Brand: Escada (Procter & Gamble)
Execution: Online Serial Web Video Drama, Blog, Podcast
Target: Men who buy perfume for women
Reviewer: David Vinjamuri
The perfume Escada by Procter & Gamble gets full new media treatment with a website, podcast, blog and a serial drama (of sorts) intended to promote the brand.Â The drama features short vignettes revolving around fashion including “The Dress” where the drama is supplied by Eva, who borrows a dress from Sophia only to find Jenny wearing the same dress.
It is important for brands to try to understand social media and new media and to experiment with these media.Â Sometimes these experiments will fail.Â It does not mean that the lesson will not be worthwhile.
To the casual brand observer, it looks like Procter & Gamble took a cosmetics brand and said to a new media agency “Do that web 2.0 stuff – you know, blog, podcast, webisodes, myspace.”Â And that is exactly what the brand received – all of the stuff with no rhyme or reason whatsoever.
It is easy to count the successes of brands in new media because they are so visible.Â When you’ve been forwarded the Smirnoff Raw Tea Video or a link to Brawny Academy for the ten-thousandth time, it seems obvious that these companies have done something useful.Â Because new media is promoted by consumers, it is much harder to spot the failures.
Escada’s “Sunset Heat” is a failure.Â It is so bad, in fact, that we are tempted to rank it as the worst of 2006 but we are certain there is worse that we simply have not seen.
The problems with this campaign?Â Here they are by the numbers:
- Shallow Characterizations -Â The very short webisodes have no character development and virtually no plot.Â They may be ironic, but they make the characters look unbelievably shallow, even by soap opera standards.
- No Brand Positioning - With P&G as the author, we find it difficult to believe that there is no discernable positioning for the Escada brand but try as we might we cannot find it here.
- Scattershot Approach – The choice of new media here seems to have been ‘try everything’.Â Almost everything is tried here – badly.Â It would have been better to choose one platform and devote real resources to it.
This campaign falls into the ‘scrap it and move on’ category – we really don’t see enough that is useful to attempt to salvage any of it.
Branding Bottom Line:
Watching Sunset Heat is more painful than reading Ulysses at the beach.