Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coca-Cola's Emotional Appeal on Facebook

I spotted this article over at MediaPost yesterday which reported on Coca-Cola's new Facebook campaign to 'spread simple moments of online happiness to fans'. They do this by giving riddles to their fans which, when solved, allows them to access a website set up specifically to deliver some basic satisfying experience through an online interaction. The message here being that Coke offers happiness. A very broad, yet simple value proposition, right?

Is it a status symbol that a company can market in this way because their brand is so strong in the minds of customers? Is Coke there yet? I say "yes" to both. Along with just a few other brands (McDonald's, for example), Coca-Cola is a huge, ubiquitous brand whose history of iconic advertising campaigns allows for things like experiential marketing and appeals to emotions and feelings because their brand is so much a part of popular culture.

They're not wrong. Products like Coke can offer a feeling of nostalgia for consumers not only because of their longevity in the industry, but because of the advertising over the years that made them a part of lives in a way that lasts.

Is this specific Facebook campaign to engage with fans a success? I don't know. If you're judging by clicks, the data says yes. How this affects consumers propensity to buy (again and again) is more difficult to measure. But, having the cash and brand recognition that a company like Coke enjoys allows for a lot more opportunities for experimentation in the online world, which increases the chances of success.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Beach Waterpark Closes

Yesterday, it was announced that The Beach Waterpark in Mason, Ohio near Cincinnati is closing...at least for this year. It's disappointing for me because I've been to the waterpark many times, and had looked forward to taking my kids someday as well.

Management at The Beach cited "a challenging competitive and economic climate" for the shutdown, as well as "changing patron entertainment habits".

No doubt, the park faced a lot of competition from the (very) close by theme park, King's Island, which boasts an ever-growing waterpark as part of their attractions. Add to this a massive hotel, The Great Wolf Lodge, which includes an indoor waterpark, and it's no wonder The Beach couldn't survive. Too many choices for liquid entertainment in too small of a radius. One of them is bound to fold eventually.

The two other examples have another part of their business to help support them. One, a slew of roller coasters and other rides. The other, lodging for families and an event center for receptions, conferences, and large meetings. The Beach being a stand-alone waterpark in the midst of other similar offerings is what made it vulnerable.

I don't believe that The Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau (with whom I once did some consulting work as a student) will be impacted too negatively by this closure. It is one less attraction for them to market. But, as mentioned previously, a choice of water attractions still exists in their county. Perhaps it's time for The Beach to rethink its business plan, and come up with something completely new with new investors. Or, maybe it's time for them to relocate to a new market.

What would you do?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Forget the Rumors. Google Plus is Thriving.

This is a re-post from my company blog where I speak a little bit about the advantages of G+ for businesses (and/or business professionals). Please check it out. If you agree I'd like to know. If you disagree feel free to argue your position.

Forget the Rumors. Google Plus is Thriving.