Come on Coca Cola

So whoever has sat next to me in a marketing, PR or advertising lecture would know I really do not like Coca Cola. It frustrates me that they are so creative and engaging with their advertising efforts and they are able to create such a big community. These ‘great’ ads are always examples in lectures and I always watch in annoyance and say “I really don’t like Coke”. Hence the opening sentence.

Open_Happiness

No thanks.

 

I dislike them because they are so good at marketing and because they are marketing such an unhealthy product to almost every single consumer in the world. I don’t see it as a fully ethical practice.

The Coca Cola Company’s Business Code of Conduct states five things at the beginning of the document;

  • Act with integrity.
  • Be honest.
  • Follow the law.
  • Comply with the Code.
  • Be accountable.

They have well written and thorough documents on Corporate Governance Guidelines, Social Responsibility and Ethics. There is no official document by Coca Cola with information on sugar or a healthy balanced lifestyle.

I’m not saying that this company has to tell the world how bad sugar is, but I feel the benefits of a balanced lifestyle should be written in a report, available on their website.

When I search Coca Cola and healthy lifestyles I get articles, reports and blogs on how they donated money to health researchers to help with their work. Those professionals then also put out reports on how exercise is more important to stop obesity, that sugary drinks do not play a role in obesity and even one that stated diet coke was healthier than water!!! Help me…

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These are just some of the articles and speculations that pop up. Even if they are not all 100% true (and I was a bit sceptical when reading some facts)  it isn’t picked up by bigger media platforms and Coca Cola doesn’t have to worry.

I think for their brand to be more ethical, they should clear up all rumors and speculations with an official document online. They say they want to be transparent, so they should be honest about all the work of the research they help fund. This would help them develop a clearer, stronger message and possibly make unimpressed consumers (like me) turn our attitudes and behaviours around.

After a bit more research I did find a useful page on their website, follow the link, which is in the right direction.

Just as a final point, Coca cola has amazing viral marketing potential! For example:

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But I feel we are yet to see a campaign that really targets healthy lifestyles and balancing sugar intake. So until I see that in one of my lectures I am still not that bit a fan.

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YAY veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judging by the Cover

So what would you rather choose?

A: DairyFineSelection     B:610273cfb02c2b33ef4f31a7752b321d

Well firstly, if you are a uni student I would say  we would all choose A as it is cheaper! If they were the same price though what would you pick? The fancy one? The packaging has been carefully designed to draw us in. It makes us think good quality and taste. It is easily recognisable as premium and if it looks better than other brands on the shelves it is more likely to be picked.

It is such an important element for brands, as essentially consumers are judging every product by its cover. Even if a well established high quality brand suddenly started using less quality packaging and materials, their brand loyals would even question their purchase. It is all about perception.

PackagingMatters

I find it funny that this infographic is also an advertisement. We can’t escape them!

Tap Packaging Solutions  2015.

I did have a lot of fun researching packaging and products and it was easy to apply it all to my own shopping experiences! I definitely think vision and touch are the best sensory systems to target. These things are physical stimuli and someone’s inherent predisposition also plays a large role.

This example from below when I went shopping the other day is a perfect example of contrasts in vision and touch. So we all know Target has items that are a bit cheaper but imagine if you had no idea about either of these brands. How would you automatically perceive them?

Vision: The Target bag is flimsy and almost see through. The Country Road bag is thick, sturdy cardboard with a very minimal and simple design.

Touch: The Target bag is thin, the opposite to Country Road as the bag is thick with a textured cardboard and ribbon handles.

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Some features of more premium packaging include; better quality printing and materials and a minimalistic design (Schiffman 2014). This is what is displayed in the example. We perceive these features with better quality as it costs more money to produce the packaging. I think it means the company has more money to spend on it and I also know if I spend more money on a brand I expect nicer packaging. Please wrap my items in tissue paper and tie a ribbon around it haha.

