For Sale Ireland!! Was $217 billion, buy it now only $130 billion!

poster campaign on selling Ireland.

All talking in lectures has been done about company brands. This led me to write a blog about the branding of a nation. Tourism is the major money earner for the majority of countries of the world therefore ensuring a constant, positive brand image of a nation is crucial. This is a tough job as a nations brand has a lot more intangible aspects than a company’s brand would have. In practically all cases the intangible aspects of a brand are where the value is. Take Gillette for example; in 2006 Procter & Gamble bought the Gillette Company for £31 billion. That figure was calculated as £4 billion of tangible assets i.e. buildings etc. and the other £27 billion accounted for the intangible assets, that is the brand name and reputation. DeChernatany et al 2011


Interbrand have come up with a way that they claim you can go about to brand a country. They have designed a five-stage process:

  1. You have to have the cooperation and involvement of the government the arts, business and education and most importantly the media.
  2. You need to know how your country is perceived by those who live in it, and also by those who don’t.
  3. You need to consult with opinion leaders to find the strengths and weaknesses of your country.
  4. Create a strategy of how to communicate the brand image for each audience.
  5. Work out campaign that fit to the brands image.It would be great if it was that easy but the visitors needs and wants change over time so the whole brand image would need to change with it.

Ireland, Poblacht na hÈireann, the land of saints and scholars, the emerald isle. Ireland has had a massive influence on the history of our world, we gave the world James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, the most dangerous man in the world Liam Neeson to name a few (that’s obviously after Chuck Norris). Without Ireland the world would not have had the glorious liquid that is Guinness. Irish inventors were responsible for colour photography, the modern tractor, trans-atlantic calls, a cure for leprosy and whiskey distilling. Surprisingly enough for a country that was supposedly neutral in wars we gave the world the submarine, the ejector seat, the guided missile and the tank. And to the dismay of the Scottish the Irish also invented the Kilt. Ireland during its short history has been like a yo-yo of boom and bust. We have seen the best and worst of times. According to Friedman T (2005) in 2005 Ireland was in fact the second richest country in Europe.

poster campaign on selling Ireland.

So where has our success and failure got us to and how does our brand still stand. Ireland has always been known for its history and this is what has brought millions of tourists to our shores for decades. Some just for their love of history, and many to try to trace their Irish ancestry. This led Ireland to become heavily dependent on tourism for its survival. Although Irish exports are a major contributor to GDP, tourism is the countries main lifeline. In 2007, 7.74 million people visited Ireland, this number decreased to 5.86 million by 2010 and during 2011 this figure had risen to 6.29 million. This is good news that it rose in 2011 but Barack Obama and the Queen both visited the country in that year and this has a lot to do with the rise. This fall in tourist numbers can be due to a lot of reasons, but personally I believe it is mainly due to Irelands ability to overpromise and under deliver.

poster campaign on selling Ireland.

A nations brand is mostly intangible, that is, how the rest of the world perceives it. Of course this perception can change easily as every time a person visits the country they have a different experience, they deal with different people, buy different things etc. The brand of a nation can be seen more as a service brand rather that a product brand. A service brand has four main characteristics they are :

Intangibility, that is they cannot be seen or touched. They user will not know how good the service is until after using it. This is true of country branding, a consumer does not know how good or bad the country is until they have experienced it for themselves. Marketing people can try and overcome this by communicating the brands benefits through trusted recommendations. Tourism Ireland often used descriptions of Ireland from literary greats such as James Joyce or W.B. Yeats.

Inseparability, the production of the service can’t be separated from its consumption. You can’t experience the true Ireland without going there. Tourism Ireland had a campaign “Jump into Ireland” they encouraged people to immerse themselves in all things Irish.

Variability, here comes the main item, this can lead to a brands success or failure. When a user experiences a service they have a different experience to everyone else due to human behavior. As we are dealing with people this makes every experience different, human behavior can’t be controlled. Tourism Ireland could come up with a standard way for every person to deal with a tourist but this simply would not work.

Perishability, a service can’t be stored for future use. If a trip is booked for a certain date it becomes perishable that is it can’t be used after that date. Tourism Ireland use this in their St. Patrick’s Day campaigns where they encourage people to visit Ireland to celebrate the holiday, it can’t be celebrated any other time so it has an aspect of perishability about it.

Ireland is a service. A service that can only be experienced by coming to the country. Ireland takes pride in its ability to punch above its weight, Brand Ireland is known and loved the world over and this is a big feat for such a small island nation. Simon Anholt came up with the term “Nation Branding” and has published yearly statistics of what he calls the “nation brand index”. The results are from interviews of 20,000 people form 20 countries and they are asked about their perceptions of 50 different nations. These perceptions are about exports, tourism, immigration, governance, culture and people. These scores are then polled giving Ireland the number 18 position.

