This week we explored the idea of tone, and how it could be used as part of our brand identity, to reflect that values and goals of the brand.
We began by looking at some of the infamous ‘Mac vs PC’ ads from a little while ago. They are an interesting example because the tone is key to the success of these ads, and arguably to Apple’s success as well. My responses to the first activity are below:
1. What tonal values are evident in this campaign? How does this support Apple’s positioning?
This supports Apple’s positioning by casting them as the best choice compared to PC. By presenting themselves this way they also suggest that PCs are not this way themselves. As these traits are desirable by most consumers who don’t know a lot about computers, they aim to make Macs seem like the right choice for the average consumer.
2. How are these values being represented (tip: it is more than just visuals)?
They are represented visually by the appearance of the ‘Mac guy’ – he wears casual clothes, in contrast to the ‘PC guy’s’ stuffy, uptight clothes. In many of the ads the PC guy appears flustered and not in control of the situation, whereas the Mac guys is always calm and knows what’s going on.
Interestingly, they use the PC guy to explain most of the benefits of the Mac, as opposed to getting the Mac guy to say it himself. This is a sort of tongue-in-cheek way of saying that the PC knows it has competition, and knows that it is losing in most areas. By doing so, the Mac’s discussions tend to be simple and to the point, further emphasising the simplicity of the computers themselves.
We were then tasked with finding a couple of quotes/slogans from two different brands, one successful and one not as much. I actually found this difficult, surprisingly. With most brand taglines, particularly the big brands, we tend to become complacent in regards to their logo and slogan – it becomes familiar enough that we don’t question it. Interestingly, I think, this is the opposite effect of the slogan – it is meant to represent the brand, and that tone of voice a reflection of their values. However changing it to something else would most likely cause backlash rather than renewed interest, although this would also be a form of marketing, but I digress!
I chose to go with the LG slogan, and the Yellow Pages slogan.
Both are pretty well known, and again, it’s a case of being so familiar with them that we don’t often stop to consider their meaning.
I chose the Yellow Pages slogan as a successful example of tone, and the LG slogan as the ‘bad’ example.
I feel the Yellow Pages ‘Let your fingers do the walking’ works well as a tone which reflects the brand. It reinforces the purpose of the product well, and is reflected perfectly in their logo. It also adds a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour that I think is intended to add a bit of interest to an otherwise quite boring product.
The LG slogan’s tone arguably doesn’t work quite as well. It doesn’t make immediate sense which confuses a lot of people upon reading it. While it does play on the brand’s abbreviation of LG, it doesn’t reflect what they sell, being namely electronic goods, so personally I don’t think it reflects the brand successfully.
Interestingly responses on BlackBoard that I’ve had suggest that they feel the LG slogan is more successful because it suggests feelings of happiness and comfort which using the products would induce. It’s interesting from a brand standpoint, that creating a slogan with the right tone is a difficult task because everyone will interpret it differently. I’ve had issues with this myself in creating the tagline for my own campaign – originally it was ‘Let’s End the W8 for Endo’ and feedback from others suggested that their first though was about losing weight rather than waiting for a diagnosis. This was eventually changed to ‘Don’t W8 to Know Endo’ which is far clearer in its tone, and has a stronger association with the purpose of the campaign than the original.
The second activity tasked us with looking first at our campaign’s competitors, and exploring the tones associated with each. Mine are below:
All About Me:
Worldwide Endo March:
Jean Hailes for Women’s Health:
Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia:
From here, we then looked at out own campaign, and the tones we wanted to associate with it:
Don’t W8 to Know Endo
The tone used is intended to provide information to young girls and their mothers, while explaining it to them in a way which is honest, without too much medical jargon, and speaks to them in a way which they can relate to. The aim is to focus on the positives – what sufferers can do to help themselves, and supportive – where they can get help, and what different types of help are available.
My positioning strategy was to aim the campaign at teenage girls specifically (and their mothers in the sister campaign), to be supportive and informative, empowering and simple to use/understand. I feel that these tonal values will be the best approach for this strategy, based on the gaps identified in the competitor analysis.
We chose three key words or phrases from our campaign that we felt reflected these values. I chose:
- “Don’t W8 to Know Endo”
- “Don’t forget there is a lot of help available, all you need to do is ask”
- “General Info (just the basics)” “Specific Info (when you want to know more)”
Without context, other students had to guess our tonal values, to see how close they were to our perceived values. Fortunately, responses I got were pretty close to what I intended:
supportive, generous, caring, loving, genuine, casual, informal.
This is great because it lets me know I’m on the right track, and that my tone is being reflected in the materials I produce.
This week I’ve also been working hard to produce all the campaign materials for both the teen girls campaign and the mothers’ campaign. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done so far, but would like to just fine tune everything, time permitting, in future.