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Live in the Commercials

Yangnan (Paul) Liu ‘12 – The biggest advantage of living in New York City to learn marketing is that you are constantly immersed in this energetic business environment every day. The agency I work for sits in the busiest and most advertised area surrounded by fancy and luxurious designer stores. The everyday ten-minute commute from subway station to the building becomes an inspiring visual experience of high fashion ad campaigns.

A female and male model, at right, in nothing but their underwear!

One of the most interesting (and most rewarded) marketing campaigns I have seen so far on Fifth Avenue is Hollister Co.’s in-store modeling idea. This huge flagship store is designed with strong essence of Southern California. The door of the store is built with multiple giant TV screens projecting live beach scenes from California. The beach, wave and sunshine shown in this snowy and windy city make a strong illusion for New Yorkers. This intelligent idea successfully attracts countless consumers getting into the door. More interestingly, in the store, there are numerous couples of good looking California styled, perfectly tanned models randomly standing everywhere. These girls and guys in beachwear are exactly like those models in Hollister’s ad campaigns. They are laid back and saying “What’s Up” to incoming shoppers. I was amazed when I first get into the store but suddenly felt embarrassed because I was totally not expecting to see so many barely-dressed models in such a cold cold weather (or I just got used to living in the mid-west and totally forgot beach and sunshine). Anyway, this apparently turned out extremely successful. So many bare-hand customers walked out with several shopping bags and smile. Can’t you consider this a smart idea?

While I am so inspired by these exiting things happening around me, my client at DDB is Quilted Northern and Angel Soft bathroom tissues. I have never imaged I could work so closely to the household product category that I did not even care before. Branding these simple daily household goods involves tons of behavioral studies and economic analysis and you would not believe how much time and money those advertisers spent on of consumer packaged products, regarding positioning on the shelf, color choice of the package and customer reviews etc. So next time when you shop for groceries, pay close attention to the little details that trigger you to choose their brand, because those do not just happen by chance.

  1. Hey Paul, so you just need to figure out how to make TP a sexy product. I suppose us “housewives” don’t have the allure of those bikini clad models. Those California beach scenes sound great, although I have to tell you that it is supposed to get up to 60 by Friday and the snow has finally melted off your car. Mr. Carper may even be breaking out the BBQ for some grilled salmon on Friday. Hello spring! Mrs. C

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