1 US

2 Germany

3 UK

4 France

5 Japan

6 Canada

7 Italy

8 Australia

9 Switzerland

10 Sweden

11 Spain

12 Holland

13 Austria

14 New Zealand

15 Scotland

16 Denmark

17 Finland

18 Ireland

19 Belgium

20 Brazil

As you can see Ireland and Scotland are punching well above their weight when it comes to country size but this has always been the case they have used the illusion of a constant enemy to build a good brand image.

poster campaign on selling Ireland.

Ireland has always used its vast history and charm to influence potential visitors but recent studies have shown that changing geopolitical trends could weaken this. Our history is becoming less prevalent even with our main source of tourists, the U.S. This evidence also suggests that young people around the world see us as less favorably than older generations have seen us. This is worrying for Ireland as it needs younger people to replace the older visitors, but what have we got to offer younger people apart form history?

A survey carried out by the Irish Times suggest that Irelands image is strongest in the U.K., U.S., Australia and other English speaking countries, but it does not perform well with the worlds fastest growing nations Russia, India, Turkey and Mexico. This coupled with the fact that young people do not warm to us as well as older generations is worrying. If something is not done to build up more brand awareness and likeability we could be looking for another area of revenue to help save us.

poster campaign on selling Ireland.

In conclusion unless the people in charge of Irelands branding come up with a miracle to increase our ranking then its curtains for brand Ireland. According to ISSUU’s Brand Finance survey between 2009 and the end of 2011 Brand Ireland has lost over 50% of its value it has slipped back into 38th position. This survey is based again on the perception of Ireland in the eyes of foreign consumers. With our government more concerned with Troika, the bailout and the continuous failure that is the Euro, it is hard to imagine they are going to be any major help in fixing this problem. They seem more concerned with raising taxes and making it a more uncomfortable to place to live in for its citizens, and they are expected to be the ones to put on the brave face for visitors. So in a few years you might see Brand Ireland up for auction we could do with the money!




DeChernatony, L., McDonald, M., Wallace, E., (2011) Creating Powerful Brands. Great Britain Elsevier Ltd.

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Ryanair = Genius. Not often you see those words together


I have wanted to do this blog for a while so that I can profess my love for Ryanair. The amount of hatred for Ryanair out there is staggering why do people hate them so much? I personally love them they can do no wrong in my eyes. That statement should fill up my comment section pretty quick. Now as I sit here in Liverpool airport waiting for my Ryanair flight, that is set to leave in 15 minutes, and which still has not arrived in from its previous destination its perfect time to finish the blog. I think to most people this must look like a very unorganized airline. But no! if you look into it you will find that the company is run with absolute military precision every item is accounted for and planes have the minimum of downtime to ensure efficiency and cost control. The maximum turnaround time for Ryanair planes is said to be 25 minutes less than half of British Airways time.

Ryanair 2

In my eyes, they are one of the most intelligent companies ever. Their marketing tactics are just amazing although most people would find them strange and unnecessary. Their success is mainly down to their commander in chief, the hero at the helm, the genius that is Mr. Michael O’Leary (round of applause people, credit where credit is due he is a genius). From the word go he took the book on ethics and business etiquette and rightly binned it. His confidence and zealous constantly get him into trouble, I think if you tried it out you probably find out that he is as much hated if not more than some historic figures in modern history. One of my favourites was his claim about the service he would offer for his transatlantic flight proposal. Watch it here.

As you can see the man speaks his mind. Wouldn’t that be a service people might go on holiday more often.

Ryanair was started by the Ryan family in 1985 with a share capital of IR£1 and a staff of 25. In their first year they had a total of 5,000 passengers who travelled on their 15 seater aircraft on their one route from Waterford, Ireland to London Gatwick. By September 2012 Ryanair’s passenger numbers grew to a staggering 79 million with an average capacity of 82%. A massive increase by all accounts. Ryanair are in the top ten biggest airlines in the world when it comes to fleet size, a staggering 290 new aircrafts, with plans to buy at least 13 more from Boeing.

Ryanair 3

Now I do agree they have done some things, which may be seen as inappropriate like buying up Boeing’s planes right after 9/11. Some people might see this as bad taste, but it really is just forward planning. At the time it was said that the events of 9/11 would kill the aviation industry, but Ryanair seen past this and struck a once in a lifetime deal with Boeing to buy all of its backlog of planes.

Ryanair are constantly being accused of safety concerns with their planes, but if you check it out you will find they actually have one of the youngest fleets in terms of the age of their planes Their entire fleet has an average age of 4.3 years. According to several sources Ryanair is actually among one of the safest airlines. In their 27 year history Ryanair have not had one air accident close to 4 million flights without a crash that’s not a bad record not much airlines can claim to have a perfect record. They are very transparent when it comes to these claims of inferior safety protocols. Recently the Spanish and Irish authorities investigated them after 2 flights had to make emergency landings. It was claimed that these planes were not carrying enough fuel, but the research showed that all precautions were taken and they were carrying 90 minutes of extra fuel for unforeseen delays. Michael O’Leary also stated other similar incidents which happened with other airlines and how they were not publicised like Ryanair’s were.

