Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Direct Marketing 101.

This full-page Siemens ad appeared in today's Times. Complete with those two boxes obscuring the image.

Now I've nothing against VR codes. My friend used the first one in the UK, but did so via a full-size outdoor poster which was one big VR code. Here it's slotted in as an afterthought - one that won't reach many people, one that distracts from the rest of the copy and one that ruins the design.

It's effectively asking the readers to do something (scan the code)before they can find out what it is Siemens want to tell them. That's like the url that leads to a webpage with an "Enter here" button. That's like the customer service number that leads to a labyrinthine telephone menu. That's like the headline offer that forgets to tell you about the small print. It's all bad marketing.

If you've somehow earned the customer's scarce attention, then at least have the sense to tell them something. Directly.


Blogger Jonsview said...

Your observations on this advertisment are interesting, but are they empirically sound?

What did Seimens hope to gain from the addition of the scanline? Perhaps they ran this ad against a control in another paper to see if there was an increase in activity on their website? Maybe they simply wanted to appeal to the "geek" audience who loves this sort of engagement gadget.

In fairness, I agree that many consumers would be annoyed by this sort of extra work, and may lose interest, but it seems that many younger consumers like to be engaged through nebulous technology. Maybe that was the goal?

Jonathan Wade

10:13 AM, July 14, 2009  
Blogger john dodds said...

Good to see a new commenter Jonathan and you have a point, but I could counter that "young people" don't read newspapers and others don't like being excluded by things they don't understand.

My basic concern remains, if you try to do too many things with your "messaging" you end up forgetting with whom and what you're trying to communicate.

4:26 PM, July 28, 2009  

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