Station Domination Campaign Says Nothing

keiser_bart.jpg

Why? Why? Why? Why do brands launch these massive campaigns, spend all this money and make ads that don't say a thing about what the company does? Are there people in agencies that still think "branding" without meaningful substance works? Apparently, not after one of those day-long, mind-numbing vision, mission, essence, position self-serving mind fucks. After that, they're all sipping the Kool Aid without realizing the consumer wasn't in that meeting all day and has no idea what the hell the resulting brand messaging is trying to convey.

Sure, this Mobius award winning Bart Domination campaign for Kaiser Permanente will certainly force the company's name into the conscious and subconscious mind of everyone within eye sight but will they walk away having any idea what the company does? Oh wait. Yea. There's this thing called the Internet. Oh wait. There's no URL in the ad. Oh wait. There's this thing called Google. It helps you find stuff. Oh wait, Kaiser's name is impossible to spell. Even if one does find their way to the site, it doesn't even tell you what the company does. Not until you click in several levels or visit the far more helpful Wikipedia listing. And yes, we have heard of Kaiser Permanente before and many people in California, where the campaign is running, have as well but that's not the case with most other marketer's that go this route.

So why? Why? Why make your potential customer work when you only have a split second of their time? Why paint pretty pictures that are devoid of commercial messaging. This isn't art. It's advertising. Wallow in the beautiful non-descriptiveness of this campaign here (PDF).

Oh, and the explanation for why those tree trunks and their copy look fake: "Apparently the photos taken of the installation were not very good and someone thought they could be improved by photoshopping the copy that was on the pillars onto the already poor quality photos."

by Steve Hall    Feb-22-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Brands, Opinion, Outdoor   

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Comments



Comments

Oh, I think you're being a little harsh on this campaign...there are some nice pieces, but you definitely need the cumulative effect to get the overall message. Reminds me of the Citibank "Live Richly" campaign...at least it's a refreshing change from the typical healthcare advertising.

Posted by: copy guy on February 22, 2007 2:36 PM

Oh, I think you're being a little harsh on this campaign...there are some nice pieces, but you definitely need the cumulative effect to get the overall message. Reminds me of the Citibank "Live Richly" campaign...at least it's a refreshing change from the typical healthcare advertising.

Posted by: copy guy on February 22, 2007 2:37 PM

Kaiser Permanente Die Üblichen Verdächtigen,nicht?

Posted by: Lester on February 22, 2007 2:47 PM

Oh, man, I suddenly DO remember these things...I had to walk through the BART station looking at 'em twice a day. Enh. What are you gonna do? Sure, it's a waste of everyone's time and money, but at least it was easy to ignore. (You should see some of the station domination crap SF communters have had to endure over the years. Wait, maybe you shouldn't...)

I remember a bunch of us ad-ghetto commuters laughing at the time at the irony of Kaiser--famously tight-fisted as an HMO, infamous for constantly denying claims--was taking out all these expensive billboards detailing ways that YOU could allegedly "stay healthy," without KAISER having to pay out a single dime. Nice, guys. Very nice.

:-)

Posted by: The Vice of Reason on February 22, 2007 3:30 PM

You can't buy Kaiser. You can't dial it up on the interweb and get you a heapin' fist of Kaiser. You can't pick up some used Kaiser on Ebay.

You can hate Kaiser as socialized medicine and not accept a job where Kaiser is a benefit. Or you can believe that Kaiser gives a damn about your health and be OK with the lower premiums your employer is paying for your healthcare.

This campaign is smart and really makes it easier for people who said "Anything but Kaiser." to rethink their position. Don't get all where's the contact info on this ad. That's foolish and very junior brand manager of you.

Posted by: Don't b stoopid on February 22, 2007 5:47 PM

Give the audience a little credit. We all know who Kaiser is, and - thanks to a sustained medium-large-budget campaign - what it is they're trying to say. The station domination - accompanied by a choral group that wouldn't allow you to tip them b/c it was "on Kaiser," was really pretty nice. A big, sustained media buy like that speaks of a commitment to the campaign, and more importantly, to the idea behind it.

Posted by: Hugh on February 22, 2007 7:21 PM







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