Ryanair’s slogan is the low fares airline and that’s what you get, incredibly low fares. I personally got a return flight from Knock (Ireland) to London for €4 return how could you disagree with that. Yes the seat was cramped it didn’t recline, the air conditioning is pretty much non-existant like the customer service. But you get what you pay for! They are the biggest no-frills airline in the world. Their success is due to their business model of low fares.

Ryanair 2

Ryanair’s main goal is to save money in every conceivable way, from eliminating check-in desks to strictly limiting the amount of carry on luggage that is acceptable. But the most genius way of saving money is on marketing. Ryanair markets itself, all they need to do is get a bunch of photographers in front of Michael O’Leary for 5 minutes and they will have headline news for a week due to some ridiculous claims that he will undoubtedly make.

The experts within Ryanair strategically use “buzz” and “word of mouth” marketing to their advantage. Mazzarol et al. (2007) claimed that “word of mouth is 9 times as effective as traditional advertising media in converting unfavourable or neutral predispositions into positive attidudes”. Studies have stated that a happy customer will tell around 3-5 people and an unhappy customer will tell up to 12 people. Ryanair seem to have used the quicker route of the negative customer to get their name out. Kardes et al (2008) say word of mouths success is due to the information being credible due to receiver of the message having a relationship with person giving the information. Even with this customers still use the service.

Michael O’Leary has publicly called his customers “idiots” because they incurred extra costs because of failing to print out boarding passes before they get to the airport, which is clearly stated in the terms and conditions. He claims that seatbelts are useless and a waste of time.

Ryanair 5

Shimp et al (2010) defined buzz marketing as the systematic and organised approach to getting people to talk positively about a brand, and to recommend it to a friend. I think Ryanair have turned this on its head and used negative information and shock value to gain the same effects of good word of mouth and buzz marketing. Michael O’Leary has come out with a lot of outlandish statements like standing room only on planes to save money, charging for use of the toilet, charging for toilet paper, imposing a ‘fat tax’ on customers who are overweight, he believes those customers who are overweight should be charged more doe to the fact they are using up more fuel. All of these statements are pretty crazy but the media feed on them like a pack of vultures, thereby plastering Ryanair’s name all over the national newspapers across the world. This tactic serves as cheap advertising for Ryanair as the figures have shown that the airline is still growing rapidly so people must not hate the company that much as they are still using it.

In conclusion I believe Ryanair owe a lot of their success to their unorthodox marketing practices from their CEO imitating the pope to their policy of publicly claiming their customers are idiots. These tactics would not be as successful if another company adopted them but I think the fact that Ryanair actually give customers what the promise they will and technically do not lie* is key to why they work. They call themselves a low fares airline and the leading no-frills airline in the world and these claims are very true. There are definitely a no-frills airline, I once boarded a Ryanair flight just before they got rid of their policy of allocating seats and I was informed I was seated in row 28 only to get there and figure out that there is no row 28. Now I think most people but would not be too impressed with this but I thought it was hilarious as I told the cabin crew about my problem they had to go check for themselves to realise that the plane (which is the exact same as all Ryanair planes) only had 26 rows. And they definitely do offer the lowest fares** of any airline. 1p flights how could you go wrong? Sadly most people do and end up paying extraordinarily high charges. After all they have publicly said that is how they make their money from these charges and why not. So to all of the Ryanair haters out their, if you hate them that much then do not use them or even better use them properly so they don’t make money and go wallop!

*They may slightly bend the truth like there on time record and claiming the airports they use are in Barcelona when there clearly not

**That is if your savvy enough to be able to use their website correctly to get them




Integrated Marketing Communications in Advertising and Promotion, International Edition 8e  ISBN-13: 9780324665314 / ISBN-10: 0324665318

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Heineken making consumers smile since 1964!!

The idea for this blog came from a friend of mine. He showed me how Alfred Heineken, the owner of Heineken, in 1964 wanted to rebrand his beer. He realised that at that at that time shopping was mainly done by women, and it was necessary for consumers to think positively towards Heineken over other brands. So in 1964 Albert decided to change the font on his label, he done this to “cheer it up” and the smiling e’s were born. When I seen this I was amazed how could such a simple change make a big difference.

Heineken old Heineken-Logo-270x203

A major difference those smiling e’s are absolute genius if you ask me.

This mind blow led me to ask the question does a consumer perceive a brand in a more positive or less positive way just because of the font? Hernandez (2012) stated that research has shown that recipes in a difficult script are considered harder to make and travel brochures whose font is considered exotic give the perception that the destination is far away. We can all see how some fonts can be seen as stronger than another or be seen as more masculine or more feminine, but when it comes to brand names do these differences influence our perceptions of a brand and effect our intentions to purchase?

Here are some examples of brands whose fonts were changed.


Not my handywork

Some are more subtle than others but still a big difference. Puma does not look as elite as before. Audi does not seem as technological and precision based. Vogue is not as fashionable and stylish. Coca-Cola does not show its history. This shows how small changes can have a big impact.

