Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Proof that I don't understand Marketing

(As if anyone needed it...)
Today's marketing anomaly is about the "Tie-in". This is where you take product and create an association with some other product, in hopes to generate some excitement about both products.

For example, 7-Eleven is frequently doing special Slurpee flavors or collector cups as a tie-in to various movie releases. (The last Superman movie and the new Transformers come to mind.) They have big window stickers on the storefront that advertise both the products and the movie, and the radio ads for 7-Eleven and the movie include some soundbites about the promotion. Presumably the movie website might have some info about product promotions as well. The idea is that people just going for a Slurpee get some information about the movie if they didn't know about it, and the people that buy Slurpees are people they want to go see the film. Also, people that were already going to see the film get reinforcement of their choice, making them feel better about wanting to see the movie and having a Slurpee. 7-Eleven figures that people going online to the Transformers website might want a collector cup, driving some business to their store. In theory, the tie-in works for both parties, if done correctly.

In thinking that I understood how this works, I am baffled by the current Mountain Dew Game Fuel tie-in to World of Warcraft. The flavors have been out for a while, but the only reason I'm even aware of them is because I went through one particular line in Walmart where there happened to be a poorly lit drink case with some 20 oz. bottles of the beverages in question. Based on spotty data on youtube, the new flavors have been out for two months and I haven't seen a stitch of marketing anywhere. To be fair, I don't play WoW, so maybe that's why - but I don't think that is a good reason.

When the Halo 3 Game Fuel tie-in promotion started, they were stocking 12-packs of it in the game sections of stores (especially Target), along with McFarlane miniatures of a bunch of the characters. Even though I didn't buy Halo 3, there was no way I could have missed the promotion. As I just said, I also don't play World of Warcraft, so this certainly begs the question as to why I'm even talking about this. There is a point to this - I drink Mountain Dew. Surely I shouldbe made aware of new flavors, if the marketing people are doing their jobs? Or perhaps, this is a one-sided promotion where WoW fans get served Mountain Dew ads only, and WoW has no interest in attracting other overcaffeinated persons to their game. Just more proof that I don't really understand marketing - or I'm doing exactly what the marketing people want me to do.