In this episode Don and Rob dive deeper into what it means for brands to stand out in a crowded marketplace and win the hearts of customers.
Rob Broadfoot 0:18
All right, Episode 23. Rob, It’s Michael Jordan’s number. Episode 23.
Don Mock 0:24
Any other famous 23 this week? I mean, he kind of monopolized 23 I would say.
Rob Broadfoot 0:28
I think he owns it.
Don Mock 0:29
Rob Broadfoot 0:30
I mean, he owns 23.
Don Mock 0:31
I’m sure there are other 23s out there. But tell me about number 23. My middle child, her favorite number is 23, actually.
Rob Broadfoot 0:38
Why is that?
Don Mock 0:39
I have no idea. But she was put 23 as her favorite.
Rob Broadfoot 0:42
That’s so random.
Don Mock 0:42
So yeah, shout out to you B for 23. So episode 23. I thought it might be interesting today to talk about that sort of wide, nebulous topic of breaking through the clutter. Breaking through the noise. We’re in advertising, we’re in design, right? How do we do stuff that, you know, convinces somebody to do something they maybe didn’t want to do? Or buy something that they weren’t ready to buy, right? I mean, we kind of joke about it here. It’s the power of persuasion in advertising and whatnot. So you know, it’s kind of a wide swathy topic. Breaking through the clutter means vastly different things for different brands in terms of where they are in brand awareness, target audience, consumer base, all that kind of stuff. But any initial thoughts or anything that sort of comes to mind thinking about breaking through the clutter?
Rob Broadfoot 1:32
Yeah, I mean, the Kool Aid guy was the first guy who literally broke through the clutter.
Don Mock 1:39
Yeah. Is that still a thing? I mean, is Mr. Kool Aid man still, like breaking down walls?
Rob Broadfoot 1:44
I don’t know. I haven’t seen it in quite some time, but I mean…
Don Mock 1:47
Does Kool Aid even advertise anymore? Do they need to advertise?
Rob Broadfoot 1:50
Don Mock 1:51
Yeah , well I mean, two things. We’re definitely not the demo for Mr. Kool Aid, man. However, we both did have little kids, right and might have circled through that demo at some point. But it was really more about the Capri Sun and the juicy juice.
Rob Broadfoot 2:05
Why did the Kool Aid man break through the wall?
Don Mock 2:07
I don’t know. Because it was awesome. And Kool Aid is awesome.
Rob Broadfoot 2:08
Don Mock 2:08
That’s a great question.
It’s the trivia question for the day. What was the origin of the Kool Aid man, right? Smashing through the wall.
Yeah, I don’t know. Off air. We need to take a look how that happened.
Rob Broadfoot 2:21
Yeah. So breaking through the clutter, though. It is in our industry, as those who are in it know, and those who aren’t, maybe it’s a little bit of a lesson. But that is a phrase that pays, right? All clients have a drive, and they want to break through the clutter. And what that means is how, just like Don said, “how do I get noticed?” How do I get noticed so many people are advertising, there’s so many commercials on TV? What’s going to make mine stand out?
Don Mock 2:52
Yeah, we get bombarded with like 3000 messages a day or something like that, right?
Rob Broadfoot 2:56
And it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some people do it with production value. Some people do it with wacky ideas. So there’s all different techniques, I was thinking about, and it’s kind of an old tactic, but it’s actually happening right now with our friends over at Georgia natural gas. And their spots and their entire campaign is, hey, we didn’t spend any money on this, we wanted to save all our money and pass it along to our customers.
Don Mock 3:29
Yeah, their campaign is no campaign.
Rob Broadfoot 3:31
Right. Right. Right, which is not a brand new technique. No. But it’s, you know, the TV spot is just simple type. With a voiceover. Read by a voiceover actor talking about how they didn’t hire a voiceover actor, which I think is kind of funny. But hey, we didn’t spend money on a production value, we pass the savings on to you.
Don Mock 3:52
Yeah, it’s a little bit of a dig, I think in the local market about potentially a lot of the CG ads that are that their competitors are running, right, and the high production value there. So they’re the anti production value of hey, we’re passing along the savings to you, you know, oh, instead of hiring a fancy advertising agency to do XYZ, right, we pass our savings along to you. So it’s really a financial play.