There is not much study done in this area, but the few studies I have found suggest that type font has an influence on brand. The main study in this area was carried out by Grohmann (2008) in this study Grohmann wanted to find out “Does type font affect consumers’ brand memory?” The research done here examines whether type font used to display brand names has an affect on consumers brand recall and recognition of unfamiliar brand names. The results of Grohmanns study are interesting she found that after doing her study involving 36 type fonts that, brand recall was higher for compressed type fonts and brand recognition increases with the elaborateness of the font. She found out that fonts with characteristics of harmony, natural and flourish did not have an impact on brand recall and recognition. Grohmann concluded that for new brands where recall and recognition are the main objectives should use a mix of light font (e.g., Times New Roman), Compressed type font (e.g., Playbill) and elaborate type fonts (e.g., Paintbrush). Even though the fonts used in the study were quite diverse (only a sample of the more than 2,000 fonts that Adobe offers) it does suggest that type font is an underestimated tool of brand equity. Successful choice of type font can result in stronger brand recall and recognition.

In another study on how type fonts impact perceptions Henderson et al. (2004) found six different font type characteristics that were seen to have an affect on consumer perceptions these were:

  • Elaborate (distinct and ornate)
  • Harmony (balanced and symmetrical)
  • Natural (curved and handwritten)
  • Flourish (serif, details on the ends of some of the strokes or sans serif, without these)
  • Weight (heavy, short or fat)
  • Compressed (condensed)

They go on then to categorise each characteristic into four dimensions of perception:

  1. Pleasing (Natural, Harmony and Flourish)
  2. Engaging (Natural and Elaborate)
  3. Reassuring (Harmony)
  4. Prominence (Weight)

These dimensions give brand managers cues to which type of font to use. Which dimension best suits their brand.

The fonts of some brands have become as famous as the brand itself. there are a lot of brands that have achieved this any font by these brands would be detrimental.



I firmly believe that type font has a major effect on perception. The main difference being between predominantly male and predominantly female products, for example power tool brands like black and decker use very masculine fonts and if they were to use a feminine font then the perceptions of male consumers would be altered. Similarly brands like Lancôme use feminine type fonts. If they were to change this to a more masculine font then I believe consumer perception would also be changed.

However these examples are the extremes I believe that font changing would also affect other brands. What is your opinion on this would changing the font on your favourite brand change your perceptions?

I had to put the e’s in here again it’s just amazing.



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The World Is Shrinking!!

Sorry theres a lot of reading in this one and no nice pictures or videos but give it a go.

Globalisation, is it the route to success? It may be but it’s a difficult journey, taking a company global is an arduous task, there are a lot of things to take into account. Embargos, trade agreements and tax policies are among the major factors when thinking about going global, but there are also more subtle items that should be considered, language barriers and cultural differences are possibly the two most underestimated aspects of going global. A lot of companies neglect these items, which can prove detrimental for the company. A clear marketing research plan must be undertaken to find out whether other countries need or want your offerings. Its getting easier tough.

Globalisation is getting easier and easier as time goes on due to advances in technology and travel. But what exactly has happened in the world that has made it easier for companies to reach international markets? Over the last 3 decades technology has advanced so much that the world has shrunk communication wise. Virtual environments have been built to bring communication from one end of the world to the other in a matter of seconds. But what are these advances in technology that has shrunk the globe?

Nandan Nilekani CEO of Infosys in India, stated that technology has created (this was back in the early 90s) a platform whereby intelligent work and intellectual capital could be delivered from anywhere. It could be broken down, distributed, produced and reassembled giving a whole new freedom to the way we work. Nilenkani also mentioned that the “playing field is being leveled between countries”. These statements led New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman to come up with the “Ten Flatteners” that brought about globalisation.

I have read Friedmans book it’s pretty interesting that these ten items have contributed to making the world more local rather than global. Friedmans flatteners are as follows:

