The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.'
In the 18 March edition of the Post1, we continued our adventures in marketing by asking our readers to read a brief description of a common product's packaging and a selected bit of prose penned by a marketing executive touting the product's attributes.
This week however, nobody was able to correctly identify the product in question. We guess even 'marketing geniuses' strike out some of the time. Yet, despite the failure of this week's description to
trigger a brand-name recognition marketing executives sometimes get it so right that their efforts become part of the culture.
Take, by way of example, Tylenol-brand pain relievers. Its marketing materials suggest that doctors recommend Tylenol more than all other brands of pain relievers combined to reduce fever and for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains. More than 240 billion tablets have been taken worldwide in the past 38 years, according to the company's marketing efforts.
Tylenol is nothing more than Acetaminophen. Here in the USA, the brand name Tylenol is close to becoming the generic term for any brand of acetaminophen. That's what really powerful marketing can do for a
In other cases, the brand name is already synonymous with the product. Xerox brand photocopy machines is a perfect example of this phenomena. Around the office, I have heard people say, 'I need to Xerox these forms for my files'. That's music to a marketing executive's ears! When your brand name is used as a verb, you know that your product is part of the culture's subconsciousness which can only lead to more sales2!
We're sure you can think of a million other examples, but our lovely readers want to know about the 18 March product description. So, let's get to the answer and next week's puzzle! In the 18 March edition, we asked you to identify a product based upon the following description:
This product featured a lovely scene of the Swiss Alps which actually made me pause and give it a second look. I couldn't imagine for the life of me what the Alps would have to do with this mystery product. Among the descriptors for it are the following:
Over the centuries, the Swiss have developed and perfected their secrets for this product. Now these closely guarded secrets are captured within the mystery product for this week.
And the product was? St Ives brand hand lotion. Yes, the Swiss have perfected a secret formula for hand lotion! Who would have known it if not for some clever marketing executive! And if you think that bit of marketing genius is something just wait until this week's effort.
This week's product comes in an ordinary white and green box without too much in the way of eye-appeal, but its description lets the consumer know that it is far from ordinary since it is made from:
Specially tempered, bright plated, steel for maximum strength
Again, this is a common type of product that I cannot imagine is very different from any other brand. But reading that packaging, it makes you realize that this is the one brand that you simply must buy - if only because that specially tempered steel will give you maximum strength!
'Curiously enough, an edition of the Encyclopaedia Galactica that had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in the future defined the marketing division of the Sirius
Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came.'