Putting consumers as the focus in advertising message is not new. What had become increasingly a ‘fashion’ is due to some of the changes in the form of personal communication these days. We all have answered these questions on social networking sites on a day to day basis – “What are you doing?” (Twitter) “What are you doing right now?” (MySpace) “What’s on your mind?” (Facebook) “What are you working on?” (Linkedin). We also have to personalise our Google or Yahoo homepage to reflect our mood…all these have made self-absorption almost obligatory.
It is not surprising that recently, advertisers seem to be obsessed with communicating how their brand relates to the consumer and how the product or services had personalised to suit the individual’s needs and aspirations. However, the similarities in their positioning and executions have created confusion among consumers.
In September this year, Yahoo! introduced a new slogan: “It’s Y!ou”, which incorporates the traditional Yahoo! logo and signature exclamation mark. The first set of ads for the brand carried straplines such as: “The Internet has a new personality: Yours”, and “The Internet is under new management: Yours”. The aim was to reflect how the internet now has been at the centre of people’s lives and how Yahoo, literally, is within ‘you’.
The new commercial featured slice of life of the people around the world…“where news travels faster, friends come closer, and you go further; where you can consumer, share, buzz, destroy, earn, flirt, watch, and wonder, in new ways, ‘you’ ways, place that will launch a billion viewers, place that shapes like you, brought to you, made by you, it starts with you, starting today. Yahoo. It’s you.”
All very upbeat, brilliant production value and with a fanfare in multiple markets all over the world…
In October, HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone launched their first image advertising. The new campaign focuses on, who else, “You” the consumer. Sounds familiar? The commercials portray individuals from various walks of life using their phones for work, life and play: “It’s the first thing you see in the morning, and the last thing you see at night, it stresses you out, it calms you down, it helps you remember, it helps you forget, it keeps you connected, it’s the only thing you own that’s always within arm’s reach, which is why you don’t need to get a phone, you need a phone that gets you, and you, and you, and we are HTC.”
Consumers must be so flattered in this day and age, when brands claim to focus so much on them by offering products and services that complements them “just the way they are”. The problem is a message being told too often, will end up to be a cliché. In terms of creative execution, anthem style multiple vignettes execution seems to be a bit over used, and at the end losing the look and feel, and the unique personality of the brand.
With products such as Youtube, Myspace, and tagline such as ‘My City My Metro’ (Dubai Metro), ‘Your Move’ (Reebok), ‘It’s on Me’ (adidas), just to name a few. The ‘you’ phenomenon could soon become a generic proposition.