For you PR and marketing types, read “Bud’s Big Blunder: Letting Consultants Steer The Brand in Advertising Age. about Budweiser’s failed “drinkability” campaign. The article explores Anheuser-Busch’s hiring of the consulting agency, Cambridge Group and what happens when a portfolio management group extends outward and creates problems with the creative aspect of marketing.
At the core of the piece is the division between linear thinking and human emotion.
Actually, the best part of the article is the comment section. There are 44 comments, many in-depth, from marketing and consulting professionals which hit on numerous aspects of consulting, the creative part of advertising, and methods.
It’s interesting to note, too, that most of the comments come from seasoned professionals, which translates into middle aged white men used to creating brands and massaging minds in 20th century traditional print and broadcast advertising.
Despite the mildly Jurassic framework, most of the ideas are still valid, especially from those who hold forth that emotion sells.
This is a must-read for PR folks in any field. Most of you have been in similar discussions range from boring and silly to maddening (as in “how can I, with gentle electronics, eliminate his vocal cords?”).
Anyway, it’s a great set of pitches, including offenses, defenses, accusations , and occasional chest-thumping. There’s some humor, a lot of anger and just about every business-related cliche ever invented.
Unfortunately for the “Drinkability” creators, almost everyone agreed that it was a bad campaign.
This is a discussion among the real Mad Men. I sat through it imagining a chat room full of cyber smoke swirling in slow motion, Pandora piano music in the background accompanied by the clink of Second Life martini glasses.
Ideas and emotions = great drama every time.