Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

Masking a brand for Halloween November 3, 2013

Halloween is a time of year when you get to act and be like something you are not and often, people choose a character they admire. Apparently this Halloween, Pepsi decided to dress up as their competitor Coca-Cola. Does that mean they admire them or want to be like them?

Pepsi as Coca-Cola

Pepsi Advertisement 2013

I cannot think of any scenario in which this is good advertising for Pepsi (except that it got the advertising world buzzing about their advertisement). Not only does it go against my theory of what to be for Halloween, because that would mean they long to be like Coca-Cola, but it also make it looks like the Pepsi can is wearing a super hero cape; as if to say Coca-Cola is Superman and Pepsi is the normal, ordinary Clark Kent. I think people would rather align themselves with the superhero in most scenarios.

Maybe they were trying to be ironic, but ironic costumes never go over well either. There’s too much explanation needed. Fork in a road? Ceiling fan? Code for I have no costume.

Even more interesting is Pepsi’s choice to cover up their own iconic packaging with their competitors brand. They used prime advertising real estate to inadvertently promote their competitor. A better move, in my mind, would be to have a Coca-Cola can dressed up as a Pepsi can for already listed reasons. Not to mention, is it every really good marketing to bash the competitor?

Here are a two brands that also capitalized on the idea of costuming their brand, but in my opinion, got it right, whereas Pepsi got it wrong.

Mini Cooper 2013

“Even your car is dressing up as something hot.”

Sharpie 2013

Sharpie 2013

Additionally, always popular, Oreo hit a big home run with their Halloween videos. Not only do I bow in the greatness of their stop motion video skills, but even the sets for the cookie actor are amazingly detailed. How much would you love that job? ‘Hey guys, let’s recreate the exorcist with an Oreo and call it “Exortwist!’ Those are the kinds of jokes only Oreo can pull off. A well liked brand with well liked campaigns gives you the space for creativity. 

There are so many opportunities for holiday advertising, especially around Halloween. Pepsi really missed the mark and came off as a bad sport, although apparently some advertisers thought it was a success. I vote to leave the other guys out of it and establish your own brand identity separate from the competitor for a really memorable and successful campaign.

What was your favorite Halloween advertisement and what do you think about Pepsi’s move?

Bias alert: I’m a Diet Coke fan all day long.


“Like” me! “Like” me! August 21, 2011

What keeps us hooked on Facebook for hours and hours once we have taken our daily dose of creeping? Facebook Pages.

I never thought about all of the business pages on Facebook unless I was interested in finding a restaurant and wanted to know what other people were saying about it. Even then, I never clicked the coveted “Like” button.

What convinces us to “like” a page? From my personal experience, I am drawn in by deals, creativity and the promise of interesting content.

Obviously, the easiest way to get people to click the like button is to offer an exclusive deal for doing so. Maybe there is a special weekly deal to look forward to or a one time discount for liking the page. Whatever it is, we like getting things discounted!

Discounts are nice, but sometimes getting someone to like your page can be done on creativity alone. I am both annoyed and attracted to pages that use fangates. If you search for a page, a fangate is the image you see as a non-fan. Once you  click like, a different image and content appears. Wildfire offers a free app that allows you to easily add this to your page.

It’s like being told not to do something as a child, OK and even as an adult. Tell me I can’t do something and all I want to do is exactly what I am being told not to do. What’s behind the fangate that only fans can see? I NEED to know.

The most enticing fangates are those that don’t just say “Like Us” but instead say it in a creative way. Here are a few that I found creative and leaving me wanting more from that company:

Well they got us with the fun “like” button, but what keeps us there?  There’s a lot to be said for comapnies that can continue to keep their fans engaged once they hit the like button. So much so that I decided to save my brilliant thoughts on this for another post. 🙂

I think its fun when companies take the time to make their Facebook page a destination rather than a sales outlet. It all starts with the “Like” button.


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