The aim of this report is to provide details regarding the marketing rationale behind the television advertisement we produced. A description and justification of the creative execution of our commercial is presented, followed by an analysis and explanation of the Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning strategy we decided to employ for our brand. Finally the media plan will be provided along with a conclusion.
Consumer behaviour is complex nowadays and it is not always rational but tends to involve all sorts of postmodern characteristics. Consumers prefer to differentiate their class, age and sex, and mix their physiological and psychological needs in an unusual sequence. This is in direct contrast to Maslow's hierarchy of needs which puts needs into a logical consumption order and suggests that lower order needs must be met before one can progress to satisfy those on a higher level (Oxford University Press, 2001). Based on the idea of postmodern marketing our creative execution is aimed to move away from traditional marketing and instead promote our shoe brand as a way of living.
The core concept of our commercial is brand positioning, that is, to present consumers with a picture of the effect of incorporating our product into their way of life, and how it will differentiate their individual lifestyle. More specifically, we placed our brand into several everyday activities of young adults so that each and every consumer can associate with it individually. With this creative concept the advertisement production was easy to develop, effective on market target, economic, simple in casting, and provided the desired message.
To achieve a postmodern approach we tried not to include a rational sequence to the scenes, common sense, monologues or discussions. On the other hand, we included brand presentation, a dynamic mission statement as well as bold, colourful pictures, motion, humour and fast-beat music. The latter four aim to create an excited mood to the consumer's psychology. All of the above showcase a modern sense of lifestyle and therefore target the appropriate market.
During the commercial, a mixture of normal life and exaggerated, yet amusing, scenes are presented to show how our brand fits to various activities of different consumers. Thus, we invite the young generation to try our brand but at the same time we do not discriminate between them. As previously stated, we do not use a logical sequence of scenes in the commercial intending to result in a logical sequence of emotions (Huang 2001).
The first step for achieving an emotional impact is a simplistic introduction scene in the park, to make consumers curious of what will follow. A number of odd and normal activity scenes without a fixed pattern follow, trying to make consumers focus deeper on the commercial concept. Specifically, the emphasis of the brand is stressed in the unconventional scenes where consumer's attention is maximised on what they observe in the advertisement in relation to the product. Some of the unconventional scenes include the actor sleeping and showering with his shoes on and wearing them during intimate moments. Brand repetition in all scenes enhances consumer awareness of the brand name and logo so as to be recognisable out in the market among other competing brands. With the above methods, by the end of the advertisement, consumers would have absorbed all features of the product such as style, brand logo, design, comfort, simplicity and the experience of wearing our shoes.
Signals are sent to the consumer about the price range, education and socio economic status by smaller details in the commercial. Some examples include the modern style of clothing and the various activities the actor is involved in. Some other, less important indirect details, such as the age of the actor, his position near the drinks in the supermarket, even the type of magazine the actor reads and the fact that he is using an mp3 music devise are used to convey messages of association. This means that if what consumers observe is what is happening in their real life, then they instantly think they must possess our product because it is part of their lifestyle and represents their identity. Hence, the purpose of those details is to present a picture to the consumers which they are familiar with, so that they accept the product and stimulate demand as they feel it represents their lifestyle and personality. This is a postmodern method that enforces demand by telling the consumers that it is a necessity to choose our brand.
Following the scenes, we place the mission statement "Soon they become a part of You", on a black background to make it stand out and attract the viewer's attention, therefore clarifying the message we were trying to convey throughout the commercial. Also, words like "You" encourage consumers to personally try our brand, which is more effective than a broad reference to all consumers. In this way, we plan to make individuals feel unique when they think of our brand. Additionally, our brand is presented as a necessity in life which makes our mission statement dynamic in the consumer's mind. A sample of our collection is followed so as to show that our brand is unisex, highlighted by the scene where the actor is a woman yet playing football, and to promote a variety of designs to suit different tastes.
