What Message Do You Want To Send?

Even though I’ve only been at it for 4 years, I love working in marketing. Actually, I love it when it’s done properly. Unfortunately, I’ve only ever worked for one organization that, in my humble opinion, did it properly.

The problem is, marketing is subjective. It isn’t subjective in theory, but it is in reality. For most people, it’s about ads and promotions. After all, those are the most “in your face” elements of marketing. So that’s all they expect from the marketing department.

For me, marketing is really about the 2-way communications between the organization and the rest of the world. For the organization’s part in that 2-way communication, well yes, that means ads and promotions, but it also means any message that ever leaves the company’s physical location and ends up in front of any other entity, be it a customer, potential customer or even a supplier. This includes the company’s logo, packaging, press releases, website, catalogues, presentations, user manuals, invoices…hell, even their “help wanted” ads.

At one company I worked for, my boss asked me to put together a “wish list” of all the things I thought needed to be addressed immediately in order to develop a coherent marketing image. The first item on my list was to paint the office and update the furniture. Yes, even the office space sends a message. I was there for 10 months and they never did paint the place.

$100? Man, I wish this was my wallet.

In any case, one of the most important marketing elements for any company is it’s slogan or tagline. Here’s an example of a company that got it’s advertising message out in a big way through their tagline. The Capitol One rampaging Vikings and the slogan, “What’s in your wallet?” had a huge impact on brand awareness, pop culture and propelled the company to its position of 8th largest deposit portfolio in the United States. Not bad. I’m guessing the paint in their offices isn’t peeling either.

Plus, it became an earworm as I was cleaning out my purse this morning, inspiring this post, and now I can answer the question:

  • 4 social security cards (1 mine, 1 for each of my boys)
  • 3 hospital cards
  • 1 debit card
  • 1 medicare card
  • 1 driver’s license
  • 3 general use credit cards
  • 4 store credit cards ( although 2 are for the same store and I don’t know why )
  • 1 library card
  • 1 airmiles card
  • 1 Tim Hortons gift card (which I’ve had for so long, I don’t know if I used it or not)
  • 1 Triumph bra club card
  • 1 five dollar bill, 3 quarters, 1 dime, 6 pennies
  • 2 bandaids
  • 7 business cards (2 contractors, 2 friends’, 1 esthetician, 1 mortgage broker, 1 garage)
  • 1 esthetician’s appointment card for December 2006!!! (Should I call to say I won’t be able to make it?)
  • 1 piece of paper with a phone number on it (who the hell is BenV?!)
  • 1 restaurant receipt from last November
  • 1 receipt for a pair of shoes I bought last September
  • my eyeglass prescription
  • a toering
  • lint

Now since, personally, I’m not that fond of the Capitol One Vikings, here are a couple of their David Spade ads which absolutely slayed me! Enjoy 🙂

Related Posts

  • that first one is just as funny as it was the first time i saw it. probably funnier. i love the vikings too 🙂

  • i know it's probably wrong of me, but i LOVE the way he screams as he runs away 🙂

  • I love those ads and have never seen them before. I too spent a lot of time in Marketing and I loved some aspects of it, but hated others. Because of the cost of doing things “right”, a lot of companies just want quick and dirty. You really can't accomplish a “branding” effort on the cheap. The over all concept is so important, but so was a paycheck so I adjusted and cut corners, and quit fighting “the man”.

  • me too…(giggling now thinking about it)

  • That's exactly the part I find frustrating! Companies want a million dollar look on a hundred dollar budget. Sigh.

  • giggling thinking of you giggling 🙂

  • I have my glasses script and a toe ring in my purse as well. I just threw out a piece of paper with Brian R's phone number on it. Sorry Brian I can't remember who you are or why I have your number.

    I don't have a five in mine however.

    I was always told not to carry your social security cards with you.

  • How could you never see these commercials before? They are everywhere.

  • I dunno. I guess I don’t watch enough tv.

  • Jen? JEN! You have a TOE RING? My toes are curling up in protest as I type this. Doesn't it bug your toes? Maybe it does since it's in your purse.

  • What are your thoughts about re-vamping those slogans. Remember the FreeCreditReport dot Com band? I liked that but now they're looking for a new band. Do you think there's consistency there?

    And how do you drop one campaign/style and move to the other without losing your audience?

  • I've gotten better, it used to be I would just write the phone number with NO NAME!

    I no longer have the five in mine 🙁

    I know. I probably shouldn't, but I'm afraid I'll forget where I put them if they're not in my wallet!

  • I think it depends on how the company does it. You can, and should, change up your ad campaign but it should always carry your message. Capitol One went from Vikings to David Spade, but their message was always consistent.

