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The Difference Between Gillette & Nike Ads

The Difference Between Gillette & Nike Ads

Why one missed the mark and the other lifted sales by $6-billion

If you haven’t already seen the Gillette Ad, take a quick minute to watch it here. You’ve got to have context to the situation we’re about to discuss. It’s shocking on more than one level.

Yes, the Gillette ad speaks to the trend of virtue signaling. Yes, Gillette comments on what they believe to be “Toxic Masculinity”.

And, despite being near non-existent in the world of social, their YouTube video has amassed over 27-million views at the time of this writing.

The question is – is this the right type of attention – or just another ploy to gain views?

If you’re in the business of sharing ideas, getting attention and telling narratives – you want to have engaging, captivating content that drives business results. For your own blog, as an influencer or for a brand. Here’s how bloggers and content creators can learn from Gillette’s attempt at the Visiconomy.

What is the Visiconomy and how do content creators leverage it?

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Content marketing. Social media marketing. Personalized marketing. The Attention Economy. There are various concepts that aim to speak to how marketing has evolved over time – but none really capture the essence of where advertising is going today, more than the Visiconomy.

As a content creator you already understand the power of a well written piece. Of a story arc. A narrative.

And yes, you already know that every brand needs to be personal, they need to speak to the core motives and interest of their target demographic. Nothing new there.

Social is important. Facebook ads do work. Headlines can capture attention. And yes, leveraging trending topics will help you connect with the trends.

But in order for a brand or blog to really benefit from this, everything must stem from the brand or blog’s core concept.

What is the core concept?

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It’s your vision of the world. That everything your brand does – every blog post, social tweet, advertising spot, online campaign, podcast, article – everything must stem from the core vision of that brand. The core vision is what carries your narrative forward. It’s what carries and connects each and every blog post or story you construct.

Simon Sinek discusses this in the 3rd most popular TED talk of all time. Getting to that core concept can be tough, but when done right – it can be very very powerful.

An article on building corporate culture with a blog, right here on Blog Herald mentions it as well. It’s a critical concept.

Asking yourself questions such as:

  • What do I believe about the industry I’m writing about?
  • What does my client, this brand believe about the world?
  • What does my client believe about the industry?
  • What do I stand for?
  • What vision do I have for the world?
  • What about my client? What’s their vision of the world?

And when you share that vision – in your own content, or help a brand share that content through the right mediums and channels, this does create economic value. This is the core of what the Visiconomy is all about.

Your vision shared in the right way, to the right people can create more sales, drive more leads, improve clicks and conversions, gain more views and improve engagement – IF and only if your content is core to the vision of your brand.

And this is where we get to Nike and Gillette.

The $6-Billion Dollar Difference

Starting with your core vision, your why sounds clear enough. Surprisingly though, many companies fail to do this.

Take Gillette and Nike as two examples.

The two are surprisingly similar on many levels – size, market, target demographics, industry etc. And when we look at the ads or content campaigns they run there are many similarities.

Millions of views gained. 100s of thousands of comments.

But when explored with a closer look there are stark differences. Differences that, at the time of this writing have clearly led to notable gains. The main of which is $6-Billion dollars – no small sum, even by massive corporate standards.

When the differences are translated directly to content creators, you can see how leveraging the Visiconomy can create economic value, and well, the other might not.

Take Gilitte’s ad campaign for example. Yes, there’s no denying. They got attention. Lots of it. 27+ Million views.

But does it inspire their prospective audience?

Does it connect with the core vision of the brand?

Does it make those who use their product, feel like they’re on a fantastic mission?

Does it make those who use their product feel good about themselves?

Without a doubt they’ve certainly looked into the target demographic data. And without a doubt they looked at the trends of 2018 and early 2019. Both things bloggers should do for their own content and when working together with brands. As an example it’s something we do whenever we’re working on Byte Media Group PR or thought-leadership with a brand.

And yet, Gillette has progressed from the depths of “oh, it’s just a razor blade company” to the 3rd most hated YouTube video in existence – with 1.3-Million+ dislikes, and hundreds of thousands of negative comments.

Factor in the added controversy about the claimed “unfair removal of negative comments”, the millions upon millions of views influencer’s, who have made negative comments about the campaign, have gained, and there is a tremendous amount of fuel added to the fire.

Regardless of your position on the general topic – it should be clear that no brand (or blogger) craves a negative position like this. This is especially if it does not align to your core vision.

Are there cases when this strategy makes sense – the negative attention? Yes. But again, that’s if it aligns to your core vision of the world. An Alex Jones as an example can command an audience through negative attention from traditional media. But even he does not fare well to extreme negative attention, as would be reflected by social and content platforms removing his content and effectively shutting down his income source.

If the intent was to sell more razors, or as a blogger to drive long term engagement with an audience who wants to constantly return (and help you make money on a long term basis) – then this was not the right strategy.

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Ultimately your core vision is going to be unique to you. Unique to the client’s or brands that you may work with. But that vision should again, be the core of your story arcs, your narratives and the message you convey to the world.

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Take Nike as a contrary example. They’ve done this surprisingly well for a number of years.

There’s the inspiring Finding Your Greatness commercial.

There’s the controversial Kapernic Ad.

There’s the controversial Serena Williams catsuit content.

Yes, each has its fair share of negative comments. Shoes were burned on YouTube shortly after the Kapernic Ad as a quick example.

But in all cases, Nike has stuck to their core vision. They constantly try to inspire those who follow the brand. To encourage anyone to overcome your odds, be yourself, stand up for what you believe in, take the first step, and, as they would say “Just Do It”.

Do they get negative attention? Yes. Might you disagree with some of the things they’ve done? Sure. But that’s really OK.

Why? Because they’re constantly speaking to their audience who does believe in what they believe in. Gillette? Not so much.

And this plays out in the numbers. There is a difference between bloggers and brands who leverage the Visiconomy and those who don’t. The difference?

Nikes stock hit an all-time-high shortly after the Kapernic Ad. They had $6-Billion+ in sales. And 100s of thousands of new people followed the brand on social after a single tweet about the Serena Williams catsuit incident.

Or you can have 1.3+ million dislikes and counting.

Application to Results

Bloggers, content creators and brands want to speak to the core of their vision and leverage the Visiconomy to help improve results, rather than simply tapping into “hot new trends” just for the sake of attracting attention. This can make all the difference if you’re looking to enhance your client content, become an influencer, or are starting out as a new blogger.

To dive down to the core of what you’re doing (for yourself or a company) try asking:

  1. What is the core vision of what I’m doing? What’s the core vision of the brand I’m working with?
  2. How can I express or infuse what I’m doing with that overall vision?
  3. What will a reader, community member, customer actually get if they follow myself (or the brand I’m working with) down this path

Unfortunately we may never know the true extent of this advertisement. Proctor and Gamble owns over a dozen brands, Gillette being one. And yet, if general perception and social data gives any indication of being on the razors edge, Nike, not Gillitte, walks the cutting edge of leveraging the Visiconomy.


Author Bio:

Cahill Puil is an author, founder and CEO of Byte Media Group. He has interviewed dozens of the Top 100 Blockchain CEO’s, Founders and influencers. His insights have been featured in dozens of publications – from Hackernoon, Brave New Coin, and Cryptocurrency News to Fintech Weekly, Tabb Forum, and CEO World. His team is currently focused on helping the leading blockchain and technology companies build credibility, exposure, and share stories with innovative thought-leadership and PR.

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