Walmart targets moms with blue and red messaging

Last week, Walmart reached out, across the political aisle, to talk to moms.

By posting campaign-provided videos of First Lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney  on the Walmart YouTube Channel, Walmart seems to be playing both sides of the political fence with equality. But who is the winner?

President Obama’s message seems clearer, more directly applicable to a presidential race and a tough economy. The Obamas watched every penny once too… so Michelle Obama is speaking from experience. It’s plausible that she shopped at Walmart at one time.

The Romney message is confusing: Olympic organizer, Mrs. Romney’s cancer, then Gov. Romney’s cheapskate tendencies (or is he too lazy to go out and get the right light bulb?).

I think Walmart is the true winner for getting these high-profile moms to boost the brand.

What do you think?



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Filed under Advertising, Branding, Brands, Business, Copywriting, Marketing Campaign, Obama, Presidential campaign, Retail, Romney, Walmart

When a message rescues a brand (and dogs!)

Mulligan is available for adoption through the Pedigree Foundation

Immediately, the name creates a mindset: Pedigree Dog Food. It’s one of the top dog food brands (and a Mars Petcare brand) and was marketed for many years with the tagline “Top Breeders Recommend It.” A successful long-term partnership with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show ensued. No brainer, right?

But it seems the Pedigree people had a kennel-full of love for rescues and have, since the late 90’s, operated the Pedigree Foundation to promote and support shelters and breed rescues.

In 2007, someone (I’d sure like to know who) opened the cage. Pedigree changed their tagline to “We’re for Dogs” to include every kind of dog/owner and to incorporate (or at least not ignore) the foundation’s mission. The first campaign was the mixed breed spot “Dogs Rule.

In 2011, their ad agency, TBWA\Chiat|Day Los Angeles, upped the ante with this grab-a-hankie spot, “Heroes.” Portraying shelter dogs as individuals with their own “tale”,  the spot ran during the 2010 Westminster show and made an emotional argument for adopting shelter dogs.

The Westminsters were not pleased… said (per this NY Times article) that the spot was too sad…that they prefer an upbeat message, celebrating all dogs. Consequently, the two entities parted ways and Nestle Purina PetCare jumped at the chance to sponsor the coveted show. Ironically(?) Purina’s “Great” spot ran in Feb 2012, the same month that Westminster announced their sponsorship change.

So far, it seems Pedigree came out on top. They carved out a niche with their foundation and are owning it with their advertising. They also picked up some invaluable PR with the split and their dog-gone do gooding. And changed the way the public thinks about their brand. Time will tell how much kibble was lost (or earned) in this brand rescue operation.

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Filed under Advertising, Branding, Brands, Business, Copywriting, Dog Adoption, Dog Food, Dog Rescue, Marketing Campaign, Pedigree vs Westminster

So who ARE the biggest retail brands, anyway?

I easily found a fantastic* download with a plausible list. It’s from the very thorough team at Interbrand. Here’s the skinny (in no particular order):


Best Buy




Victoria’s Secret




Tiffany & Co.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Dollar General








Sam’s Club


The Home Depot


Not that I’ll only write about big-pocket brands, but it’s a good list to consider (and pay attention to). In fact, I’m heading to Home Depot tomorrow.

*Seriously, I could go on about this download! It’s 60+ pages of branding love and research findings (I can’t vouch for its accuracy or bias). Check it: 2012 Best Retail Brands. And use it to your best advantage.  You’re welcome.

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Filed under Branding, Brands, Business, Copywriting, Retail, Shopping

What makes a savvy shopper open her wallet?

After all of these years in the ad biz, I’m still a sucker for an integrated campaign.

Let’s take a look at my new sweater, the result of a successful campaign from Garnet Hill.

First, their merchandise department sourced the right fashions for me and my target market gal pals. Then, the creative team developed a print catalog, full of autumn treasures and very few savings. (I perused over Sunday coffee on the sofa.)

And I saw my sweater. (Sooo cute. Sooo me. Sooo pricey!)

Then they sent a branded email blast to remind me of the new collection. (Sigh. There’s my sweater again. Ooh, I didn’t see that one before. Or that one.)

Then, hellooo FLASH SALE! Down and dirty 25% off, one day only. (Generous discount. But you’d better hurry, Susan!)

And I bought my new cashmere sweater plus 2 more wool cardigans online in 5 minutes flat.

Groundbreaking? No. But highly effective. What’s better ? This little consumer is now trained to open her emails to see what I can save on next. (That cute jersey shirt, I hope!)

Ok, your turn to dish. What gets you to open your wallet?


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Filed under Advertising, Copywriting, Marketing Campaign, Shopping