Branding: Smells, tastes, feels like home

New exciting challenge. Learning about branding for a company I’ll be teaching at. So here’s my first exploration. Bill said: “Branding is about managing how people instinctively react to your ideas and identity.” Interesting. He’s sent me an ad for an insurance company that the company has branded, made by a separate agency. So one look, and you recognize, hey, this is a reference to “High Fidelity“.

They’re turning what Rob loves about Laura into what your average twenty something wants to love about insurance. Smells and tastes like home. A very convincing ad concept.

John Cusack was wonderful in High Fidelity, and I could see how an insurance brand would benefit from channeling the honesty, integrity, quirkiness and human realness of his character. So does the commercial communicate that to the viewer?

They’ve chosen a very different man, obviously. It’s a tough call to cast for a German TV audience. But going at it from my world, after the first two viewings I’m not so sure I like the guy. The problem is (for me) that the monologue sounds too learnt by heart. Has this Berliner really had nothing but trouble with insurances? Recognizing the scene, I’m expecting an authentic rant or declaration of love here. We’re so tuned into authentic emotion these days, it’s very hard to fool us. If you’re selling personality, but you don’t have a star everyone can relate to, it’s going to be risky. Star quality is elusive. I’m trying to think of a German actor I would have cast here… Maybe Jürgen Vogel? Big fan here.

They’ve taken Nora Jones “Sunrise” from “Feels like Home” as the music, which makes perfect sense. She is a true star. Everyone understands her, and she’s here to stay. Just like your coverage. Hopefully.

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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