoted, marketed and branded below in comments.
About the author: Kenneth Shinabery