When all else fails, try the truth.

In the wake of the turbulent economy tired consumers are fed up, too many have been badly burned. People no longer even pretend to believe advertising hype that implies benefits and outcomes that…well, that simply aren’t going to happen. Frankly I think consumers will be slow to spend and when they do, it will be on products that they  trust. I think companies who can win that trust will benefit.

It brings to mind a global brand of shampoo who back in 87 (when the global economy was faltering).  “Body-On-Tap” adopted a positioning that was up front, no bullshit, straight down the middle.

Amidst a clutter of competitor advertising that suggested, endlessly enduring beauty, an  improved sex life and the promise that “the man of your dreams would sweep you off your feet” if you used their product. Body-On-Tap (I think…hope?) thought outside the box and launched a campaign featuring the predictable image of a beautiful young woman with lustrous thick hair caught in a slow-mo twirl but the ad copy went something like this; (paraphrasing here…it’s been a long time).

“Our shampoo will make you hair  clean, shiny, healthy and look and smell great…What you do with the rest of your life? Is up to you!”.

It was a great campaign, ‘though I have no idea what the impact was on the bottom line it certainly moved their product up more than a few notches on the consumers score card. Why? It was honest. It clearly conveyed a simple message. We make great shampoo! If you use it you will have healthy, clean, beautiful hair… that’s all! It appealed to consumers who had lost their confidence in the business world and had, had their fill of twaddle.

Considering that once again we’re emerging from the economic dog house, beleaguered consumers ( better informed today ) are once again woefully short on trust. I think they  will regard companies that advertise their products in a truthful and honest way as being more worthy of their support.

Looking at some of today’s advertising I notice a lot of ads targeting young men (in particular the deodorant market) imply that the use of their product will lead to wild and gratuitous sex with unbearably gorgeous women. Really! What bunk. Do we really think anyone believes this? Even naïve young men?

I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a quick dummy ad ( forgive the hasty layout etc) for a fictitious men’s deodorant that may score a few points with consumers that have become  a lot more cautious, distrustful, and frugal. The kind of  positioning that may win an increased share of wallet as the competition for jaded consumers tightly clenched dollars heats up.

What do you think?  Heading in the right direction or not?

Xross that line.

Would you mind pushing some of those buttons below? Thanks awfully.

Cheers Steven

Man with flowers image:  courtesy of Photobucket

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