Thursday, February 14, 2008

Now for a Tasty Treat!

Magazines are barking up a dead tree -
but it's almost the right tree!

"Marketers Salivate Over Lickable Ads," and "Magazines Try Out Tasty Strategy" the headlines virtually screamed. And over what? simply the next step up from scent strips and scented ink and such: lickable taste strips pasted on the page.

In this case, the furore is over an ad for the Welch's Grape folks (ah, and how many of us still recall that precious cave-moppet, Pebbles Flintstone, asking for her "woo woo gay goo" each week?) granting the brave reader a chance to lick a strip which purportedly tastes like the legendary beverage itself. Quite an interesting proposition.

As scientific research has established, 87.4% of our experience of taste is actually accomplished through the sense of smell (olfactory, my dear Watson!). This means that the grape growers might have been better off providing consumers with a less potentially-unsanitary experience (what if it's already been licked? and by whom? what if Pat had ... no, I mustn't obsess ....) by providing scent-strips, or even Scratch 'n' Sniff® panels in the ads. Still, that's nothing new, and a goodly part of this campaign is its novelty - if only for the PR value.

Back, for a moment, to the scientific research. Recent studies tend to confirm the idea that most people hold their reading matter somewhat farther away than the tip of their noses (or, for that matter, their tongues!), rendering what was to have been a multi-sensory experience into a sequence of senses instead.

How, then, to rectify this situation; how, then, indeed? We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC are nothing if not line-extension fiends: thus, a new "riff" or "variation" on our CoollMisstTM technology - Scentliminal Odor-amaSM!

"Brilliant!" I hear you gasp, and brilliant it is. Imagine, if you will, a full-motion video capable beverage vending machine. As the consumer ponders which of the speed-chilled beverages to purchase, he (or she!) is treated to a brief video "vignette" showing a young child asking a young mother (perhaps portrayed by the delicious Parker Posey) for a drink. "Mom," as she is here known, opens the Kenmore® refrigerator and pulls out a bottle of Welch's Concord Grape Juice. As she opens the lid (or cap), the Scentliminal Odor-amaSM scent organ pumps out a puff of Concord Grape vapeur-de-juice, causing the consumers mouth to water (reflexively!) and to pull the Welch's Grape Soda lever (or push the button, of course, depending on the specific model). Brilliant isn't the half of it.

This, likely, puts one in mind of the constant harping of chef Emeril Lagasse (it's sad, really, how the man has let himself go these days, don't you think?) in regard to the sad state of our cable television infrastructure: "we can put a man on the moon, but we can't get smell-o-vision in our homes," he gripes - or words to that effect. In fact, he is correct. This is yet another area where our place-based video offerings have far outflanked the traditional television systems - including the nascent TV over IP (or internet-based television). By having control over our screens, we can offer an ideal experience, each and every time. Not even the new HD (or High-quality Depiction) televisions can offer more than two senses at a time (viz - sight and sound).

On a somewhat-unrelated note, you may have noticed that the brand of refrigerator was mentioned in the Parker Posey vignette description above. As many of you no doubt know, Sears (along with her sibling brand K-Mart!) is locked in a struggle with the economy, the likes of which hasn't been seen for more than two decades. What with the constant news of the housing problems and the mortgage woes besmirching the names of all and sundry marketers and financial entities, it seemed only appropriate to pull out a snippet from an earlier newsletter. Consider this a bit of "Classic Jay" if you will. Keep in mind that this comes from our newsletter of March 22, 2007 - nearly a year ago! - as you read what may prove to be a prophetic offer of help to two sadly struggling industries:

"Jay," I hear you cry, "tell us how this all results in an opportunity, rather than in cause for macro-economic doom-and-gloomery!" And so I shall.

Imagine the plight of the typical new homeowner: he's (or she's!) in over his (or her!) head, financially speaking. What with a mortgage payment, a car payment, new appliances, and increased insurance, it would be amazing were he (or she!) not. Here's where opportunity raises its marketing head, as it were.

Keeping in mind that fiscal plight, what response might a savvy marketer at, say, Kenmore® expect if he (or she!) offered said homeowner a subsidy on the interest rate of his (or her!) mortgage? Exactly - he (or she!) would wonder about the attached strings, and rightly so.

In exchange for a half-point subsidy in the mortgage interest rate (this is for discussion purposes only, the actual level of subsidy will be determined at a future date), the homeowner agrees to purchase a certain number of Kenmore® appliances, and to accept certain marketing communications - right on the monthly mortgage statement!

Who makes out in this? Why, Everyone Involved! The homeowner is saving his (or her!) hard earned money each month, in exchange for making purchases which he (or she!) was likely to make anyway. Kenmore® has an immediate sale, and a channel of communication which should lead to a long-term loyal customer, and the mortgage company has avoided having to foreclose on another potentially unsaleable piece of real estate.

Of course, you may rest assured that similar scenarios can be (and have been!) imagined for insurance and automotive marketers.

Interested? We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC certainly expect that you are - otherwise you're simply not the savvy, forward-thinking marketing professionals that we've come to believe you to be. Let us know how we can assist you in this new venture.

While we don't claim to know the future, we do help our clients to manage it.

Last time, Jay wrote about experiential marketing and brand evangelists:

Cindy Crawford responded:
"You know, Jay, Linda's not the only smart supermodel out there. As you know, I was valedictorian of my HS class, and I could have been a chemical engineer or something, but I firmly believe that modeling is my true calling. Apple was going to name something after me too, but "Crawfish" seemed more like a code name than a ..."

Thanks for your note, Cindy (if it's really you - I find this a bit hard to believe), and there was certainly no disrespect meant to any of your sistern in the supermodel sorority. I know you're all smart and beautiful, and I love you all equally!

-- Jay


davehall said...

That Classic Jay was spectacular! I may have to make a trip from Troy to the Windy City to see about starting a dialog.
I'll keep in mind that it was your idea, so if it works, we'll be in touch!

Tor Hershman said...

Your blog is most interestingly cool.

Stay on groovin' safari,

Jay Standish said...

Dave and Tor -
I thank you for your kind comments.

Dave, I'm looking forward to hearing from you when you return to NY (or is it a different Troy?).

Tor, your blog is quite interesting as well. You have some very beautiful images there, and with the Creative Commons licensing "scheme" (if you'll pardon the expression!), some of them may find their respective ways into some of our activities here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC.