Friday, December 17, 2010

Santa Monica Place, brought to you by Yogi Bear!

I once dated a girl who worked for a public relations company that specialized in the touring versions of big Broadway shows. I'm sure what they did is more complicated than that, but that's basically what it boiled down to.

A thing I learned from her is that when it comes to advertising on radio, it's an absolute no-no to have the same ad run twice in the same "pod" -- the same break between content. Advertisers sign contracts that stipulate the circumstances under which they want their advertisements to run, and they pay different amounts depending on the desirability of the time slot or the radio show. Sometimes, however, these get screwed up. And as a "make-good" that will air the ad the number of times specified in the contract, on rare occasions the radio station will air it twice in the same pod.

However, this is something for which the radio station should be severely punished, if the advertiser is monitoring the airing of their ads (and the advertiser is always monitoring the airing of their ads). See, it's overkill -- no prospective customer wants to have the same thing pitched to him over and over in the same small window of time. It negatively incentivizes the product in question.

Which is why I don't understand why a movie (like Yogi Bear) wants to wallpaper a mall (like the newly remodeled Santa Monica Place) with its posters. It seems to me the very definition of overkill.

I noticed the Yogi Bear advertising blitz when I was shopping there with my wife and son a couple weekends ago. Needless to say, I tucked it away for further discussion on the blog, when Yogi Bear was on the verge of its release.

Posters and/or banners and/or billboards for Yogi Bear hang everywhere. You've seen the one that greets you at the doors of all the mall's elevators -- it's at the top of this post. But how about this one?

Or this one?

Or this one?

Or this one?

Creating awareness is one thing. Bludgeoning us is quite another.

I first noticed this "strategy" at another nearby mall earlier this fall. It was the Fox Hills Mall in Culver City, and the entertainment property that had taken this mall by storm was the CW cheerleading show (which I did not for the longest time realize was about cheerleading) Hellcats. Wish I'd taken a picture of that -- you could literally look down the long open space in the middle of the mall and see a dozen different giant posters for the show. I wasn't going to watch it anyway, but after this embarrassing display, I wasn't going to watch it even more.

Not that I would/should expect subtlety from a 3D movie about two CGI bears stealing pic-a-nic baskets. But I just think they're shooting themselves in the foot, at least in this one location -- a location that is shiny and new and visited by a lot of people, especially during the holiday shopping season. What may have seemed to them like smart positioning of their product in an attempt to help it subliminally sink in, has instead come across to at least one prospective customer (me) as the kind of oversaturation to laugh and blog about. Then again, I probably wasn't going to be seeing Yogi Bear anyway, even if the guy who wrote it is a friend of a friend.

It's the kind of advertising campaign that is not smarter than any bear, and would never be tolerated on the radio.

No comments: