Gatorade’s Campaign for Exclusionary Positioning

Gatorade’s Campaign for Exclusionary Positioning

Gatorade Tells Huge Demographic to Get Lost

This is a very interesting commercial. They are actually telling a large demographic that they do NOT want their business. If you aren’t someone who works up a sweat, their product is NOT for you. There are a hell of a lot of people who don’t sweat every day and like this product… now the brand is telling them they are not interested in them.

The power of exclusion / premium product branding is that it forms tighter identification bonds with its core customers.

This kind of brand presentation can help ‘position’ the company as a ‘specialty’ company and prefers to cater to an exclusive group of consumers.

The (Gatorade) are not interested in the casual “sport drink” purchaser, they are interested in helping THEIR clients feel elite/special for purchasing the brand.

Could this work for them? Of course.

Can work for a lot of businesses -even small business.

But it must be handled very carefully, because they can be opening themselves up to some pretty interesting pushback from competitors – who could use the exclusionary message against them.

Gatorade is NOT a stupid brand, and I am pretty sure they know what they are doing here. They want to position themselves as THE premier sports drink available for consumers thinking of a purchase.

It will be fun to watch this campaign unfold.


Visuals Can Be Currency

Visuals Can Be Currency

Andrew Scrivani is a food photographer in NYC. He has noted a trend among marketers that shows how powerful they regard visuals.

“So, this latest, most disturbing turn involves a PR company calling me to ask if I would do a “takeover” of their Instagram feed for an event that they are promoting. They reference “terms & conditions” when making the request but it seemed pretty clear to me that these did not include any fees. When I requested clarification of what these “terms” were I got radio silence. I think people in many businesses that need visuals are finding that appealing to an artist’s vanity is an effective way to get free professionally made content. The use of the word “takeover” is a not so veiled reference to when TV music channels and radio stations have Lady Gaga “take over” the channel and play her music and a few of her favorite songs for a few hours….this is NOT the same thing.”

No, it is not the same thing at all. In the case of Lady Gaga, she is spinning other people’s music for which they are compensated. In the case of a photographer “taking over” a companies Instagram feed, it is little more than exploitation with a carrot dangle… the carrot being the amount of people who will be seeing the photographers/designers/illustrators/creatives work.

I imagine one could build a lot of followers on their Instagram and Tumblr feeds if they acquiesce and simply go along. But the biggest lie is that the numbers are more important than the quality. A well targeted, highly loyal ‘fan base’ is far more important to a creative than a massive amount of people who are not engaged, only clicking the like button because they can.

Beware these sorts of campaigns, and at least go in with your eyes wide open. Yes, you may get a lot of new followers, but then so did the person before you and so will the one after you… big deal. The importance would lie in the quality of the followers.

So far, that has not been determined.

(Photograph from New Jersey on a very warm evening in June.)
Big Images on Websites: The Truth

Big Images on Websites: The Truth

From the article on Crazy Egg:

“It is easy to see why this is becoming a regular practice among websites, it gives your site a very sexy look.


A good looking website is one of the first aspects of your site that your visitor responds to, both consciously and subconsciously. The background image, when used appropriately, is an easy way to give your site a sleek look without compromising major real estate.


A well-known conversion killer is stock photography, and the mega image trend requires companies to invest in quality, original photography. With a renewed focus on how photography impacts conversions, the mega image trend has eliminated one of the long-time conversion faux pas.”

It is sometimes easy to look for the cheap way out. And with all the free imagery out there, it is simple to find free and very cheap images.

But if they do not work for your website and actually drive people away, their value becomes contradictory – and they become a liability. One you chose.

Choose wisely.

Will “Native Advertising” Become More Powerful for Small Businesses?


What is Native Advertising you ask?

Let’s explain it this way… an ad that takes the form of something native to the site it is being shown on.

An example: A regular ad would be something like a banner for an accounting firm placed on a community page. It may be a banner or a box or even some sort of text link. We see them all the time.

A native ad may be something that appears as content within the community site. For all purposes, it is an informational article that looks like most of the other informational articles… but it is NOT. It is paid advertising that simply LOOKS like the surrounding native content.

We have had “Advertorials” for a long time, and they are considered “Native” advertising. The newer forms of native ads may not appear so blatantly advertorial, and instead be perceived as content created as information only, and placed in such a manner as to help that perception along.

A couple of things to consider: IF the content is good, and informative and NOT misleading in any way, there is simply nothing wrong with it in my view. If it goes down the rabbit hole of bullshit ad speak, misleading at best, fraudulent at worst, then it can damage the content provider as well as the advertiser.

