Tag Archives: consumer

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Few weeks ago, Pepsico introduced new packagings and logos for Pepsi and Tropicana. Both rapidly became everyone’s favorite topic of conversation, but everyone agreed to say that both were a failure. Let’s focus on the Tropicana one, since so much has been said already about the Pepsi “smiley-faces” logos. As you can notice in the image above, the new packs all looked the same and had a very generic-looking design, removing the “tropic” and “juicy” away from the brand. Consumers were confused in the supermarket aisles: the shelves looked stuffed with OJ packs from Russia circa 1994, making it was impossible to make the difference between the different flavors.

So Tropicana fans rebelled. Mainly online: Twitter, Facebook groups, emails… And Pepsico announced today that they would roll back to the old warmer packagings:

Neil Campbell, president at Tropicana North America in Chicago, part of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, acknowledged that consumers can communicate with marketers “more readily and more quickly” than ever. “For companies that put consumers at the center of what they do,” he said, “it’s a good thing.”

I wouldn’t like to be the agency that worked on the re-branding…

Read more about this in the New York Times ›

As Donald Gunn taught us in 1978, one of the master formats of advertising is “associated user imagery”. This kind of ad “showcases a type of people it hopes you’ll associate with the product”, in order to transfer the qualities of the people to the product you are trying to sell. In fact, I think this is the format Renault Koreos’ advertisers used to create the following TV ad I just saw last night. The only difference is that here instead of people they’ve got cars.

For the first 47 seconds, this 60-second video promotes the new French SUV in Italy using vintage footage about old Renault models, soundtracked by the irresistible “I’m free” by Rolling Stones, and then finally switches to the brand-new gas-guzzling beast rescuing the old sisters from muddy troubles, concluding with a reassuring voice saying: “4×4 outside, Renault inside”.

I’ve had three cars in my life,and two of them were Renaults. Watching the first 47 seconds I was carried away by all that technicolor galore. But when I saw the 4×4 entering the scene, I jumped on my sofa in disbelief. Even if every single second of the ad was trying to convince me, and was doing it well, then that Renault just didn’t fit it in the picture. Do you remember that classic IQ test question asking: “In this set, which object does not belong?”, that’s how that SUV popped up to my eyes.

In Italy, SUV sales have increased fourfold in a decade, but this growth is parallel to also two other things: the awareness that this type of car is not suited for the European city and that a low-gas/low-emission economy is fast becoming a stark reality.
Releasing a SUV now (emitting 230 g/km CO2 when the limit for 2015
is going to be 125
) for the first time in 2008, when even GM is is closing four SUV plants, doesnt fit in the values the Renault brand has long being associated with: vision, innovation, casualness, and daring.

Investigating about the concept of this car I found this old post
describing the Koleos prototype with these words:

The new concept car also offers prompt response and driving pleasure, with a hybrid power unit that combines a two-litre 16-valve turbocharged petrol engine with an
electric motor.

So what happened to the hybrid SUV? I have yet to find an answer.

I think that never like today paying attention to your brand values and your audience (and reality) attracts more money than a good ad. And looking at this 1973 Renault 4 (190g/km) retromercial had me dwelling on another question: what in the world we need SUVs for?

Generation Dawning
Trendwatching isn’t all about reporting what is currently happening trend wise – it also requires an effort to be able to predict what will happen if things continue going down the road they are going now. It’s not a crystal ball method – we are not predicting the future or giving sure answers. It’s more an empirical approach to society – using the tools we have now, the knowledge we gained through the research to write these article and a gut feeling to say what we believe that will happen in the future. Read More »

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Denshi mane (electronic money) was first used by NTT DoCoMo in Japanese mobiles, Edy (which stands for Euro, Dollar, Yen) is a free electronic pre paid money service that allows you to charge money on your phone or card. This can be used in convenient stores, shops and even vending machines. You can even use your phone when going on the train, instead of using your suica card. That’s the name of the JR Lines metro card, it uses a magnetic strip that you swipe. You can even use it to buy things from vending machines in train stations.

So how does this work? A small magnetic like chip is inserted on the back of a mobile. This chip uses Sony’s FeliCa technology. A small scanning device is placed next to a register, or is attached to a vending machine. All you need to do is scan the bottom of your mobile over the device, and it reads the strip inside.

How does it take your money? You actually have to charge your eddy account. You can do this in several ways. They have small stand alone machines where you can deposit money in and then scan your phone, which adds the money to your account. You can also use your home computer and charge your credit card, but the website only takes certain cards.

Today AU by KDDI and Softbank Mobile also offer this feature and it seems to be doing rather well, although some are better than others. While I was living in Japan I never used mine. The one time I had no cash on me and was really thirsty the convenient store I went into had a broken Edy Machine. I was very disappointed. I do however think this is a very useful tool because I feel this feature will let you even leave your wallet at home. Japanese mobiles seem to play a huge part in life in Japan. It’s almost as if you leave your mobile at home, you leave a part of your life. That’s pretty scary.

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After reading about it for a while, this morning when I logged to Facebook, an extra layer in the layout opened, asking me if I wanted to move any of my 49 applications to an extended profile.

I have to say it’s easy and convenient; you decide the applications boxes that you want to keep or store, and your extended profile can be edited any time from your profile page.

How simple??? If only all things online could be this simple. Not wanting to go into a rant about complicated things, but I think Facebook have delivered that first building block of a solution to a problem, whereby if everything was approached in this way it would make the online world one of sheer ease.

I will try to adopt the Facebook “simplicity” model when proposing any online solution!