Hello DuetsBlog followers! As the newest member of the DuetsBlog team, I am truly ecstatic to be a part of this blog. The daughter of an advertising executive and an art teacher, I grew up in a family where our dinner conversations often pivoted towards lengthy discussions on a new name, a shift in brand strategy, or a new logo. At the age of 10, I graced the pages of AdWeek following a routine trip to the office with my dad (see April 27, 1992, p. 26). Having been immersed in the marketing and advertising world in my childhood, I took the next logical step…I got a degree in mechanical engineering. Yep, I am a proud “enginerd.” Now, most engineers will tell you that there is a long-fought battle between the engineers, “the marketing people” and “legal.” Each of these groups seems to consider the other to be nothing but an obstruction worthy of avoidance. If you put together a Venn diagram of these three groups, you’d find me in the middle, and a lot of my fellow engineers would probably consider me internally conflicted. However, I believe that by forming connections between these groups, better results can follow. I hope to touch on some of those topics in future posts.
This got me thinking about juxtapositions of brands in advertisements. One common brand juxtaposition is to use a celebrity in an ad campaign. Sometimes they are harmonious (e.g. Rolex and Nadal or Federer), sometimes they don’t make much sense (e.g. Ann Taylor and Kate Hudson – sorry not a fan), and sometimes they lead the consumer into an unintended brand association. Earlier this week, I saw an advertisement for a beverage that featured a country music group with a female member juxtaposed with the following line: “just the way nature intended.” My well-trained ears perked up at that line. Regardless of whether you are a country music aficionado, you’ve probably heard the story of the country music group with a female member whose stage tragically collapsed in a terrible storm last summer in an “act of God.” Based on the line “just the way nature intended” and my inability to distinguish the two country music groups, I immediately drew a negative inference – even though the group featured in the ad was not the group involved in the accident. Sometimes brand juxtapositions have unintended associations. You can only control your own brand, and it’s important to consider how connecting another’s brand with your brand and your message may affect the relevant consuming public’s reaction.