“It’s time for a new ad” the company honcho tells her agency.  “Great,” the agency says.  The result more often than not is Miller Lite’s “Triple Hops Brewed for a clean taste and aroma!” campaign.  Wow, finally, a light beer that’s triple hops brewed; I’ve been wanting a cleaner taste and aroma.  Screw this post, I need a Miller Lite!!  Or maybe not.  Actually, probably not.

Compare this to what Stella Artois just did: an iPhone app.  Tap it and, well, watch the short video.  In short, it delivers value (novel concept, eh?!): find the bars near you that serve their beer; tap on a location and get turn-by-turn directions; and you can rate the bars and see others’ ratings.   Plus, it has a coolness factor (augmented reality).

Let’s back up.  Perhaps the company honcho should have been clearer: “Sales are down, we need to bump them back up.”  Or perhaps clearer still: “Sales are down, we need to find a new market to sell to or highlight a different product feature or benefit our current customers care about.”  Better.  But I doubt triple hops brewed for a cleaner taste and aroma satisfies either requirement.

I understand the triple hops brewed idea.  Basically, let’s talk about something different.  It might cause people to pay more attention to our product.  It also gives the client an excuse to buy more advertising, which, might increase sales despite  the new lame message.

So, what to do?  Well, how about: find a new market to sell to or highlight a different product feature or benefit our current customers care about.  This is good marketing.  And good marketing beats clever marketing every time.