  1. The fall of the Berlin Wall. 11/9/1989: Friedman called this flattner “when the walls came down, and the windows came up”. This not only symbolised the end of the Cold War, it allowed people from the other side of the wall to join the economic mainstream. Friedman says that “11/9/1989” is a discussion about the Wall coing down, the demise of communism, and the impact that Windows powered PCs had on the ability of individuals to create their own content and share it with others. At this point the basic system was created Windows had a standard interface for word processing, a basic tool for communication.
  2. Netscape going public – 8/9/1995. This flattener brought us from a PC based platform to an internet based platform. This brought the internet to everyone, before this it was primarily used by early adopters. Now people could shre files, pictures and words to global audience. Global communications were born. This made it easy for people to communicate with people in other countries which was previously expensive, now it can be done cheaply from the comfort of your home.
  3. Workflow Structure. Work flow services enabled people to do for the service industry what Henry Ford did for manufacturing according to Jerry Rao. Now an accountant in India could do the books for a European company without leaving his home. Any type of work involving a computer program can now be standardised and carried out by anybody anwhere in the world, because its been done in a virtual environment. Now the boss does not even need to be in the office he can do his work from wherever he pleases. These platforms create global virtual offices with no limited boundaries and are accessible 24/7 365 days a years. An example of a company doing this is Wild Brain. Wild Brain is an animation studio based in San Francisco, they are hired by Disney to produce cartoons and films. The design and direction they say is done in San Francisco and the writers and animators is done from their employees in there homes around the world from Bangalore to London.
  4. Uploading. This led to the birth of collaboration between the masses. Communities were now able to collaborate online by uploading their work into the virtual environment. People were able to contribute their two cents to debates on the internet. Open source software and blogs gave people the ability to voice their opinions. Friedman claims this to be the most disruptive force of all.
  5. Outsourcing. This flattener has given companies to split service and manufacturing activities into components which can be given to subcontractors to carry out so that business is done in the most effective, cost efficient way. Friedman states how this process became a lot simpler when fibre optic cables were distributed to the masses during the introduction of the world wide web. Computer programmers were outsourced from India during the dot-com boom as the cables were laid there first but when the rest of the world caught up jobs were outsourced to other countries. Friedman claims that eventually the majority of jobs will be outsourced only certain jobs are safe, ones which he calls “untouchables”.  Specialised jobs like celebrities. Localised jobs, ones that are done at a specific location using face to face contact and adaptable jobs those ones requiring constant new skills. One McDonalds franchisee is using outsourcing to decrease error. Shannon Davis has linked some of his restaurant drive through systems to a call centre in Colorado, which is run by another franchisee. When customers order in Davis drive through in Missouri they are not talking to somebody in the restaurant, the person isn’t even in the state. This system takes the order then sends it back to the restaurant with a picture of the driver and the car. This has proven cheaper and more efficient it has reduced costs for Davis as he pays a small fee per order whereas before he was paying somebody to stand there all day taking orders.
  6. Offshoring. This is the relocation of a companies manufacturing processes to a foreign country in order to take advantage of cheaper production costs there. On December 11, 2001, China formally joined the World Trade Organisation, this meant that they agreed to follow the same regulations governing exports, imports and foreign investments that most countries were already following. Friedman tells how ASIMCO Technologies, an American auto parts manufacturer who relocated to China, placed an African proverb on the factory floor. The proverb was as follows.
    Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
    It knows it must run faster than the fastes lion or it will be killed.
    Every morning a lion wakes up.
    It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
    It doen’t matter if you’re a lion or a gazzell.
    When the sun comes up, you better start running.
    Ever since they joined the WTO China and the rest of the world have had to run faster and faster. Competition has become more intense since this.
  7. Supply-Chaining. Here Friedman compares retail supply chains to the flow of a river. This is how companies have streamlined their supply chains to maximize efficiency and minimise error. Friedman gives the example of how Wal-Mart has a 1.2 million square foot distribution center in Arkansas. When a customer butys a product in any Wal-Mart store and it is scanned the information from the scanner is automatically sent to this distribution center where it tells the staff to send another item, it is also sent to the good supplier to tell them to make another product.\
  8. Insourcing. Now this is an interesting one. This is where certain companies use the services of other companies to reduce their own costs. Friedman gives the example of UPS, when an owner of a Toshiba computer is having problems with their device and it needs to be sent back to the manufacturer, Toshiba call UPS to pick it up but it never leaves the UPS depot as UPS workers are paid by Toshiba to be trained to fix the devices.
  9. Informing. Information is now available to the masses any one person can read up on anything thanks to search engines like Google and Yahoo. Every person has the ability to become informed on any topic which was previously not possible for most.

10. The Steroids. Wireless mobile devices, file sharing both ways in which virtual     communication has evolved. In 1971 Intels 4004 processor contained 2,300 transistors, their 2006 Titanium contains 1.7 billion transistors, personal technology devices have come a long way. Instant messaging services, Skype, Better game graphics and videoconferencing have opened up global communication to everyone. These steroids brought together the other flatteners of outsourcing, supply-chaining, offshoring, informing and open-sourcing. People can talk to people or computers faster, more efficiently and easier than ever.

These flatteners are very good at showing how the world has shrunk due to the evolution of technology. Technology has shrunk the world communication wise. Faster travel changed the world by giving people the ability to move to any point on the globe in a lot shorter time than before, but technology really has made a massive impact on the world. People can now communicate wirelessly to anyone, anywhere in the world at any time. This development has changed the world so much that now even cultural differences are becoming less of a barrier of communication as more and more people are becoming similar to one another and adopting other cultures.

Thanks for reading

I couldn’t go without adding some humour to the blog so here is 12 examples of how companies have tried to go global but did not take literal translations into account when naming their goods.

12. Parker Pen entered the Mexican market with a ball point pen with the slogan “it wont leak in your pocket and embarass you” but when translating the company used the worng word for embarass. So instead the tagline read “It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”

11. Clairol entered the German market with a curling iron “Mist Stick” only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. So people were no to keen on using the “Manure Stick”

10. In Spain Coors translated its slogan “Turn It Loose” into Spanish where it turned into “Suffer From Diarrohea”

9. Pepsi’s “Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation”was brought to China where it was translated and turned into “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave”

8. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Gerber did not take into account cultural differences, if they did they would realise that because a lot of people can’t read in Africa they put pictures of the whats in the product on the label.

7. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.

6. Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken,” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

5. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its “Fly In Leather” campaign literally, which meant “Fly Naked” (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.

4. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I Saw the Potato” (la papa).

3. The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read “Are You Lactating?”

2. General Motors had a very famous fiasco in trying to market the Nova car in Central and South America. “No va” in Spanish means, “It Doesn’t Go”.

1. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela”, meaning “Bite the Wax Tadpole” or “Female Horse Stuffed with Wax”, depending on the dialect.

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A finger Licken’ good blog.


Even the colonel agrees a good slogan is good for business. A good slogan encourages the consumer to “Think Big” about the brand as a whole. a simple thing to do to ensure a slogan is effective is to tell yourself “Dont Be Evil” as improper wording can make the consumer percieve something that your product cannot deliver. Emotions play an important role in the success of a slogan, when a consumer hears yours you want them to think there in “The Happiest Place on Earth”. You want them to think “Impossible is Nothing” when the possess your brand. A good catchy slogan can add as a networker for companies by “Connecting People” through similar ineterest in your brand. Slogans play a major role in brand equity and a good slogan can win the hearts of consumers and stand the test of time. When consumers see your slogan you want it to “Open Happiness” in their minds. It can make consumers believe that your product is “Good to the Last Drop”. In other words a successful slogan is “The Ultimate Driving Machine” to the success of a brand. So you have to make it “Snap, Crackle and Pop” in the minds of consumers.

Sorry I could not help it I had to give it a go. The last one was a tough one to fit in.


What is a slogan? A slogan can be defined as a memorable motto or phrase used in marketing. Basically a couple of words strung together to describe a brand or company. Sounds a like an easy task then to come up with a slogan. Well that’s where your wrong, coming up with a slogan that encompasses the image, style and personality of a brand while telling the consumer what the company is about and what it sells, keeping it simple and to the point in a couple of words is a major accomplishment. Slogans can add so much to a brand; they have the ability to change consumer perceptions of a brand. They are a marketer’s second chance at trying to capture the customer’s awareness if the brand name does not do the trick. Everyone has there own favourite slogans that evoke different emotions when they hear them. A number of well known brand slogans such as “just do it” have been confirmed to have great contribution to brand equity. Aaker (2004)

A good slogan must communicate the brands unique value proposition, it must tell the consumer every positive thing about the brand in very little words. The slogan acts as the reinforcer at the end of any ad campaign its aim is to drive home the brand. Hawkins and Hoch (1992) stated that incidental exposure to brand slogans encourages consumers to believe these statements to be true if encountered at a later date. Shapiro (1999) claimed that exposure to an advertisement increases the likelihood that the product will be judged acceptable for purchase. Numerous researchers over the years including Bornstein (1989) have agreed that repeated exposure to slogans increase positive effects towards these stimuli. Slogans also serve as “primers” for brands. Priming is where recent and frequent ideas come to mind easier than ideas than are not recently activated. Homer and Kahle (1986) showed that priming had a major effect on message recall.

Brand slogans can serve as platforms for evoking and reminding consumers of desired brand perceptions and emotions. Ennis & Zanna (1993). Brand slogans enhance a brands image, aid its recognition, recall and develop top of mind awareness for the particular brand, it can also create brand differentiation in the minds of consumers.

Although there are no instructions on how to come up with the best slogan there are certain criteria, which can give a slogan its best chance of being the right fit for the brand. Slogans must be memorable; they must have the ability to be easily recalled in the minds of consumers. They must be believable, so whatever the slogans claims about the brand the brand must be capable of living up to it. The slogan must be unique; a boring slogan is never remembered. The slogan must not be overused or just be a generic claim of the company. For example “We care about people” or “We are the quality leader”. These types of slogans are used but there not going to be remembered, they don’t add equity to the brand.

Slogans must single your brand out form the crowd. A catchy, unique slogan can do this. Something that is fresh, quick, easy to say and memorable will stand out miles from your competitors. The consumer should be able to get a feeling form the brand as soon as they read the slogan. When creating a slogan, marketers should be coming up with hundreds if not thousand of options then those options should be tested to see if they fit all the criteria of a successful slogan. Slogans must be properly linked to the brand. The amount of times a slogan is connected to the wrong brand is amazing. Marketers should use every available tool to ensure the slogan is linked with the brand.

A lot of brand names nowadays are made up words or are words that would not generally be associated with products. Apple is a classic example of a brand name that is just a simple word that previously had no association with computers but im sure, now there are some people out there that would associate the word with computers before they would a piece of fruit. Apples slogan is “Think Different” which is a good example of a successful slogan. Its simple, meaningful and tells you a small bit about the company. I believe the logo helps the brand have positive perceptions in consumer’s minds it’s telling them to basically think differently about computing; there is a different way to do computing. Another example of a successful slogan telling you about the brand is YouTubes “Broadcast Yourself” slogan its telling the consumer the basic idea of their brand, it’s a place where you can broadcast yourself to a potential audience of millions.