I think it is here for a while, and presents some amazing possibilities for marketers who are very sure of their message and aware of the possible pitfalls. This can be an extraordinary new platform for getting a valuable amount of info into the hands of consumers who are seeking it.

But remember that the content MUST be accurate, informative and free of ‘selling’.

Here is a graphic that introduces you to the concept and what others are thinking about it. Visit Copyblogger (click graphic) for more information and what the breakdown of stats mean.

Copyblogger's 2014 State of Native Advertising Report
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

An Old Acquaintance Died Yesterday, RIP Dude

Stock photo from the stupid CC collection at Flickr.

A friend died yesterday.

Well, not really a friend, more of an acquaintance really. We never did see eye to eye on what my friend’s real goals were.

Oh, I hung around him for a few years. Coffee. Lunch now and then.

But I always walked away feeling uneasy about my friend. Sort of like he was out of sync with many of my thoughts about photography.

He was a connoisseur of sorts. A collector of photographs, and for those who needed his services, an ally with a long, deep understanding of photography and its uses. For the most part, a rather class act fellow.

A few years ago he got real sick. He had been such a popular guy, and so many people had invested in his friendship that it was simply sad to see him that ill, and totally in denial of his predicament. Many of his long time associates simply left him out of dinner parties and stopped hanging out with him.

His sickness began to change him from a sophisticated searcher of the best art to simply a revolving door of cheap imitations. Even to the point of taking most of his original supporters for granted – or worse. Interventions were attempted, but were always defeated by his arrogance and self importance.

And he allowed himself to be taken over body and soul by a megalomaniacal manager. A boss so powerful that he was consumed by its power. A boss that would define him in ways that were once abhorrent to him.

He increasingly became angry, defiant, greedy. He worshipped at the alter of the fast buck, the cheap sale. Argue against him and he would simply remove you from his increasingly insipid crowd of riff-raff. A once stalwart friend of photography, he became an anathema who prayed on the desires of the beginner, the egos of the wannabe’s.

And he died yesterday. Not so much murdered by Getty, but surely led to the cliff of his own demise by his formidable boss and overseer.

His name was Stock Photography. Getty killed Stock Photography yesterday. Perhaps out of self righteousness, perhaps to put it out of its misery. Perhaps because they are collectively evil and stupid. I don’t really know… or care.

I will never forget him, but I will always remember that the choices my friend made led him to his ultimate demise. So many of us tried to warn him that he was on a spiral that would only take him to this ultimate end

He simply refused to listen and now he is gone.

Crisis in Event Photography?

Horse Show Photographers Are Facing A Crisis

From Chronicles of the Horse…

Wow… you can just feel the pain and hurt in the words.

“I don’t think photo thieves realize how much of our life is consumed by the photos that they are so quick to take without paying. I don’t think they realize they’re putting people out of work. I don’t think they realize I stay up late at night trying to figure out how to employ our staff with diminished sales due to theft. I know these people don’t steal from tack shops, that they pay the braiders and the blacksmith and their horse show bill, or their trainer. So I don’t think they really know what they do.”

Oh no, they do indeed know. They don’t care. That is the hardest thing to face… the customers don’t care about what your personal challenges are. There is a fundamental change hitting that kind of photography (I would insert the obligatory ‘weddings next’ statement but I thought better of it so no one sends me any death threats… this is not the sentence you were looking for…), and there will be fallout and chaos.

“The next issue I want to address is the scab photographer, or poacher, or faux pro. This is the photographer who shows up with nice or not-so-nice camera equipment, with little to no expense involved in being there. They have full-time jobs outside photography and just show up for fun or for the weekend.”

Unfortunately for the professional horse photographer (dogs, events, skating… all are feeling it) the arrival of digital has lowered the bar on acceptable, and a dentist with a bigass DSLR can indeed make a good, sharp image. With some practice they can make killer, sharp, well composed images.

Loyalty to you, the photographer may be more difficult to create.

“The unfortunate truth is that brand loyalty across every industry is declining. According to Ernst & Young, just a few years ago the average customer was loyal to their favorite brands about 40% of the time. Now, that percentage is estimated to have dropped to just 25%.”
— Angela Pointon, “How to Create Brand Loyalty”

Yes, they are taking away your business as a horse photographer. They don’t care. It is NOT their responsibility to care… they want to make pretty pictures, and read somewhere on a forum that they could recoup their lens purchases with the prints they sell. Single purpose ROI.

I am not saying this is right or wrong (and using the word “scab” will certainly not go a long way in public relations… sheesh…) but it most definitely IS the state of affairs with consumer/commodity photography.

