Posts tagged #Retail

RADveritsing: REI's #optoutside campaign

It's fitting to write this blogpost on Friday, 25 Nov 2016, even though we don't celebrate Black Friday nor Thanksgiving in Australia.  Just a few days ago at an AMSRS event we got to hear Niccola Phillips, Head of Art for M&C Saatchi, share her picks from this year's Cannes festival.  Probably the best was the REI campaign from the 2015 Black Friday in which the store adamantly shut its doors during one of the biggest retail sales days of the year in America.  Below is the video case study she shared and the 3 reasons why we think this is a form of RADvertising:

Why we love this:

1. It bravely goes against the grain.  It zigs when everyone else zags.  It goes against conventional wisdom ("We must open our doors at 3am because that's what our competitors are doing!!").  People are tired of seeing how much the Black Friday shopping holiday has been creeping backwards into the Thanksgiving evening and this brand finally decided to do something about it.

2.  It builds the brand:  It wasn't just some PR stunt to be forgotten the next day - it embodies what REI is all about - and they are doing it again this year.  Their employees are still paid which also endears us to the brand and makes them a good corporate citizen.    

3. It's become so much bigger than the campaign:  This year national parks in California are opening their doors (gates?) to the public for free - and people are tagging their photos #optoutside.  On the website where you can pledge to opt outside (5.2 million people have already), you have to wonder how many new family traditions are beginning because of this campaign... naturally they are beginning to call it Green Friday instead.  

For all these reasons and more, we say this is full-on RADvertising REI!

Posted on November 25, 2016 and filed under RADvertising.

BADvertising: Pie Face - what happened to a rising Aussie brand?

A few weeks ago in Nerang, QLD whilst headed to the Gold Coast theme parks, we spotted a strange sight:  a freestanding Pie Face store.  Something just felt horribly wrong about it, mostly: does Pie Face really sell enough or offer enough of an experience to justify its own building (complete with drive through?).  

If anything, Pie Face has been disappointing over the years.   I'll never forget one late buzzy night on Oxford St when I went to order the tandoori vegetable pie (one of the few options for vegetarians available) and asked to receive the same sale discount they were offering on 3 of their most popular meat pies, knowing full well the cost (both economically and environmentally) to produce a beef pie is much more than a vegetable pie.  But the gal at the counter said she couldn't sell it to me for the discounted price.  

Needless to say I was livid (and drunk - never a good combination).  I'd been going to Pie Face frequently for years - you could say I was a "high volume customer" - aka valuable to the business.  But because the employee wasn't empowered to act on her own, she lost my business and I've never been back.  

Pie Face's financial troubles have been well-documented already, citing too-aggressive expansion plans overseas, high rents and declining sales.  But overall to us it's also about the lack of innovation - sure they added mushy peas and mashed potato as a "stack"... but compared to other quick service outlets like Macca's and Subway who are always launching new products, Pie Face has always felt a bit stagnant.   Which is sad really, because I was a fan once, a major advocate.   And now, I'm feeling just a bit like Tyra:

I would love to be "surprised and delighted" by Pie Face once again - but until then it's dirty street kebabs for me.