Sometimes, companies spend significant resources trying to develop a particular theme for an advertising campaign while ignoring even more egregious claims being made on their website.  So how does this happen? There is a disconnect between Legal and Marketing.

Legal might approve a particular ad and then Marketing decides that it can use a portion of it in another context because it has been “cleared.”  The problem is that ads are vetted based on the “net impression” that is made on consumers.  As such, taking a claim out of the context of the particular ad can cause an issue.

Often, companies list customer testimonials on their website, which contain atypical performance-related claims. They think that since they are truthful, there isn’t any sort of liability, which is untrue.  Indeed, the performance claims (e.g., saved $1000) may be even more aggressive than the claims being vetted for use in the primary ad campaign. 

Disclaimers are another area of concern. While certain disclaimers may have been approved for use in print advertising, they may not be effective when presented online because consumers can’t see them. 

Simply stated, one size does not fit all when it comes to advertising. As such, companies should take a holistic approach to ensure that claims are being properly presented in all respective media.

BlackBerry: Can It Save Its Diluted Brand?

Not long ago, the only smart phone that people knew about was the BlackBerry. Now, it’s been recently reported that BlackBerry has fallen to #4, behind Windows, Android and Apple.  What happened? Decentralization and resulting dilution. BlackBerry was experiencing tremendous growth in the marketplace.  However, rather than delivering a consistent message that leveraged off its tremendous name recognition, BlackBerry decentralized its product line, offering a host of models that appear to have cannibalized BlackBerry’s market share. To this day,  it’s hard to know the differences between the Curve, Bold, Torch, Tour and Storm models. Apple and Samsung, on the other hand, went on a marketing frenzy, bombarding consumers with more centralized messages around their iPhone and Galaxy products and reportedly spending ten times that of BlackBerry.  Armed with a new CMO, BlackBerry appears to be on the mend, focusing on regaining brand recognition. As the weeks unfold, we will see more about the BlackBerry Q5 and BlackBerry Z10.  The company is returning to the brand that put it on the map.  The question is whether it can regain its lost ground. What can be learned? If you have a strong brand, leverage it. Focus on what works and resist the temptation to diversify to the point of cannibalizing your own market share.  We’ll see if BlackBerry can regain its position as #1.