Rob Broadfoot 4:13
Yeah. And then there’s, you know, the the opposite. The other end of the spectrum is I was looking at previewing some Super Bowl ads and there was the one about the rockstars Have you seen this one?
Don Mock 4:24
I haven’t previewed anything yet.
Rob Broadfoot 4:26
Do you have any to tell you or not?
Don Mock 4:27
You can ruin it for me. It’s fine.
Rob Broadfoot 4:28
I believe it is for that company Monday. Which does all the work.
Don Mock 4:32
Okay, yeah, the online slack sort of optimized, dump your email box and assign tasks and keep up your team happy by overcomplicating work.
Rob Broadfoot 4:41
And I have noticed that they’ve launched a pretty widespread outdoor campaign here locally.
Don Mock 4:46
I have seen the billboards around town.
Rob Broadfoot 4:48
Well get ready because spots come in and the whole spot is in turn away if you don’t want me to ruin it, but it’s, it’s all rock stars, okay. And so the whole idea is a play on people in the office calling people rock star. “Hey you’re a rock star.”
Yeah you are.
But the whole premise of the spot is it’s actual rock stars. Upset by the fact that people are calling people rock stars. Like, you’re not a real rock star, and it’s got Ozzy and um…
Don Mock 5:05
Anybody from Aerosmith?
Rob Broadfoot 5:05
No, but it’s got Paul Stanley from Kiss.
Don Mock 5:19
Okay. All right.
Rob Broadfoot 5:19
So it’s all these, and you know, they paid a fortune for it. High production value appearance fees. Let’s get all the celebrities we can. So that’s another way that people try and do it right. With production value or whatever. As we were talking before about this idea of Dr. Pepper and back when they advertised Dr. Pepper 10. I think that’s what it was, and the whole premise of the spot was it’s a soft drink for dudes.
Don Mock 5:44
Yeah, it’s manly.
Rob Broadfoot 5:45
It’s manly. They never called it diet soda. But it only had 10 calories in it, that was the whole deal.
Don Mock 5:50
Yep. Dr. Pepper time.
Rob Broadfoot 5:52
Yep, targeted at men. And they broke through the clutter, A by just that message. Like, ladies don’t even pay attention. This is not for you.
Don Mock 6:00
Yeah, for sure.
Rob Broadfoot 6:01
And then B, the production value of the spot. It was this over the top, basically, every action movie cliche you can think of in 30 seconds.
Don Mock 6:10
Yeah. I mean, there were screeching eagles.
Rob Broadfoot 6:12
Don Mock 6:12
There was an explosion or two?
Rob Broadfoot 6:14
Ya, running through the jungle with machine guns. There may have been a tank.
Don Mock 6:18
Yeah. If you don’t drink this soda, you’re not a man.
Rob Broadfoot 6:20
You’re not a man.
Don Mock 6:21
Rob Broadfoot 6:22
So that to me is hey, we’re breaking through the clutter, not only with some pretty… I don’t want to say risky, but some pretty edgy strategy, but then also throwing production dollars massive production dollars on top of that. Yeah, to try and get noticed.
Don Mock 6:39
Yeah, I don’t know that I have any specific examples that come to mind. But I definitely think about that when I see it on a brief or when I think about clients, “how do we break through?” Again, there is no universal answer. There’s no, here’s the silver bullet that will take care of everyone’s problems, right? But I don’t think of it as being zany just to be zany. It’s not like, hey, we’re being wacky, we’re doing this over here. Well, no one else is doing this. Wow, we’re going crazy. I don’t think it’s about doing that. Or, it’s also not, if everybody’s going left, you need to go all the way right. You know what I mean? Like, do a full 180 of what everybody else is doing. I don’t think that we counsel clients on that very frequently, right? It’s really more I think about, knowing the target audience of your clients and the consumer base, and whatever the case may be, and finding out what appeals to them that nobody else is doing, right? And it’s not about that full one 180, it’s more about just shifting the degree a little bit. To be just a little bit left or right of center of what everybody else is doing to stand out in the pack. Because you still have to take into account what that specific vertical or industry is doing, saying and acting and behaving like, right? That’s kind of how I feel about it sometimes, you know, because if you go too far, then it’s just like, oh, man, you’re not going to be taken seriously. You’re, you’re too far. I guess I don’t know what that means. But you’re you’re too far away from trustworthiness potentially.