At the ending, the brand logo and name are positioned facing a black background, in capital letters, to make them stand out clearly and be easily remembered. Below the brand logo and name we placed our website and the reasoning behind this strategy is to provide consumers with an immediate source in which they can view our full collection. At the last seconds of the advertisement there is an entertaining return to the preceding scene. This leaves a positive last impression and associates the brand with a happy psychology in the consumer's mind. The viewer's laughter at the end aims to unconsciously create a relationship between customer and brand that is established by contentment. All in all, and according to our postmodern approach, we perceive consumers as active, creative and critical individuals and therefore included in our advertisement fantasy, images with symbolic meaning, feeling and entertainment.
Segmentation and Targeting
Market Segmentation is defined by Easey (2008) as "where the larger market is heterogeneous and can be broken down into smaller units that are similar in character" (p133), in other words, the division of the market into sub-groups, hence, making them easier to target. The concept makes undoubtable theoretical sense when thinking of the best way to generate profit as all marketing efforts are solely directed to one homogenous sub-group, thus maximizing marketing efficiency. Segmentation is closely followed by Targeting, which evaluates which of the previously identified segments is the most suitable for the brand to target and then chooses the most appropriate way to reach them.
According to Baines at al (2005) when undergoing market segmentation, behavioural, psychological or profile variables need to be identified and taken into account. For our high-street shoe company, we have chosen to perform the segmentation process with regard to the geo-demographic and socio-economic facets of a consumer. Firstly, we divided the market, on the basis of age, into four segments: students below 20, young adults of 21 to 35, middle aged 36 to 50-year olds and an older generation of 50 and over. After careful consideration, we opted to target the young adult segment as our advertisement's entire attitude and approach is characterised by playful humour and liveliness. It is, hence, a fitting representation of a young adult's daily lifestyle and will affect them more since they will be able to identify with the actor and the scenes depicted.
More clearly defined, our target customer profile is male and female with regular disposable income, with families of an average monthly income, having successfully completed their education, high school or other, employed and of whichever marital situation, primarily single or with partner. Furthermore and given the fact that the advertisement will be solely shown in the United Kingdom, we expect the vast majority of our customers to be UK residents.
However, upon closer inspection, we cannot fail to acknowledge that segmenting the market does not make practical sense. This is due to the very likely possibility of our actual customers not falling into the category we have chosen to target. For example, a particular shoe design may be targeted at a 25-year-old yet be bought by a significant number of 40-year-olds. It is neither unlikely nor unheard of an advertisement to affect consumers outside the range group it originally intended to target. What is more, post-modern advertising fully supports this, as it focuses not on logic or practicality but on making an emotional impact (Huang, 2001; Firat et al, 1995). We have chosen to do so by employing humour to our advertisement. Therefore, we do not consider segmentation incredibly important but neither will we be mass marketing our products. We will be strategically targeting consumers through carefully selected media outlets, choosing those with the highest impact on young adults. Our primary focus will be on Positioning our brand in the minds of consumers.
Brand positioning is an important element of the marketing sector. To be more precise, nowadays "the brand choices are so varied and the differentiation so minimal in terms of product functionality that we're faced with a sea of indiscernible offerings" (Hogan 2007). Due to that, we believe that it is essential for a company to develop a brand which understands its target markets, a brand that goes beyond just promises.
Our vision as a company is to provide comfort in everyday life. Adding to that, our brand positioning strategy is mainly based on the features of the product, the use, as well as the advantages (Fill, 2009). Explaining in more detail, the comfort and style are the main features and benefits of our product. Our strategy, as far as the use is concerned, is to verify that our product can be worn wherever and whenever. When adding all these together the customers will create an image of our brand, an image of comfortable and stylish footwear that is targeted, as mentioned above, in ages between 21 to 35-year-old young adults.
