Working in marketing and PR it’s difficult to watch TV ads from a consumer point of view – I always find myself analysing the thinking behind the ad and the quality of the execution.
The one that is really troubling me at the moment is for the UK electrical retailer Comet. Through Saatchi and Saatchi they’ve managed to come up with this strapline:
Comet – we live electricals
For me this fails dismally on a number of levels. For one it’s symbolic of a really old school corporate way of thinking – we’re telling you about us because what we’re telling you about us is important (we think).
The pedant in me is also troubled by electricals. Is that really a noun? The last time I looked it was an adjective – electrical goods maybe, but electricals? C’mon…
But the killer reason why this doesn’t work for me is that it fails to offer the potential customer a benefit. One of the things that was drummed into me early in my career as a lowly product manager in Boots, was the features and benefits.
Features are specific characteristics of something. But benefits are the good things those features give to customers. And customers buy benefits, not features.
So what’s the benefit here then? You should shop with us because we are passionately into what we do? Well yes I sure Comet is passionate about electricals (sic), and in today’s retail climate you’d struggle to find a big retailer who isn’t similarly passionate about what they sell.
Straplines can be a good way to expand on a business name or campaign, and can reinforce brand values well. But only if they’re done well, and for me Comet’s is the worst one I’ve seen in a while.