Rob Broadfoot 8:08
Yeah, well, we talked a little bit about wacky for the sake of being wacky, generally speaking doesn’t work. I don’t know if that’s 100% true, but most of the time, zany for zany reasons doesn’t necessarily work. But that gets me thinking about reading the other day about Taco Bell.
Don Mock 8:26
Rob Broadfoot 8:27
And specifically, their breakfast strategy. So the campaign they’re running now is because Pete Davidson, basically Pete Davidson coming on and saying, hey, we totally over thought breakfast, and I don’t even remember what I’ve gotten. Shamed to admit I’ve never eaten Taco Bell breakfast breakfast. Yeah, but it appears they over engineered breakfast came up with wacky breakfast taco ideas.
Don Mock 8:51
I feel like their menu might be over engineered to begin with though.
Rob Broadfoot 8:53
Well, they have, I mean, Gorditas and things.
Don Mock 8:56
There’s like a million things there.
Rob Broadfoot 8:57
Crazy things but so in the breakfast wars with McDonald’s and everybody else they over engineered their breakfast. And we’re not doing well with it. So the most recent campaign, to your point about knowing your audience and who you’re talking to, they realize oh, people don’t go to Taco Bell necessarily for breakfast, and they don’t want to over engineer their breakfast. And so, Taco Bell isn’t the place that you’re going for, like to over engineer breakfast.
Don Mock 9:21
Rob Broadfoot 9:21
Like, it was keep it simple. Stupid. Yeah, um, let’s just do an egg.
Don Mock 9:25
Yeah, give me a breakfast burrito and call it done people.
Rob Broadfoot 9:29
And so the whole campaign is basically an apology for over engineering breakfast, saying hey, we’ve kind of righted the ship. And it’s been phenomenally successful.
Don Mock 9:37
Really? Oh, wow. I love that.
Rob Broadfoot 9:39
Yeah. And I think he’s the right talent for that.
Don Mock 9:43
Rob Broadfoot 9:43
Because of his voice and just popular culture and everything else. I think he’s the right voice for that. And just an intelligent shift in strategy, doing the research, and knowing your customer base. They didn’t want what we’re offering. And so now their sales are way way up. I think it still only accounts for 6% of all of their sales versus McDonald’s. I think they said McDonald’s is like 23% breakfast.
Don Mock 10:08
Is breakfast?! Wow. Is that after they opened breakfast that 24 hours? Do you think or?
Rob Broadfoot 10:12
I don’t know. That’s good question. Yeah, I don’t know… I don’t know…
Don Mock 10:15
Rob Broadfoot 10:16
Yeah, bacon egg and cheese biscuit for McDonald’s shout out, is tough to beat.
Don Mock 10:20
One of the favs huh? Yeah, I don’t need a lot of QSR breakfast to be quite honest. So nor do I eat a lot of Taco Bell. I’m just gonna put that out there. But if Taco Bell decides to sponsor us one day. I’ll be eating lots of Taco Bell. I’m down with that. So it’s funny, you know, we’re obviously in the advertising and design business, right? Nine times out of 10, our clients have already brought us a specific task, or a specific product that they’ve already engineered. You know, another way to think about breaking through the clutter is definitely on the product development side. It isn’t necessarily the advertising side.
Rob Broadfoot 10:55
Don Mock 10:55
I always joke, I’ve used this example in the past, we didn’t know we needed 1,000 songs in our pocket until Apple told us we needed 1,000 songs in our pocket, right? And it was like, Oh, wow, how did I live without having 1,000 songs in my pocket? And then Apple said, Hey, man, 1,000 songs is not enough. You need 10,000 songs in your pocket. I mean, buy another iPod, and this one’s in color. And you can do 1,000 or, 10,000, and we’re like, oh, my god, I need 10,000 songs in my pocket.
Rob Broadfoot 11:24
Don Mock 11:24
Then they told us wait a minute. 10,000 songs is not enough. Rob, you need every single song ever written in the history of man ever in your pocket. And we were like, you’re damn right we do! Give me that iPhone. You know? So, there is something kind of interesting from that perspective, too, about listening. It’s that fine line of listening to customers and consumers, but also not necessarily listening to them, because they only know what they know. Like, sometimes you have to tell people what they need to know.
