Advertising brief: To force consumers to re-appraise our worn-out brand rather than switch to the more appealing rival brand.
Timings: TV, print, poster, radio, online and social media must be finalised by the end of January (including focus group debriefs) in preparation for a possible surprise re-launch as early as Easter.
Budget: Unlimited (see ACTU funding document attached).
Background: After five extraordinary years of new product development, our brand, led brilliantly by chief salesperson Julia Gillard (insert Bob Carr’s name here post-February), is fast approaching its use-by date.
So much has been achieved (see half-page attachment, Appendix A) yet there is still so much more we need to deliver (see attached ACTU ‘demands’ list, Appendix B, 782 pages).
Like any successful brand, we’ve had our challenges in this very unusual market. Part of the strategic requirement of the ad campaign will be to paint our ‘mistakes’ (see attached Appendix C volumes I – IV) in a positive light, highlighting unambiguously where the blame for such unfortunate product malfunctions should lie.
Target audience: Extensive research has identified a key purchasing demographic known as ‘the Victims’. Typically living in the inner-city and unemployed or working in the public sector, these consumers bemoan the fact that there are others who are more successful, cleverer, wealthier, more talented and even better-looking than themselves. In the past, such people were disgracefully encouraged to believe that hard work, job satisfaction, self-esteem, an honest day’s pay, self-reliance, family love and a civilised society were sufficient reward for their labours. (Such outmoded ideas were propagated by degrading comments like ‘there will always be those better off than you, and there will always be those worse off than you’ and ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.’)
Demographic insight: The typical Victim (male, female, all ages) refuses to accept such an offensive sales pitch. Indeed, the Victim quite rightly recognises that other people are to blame for having denied them their rightful place at ‘the top of the table’. Accordingly, the Victim constantly craves and seeks new ways to address this perceived imbalance.
Harnessing the Victim’s desire to focus exclusively on their own grievances is key to the success of this campaign. This can be achieved in three strategic methods: ‘rewarding’, ‘recruiting’ and ‘blaming’.
Rewarding: Wherever possible, our special offers and giveaways should be portrayed not as ‘caving in to union demands’ but rather as ‘rewarding such-and-such a Victim’. In particular, emphasis should be placed on how much the Victim ‘deserves’ the handout in question. (Note to creative teams: unfortunately, the slogan ‘Because you deserve it’ is already copyrighted by L’Oréal. Please find another way to say the same thing.)
Recruiting: A brilliant new recruitment drive proposed by our legal expert Ms Roxon will ensure that soon anyone and everyone can become a Victim — and be paid lots of money to do so!
Blaming: Whatever the Victim feels they lack must easily and clearly be seen to be the fault of another person; making the sense of resentment and the feeling of ‘missing out’ that much stronger and more persuasive from a marketing point of view.
For example, many people feel they deserve to be richer, yet see people like Clive Palmer or Gina Rinehart wandering around buying such frivolous things as tropical islands and newspaper groups. Most Victims immediately ask themselves: ‘Why can’t I have a tropical island or a newspaper group? Surely I deserve it?’ This is a perfectly reasonable question, but it is crucial that Victims don’t end up blaming our brand for having failed to give it to them. A key part of this campaign is to focus Victims’ attention on how the superior rival brand, because it believes in ‘growing’ rather than ‘re-distributing’ the pie, will end up denying Victims ‘their fair share’.
Creative mandatories 1: Due to a number of unfortunate global occurrences entirely outside our brand’s control, certain phrases used in conjunction with our brand have negative connotations. The following words are forbidden from appearing in any 2013 advertising material:
border, protection, boat, people, asylum, seeker (apart from the musical group), Nauru, Manus, Christmas (when linked to a specific geographic location), Solution (when linked to any geographic location), drownings, leaky, riots, detention, centre, iPods, Hotel Australia, Bowen, overseas aid, starving Africans, redirected, $375 million, $1.1 billion, surplus, deficit, balanced budget, World’s Greatest Treasurer, mining tax, $0.00, spreading the boom, carbon tax, any combination of the words ‘there will be no’, Pink, Batts, electricians, fatal, fires, Garrett, cash, clunkers, Watch (when preceded by any noun), set-top, boxes, $900, dead people, Bravias (or any other make of flat-screen TV), Slater, Gordon, slush, funds, boyfriends, renovations, backyard deposits, hookers, credit cards, Tiffany’s, Thomson, Slipper, $50,000, cab charges, sexual harassment, climate change, global warming, solar panels, windmills, health hazard, Kevin 07.
Creative mandatories 2: Most Victims are too self-obsessed to concentrate on boring, specific details like cost analysis, KPIs or funding requirements. For this reason, numerous phrases and sets of words are sufficient to enable Victims to imagine that such-and-such a proposed product initiative will a) work and b) be of direct benefit to them. The following phrases are mandatory for all 2013 advertising communications:
Gonski, NDIS, national broadband network, trend growth and, er, that’s it.
Creative mandatories 3: The following phrases and sets of words have been found to resonate exclusively with the key target demographic and should be included wherever possible when referring to the rival product in all communications:
misogynist, sexist, racist, North Shore, mining magnate, private school, religious, anti-abortionist, Catholic, male, thug, man, fist, wall, Speedos, unfit to govern.
Strategic opportunity: To encourage enough Victims within key sales areas to re-purchase our product by promising them anything whatsoever.
Key strategic message: We will spend whatever it takes on whatever takes your fancy — because you deserve it.
Supporting message: The rival product is only interested in boring stuff like a ‘balanced’ budget, which means you’ll miss out (again!)
Single Minded Proposition: Your life would be awesome if it weren’t for Tony Abbott.
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