Girls-Shopping

We may be seeking out the less premium brands, and packaging is a clue to what we may be after. This is how it can change consumers behaviours; The types of packaging, colours, writing and material can draw us to a product depending on what we think we are after. If something stands out whether it is cheaper or more premium we will be more likely to purchase it.

I also think that when you are in a store, if your purchase is given to you in a nicer quality bag or wrapped up, you build a better connection with the brand and that is the aim of many brands.

  • Schiffman, L; O’Cass, A; Paladino, A and Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edition.
  • Azad, N & Hamdavipour, L. (2012). A study on effects of packaging characteristics on consumer’s purchasing confidence.Management Science Letters , 2(1), 397-402.

 

 

 

Brands that Snapchat

I still remember when I first heard about Snapchat. It was in one of my first BCM lectures in my first year of uni back in 2013. I could not wrap my head around the concept. Why would I possibly want to send a photo that only lasts 10 seconds?

It was still a few months before I finally got it, and here I am 3 years later in love with it. Snapchat has developed a lot in the last three years, with each new update I found myself liking every addition.

  • Snapchat stories, perfect for capturing your night so you can reminisce (or cringe) the next morning.
  • Filters, perfect for making us look that little bit better with black and white, for making people laugh, for procrastinating and for swapping your face with your friends!!

The only addition I may not like is this one, if it is true…

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Lately I have noticed something, more and more brands and people with huge followers have taken to Snapchat as a means of marketing themselves. Now some brands I have seen, do it right and others are painful to watch..

Here are some examples:

  • McDonalds

I actually first got the idea for this blog when I saw McDonalds had Snapchat and location based filters. McDonalds is one of the first brands that are paying to design their own filter (Kokalitcheva 2015). Click here to read an interesting short article on this new form of advertising.

I followed them and tested it out. I do not know why I am giving a thumbs up; they had a pretty pointless story. We are interested in how Snapchat affects consumer behaviour however. I was wondering how much it makes people go and buy McDonalds?

 

  • Bondi Sands is another brand I followed on Snap Chat. They Have some useful pictures, and other times it is very uninspiring.

 

  • Frank Body is very active across all social media platforms. So it seemed natural for it to have Snapchat. They have such a distinct style and they create snaps that are easily identifiable as theirs. They have visually appealing content and demonstrate the products often. It also is consistent with all their other marketing efforts; Cross-promoting content. It is one of the best ways to make Snapchat work effectively for a brand (Johnson 2015).

 

  • Princess Polly is another. I feel it is pretty useful for clothing brands to use Snapchat, it is an easy way to quickly show how things look, and what is new. Princess Polly can go overboard, snapping every moment. That is just my opinion though, if you like that brand you could love to see every element.

 

Pros of brands using Snapchat:

  • Relatable- I think this is one of the main reasons for brands to use this media. Especially if you have a target market of 14-24 year olds as this is the largest user age group!
  • Informal yet informative- It is a relaxed way to send content to your followers.
  • Personal- It can seem more personal to users as they get the messages directly. They can become more than a brand and form better connections with their market.
  • Instant- Brands can take a picture and instantly send it out for 1000’s of users to see. It is a great way to see things as they happen.

Princess Polly is a good example at being personal and instant. They show all different aspects of their brand. As well as the clothes, they show the staff, the location, what they like to do, what music they like etc. and this creates a more personal relationship with the consumers as they feel they know more about the brand.

Cons:

  • Buyers and potential buyers can see a lot of content but there is no direct link to a website to make purchases. People have to remember that product and go themselves to the site.
  • There is a fine line between snapping well and then snapping too much, especially if you are not communicating useful or engaging images.

Bondi Sands is a good example of this. I know they mean to be helpful by posting ‘tanning tip’ videos. Butttt the videos only last 10 seconds and when they are going into a lot of detail and information it takes a very long time… I think YouTube videos are better suited to that style of information.

If we look at the positives of Snapchat and look at the brands that use it well, with interesting, engaging and informing snaps, how does this affect Consumer Behaviour?

