Navigating the Brand Jungle

Is branding getting harder? Every generation of marketers probably thinks it’s got the biggest challenges (just ask the perpetually scowling Don Draper of Mad Men fame).

But while I believe these are very exciting times for marketers, it does seem like we are in midst of some unique challenges that require not new thinking…but a more diligent adherence to the fundamentals that have always made brands strong.

I discussed this in more detail on a webinar in partnership with a Getty Images. This was an informative event with lots of insight from experts and contributions from webinar participants. I urge you to watch for further events like this to stay up to date on branding and marketing industry news.

You can catch the entire presentation HERE.

Below is a recap of what I see as the top challenges and some strategies to navigate through them (with or without the Don Draper martinis).

3 Top Branding Challenges 

#1 Cutting Through the Increasing Clutter
Advertising and messaging clutter is not a new issue, but it’s one that’s getting worse. Why is this? There has been a shift from mass media to a greater number of more targeted channels. However, since most consumers still view multiple channels, this means that they see more messages. The average HH has 300 channels vs. 61 in 2000. Also new technologies mean that consumers are exposed to messages on new devices- like smart phones and tablets. Lastly many retail stores,

Does Sex (Always) Sell?

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I’m just back from a wonderful (dare I say “sensual”)  vacation in the South of France.

The weather was warm, the nights were long and, in general, our time was  spent in a relaxed languid and indulgent mode.

Our days and nights were a continuous feast of fragrant, heady wine and mouth-watering  local delicacies: mussels fresh from the Mediterranean sauteed in garlic, ripe figs picked right from the local trees, creamy gelato in inspired flavors and crepes dripping with chocolate…

So with all this rampant hedonism, you think an advertising message using sex as it’s theme would automatically hit a positive note, right?

Well, um no.

This Orangina ad was everywhere, using various wild animals in anatomically “interesting” portrayals.

And as much as my thirst was piqued by the 90 degree days…these ads for the popular carbonated beverage, in my opinion, just fell flat (pun intended).

The Whoopi Goldberg Poise Ad: Huh?

I don’t remember a lot of ads from Sunday’s Academy Awards Ceremony.

But I do remember this ad for Poise with Whoopi Goldberg. But I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.


I keep thinking about this ad, and I can’t decide if it’s brilliant or ridiculous.

On the positive side, it definitely takes a unique approach to a somewht taboo subject (female incontinence) and attempts to bring it out into the open and a very public forum- using very public women.

Whether Whoopi’s humor works (fake French accent and all) is another story. I think she’s a polarizing celebrity. You either love her or hate her. I’ve never been a huge fan.

But I think what keeps me pondering this commercial, is I don’t really understand the strategy.