On a recent shopping trip to JB Hi Fi I was taking a look in the DVD section to see which series should be the next lucky contender to take my life for a few weeks.
I hadn’t been in the store for a while and I noticed a new section. It was called ‘It’s not TV. It’s HBO’. As my eyes scanned the titles in this section I realised how true the statement was.
Since 1997 and the beginning of a little TV show called The Sopranos, HBO has paved the way for television series and spoiled audiences with its slick production, complicated storylines, ensemble casts and obviously zillions of dollars behind them.
They have recently got the fantasy fans foaming at the mouth with Game of Thrones and True Blood. Two words…The Wire. Best television program in the history of the world! Safe to say that series changed my life. Who can forget comedy classics Sex and the City and Entourage?
My housemate and I have discussed how the sound effect of the HBO logo appearing before the credit sequence gives you a happy feeling inside while your expectations rise 300%. Too much?
My point is….you are allowed to be arrogant if your top competitors are miles behind you. Audiences love seeing brands give their competitors a sly kidney punch while promoting themselves.
This is not a new phenomenon. In 2006, Apple launched the ‘Get a Mac’ campaign having a not-so-subtle dig at Microsoft. The campaign was a huge success, Mac releasing over 60 television commercials over a three year period. Microsoft fought back with the ‘I’m a PC campaign’, but it’s never as cool the second time round.
It can be done if you aren’t ahead of the rest, but it has to be executed brilliantly.
NAB’s 2010 campaign, telling people they were breaking up with the other banks was genius and the results including rate of new customers and brand recognition was amazing.
In contrast, a few weeks ago I noticed a tram advertising CareerOne. The ad said ‘don’t seek, find’. Although I thought it was clever, it persuaded me to compare MyCareer and the superior Seek. Note to self: Don’t bring attention to your competitors if they are better than you.
It’s like putting yourself (supermarket home brand) in the same category as Lindt. You just don’t do it.
However if you are HBO, continue comparing yourself to everyone else until the money stops coming, the viewers stops watching and until your mantle falls down from the weight of all the Emmys.
Posted by Bridget