SMART PEOPLE UNDERSTAND CONTEXT

We have a copywriter at the office who’s is a bit of a hypochondriac.
The great thing about hypochondriacs is they are marketer’s dream.
They are high-involvement consumers.
They watch out for new products, read about them, try them out, and talk about them.
This means, if you’re smart, you can use their minds to do most of the work for you.
For instance, winter is just starting.
And colds and flu are on peoples’ minds.
Especially on hypochondriacs’ minds.
This copywriter recommended First Defence to me.
He said he’d used it, and found it worked.
First Defence is a very clever marketing idea.
It’s a spray you squirt up your nose at the very first sign of a cold.
That probably means a sneeze.
Now, whether or not it works is a separate issue.
Here’s why I think it’s clever marketing thinking.
It understands how the human mind works and capitalizes on that.
Look at it this way.
For a moment assume that First Defence doesn’t actually do anything.
We know that humans sneeze a lot of the time.
Especially in the city.
Sometimes it might be smoke or pollution.
Sometimes it might be dust.
Anything irritating the nose.
In the summer, unless we have hay fever, we don’t think anything of it.
We sneeze, maybe once or twice, and forget it.
But now take the same sneeze in winter.
Now the weather is cold and we’re cold.
Now maybe those sneezes are the first signs of a cold.
So we take First Defence as soon as we sneeze.
And if those are just dust sneezes, like in summer, we don’t sneeze anymore.
And we think it worked.
So First Defence gets the credit.
Now of course, we know First Defence does have some medical properties.
So sometimes it might actually work.
But the great positioning is that you must use it ‘at the first signs’ of a cold.
So supposing you sneeze and wait until you can go to the shops to buy it.
And supposing it doesn’t work.
Well it’s your fault, you waited too long.
In that case, if it doesn’t work, you can’t blame the product.
You didn’t use it soon enough.
But, in order to use it soon enough you have to buy it before you need it.
Put another way, you have to buy it whether you need it or not.
How great is that as a piece of marketing?
You have to buy it whether you need it or not.
So here’s the great marketing.
If it works on a sneeze that wasn’t a cold, it didn’t really work.
But it gets the credit.
If it didn’t work on a genuine sneeze, you didn’t use it soon enough.
So it doesn’t get the blame.
And, for it to work, you have to buy it in case you think you may need it at some time in the future.
And it all depends on being advertised in winter, when everyone is expecting any sneeze to be the first signs of a cold or flu.
And prepared to do anything to stop it.
That’s clever marketing.
To let the season, the news media, consumers’ conversations, and the environment be your advertising.
To let the context do the work for you.

That’s smart media.
That’s free media.

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    Not forgetting the average (male) consumer that won’t do anything until it’s far into a bout of man-cold.

    For them – a product called last defence, super-powered sneeze-be-gone when everything else fails. Benefit? the cold has already done it’s worst, enter the hero product. boom.

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    Very clever – “preventative marketing” ?
    I bought snow chains the day before this year’s snowfall, and so felt quite smug. But if the snow never arrived, I’d still be happy, because “I Am Prepared” – so I think this scouting slogan reflects our (male-biased for some reason) nature just as much as context helps to accentuate or inflame it…
    As for First Defence, isn’t it justified by your writer, and others, as just a cheap, no-risk vaccination?

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    Roy and Craig, absolutely agree.

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    I wouldn’t be so sure that the systematic use of drugs to guard against something that might never happen is entirely risk free but hey each to their own,I never use to wear shin guards until I got my ankle broken playing footy!

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    Sorry, my previous comment was meant to link into the fact that I was the last line of defense. Anyway, after all is said and done does this mean fear is greater than love?

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    I think it relates to what Rory Sutherland calls ‘the framing effect’ in BE.
    A Rolls Royce looks expensive next to other cars.
    So they advertise Rolls Royce at boat shows.
    A Rolls Royce looks cheap next to a £10M superyacht.

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    + why I never stand beside Brad Pitt in a photo session.

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    That’s one exclusive frame of reference, Dave. Don’t know if you’ve been watching ‘The Apprentice’ but Sugar sends the ‘losers’ to the caf. Winners if you ask me. Bubble ‘n’ squeak. Cuppa cha. Sorted. Life’s not all caviar and cappuccino.

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    Is Brad endangered then Grilla?

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    I always park my car between cars more expensive than mine under the belief that if a car thief wants to steal a car, he’d go for something more expensive as the risk is no greater but the return is higher.