Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Change your tone, or change what you do?

Just as the Federal Treasury was printing Kevvie's $900 cheques, there was an article in yesterday's Financial Review about adopting the right tone of voice in your marketing (I'd offer up a link, but the AFR make you pay to view. Sorry).

Industry luminaries talked about whether you acknowledge the recession, or pretend it wasn't happening. The AJF Partnerships 'Times are tough. But Australians and Holden are tougher.' got a mention, as did the simple pleasure of Cadbury's 'Gorilla'.

It makes sense to take the GFC into account when plotting our strategies, but I'm thinking that maybe people are after a bit more substance from their marketing messages. Wanting to see something that's actually different, rather than the same thing painted a different colour.

Holden didn't actually change the build of their car to suit the times, nor did Cadbury alter the formula of Dairy Milk. But when Hyundai found new car sales plummetting in the US, they actually altered the substance of what they did.

Uncertainty about job security was leading many Americans to put off getting a new car, so Hyundai created Hyundai Assurance.

Essentially, if you lose your job within 12 months of leasing a new Hyundai, they'll let you out of it and take the car back. Covering up to $7,500 in negative value.

Sure there's a bunch of fine print, and no doubt there will be folk who miss out, but as a brand statement-wow!

Even if you weren't in the market right now, or even if Hyundai isn't your brand, you can't help but admire the audacity of the move and the understanding of where their customers are at.

Not too hard to write a compelling ad to that proposition.

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