. The Transom .

Thursday, May 11, 2006

An advertising company that got it right

The British pharmacy chain, Boots, found out they had a big problem. Their service was so bad that even their employees wouldn't fill prescriptions with the company. (sidebar - you know your company is in trouble when that happens. Remember how much chatter there was when it was discovered that Britney Spears, on Pepsi's payroll, was demanding a case of Coke in her dressing room before all performances? Ouch.)

Boots was armed with $120 million in marketing spend and approached Naked Communications, an upstart, but strong advertising agency, to create an ad campaign that would convince customers to use Boots' services. And here is the amazing part. Naked said no.

Boots' management suffered from what afflicts 90% of all other large companies: advertising delusion. I define advertising delusion when a company recognizes they have a major operational problem and their decision is to throw millions of advertising dollars at it. Luckily for Boots' sake, Naked was a knowledgeable agency and had the guts to stand their ground.

After some initial research, Naked realized that the problem isn't with the quality of the past ads or with the frequency, reach, etc. The problem was with Boots. Their service stunk. Naked knew that no amount of advertising could make the problem go away. If you put perfume on cow manure, you still have manure.

Naked started with educating Boots' employees about customer service and implemented programs that would encourage them to succeed. They put up in store ads, games for customers and put employees in special t-shirts to help brand recognition. The result: it worked. Prescriptions filled during the next quarter rose 7%, a substantial rise in their business.

Tip of the hat to Naked for being strong enough to do the right thing.

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  • It’s hard to imagine traveling interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis and not be entertained by what appears to be thousands of billboard signs. I mean really, does the University of Missouri need to advertise on 5 or six consecutive boards. Can I really keep my eyes off the road that long traveling at 80 mph? But wait, not only can I safely read those signs, but I can also manage to send a few text messages and make and take a few phone calls along the way, let alone dial my ipod to that specific song the kids are asking for in the back seat. Well, only one child is listening to music, the other two are asking me to please make the DVD work so they can play PlayStation games I have rigged up special for the long drive.

    Nobody is looking out the window at the beautiful scenery because you can’t see over the line of retail stores, farm machinery for sale, RV lots and the countless car lots along the way.

    My point, the interstate is an advertising and revenue generating machine for all sort of businesses. Get yourself and your kids off the superhighway, turn off all the gadgets, add a couple hours of drive time to your trip and go through as many small towns as you can find. Enjoy the country-side; try to tell your kids the difference between wheat and corn, cattle and hogs, and dirt and soil.

    Drive Safely

    By Anonymous RP Krotz, at Tuesday, May 16, 2006 8:56:00 AM  

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