In a study by Marthur & Marthur (1995) they investigated the changes in the market value of firms when they announced there was going to be a change in slogans. Results showed an increase in market values once the change was announced; they found out that this increase could be attributed to the perceptions of the consumer. The consumers believed that if they were changing their slogan then they had carefully considered their marketing and advertising strategies, and the new slogans were being developed as a positive response to changes in factors such as demographics, consumer preferences and competitive environment. Campbell’s soup changed their slogan from “Mm! Mm! Good” to “Never Underestimate the Power of Soup”, this change received wide media coverage as was seen as an intelligent and successful change. A change in slogan is generally considered to be management’s intent to create buzz in the media.

To assess the strength and value of a slogan there are three questions that must be answered. Is It simple, easy to remember, catchy but also direct? Is it thoughtful? Does it posses and underlying meaning that evokes an emotion through a clever play on words? And is it powerful? Does it highlight the benefits of the brand? There are numerous examples of successful brand slogans, but a select few brands have achieved such success that the slogan is as recognisable as the brand itself. Here are a few examples of these:

Nikes “Just Do It” this slogan is as familiar as the brand. It illustrates perfectly the power that a slogan has. It is so synonymous with Nike that im sure when a lot of people hear those words in any context they think of Nike.

“Im Lovin It” possibly as well known as “Just Do It” if not more well known. This clever string of words is of course the work of McDonalds. This slogan is as well known as the brand it went down well with consumers. Chief marketing officer of McDonalds, Mary Dillon claims that the slogan is a multi billion-dollar asset to McDonalds. That’s a lot of for three words.

Consistency in a brands image and communication are key to its success although markets can dramatically change and brands have have to resopond appropriately. Since logos and brand names cannot be changed so easily its up to slogan to come to the rescue. The slogan helps to bridge the gap between a brands present and future image.

Some brands have adopted quite strange slogans. Here is a slogan for Timex a watch maker. Why? that slogan just seems wrong to me.


Some big brand seven use strange slogans take Diet Cokes old slogan of “You Are What You Drink”. Thats a strange one if you ask me so if i drink Diet Coke what am I? Am I a bottle full of acid?

In conclusion the power of a slogan should not be underestimated. Slogans can add as much to the brand equity as the logo itself. The brand name gives the product its core identity it cannot be changed easily. Logos are the stylized versions of brand names they serve as visual cues and can also not be changed easily, but slogans can be changed. Slogans play a major role in brand equity but they can be changed successfully, updating a tired slogan can help bring an old brand into a younger market. The most successful companies have their eye on the horizon when deciding on brand slogans. That is they not only know where the company is currently but the know where the company is going in the future this helps the slogan to stand the test of time. Slogans today should not define the brand too narrowly they should be able to cater for tomorrows business. BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine” has stood the test of time.

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Change Blindness- not an excuse, not to notice your partners new look.

Spot the difference!

Not that wasn’t easy was it.

Change blindness is an inability to notice changes to visual scenes, and the failure to notice even large changes between visual showing that the brain does not hold a complete representation of the visual world (Tatler and Land, 2011). Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have invented a unique spot the difference style computer game in order to study change blindness. The computer flashes between two images on the screen and the participant has to press a button when they notice the change. Sounds easy right. A reporter for the BBC tried out this game. The first scene was of an orange butterfly and they just reduced the amount of stripes on its wings, the reporter noticed this almost immediately. The next image however was not as easy an iceberg with 5 penguins on it, the change was that most of the iceberg was taken away the reporter failed to notice this change.  That is a major difference in the size of the change. I would have thought the bigger the change the more obvious, clearly not.  Our attention is attracted to contrast, so color contrast between light and dark objects. In any scene our eyes are attracted to areas of high contrast, therefore if a change happened there we are more likely to notice it quickly.

There are many videos online that demonstrate change blindness.

This one is very interesting

Such a big change and people failed to notice.

Simons and Levin (1998) performed an interesting study. They performed a field experiment whereby pedestrians were asked for directions and during the course of conversation failed to notice that the person who initiated the conversation for directions was different to the one they were speaking to at the end of the converstion. This change was accomplished by a door separating the pedestrian and the experimenter midway through the conversation, and although the new person differed in clothes, voice and appearance more than 50% of people did not notice the change. I would like to think that I would notice such a big change.

Some scientists believe that some people do not notice changes in scenes because it may have happened during a period of saccade. A saccade is a rapid intermittent eye movement, like that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field.

The importance of change blindness in the driving domain has become very significant. Simons and Rensink (2005) acknowledge  “the mistaken belief that unexpected events always draw attention might help account for the ‘look but don’t see’ traffic accidents” Cohen (1981) claimed that drivers engage in more saccades when driving than when viewing a static scene therefore changes can be missed.