Mainly I think it is about building relationships with the market and to really show the brand in an honest and authentic way. This increased credibility and links to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. People need friendship (social needs) and brands that Snapchat to their consumers are trying to create these. If consumers feel closer to a brand then that brand or product will move into the persons Evoked set. This will change their behaviour when they need something or go shopping as they think of that brand and purchase it over competitors. That purchasing behaviour is also an example of emotional motivation as they have that connection.

Lastly to change consumer behaviour, companies need to change the attitudes of their audience. By snapping them they can be funny and relatable which starts the attitude change. Some strategies for attitude change I have noticed with the brands above include; change the consumers beliefs of the brand and they often associate the product with an admired event or celebrity.

So if it is done correctly, snap away!!

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Johnson, L 2015, ‘5 Ways Brands Are Standing Out and Building Audiences on Snapchat’, Adweek, p. 1.

Kokalitcheva, K 2015, Snapchat is tapping a brand new revenue source, Fortune.com, blog post, viewed 9th May 2016.

Let’s be Positive People

I thought my blogging days were over but here I am again (for a marketing subject too)!! So after many attempts to log back into WordPress, I have remembered my password and I am ready to type.

I work in retail and always try my best to give customers I serve a really positive, friendly and helpful shopping experience. Then when I go shopping myself I feel I am more aware of how they serve me. I have to say, I don’t think it is that great… I am not asking for long conversations and over the top smiles. It would just be nice to have someone at the change rooms when I need help and an honest opinion.

If we had to write about a bad retail experience this would be easy, so many stories to choose from. Surely everyone would agree with that? I think I know the reason we have more bad than good experiences! I have done some research into retail and customer service memes. The results show that customers are crazy and that employees hate their work.

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We should inject a little more positivity into this worker-customer relationship! When you go shopping and the store assistants are happy and genuine, really great experiences are created.

This leads me to my most memorable experience. I had been shopping in the city (too many shops, not enough time) when it was busy and no one was around to help get sizes or styles. I couldn’t even be bothered to try things on or look when I felt like that. There was one store however. They could see my mum, sister and I needed help and took us to a fancy change room and waiting room. There were lounges, magazines, tables, water, cupcakes, fancy rugs and grand mirrors. It was like change room heaven.

The lady then went out and grabbed all these clothes in our sizes, helped us find outfits and showed us options that really suited us. It was clear to see this kind lady loved clothes and helping us find something we loved. It was very refreshing. We did spend a bit of money, but were happy with the clothes and service, so we didn’t even feel bad (The bank account did though). Just goes to show how much good service can influence buyers and help out a business.

Moral of the story; let’s be positive people!!

Tara 🙂

Would you want the same house all your life?

If you don’t want to be living in the same house all your life, then why should animals in zoo’s be allowed to stay captive in the same enclosure or park all their lives? Many animals will do just that. I recently watched Blackfish, it was great at shedding light on this horrible situation. These huge animals were kept in swimming pools and many were born and died in captivity, not ever knowing the ocean.

I was just so annoyed at the humans involved. How could they continue their practices! When a Calf was taken from its family the mother would cry and grieve for days, they let it happen. All the people interviewed for the film said they loved the animals and knew it was wrong and still they didn’t stand up to higher management. I understand it was a tricky situation but it is the whales lives at stake. It was a frustrating documentary to watch.

I feel like this more and more about Zoo’s as well. How can carers keep the animals there or not protest poor living standards if they recognise it? Especially in smaller areas where the space is limited for the animals. We have to start teaching our children that it isn’t nice to see animals not in their natural environment, if they sleep all day and seem bored it isn’t how the animals normally are.

My friend also told me recently about Tigers at Dream World. How she was so excited to have a photo with them when she was younger and now when she sees that photo she can see how sad it is. Tigers having to sit there for photos.

How do you feel when you see this amazing creature having to perform? To me it feels like the tiger is being treated like a child, it is degrading.