I know people get tired of hearing the same old thing… but, sigh… to succeed in this type of business (little capital investment, easy to produce product) one will have to go far beyond what is now considered traditional marketing/service to something totally different and exciting enough for customers to want to pay.

Then get ready for it to fall on its self again… and again.

Change the game!

4. Have a Point of View

In a world of mass messaging, right and left points of view, and chest thumping me-ism, I see so many artists who are reluctant to let their true colors shine. They’re worried that having a point of view might alienate a subset of fans or followers. Well, that’s bullshit. Because the only reason you’d want fans and followers is to genuinely connect with a community of like minded people – connect your authentic self with theirs. Referencing #1 above – you think it didn’t take balls to stand up for a belief in marriage equality amidst the typical hiphop anti-gay mindset? Sure it took balls, but that’s what M&RL believe and so they found it a perfect thing to write about – with confidence. I spoke to them about it here. THAT is called having a point of view.


I’m guessing there’s a few things in your world (I know there are in mine…) that you’ve been scared to put out there. Dimes to donuts that this thing you’re holding inside will be a huge benefit when you get out of your own way and share that thing, own that thing, have a point of view. The people that will care about that thing are the people you’ll want to connect with anyone. So what are you waiting for?”
— Chase Jarvis, “7 Lessons Anyone [YOU] Can Learn from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis”

The hockey stick for how this stuff will change and mind-share is at nearly vertical… what is cool this year may not be cool next year. It will be a constant struggle for the minds and hearts of customers.

Not saying it is right, only that it is what it is.

“There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.”

On Creativity:

“Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.

Creative people say No. On Medium.

More Information on the Licensing of Photographers


Breaking News:

The Governors of New Jersey, North Carolina, Nebraska and Arizona have issued a joint statement (In Colorado and Washington this means something different) on the licensing of Photographers.

A spokesman for the governors just released this statement:

“We, the governors of the aforementioned states agree that the pain, suffering and humiliation of people getting bad photography has become an epidemic. Tens of millions of people are no longer able to function because of this virulent strain of unprofessionalism.

We have been advised by a group of professional wedding photographers and some photographers with awesome Model Mayhem accounts that in order to maintain the public safety we must adopt new and stringent guidelines for the taking and making of pictures.

We have decided the following:

1. All photographers must be licensed, and that license will include private instruction in the proper use and maintenance of the modern capture device.

2. All photographers must pass a stringent test to prove without a shadow of a doubt that they are indeed capable of a Bat Mitzvah shoot and the occasional Wedding event.

3. In order to make this as painless as possible we have decided to administer and manage the licensing of photographers at our state DMV’s. It only make sense. They have cool testing stuff, and they have cameras there already with many of the DMV workers shooting hundreds of portraits a day. We feel these public servants are sufficiently aware of great photography and will be fair and balanced in their licensing management.

4. The Arizona Photographers Certified Liaison will be Candy Barre, a former model on One Model Place and the winner of the Hooter’s Hotbuns 2001 contest in Tucson, AZ. She has issued this statement: “I am very glad to be chosen to represent the state of Arizona in its crackdown on the illicit photography trade. I have asked for Sheriff Joe (Arpaio) and his deputies to take classes in photography on YouTube and be sufficiently aware of the Inverse Square Law to make quick, on the spot decisions on whether a photographer needs or does not need a license.”

Ms Barre added that she wanted photographers “to know this has nothing to do with any personal vendetta against the stupid wedding photographers who did not sufficiently photoshop my big ass out of my second wedding shots, and caused the image to become viral on Facebook. I will administer my duties to make sure that crap never happens to some other adorable bride with all the power and firepower invested in me by the STATE.”

At the impromptu press conference, a professional photographer in the audience asked how the state could tell what good photography was. Ms Barre had him removed from the room for creating and disturbance and being, in her words, ‘argumentative and too inquisitive.”

“I am sure there are many perverts out there with cameras who may not like the fact that we are checking up on them. If you know a photographer who is against this legislation, he or she is probably a child molester worried about losing access to the most vulnerable among us.” Miss Barre then had the Sheriffs there do a demonstration of the enforcement techniques that they had planned to use.

A 6’ male mannequin was rolled out on stage holding a Nikon D7000. “You can tell he is a predator just by looking at the way he is holding that camera,” Ms Barre explained.

At that point, five Arizona Sheriff’s deputies opened fire from a distance of about 10 feet. Firing nearly 130 rounds, the mannequin was hit 21 times with hollow tipped bullets that tore its predatory plastic ass a new one.

More when the smoke clears.