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


Brand Winner…

And Loser…


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

Winner: GM 


Loser:  Kraft



Folks, General Motors has been getting a lot of flack for backing away from advertising on Facebook.

GM became a symbol –at least last week—of a company going against the social media trend and thinking for itself.  In other words, GM is asking the question, if Facebook doesn’t work for them, why should they use it? 

For some this was negative, but I think it shows great strength.

This is the new GM, leaner and stronger and very competitive.  Leaving Facebook behind because GM couldn’t justify the ad dollars in terms of results was the best advertisement for the company as truly a world beater again.

One other thing to consider, Facebook was never going to have as big a news week as this past week with its historic IPO.  Did GM basically ride those coattails to get the best publicity to show that its new global marketing approach is streamlined, smart and taking a hard look at how best to spend advertising dollars. 

No surprise then that they have also decided that they will not be advertising during the Super Bowl this year.  They are a brand actively looking for value and my guess is that they will be keep delivering it to their customers.


When a global giant makes the kind of mistake that Kraft just made, what can you say?

I’m shaking my head in disbelief.  I really am.  Kraft has just decided to rename its global snack business Mondelez.

Folks, it took them four months and it’s no joke.  The company said the name is a combination of the Latin words “world” and “delicious”.

It’s worth reprinting a few paragraphs from the Associated Press story on the decision:

The four-month odyssey of how “Mondelez” was picked — and how it was
received — illustrates the great pains companies take to come up with
powerful names for their businesses, products and services. For them,
it’s akin to parents obsessing over a name for their newborn: it’s a
moniker that sticks for better or worse, so it better be good.

have to generate thousands of ideas, even if it’s just for a cookie,”
said Nik Contis, the global director of naming at branding company

That’s just what Kraft did after it decided to split
into two publicly-traded companies — one for its North American grocery
business that makes products like Oscar Mayer and Miracle Whip and the other a bigger company to focus on selling snacks worldwide.

was clear to executives at Kraft’s Northfield, Ill., headquarters that
the name of the snack business would have to appeal to a global
audience. So the world’s biggest maker of sweet snacks started the
arduous process of picking a name in November by soliciting suggestions
from its 126,000 employees.

What do you think?  It sounds like the lunatics just might be running the asylum.  Lucky for Kraft, the name still has to be approved by shareholder vote.

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


TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY: Too much cleverness can be a brand killer








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