The Grayson Report

Get a New Attitude!

By Suzanne and Bob Grayson, Grayson Associates | September 5, 2007

Attitude, essentially defining the way a marketer looks and presents itself to its target market, is an expression of brand image because it believes that is the identification aspiration of its target market. If that sounds like circular reasoning, you’re right. The perfect circle is a true emotion-connection. And if it is done right, it defines that market. Just in case you missed it, the göt2b ad even states “attitude for hair.” But the photos really say it all—the poof dress, the champagne glass, the look and the shoes, the shoes—she’s ready.

This Göt2b ad's got attitude.
Contrast that with the Nivea ad and you see a different type of attitude. It’s “at ease and happy”—subliminally persuading readers that the girls are happy with the results. Plenty of leg. And plays right into the brand theme song, Touch and Be Touched.

Targeting the appropriate consumer for your brand or new product is step one. Now to execute!  Aye, there’s the rub. Executing that brand strategy in advertising is the key to all great advertising. For example, early in the 70’s, when positioning emerged as a new marketing tool, Charlie fragrance was one of the first “positioned” lifestyle fragrances, with a lot of free-wheeling attitude for women right in step with the beginning of the women’s movement. For those of you who may not remember, or weren’t around at the time, it was the No. 1 fragrance—thanks to great execution and even better timing. Luckily there can be many lifestyles; as an example, utilizing Reference Group Theory is another way of executing a lifestyle positioning. That is, leading with a person; i.e., celebrity or a group that represents the aspiration values for target consumers.

The best lifestyle ads convey a story to involve the consumer, more with visual than with words, as in the two ads shown here. Lifestyle, story-telling ads, portraying the rich and elegant were what built Estée Lauder almost from the very beginning. The visual was aspirational, while the copy was authoritative. Those were the days when the term, psychographics first appeared on the scene, spearheaded by Emanuel Demby who classified people into just two groups: “go-getters and stand-patters.” Today, we’d like to do our classifications of target markets based upon these two ads: our classifications?  Competitive and Associative. The göt2b girls are competitive—look at the attitude, notice how separated and alone they are, how strong, and with no-nonsense attitude. Contrast this with the collaborative/associative attitude of the Nivea girls. Each visual beautifully selects its own target market. But, you say, one product or brand can appeal to both types of women. So how do you appeal to both?  We’ll explain in our next column.

Nivea Got it Right

Hair care ads aren’t usually noted for overwhelming claims, charts and stats, (See TheAdAudit scores in this column). However, the skin care and cellulite categories can, and often make the consumer’s
 Ladies at leisure: This Nivea ad depicts at-ease and happy women.
eyes glaze over with numbers and charts. Not so with the Nivea ad. Interestingly, it provides a reason to believe by delineating a special ingredient L-Carnitine, while göt2b does it all with attitude. Notice that in both cases, the package has the same attitude as the ad, and both work for and fit their target markets. The traditional Nivea package would just not have fit with the ad attitude—a disconnect. Want to bet that there’s a change coming in the rest of Nivea packaging?  That would follow the ads of the past few months which have a totally new and different “attitude.”  Imagine “romance” for body care, there’s nothing like a little *ultimate end benefit to get the buzz going. Kudos to attitude! When looking at your proposed ads, keep asking, “what  is the ultimate end benefit?”  And, don’t stop after the first answer…keep asking, “why?” For body care, soft and smooth body/legs to your touch is the obvious and immediate benefit, but the ultimate?  For someone else to want to touch it!.

Packaging has always been an essential part of brand image—look for it to be more in tune with attitude —especially for mass products fighting for the visual connection and instant recognition with the consumer. The key is that if you are attracting with a certain attitude, it’s best to have it fit down to the toes—meaning everything about the look of the line at retail. In the case of göt2b, and Nivea Good-bye Cellulite, the packages, ergo the products, fit the attitude. Extra kudos to Nivea for a super-great name. Hard-sell claim and light-hearted at the same time. Neat trick.

Prestige brands are locked into brand image and line look. Don’t expect to see playful or attitude in brands with prescribed department store space. Mass brands, whose lifeblood depends on stock turns to maintain space, will be looking to make packaging attitude a more important part of the brand thrust. And, the greater connection between package and advertising, the more potent each becomes—separately and together. TheAdAudit score for göt2b is 82.00, very respectable. A virtual perfect score for visual impact, but weak in copy and benefits [none]. Imagine how much stronger it could be with just a touch of product benefit!  A missed opportunity. There is one unifying sub-name under the brand name, style/tini. No clue as to what that means. Nivea’s Good-bye Cellulite scored an amazing 93.85! One of the highest scores we’ve recorded. What a great tool in selling to the trade. For additional details, just drop us an e-mail,

So many marketers try to rev up sluggish brands with new ad campaigns, as if putting on a new dress changes who you are, while they seem to forget that it is the product—with its positioning and benefits—that is at least an equal partner in the consumer attraction mode. Remember our oft-mentioned axiom, “Consumers do not buy concepts, they buy products and product benefits.”

Serious About China

As a source or a market? An absolute must is It is so revealing that we wonder why the Chinese government hasn’t shut it down. Be sure to read the postings on selecting an agent in China—the good, the bad and the ugly.

 Wish we had done this

The Infusium ad says it all. Repair, volume, moisture, et al. and a small call-out to provide permission
to believe. The headline, “Problem hair. Meet your solution” brings you into the graphic and then it signs off with “beauty down to a science.”  Good semiotic stuff.

Wish we had done this

Target is on target. What an awful pun! But it sure knows how to look classy and to separate itself from those other two mass merchandisers. Here are just two pages of an eight-page section in Glamour Target has wisely used its co-op money to promote seven or so products (each section) with style.
 Unlike most catalog ads, This eight-page Target spread engages the reader.
After all, this is essentially a catalog page, but it is engaging. A typical catalog page conveys, “here I am—buy me.” Target says, “here I am—want me.” What a strategy! And how neat is the emphasis on marveless—new Target—on-target vocabulary. Other major headline words in the section are endless and fabuless. Get it? Target is also not embarrassed to quote prices. Lots of ripping out of pages with which to shop, don’t you think?

Don’t Forget To...

Get over to the Javits Center for the HBA Global Expo, Sept. 18-20. There’s lots of new stuff, great seminars and a chance to get a grand perspective on what’s happening in the industry.