Monthly Archives: August 2012

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: Neil Armstrong and Lance Armstrong


  

Brand Winner…

And Loser…

  

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner: Neil Armstrong

 

Loser:  Lance Armstrong

                                              

WINNER:

Folks, this is the tale of two Armstrongs.

The Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said: never judge a man until after he was dead.  His point was obvious, but it is easily overlooked in this age of celebrity. 

Bottom line, you don’t really get the full picture of a person until all the facts are in.  It is easy to be dazzled or misled, but Aurelius was saying you really need to wait awhile to get a sense of someone’s character.

As everyone knows now, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, died last week.

His is a brand that has withstood Aurelius’ test of character.  Some called him unnecessarily reclusive at times, but he had to navigate the incredible demands of the kind of celebrity that arguably no one has ever had to navigate before –and he did it by somehow deflecting attention from himself and onto the team that enabled him to get there…  Even though at many critical moments in the mission itself (including a last-minute landing change with only 17 seconds of fuel left), it was his cool-headedness and decision-making that saved the day.

Ultimately, what we are left with when we think of Neil Armstrong is a true American hero who never let us down.  May he rest in peace.
 

LOSER:


With one Armstrong’s example fresh in mind, it is genuinely sad to move to another.

I’m talking about Lance whose decision last week to stop fighting doping charges means that he will probably be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Fact is, no matter what the sponsors and fans who are not abandoning him say now, Lance has just cast a permanent cloud over his brand.

Sure, he’s done a tremendous amount in the fight against cancer, but so much of what makes athletes heroes is that their superior performance doesn’t come with question marks — he inspired people because he became the best cyclist after his battle with cancer.  He inspired us because he never gave up.

One of the curious things now is why the big sponsors and fans haven’t immediately abandoned him.  That probably has a lot to do with the reputation of the brand behind the doping charges — The United States Anti-Doping Agency– which has had some brand reputation issues itself and Armstrong’s personal charisma.

This NY Times article about Lance is worth reading

But the point is this: no matter what people are saying right now, Armstrong has given up the fight he said he would never give up.  That kind of brand contradiction matters: you simply can’t be a champion and give up.  End of story.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.

 

TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: For brands to be successful they must be consistent.


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: NBC Olympics Coverage and Fareed Zakaria


  

Brand Winner…

And Loser…

  

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner: NBC Olympics Coverage

 

Loser:  Fareed Zakaria

                                              

WINNER:

Folks, there might have been some complaining along the way, but when it was all said in done, I believe NBC pulled off its Olympics coverage.

This having just been the London Olympics, it’s right to let a British paper tell NBC’s triumphant story (courtesy www.guardian.co.uk):

NBC‘s
TV coverage of the London Olympics was the most-watched television
event in US history, attracting 219.4m viewers, the network has said.

Despite
complaints during the Games of delays in broadcasting popular events
until primetime hours, problems with online streaming and edited
versions of the opening and closing ceremony, NBC said that more people
watched the 2012 Olympics on television than the 215m who tuned in for
the Beijing Games in 2008.

NBC said it also smashed online records, recording nearly 2bn page views and 159m video streams of its Olympics coverage.

NBC,
a unit of cable operator Comcast Corp, paid $1.18bn for US broadcast
rights to the London Olympics, and executives said earlier this month
they expected to break even because of the strong TV ratings.

The
network, which showed a record 5,535 hours of sports and ceremonies
across multiple broadcast and cable networks and online, said its
primetime TV coverage averaged 31.1m viewers over the 17 nights of the
Games.

That’s right.  Despite all the carping –and clearly it wasn’t everyone– NBC did a fantastic job –and it’s a good thing they followed their own strategy, rather than trying to correct mid course because of complaints. 

LOSER:


If someone puts themselves forward as a truth teller and then is seen to steal from someone else, the brand is ruined…  It simply cannot survive the conflict.

That is what I believe has just happened to Fareed Zakaria, the CNN and Time commentator, Harvard PhD, sought-after speaker and trustee of Yale University.  Zakaria has been accused of plagiarism and suspended from his media work.

My sense is that this is the end of the road for Zakaria’s brand as a commentator and journalist.  How can it be anything else?  A few commentators, like David Frum, are defending him, but old-style journalists aren’t having a bit of it.  Here’s a great piece from the Baltimore Sun.

Most of the time crisis management can help pull a brand out, but I just don’t see this working for Zakaria.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.

 

TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: If you believe your brand strategy will work, stick to it, give it a chance despite the naysayers.


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: Michael Phelps and WikiLeaks


  

Brand Winner…

And Loser…


 
 

Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner: Michael Phelps

 

Loser:  WikiLeaks

                                              

WINNER:

Folks, Michael Phelps.  What other two words mean “brand winner”?

Phelps has just done what no one else has and no one else will for a long time: he has won 19 Olympic medals.

Despite the over-zealous copyright and trademark spirit of these Olympics, Michael Phelps stands out as a reminder of what it means to be a winning brand.

He has overcome so many challenges in his time, but the slow start at these Olympics might have been one of the bigger ones.  After all, a lesser athlete might have been derailed by not doing well to start.  But instead Phelps rallied and won.

Phelps might win more medals still, but already he’s reminded us that great brands never give up, never surrender.

LOSER:


One of the worst things a brand can do is take action that contradicts its core principle whatever that principle is. 

WikiLeaks has just done this and my guess is it could spell the death of this new brand.

First, what is this core principle?  Let’s say it’s to traffic in the truth no matter how problematic that might be for other people.  You might agree or disagree about whether they’ve really done this, but this is basically what they are considered to be doing.

So how did they violate this principle?  They circulated a hoax opinion editorial purportedly written by a former New York Times editor.

Wow!  Not too bright.  If you traffic in the truth, you can’t suddenly start trafficking in falsehood.  It’s as simple as that.and this kind of brand disconnection might just be enough to rip the already troubled WikiLeaks apart.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.

 

TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: Identify your brand’s core principle and stick to it.