Jones et al (2006) performed a study to is there a attentional bias in change blindness. He performed a simple spot the difference study, with one difference he wanted to find out whether problem drinkers had an attentional bias for alcohol related images.  He used digitized images of real alcohol related and neutral objects. They concluded that heavy alcohol users detected a change to the alcohol related object a lot faster than those given a neutral change pictures. They also concluded that light social users showed no difference between the times it took to notice the alcohol related change and the neutral change. To avoid problems associated with group assignment of heavy and light users they found that when an alcohol related change and a neutral change are presented to compete for attention, the heavier users detect the alcohol change quicker. The same bias was found in cannabis users.

It is understood that until a fixation is made on an object that visual information is retained. Not until a stimulus is successfully attended to will it be perceived or able to enter our short-term memory, therefore any change to such a stimulus will go unnoticed. This would mean that semantic relevant items are less attention grabbing than non-semantically relevant items and changes to such items are therefore harder to determine.

Apparently, now we don’t have an excuse for not noticing a change in someone we know. :/

One last example of these photos (I found this one a lot easier)

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Ethics in advertising, from Obama kissing Hugo Chavez to Pennsylvania saying rape is your own fault.


Different tactic to win votes?

There are ethical concerns been raised in all areas of marketing from targeting, especially to children, advertising and packaging communications. Have marketers been given to much leeway or is it actually a real concern?

Targeting advertising is where advertisements are positioned in a specific form or place in order to reach a particular ‘target’ audience. According to Shimp “the practice of targeting products and communications efforts to segments that, for various psychological and economic reasons, are vulnerable to marketing communications such as children and teens”.  This is a major area right now, more and more young people have jobs now giving them there own disposable income which they didn’t have before.

Food companies are especially good at targeting young children; most children nowadays have access to the internet in some way. Food companies are cleverly using gamification to make children more aware of their product. They are building simple little games on their websites that are based around their product while plugging their product constantly throughout the game.  Lucky Charms an American cereal has been questioned about their methods before. They have a website for children the website just consists of games and a story book about each of the individual charms. This to me is too far they are getting kids completely absorbed in the world of Lucky Charms, so that when they visit the supermarket it’s the first item the think of. I could a bit cynical and say it’s a nice bit of indirect advertising for Ireland but no I wll take the moral high ground and say its not worth it. Cereal companies are very good at targeting kids and getting away with it. According to Reuters “spending to promote child-targeted cereals was $264 million in the U.S. in 2011. Children love fun and adventure and when they see there favourite characters in action they build a bond with them. Cereal companies are great for creating fun loving characters to promote their cereals. Kellogs Coco Pops have Coco the monkey  Kellogs Frosties has Tony the Tiger


Is this too much targeting to vulnerable children? I think so considering Coco covers his cereal in chocolate and Tony covers his in sugar, I know the dose of each may actually not be that bad for children. But its not the best way to teach children to start the day off with a bowl of sugar or chocolate.

Ok I didn’t realize I was so against cereal companies.

Advertisers are constantly getting accused of falsely representing a product and making customers want what they don’t need. This is partly true. Advertisers are great at creating hype for a product and it is a lot easier to do this to children. It is known that much of human behavior is not under conscious control. Many of our actions occur virtually automatically as if we were on autopilot.  Shimp talks about offensive advertising. Different people have different levels regarding what they find offensive.  There are many examples of how advertising has caused offense from:


In this ad Nivea used the slogan “re-civilize yourself”. The ad features a clean-cut black man about to throw the head of his former self, complete with afro and beard. So they are claiming if you have an afro and a beard you don’t care? Michael Jackson did alright for himself when he had an afro


This ad started with highlighting trouble in Tibet but finished by promoting a Tibetan curry from Groupon.


I thought that would get attention. The liquor control boar of Pennsylvania, started this campaign against rape but they took another view from the usual. These ads claim that if you drink too much and end up getting raped then you should blame yourself, and maybe your friends. No comment

Finally one company that loves to raise ethical questions in their advertising is our friends at United Colors of Benetton.

United Colors of Benetton have for years been creating the most eye catching sometimes offensive ads, for the most part these ads have nothing to do with the company or their products they just have the company logo featured somewhere. Some of these are unethical if you ask me for example this one that features a ladies breast. I have nothing against the picture its just the ad can be seen by young children which could lead to children believing the sexualisation of women in advertisements is ok.

They also produced this series of advertisements, which is trying to support the campaign for tolerance. But in my eyes it’s a bit much really. These pictures are not real but mastered by some photo shopper. The Pope is currently suing the creator.

Finally there are also a few questions about the ethics in packaging. One of the main ones for me is when there is exaggerated information regarding the nutritional aspects of the product. A lot of people that drink soft drinks prefer the “zero” versions because they presumably have zero sugar. This is usually proudly displayed on the label making consumers think positively toward the drink. The companies then put the rest of the ingredients that are bad for you in small writing because lets face it we won’t bother reading that part. For example a chemical sweetener known, as Aspartame is in most drinks and according to Dr. J Mercola of the university of Illinois it is the most dangerous substance on the market that’s added to foods. He states that it accounts for 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA, many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.

Well I think that’s enough criticisms for one week.

Found this one while researching I felt I had to add it in. Good old James Brown the godfather of soul singing in Japanese

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