Brand: Bissell PROheat 2X
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A young suburban woman sitting on a couch says “I run a doggy daycare” to the camera and then we see her with the dogs. As she plays with them, her voiceover continues, “It’s a great job, but things can get a little hectic, not to mention messy.” We see her remonstrating a tiny Chihauhau, “Mister Jiggles!” as Mr. Jiggles looks down at a spot he made on the carpet in shame and whines. Then she proceeds to demonstrate the new PROheat 2x from Bissell. After a few more shots of the dogs we see the Bissell logo and the tagline “Bissell. We mean clean.” The woman scolds Mister Jiggles, telling him to “use your inside voice!” in the last frames.
This is a very amusing, highly engaging spot which provides ample entertainment. The acting is good and the dogs all hit their cues, especially Mr. Jiggles who is priceless. Bissell does not wait until the last five seconds to show the brand, either. In the first half of the spot we get a good demonstration of the Bissell PROheat 2x and the ‘twice the bristles, twice the power’ permission to believe. Then there is another reinforcement of the brand with the company logo and tagline.
From a storyboard perspective, this spot looks great. It spends plenty of time with the product, the brand gets plenty of screen and voice time and the characters are appealing and engaging.
It is a very long-standing marketing axiom that animals are cute and that people remember them. As any actor will tell you, however, they tend to upstage you and pretty much ensure that your performance – no matter how strong- will be forgotten. The same is true for animals in advertising. With very few exceptions, these cute monsters tend to overwhelm the message that’s being delivered. Watch this commercial five times and we guarantee that you will fixate on the Chihuahua a little more with each viewing. So in a sense it doesn’t matter what Bissell is doing in this spot – it will be hard to recall ‘Bissell’ when the time comes to purchase that deep-cleaning rug machine.
A separate issue is the brand positioning for the PROheat 2x. Bissell’s positioning is very masculine and strictly product-centric (Bissell PROheat 2X is the best deep-cleaner because only Bissell PROheat 2x has twice the bristles and twice the power). This creates the classic computer industry problem with competitors saying, “2x? only 2x?!? – Then we’ll make our deep cleaner 4x!!” This is a difficult place to stake an ownable claim unless you are a company with a strong and persistent advantage in product performance (we were going to use INTEL as an example, but perhaps this is no longer true). We much prefer claims based on the USER (think ‘choosy moms’) or FRAME OF REFERENCE (think ‘Night-time Cold Medicine’) rather than the product performance.
Branding Bottom Line:
Bissell loses the recall battle to Mr. Jiggles.