Sunday, December 21, 2008

Iran's hottest brand? Shoe thrown at Bush, of course.

According to Mark Bentley's Bloomberg story, the biggest brand in Iran these days is the "Model 271" shoe, the brown, thick-soled projectile hurled at President Bush by an Iraqi journalist at a December 14 news conference.

The Turkish manufacturer of that shoe has received orders for 300,000 pairs since the attack - that's up four-fold. They plan to add another 100 staff to meet demand, and - this is my favorite part of the story - have hired an agency to look into television advertising. So after hearing that the next big brand was born I fired off an e-mail to Mark  - I’m going to tell all my clients this is a fool-proof strategy to propel their brands to new heights. It requires only that the product be small enough to be hurled at a Head of State!

SMPS white paper says cutting business development activities is like stepping on your own oxygen hose.

Advertising trade associations like the AAAA have been saying for years that it is not a good idea to make deep cuts in advertising, marketing and business development activities during a recession. Furthermore, they've pointed to studies that have shown that marketers who've stayed aggressive during a recession see major improvements in the market dominance of their brands when the economy has rebounded.

Now a marketing colleague in my city who is the CMO for a major commercial construction company in Southwest Florida points to a study by the SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) that suggests the same thing. Warren Simonds of Willis A. Smith Construction Inc. said in his guest column in the bi-weekly SRQ Journal that cutting marketing and business development activities in a recession is like "stepping on your own oxygen hose." I love that analogy. And he's absolutely right.

The worsening economy calls for more, better, smarter marketing efforts. This is no time for retreat. The significance of the SMPS study, and Simonds' statements, is that they are coming from people on the client side of the desk, not a bunch of advertising industry people on self-serving, business preservation autopilot. It's the people who buy marketing and advertising services. More info at