Link: Click Here
Target: Rate-Shopping Men
This campaign features several spots showing women making bad decisions which are briefly forestalled by Vonage.Â The newest spot spoofs a teenage horror film where a woman hears reports of chainsaw killer “Larry the Lumberjack” when her lights suddenly go out and her door opens.Â She hears breathing from the basement and announces, “I’m gonna come down.”Â Then she is hit on the back of the head by a Vonage box.Â She picks it up and hears the Vonage announcer say, “Talk all you want, just $24.99 a month.”Â “Sweet,” she says as the orange Vonage Van speeds off andÂ she proceeds into the basement where we hear the chainsaw revving as the killer awaits.Â The voiceover says “Vonage, one smart decision among many, many stupid ones,” to the song “Woo Hoo” by the 188.8.131.52′s.Â The spot ends with the Vonage logo with contact information.Â A previous spot in this campaign is “Dolphins” which follows the same format except that the woman is a blonde on the beach who sees dorsal fins circling ominously and says, “Honey, look dolphins” and is briefly interrupted by the Vonage box knocking her to the ground.
Vonage took a page from the Yahoo! playbook and licensed a distinctive piece of music (Woo Hoo from the album “Bomb the Twist” by the 184.108.40.206′s) for this spot.Â This advertising blog thinks this was a good choice because the links between music and memory in advertising are well established.Â Before we are barraged with comments on this particular song we agree that it may be annoying to some, but memorable nonetheless.
The pacing and execution of these spots is also good.Â The humor will appeal strongly to some viewers.
We understand that Vonage and Arnold are aiming for campy, light-hearted humor.Â However we think that the choice of subjects is ill-advised and the resulting brand positioning is weak.
The key decision Vonage makes with this spot is to revive the old stereotype of the dumb blonde (expanded to brunettes with the latest spot) to show that Vonage is such a smart choice that even a stupid person can recognize it.Â Â This is one stereotype that is better left for dead and we don’t think Vonage made a very smart choice to use it as the basis of a campaign which needs to appeal to men and women alike.
Vonage is also very light on the support and description in this campaign.Â While the VOIP company is undoubtedly gaining brand awareness, it is not at all clear to us that Vonage should assume that consumers know what VOIP is or are comfortable foresaking their traditional phones without further assurance.Â Vonage should be looking towards Verizon and Cingular which go to great pains to stress their reliability and support rather than Old Navy when creating advertising.
The Vonage “people do dumb things” campaign has shocking received an Effie award.Â We recognize that Vonage must have some sales data to show that people are buying more and more Vonage phones and becoming more comfortable with VOIP.Â Â But we very much doubt that these new spots could be responsible for this underlying trend which seems more driven by word-of-mouth and a significant price advantage over traditional phone service than these questionable spots.
Branding Bottom Line:
Vonage re-creates the B-movie.Â We stick to our landline.