Rob Broadfoot 11:56
Yeah, thinking about Apple. I heard somebody talking about this the other day, and I can’t remember where I heard it. But it was, Apple is now advertising a camera to sell a phone, which in and of itself is a pretty interesting idea. Like, they’re not selling a phone anymore. No, they’re selling a camera.
Don Mock 12:19
Well, again I don’t have anu data on this whatsoever. But I have to venture to speculate. So that’s my qualifying statement, that the vast majority of people don’t use their phone timewise in regard for actual phone calls, right? I mean, the time you interact with your smartphone, whether it’s an iPhone, or Samsung, or Andriod, and whatever the case may be. It has to be predominantly apps and texting and everything else, but using a phone. Even taking pictures, you probably take more pictures and video on a monthly basis than you spend actually talking on your phone.
Rob Broadfoot 12:19
Yeah. 1,000% we both have kids.
Don Mock 12:19
Yeah, for sure. We’re old enough to remember antenna gate, right? I mean, it was oh, no, no, no, if you put your pinky here on your iPhone, you block the antenna and, you know, we were still thinking of mobile phones as mobile phones.
Rob Broadfoot 12:19
Don Mock 12:22
Now it’s like, who cares? I mean, it’s all about the apps. It’s all about everything else. To your point, you know.
Rob Broadfoot 13:14
The phone is really just an app on your device.
Don Mock 13:18
That’s actually a really good point. And it’s I’ve got three cameras. I mean, I’m sure somebody out there has four camera lenses on the back of their phone, you know. And Google Pixel’s entire campaign right now is, hey, our photos are better than Apple photos, and we also can fix photos taken on other people’s phones.
Rob Broadfoot 13:18
Right. Much to the chagrin of professional photographers everywhere. Well that’s a whole other…
Don Mock 13:36
It rubs true. My dad was a photographer my whole life, you know. And when mobile phones really started taking off, I mean, god, he would just curse. Like, I hate that everybody has a camera. You know, he’s like, everybody’s photographer now.
Rob Broadfoot 13:59
Don Mock 14:00
Now thankfully, he was close to retiring. Right?
Rob Broadfoot 14:03
Don Mock 14:03
But yeah, it’s funny.
Rob Broadfoot 14:05
I mean, people shooting movies on iPhones. Yeah. Like, it’s crazy.
Don Mock 14:08
I know. Well, I mean, Apple ran an entire campaign. All about, hey, all of the ads and all the things were all shot on iPhones. So every billboard you saw was a picture taken from an iPhone, that type of thing, right?
Rob Broadfoot 14:22
Well, if you think about it, and that’s a whole other topic. But if you think about the democratization of our skill set.
Don Mock 14:27
Rob Broadfoot 14:29
100% design software is becoming more ubiquitous. You can edit things, I mean, you can hit one button on your pictures and get rid of Photoshop, this and Photoshop that. And in my world of letters. We know what’s happening there. Speak into a thing and all of a sudden you have your answer.
Don Mock 14:50
It’s an interesting thought. I mean, you know, creatives were always Adobe’s bread and butter, and now they are toeing that line of, they’re still servicing all of us, but they’re also reaching out to non creative professionals and selling software direct. Like, hey, you too can design a logo or do this.
Rob Broadfoot 15:08
Don Mock 15:08
I think that might be another topic for another day. Because that’s an interesting, hey, are you biting the hand that feeds you and where the numbers go and things like that. But so yeah, breaking through the clutter. I mean, I think Apple is a great example of product development of breaking through the clutter right now from a non advertising perspective, but, but I think we’ve also had some really interesting touch points today on advertising and design and what that means, right?
Rob Broadfoot 15:33
Yeah. And I think again, it’s important to break through the clutter. But I guess if there’s a lesson or takeaway, it’s make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons and make sure that you’re doing it the right way.
Don Mock 15:45
Rob Broadfoot 15:46
And not just doing something wacky, just to be wacky. Yeah. All right. I think that’ll wrap it up for today.
Don Mock 15:50
Yeah let’s do it.
Rob Broadfoot 15:51
All right, everybody, you can find us online, of course, at mocktheagency.com or find us on the socials @mocktheagency and drop us a line we would love to hear from you.
Don Mock 16:01
Yeah, sounds good.
Rob Broadfoot 16:02
Alright, thanks till next time.