Zoo’s are a big industry and if we look at the park owners in the Blackfish documentary we can assume they are in it for money over animal welfare. Animals should all be recognised with feelings and emotions, it baffles me how people can hurt animals or cause them sadness. I fear the worst cases it will just remain hidden from the public and taking short cuts in animal care will continue. If more documentaries like Blackfish came out about other animals maybe a change would be happening faster.

Cost of movie making

I never really considered the other things that go on when a movie is filmed, I never really thought about how much money and resources were spent to make films. That was until I learnt a bit about the making of the Titanic by James Cameron and I was shocked, I had to look into this more.

I do like the movie Titanic but really feel in the grand scheme of things, did they have to spend so much money? I’m sure some cost cuts wouldn’t have changed much in the film. The total cost of the film was $200 million and could have provided clean drinking water to 600 000 people for a year in Baja California, where a lot of the movie was filmed. Just think about how many ways that money could have been spent?! I also read on Buzzfeed that the scene where the water crashes into the Grand staircase room could only be filmed once! As the room and furniture would be destroyed from the one scene.

Then what happened to this ruined furniture? I can imagine it was disposed of, that is a lot of waste. Imagine all the rubbish and damaged items from movies! I understand film is a huge industry and wonderful things can be created. It is just really important that the makers of the film are thinking in an environmentally friendly way and thinking what they can use that will be recycled or reused.

A lecture given by Toby Miller about ‘Greening the Media‘ told me about the environmental cost of the film too (from 20 minutes)- Fox built a wall to close off a bay, They chlorinated sea water and killed the sea urchin population. It damaged that environment and it has never recovered. How could they be allowed to turn a bay into something that is man made…

Green is Universal is a website which talks about all areas of society and how they are making it sustainable. They have a section on film making where movies are recognsied for having sustainable practices and it also gives suggestions to other directors. These things can be found in their Green Production Guide! “Featuring nearly 2,000 companies that provide sustainable and energy saving products and services for film, television and commercial productions, The Green Production Guide aims to take all media green one set at a time.”

It is a definite benefit to the earth if media producers and movie businesses take care in ensuring they have environmentally healthy practices.

Positive Princesses and Passionate women

With this topic I was interested in two ideas that I came across; that of scripts in cinema and how they portray the way life should be and then the point of all these sexist and dumb questions being asked by journalists and the media to famous and well known women, particularly actresses. Firstly let’s start with women scripts in movies, in particular Disney Princesses and what they teach young girls. I watched a video, which sparked annoyance in me as I did not agree with it’s statements. To understand what I’m talking about watch this YouTube clip. What did you think? It is looking at the old classic Disney movies, the clip is saying girls shouldn’t speak up, beauty is most important, a pretty face over intelligence and that they should be domestic. I know this clip was an example, but maybe they could have shown one with the positive sides? Here are some ideas  I think they forgot to mention; Cinderella is nothing but kind and always has courage and hope. Snow white is kind to animals and generous. Ariel follows her dreams even if it means risks. It is not all superficial; the prince can see she is special even when she acts strange. Beauty and the beast; Belle stays with the beast only because he changes, she contests him and she isn’t staying in a violent relationship. These are just a few things I remember and other Princesses weren’t even mentioned. Do they really damage girls identities? I don’t feel affected, I don’t remember thinking ‘gosh, I better clean and be silent’, I loved the stories and remember brave characters. Disney are now creating movies with even stronger female characters and are becoming more diverse. Positive messages are always told throughout the story line.

This is the message from the newest Cinderella movie. I love it, it is simple and teaches everyone a good message. I always remember the old Disney Cinderella being kind, they all have a positive message for young children to learn from.

Secondly the topic I wanted to touch on was about successful smart women in the media and how they are mostly asked the same simple questions. This video from the Upworthy sums it up for us in a minute.

How many questions like that that go unnoticed? I am sure there are worse questions too. I am always interested in fashion at big events but it would be refreshing to hear more men being asked those questions. It would be even more amazing to hear these women so many of us look up to, talk about their passions and more serious issues. By having more women involved in journalism and more important ideas about women media, perhaps better questions will be asked and society will change.