Furthermore, in order for a brand and product to be triumphant in the marketplace it must stand out, in other words, it must be distinguishable. In order to achieve this, we decided to use our product's features and benefits to give our product the whole package. More accurately, it will be stylish, comfortable, affordable, meaning that it will have a normal price, and a modern design. Hence, it will set us apart from other competing companies.
Finally, by simply watching our advertisement, customers realize that they can continue a fast-paced life and, at the same time, incorporate elements of comfort and ease.
We have developed a media plan for the promotion of our product taking into account the most effective and strong ways to achieve the desired success. Referring to the season we chose to advertise our brand, we will air our commercial during mid-Autumn and mid-Spring. This period would be after the summer sales and before the Christmas rush and so our band will become well-known before such a high spending period thus increasing turnover during the holidays. We have excluded both summer and winter for the reason that sales of athletic shoes in those two seasons fall in general as most people usually choose to spend their money on sandals or boots respectively.
Moreover, we researched TV channels and programs which our advert could be broadcasted in. We concluded on the channel ITV2 as our first choice with X-factor as the programmed viewed because is a neutral program with a large number of all kinds of fans. Furthermore, the programme is shown in the evening when most people are at home, either returning form school or work. The same applies for MTV with the difference that the majority of viewers here are of a younger age, all programmes have demand and therefore we do not feel the need to further stipulate on which programme it should be broadcasted. Furthermore, for this channel our commercial will air in the afternoon as the costs are reduced but the number of viewers still significant.
To specifically target women we are advertising the brand in the middle of 'Gossip Girl' episodes, once again on ITV2 and at night-time, whereas to target men we preferred the Sky Sports channel before the start of football matches. This is due to the fact that the average consumer is most likely to pay more attention on the television, and therefore the adverts, before the beginning oh his desired program which he is waiting to start.
Moving away from television, we also intend to advertise our product through the radio on the Heart Radio station as it is national and therefore everyone in the UK can tune in and hear it. In particular, we plan to broadcast on the Heart breakfast show while most people are driving to work, school, college etc.
What is more, we will develop an online website to further advertise the brand. In addition to this, a fan page on Facebook and a Twitter group page will also be created informing the public about events, products and discount sales. We will also be purchasing advertising space on popular computer chat rooms such as Windows Live Messenger
When it comes to outdoor marketing, colourful posters with our smart and catchy slogan will be placed at strategic locations around London that will most likely have the biggest impact will easily catch the customer's attention. Examples include underground stations, the ad spaces next to escalators, bus stops and billboards distributed throughout the UK, in other words on motorways, traffic lights and so on.
Regarding print advertisements, we plan to place our advertisement in fashion magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Grazia for our female customers and Men's health and GQ for our male customers. All of the above magazines do not advertise luxury brands, are hence approachable and consistent with our brand image and are widely popular. Lastly, we did not fail to notice that there is a huge audience that reads the newspapers given out in London for free and so we are adding an advertisement in the morning "Metro Newspaper" and the nightly "The Evening Standard Newspaper".
Through this assignment we introduce a product to the market via a fictional brand (PLINN). We used the idea of post-modern marketing, in contradiction of the Maslwas Pyramid, by involving non sequenced, amusing scenes in the advertisement and other psychological trends to influence consumer.
It is a relative flexible product since it can purchased by different classes of people due to its customer-friendly price and frequent use.
Brand positioning would be vital for our product and business since there are a lot of different entry barriers that can prevent the success of gaining a respectful market share. In order to achieve this we underline, through our advertisement, the certain benefits and attributes our consumer can enjoy (such as comfort, style and low price).
Through this advertisement we can easily promote our product and illustrate the commercial side of our brand.
We included a media plan to help us confirm our brand awareness. Media exposure through the television, radio, underground posters etc. can help to our product promotion.
As far as evaluation is concerned, we understand that there can be difficulties establishing our brand name due to competition. Also there could be a restriction regarding our product's range because it is most likely to apply only on the sport-shoe market and not the entire shoe market.