Branding Homework-Evaluating Favorite and Despised Commercials

The job search using traditional job boards, corporate websites and job fairs is becoming less effective with the success rate on the decline. Today, networking is the number one way people get jobs regardless of the economic climate.

I don’t know exactly why 6 years ago I thought it would be a good idea for me to go out and network with business owners. Well, yes I do. I think I knew that I wouldn’t retire from the company I worked for the past two decades. Maybe it was a self fulfilled prophecy. The fact is, with that experience behind me I’m ahead of 99% of the rest of those disenfranchised folks out there standing in the unemployment line.

I hear you thinking. So loud you think. Kate, why aren’t you out there networking to land a new job. Well, the answer is that I don’t know what position I would apply for. I really don’t want to return to Windows Active Directory migration death march land.

Frankly, I’ve dreaded this section on Branding because it forces me to present to the world what you want to be. Personally, I don’t think I ever got over wanting to be a cowboy/girl. Perhaps that’s where I made my first bad career choice. Horses or computers….

Right now I use job boards to see what companies are hiring and the types of positions are available. I must say I applied to a few that I wasn’t qualified for, yet wanted to see what would happen. Nothing.

I’ve been reading Dan Schawbel’s ME 2.0–4 Steps to Building Your Future. Dan is a personal branding guru for the Generation Y audience. I am of the Cold War audience and felt excluded so I purchased his book.

I wanted to know what secrets he was sharing with his generation. For the advertisement of the products, Instagram is the perfect choice. Why do people buy Instagram followers? The followers can be converted into loyal customers of the business. The sharing of the secrets of the latest products is possible at the platform. The number of followers is increased along with the likes and comments. 

Dan reiterates that now I am the commander of my career. I can tell he’s a list guy. Lots of bullets and numbered lists in the book. Really, he hasn’t drawn out anything here that is different from branding your own company. After all, that’s what this is all about. You are your business.

In the section on brand discovery he points out that there are three elements of personal branding.

  • A plan to differentiate your brand from the competition.

I’m all over # 3 and ready to put that into action. Can I do that without knowing the answers to #1 and #2? Nope.

So let’s do a little exercise in branding.

So think about some brands out there that you love and hate.

1) Here’s one that comes to mind immediately. Kind of funny considering…

I love the MAC commercial with the PC and MAC guy.The MAC guy is on the right, comfortably dressed, emotionally cool probably because he is very confident that he represents something that is far superior than what the PC guy represents. The PC guy is lovable, but he’s always falls way short of matching the MAC guy’s cool confidence. MAC never has to say anything. We all know what the message is.

2) I love Lance Armstrong and I love the message in this commercial. The Nissan Leaf with Lance Armstrong riding his bike behind it.

At the end you know what the message is “Innovation for the Planet…Innovation for All.” If you love the environment (or cycling) you know you are looking at your next car. By the way, Lance owns one too.

Now as for commercials I hate…

Any of the furniture liquidation commercials, especially the ones that have a guy yelling.

Any of the drug commercials. First they suck up a full minute of quality commercial time and what is it with the list of side effects that outweigh Webster’s Dictionary?

The two that come immediately to mind are “Viva Viagra” idiot commercial and the “E.D. in the Bathtub” commercials.

Honestly, what is the message here? TWO TUBS? How exactly is Cialis going to help this couple? Does he just flop on over to her side. Who thinks of this stuff?

Tonight’s homework. I’m going to write out what I think the BRAND message is behind these 3 commercials. Then I’m going to write down descriptors for things I like and dislike about each commercial. If I think it’s something cool, then I must value what’s behind the message. Perhaps there’s a key to my new ME in there. I can tell there are some messages that I would like to copy and some I want to steer clear of for my own personal brand.


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