Thursday, May 19, 2005

San Miguel Beer and Kris Aquino. Uh-oh....

Blank face.

That was my reaction when I saw the latest Kris Aquino San Miguel Beer TV commercial. What the hell were the elite members of McCann Erickson San Miguel Team thinking?

Watch it here:

I just don't know what to think of it.

The product is San Miguel Pale Pilsen, not San Mig Light, not even Super Dry. It's Pale Pilsen. The endorsers are young, hip and cool. The star is Kris Aquino (well..okay..and Derek Ramsey). Pale Pilsen and Kris Aquino. How come I can't see the connection? Maybe it's just me, maybe I don't belong to their target market/target audience. Maybe because San Mig Light is "so cool" and so successful, everyone is drinking and it started eating away Pale Pilsen's sales. Maybe they are trying to reverse it then. Or maybe it's just simply a wrong branding move.

Kris and her co-stars (and the Ferrari!) are not Pale Pilsen. If their goal is to make it controversial and for people to talk about it, then bravo! People surely talked about it. BUT it didn't do any good for the San Miguel Pale Pilsen brand. What it did was to further de-focus the Pale Pilsen identity and made the brand thinner.

What they should have done is to give the market the good old image of San Miguel Pale Pilsen Beer. The stout, curvy bottle, the aftertaste, the tradition, the men, the food, just like the old times, the old TV commercials ....... no frills, no fuss, just our damn good old beer...and good life! Whatever happened to "Itaas mo" or "Iba ang may pinagsamahan"? THAT was San Miguel Pale Pilsen. Kris Aquino and the gang are just not.

I predict a time when beer drinkers will get tired of San Mig Light (and other fancy beer brands) and will crave for the good old Pale Pilsen. It's actually slowly happening.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

I'm back... and it's Apple vs. Samsung

After more than a month of absence, I'm back to blogging again.

Anyway, I have a story about Samsung. Last week, my wife chatted with a friend who happens to be an executive from Samsung Philippines and the conversation went to mp3 players. She found out that my wife owns 2 iPods, a 10GB (2nd gen) and a 512MB iPod Shuffle and uses Macs. Uh-oh.

She then started saying..errr.. negative things about the Ipod Shuffle. That it's not a good mp3 player, that it's not worth the price, that it doesn't have an FM tuner, that it doesn't have a display, that it lacks functions and features, that people are buying it because of the brand, that their player, the Samsung YEPP is a much better mp3 player.

And here is the best part.

She told my wife that her goal this year is to overtake Apple/iPod and be the number one mp3 player in the market.

Good luck Ms. Samsung. You will need lots of it. The battle is not about who can fit the most features in such a small device. It's about selling experience, simplicity, ease-of-use, coolness and oh yes, the brand. And Apple's iPod is all that.

I admire her courage and determination but she better focus it somewhere else... or at least look at the reality and find a new goal for her products. iPod rules the portable music device market, and I'm just talking about the brand here. Let's not even talk about market share.

"...that people are buying it because of the brand" - That's it. She has the answer why Samsung can't be number one in mp3 players. No frickin' way. Before even thinking of going head-to-head against iPod, maybe she should worry about Creative's Zen first.

Oh..wait.. one more thing... two things actually, that iPod has but YEPP and other mp3 players in the market don't have. iTunes and iTunes Music Store.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

On Branding and Design

I believe that design is effective only when it serves the purpose and objective of the Client. In order to do that, it is the designer’s responsibility to immerse, saturate, internalize and find the soul of the Client’s brand. Only when he knows the brand like the palm of his hand, can he design something that will be effective.

I believe that thinking comes first before designing. Creativity comes from thinking, not from skills in using Macintosh or illustrating or photography.

I believe that design should not talk to the Client nor to fellow designers, instead it should talk to the appropriate target market and trigger RESPONSE. A work that doesn’t trigger reaction (whether good or bad) is useless and a complete waste of time.

I believe that design is not the end-all and be-all of branding. Branding should be a collaboration, a smooth choreography of well-executed strategy, performed both by the designer and the Client.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Neo-Aspilets renamed to Neo-Kiddilets. What the???

I heard a radio commercial this morning (AM radio, i rarely listen to FM) that said "Neo-Aspilets is now Neo-Kiddilets" or something like that (dunno if I got the spelling right). I have no idea what's the market share of Neo-Aspilets compared to the rest of the paracetamol brands for kids (Tempra for kids and Calpol) but I believe this is just a big waste of effort, time and money and that renaming from Aspilets to Kiddilets is a really, really, really bad idea.

As far as I know, nothing bad or controversial happened to the brand. No kids got sick further nor died from taking Neo-Aspilets. So why the rename? Was it a big ego trip of the current brand manager (you have to leave a legacy to the brand you know...)? Or was there really a strong, compelling, valid reason to do it?

How can they just throw away the Aspilets brand? Years and years of branding, milllions of pesos invested... gone, just like that. Now they are back to square one, spending huge, buying lots of airtime, hoping mothers would forget about Neo-Aspilets and instead, think of Neo-Kiddilets whenever their young ones are sick. The problem is, it's now considered a new brand and when you're a new brand - it's a long and difficult way to the top, where Tempra and Calpol are.

Neo-Aspilets still has the brand recall, brand presence and more importantly the market to compete with other kiddie paracetamol products. What it needed was brand revitalization, not brand rename.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The New Touch Mobile. New???

Originally uploaded by mylesgj.
Goodbye Aga and Charlene, hello Cesar Montano. New look, new endorser, new rates...but sad to say the new TM (Touch Mobile) is not "new". It's just a me-too (and I'm sure another telco will follow suit). It's Globe's reaction to Sun Cellular's 24/7 free text and call.

But I think Sun will still prevail in this "pamurahan, pasulitan" game. Why?
Number One: They were the first to offer the FREE
Call and Text. First one who stakes the claim, most of the time, wins.
Number Two:Nothing beats the word FREE. In Sun Cellular's 24/7 Call & Text Unlimited, you can call and text all you want Sun to Sun for FREE vs. Touch Mobile's Piso Service, where all Touch Mobile to Touch Mobile calls will be charged P1.00 per minute only starting on the 3rd minute of each call.

See? Which one sounds better?

If Smart (Talk and Text) will follow suit, they should come up with something better than FREE. Kinda' hard to top if you will ask me.