    Changing the campaign isn't always easy, and there are no guarantees you will keep your audience. Sometimes, though, that's the point. Market research, another thing I find most companies don't do enough of, should be done all the time to analyze your current campaign, its effects, who it is reaching, who it is NOT reaching, etc. While research won't guarantee you an audience, it will help increase your odds of success in deciding when you need to change a campaign and in designing it.

    Wow, that turned out to be quite a lecture! Sorry about that, there won't be a quiz at the end of the class 🙂

  • Inspired by your post I checked my own wallet and here’s what I found:nn-1 credit/debit cardn-assorted driver’s licenses for all my personalitiesn-1 picture of a unicorn blowing soap bubblesn-1 piece of yesterday’s dinnern-2 euros, 55 centsn-1 pebblen-8 condoms

  • Inspired by your post I checked my own wallet and here's what I found:

    -1 credit/debit card
    -assorted driver's licenses for all my personalities
    -1 picture of a unicorn blowing soap bubbles
    -1 piece of yesterday's dinner
    -2 euros, 55 cents
    -1 pebble
    -8 condoms

  • Kind of like me wanting a $70 Silver Oak Cabernet and only having a diet coke budget. It’s ridiculous!

  • 8 condoms? My aren't we a busy girl!

  • Guylaine Tremblay

    Hey, this is your fucking esthetician. Remember me? You owe me $40, bitch.

  • Tell the truth, there’s more like 12 condoms, isn’t there? 🙂

  • Exactly like that!

  • Nice. I had forgotten why I stopped going to the shithole you call a “salon”. Oh, and the cheque is in the mail. I made it out to Pigface Tremblay. You shouldn’t have any trouble cashing it.

  • Jepeto

    Nicky. Be nice to inbreds. It is not, well, yeah, it is their fault.

  • Jepeto

    Men or Women condoms? women condoms…brrrrrr.

  • Guylaine Tremblay

    Hey, this is your fucking esthetician. Remember me? You owe me $40, bitch.

  • Mikewj

    Nicky, it seems very unlike you to pick a fight with an esthetician. Is anything wrong?

  • Mikewj

    A busy girl would have one or two condoms. They come in packs of eight, if I remember correctly.

  • Mikewj

    What was that unicorn blowing?

  • I love David Spade SO VERY MUCH!nnOne of the best marketing campaigns of all time was when Sears decided to go after the female gender with the slogan ‘Come See The Softer Side’. nnAnd another a good marketing campaign was the Geico / Caveman thing. [When it first started and before they took things too far and ruined it.] nnI mean, they were able to make a commercial WITHOUT HAVING ANY DIALOG? Kind of tough to do! And it still makes me laugh!nn[see this video nn

  • I know. I normally only pick fights with drunks in bars, but I couldn’t help it. What can I say, she “rubbed” me the wrong way.

  • Mikewj

    Have you contacted her directly and tried to resolve your differences in an amicable way? And was her salon really the one you had an appointment at?

  • Mikewj

    I feel like a marketing expert now. I’m switching careers!

  • Mikewj

    Giggling thinking of Nicky giggling at the thought of Roschelle giggling.rnrnBut I’m not gay. rnrnI just wanted to be clear about that.

  • Nope. I don’t know who she is. And I thought my response was an amicable resolution 🙂

  • I’d hire you 😉

  • Giggling thinking of you giggling thinking of me giggling thinking of Roschelle giggling…rnrnIs giggling often mistaken for a sign of gayness?

  • I love those David ads too. The Vikings not so much. You belong to a BRA club?!! Wow – your chest must be something special. I was never invited to join a bra club.

  • Those are hysterical. You have three boys?! You look about 12 years old. How is that possible?! nnI’ve got all sorts of crap in my wallet. Maybe I should clean it up and redecorate.

  • Yup, they killed the caveman when they tried to do the sitcom about them. But the ads were great.

  • To borrow from Seinfeld, let’s just say “they’re real and they’re SPECTACULAR!” 🙂

  • Yup, 16, 13 and 3 years old. I have no idea how it’s possible…my mom says it’s genetics 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. It’s very subjective and only seems to be perfect when the product works or message takes off. IF not – it’s a constant game of tweaking. I work for a top software company and the website changes 24/7 depending on metrics, etc — but at the end of the day – the product is so complex it sells itself. I think it’s different for a credit card or a personal product where you can attach a meaning to it. rnAnyway – i’ve been married for a year now and I jsut realized i have a very old condom in the back off the wallet – not expired yet but worthy of throwing away as wifey once knew it was there…but sure she would forget if I whipped it out now. rnKD from Waltsense

  • They really did take it too far!

  • Pingback: We Work For Cheese » Blog Archive » Magic And My Favourite Commercial()


  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest