February 26, 2015

MXZ Saw: Old Gold?

New Name: Thunder Saw
Starring: Craig Jones
Current Marketer: Telebrands
Original Hit Year: 2006 (No. 26 on the JW Annual)
Original Marketer: Emson
Watch the spot

From a creative standpoint, this is the right way to attempt to bring back this item. It's one magic demo after another, one-upping even the original creative (available here, albeit in Romanian). The only thing I didn't like about the commercial: All the Aussie cliches, many of which haven't been amusing since Paul Hogan was a celebrity. There was room for a little of that humor, but they really overdid it.

This marketer may have a problem in this regard, a cultural tone-deafness of sorts. (Exhibit B: 2014's Blarney Charm.) Or it may be the problem of trying to walk that line. Without just the right touch, DR humor descends into self-parody. As mass-marketers, we also should not underestimate the sophistication of our audience. They aren't all rubes and children.

The great Claude Hopkins had an exercise where he asked you to imagine selling your product door to door. Updating that, imagine standing at a kiosk in your local mall wearing a big hat and a necklace of crocodile teeth, trying to sell this product using lines out of Crocodile Dundee movies and old Outback commercials. How successful do you think you'd be? How much more successful if you took yourself and your audience a bit more seriously?

S7 Analysis: Back in 2006, a pocket tool that could saw a cinderblock in half was different than anything people had seen before. Today, it seems like less of a novelty. Moreover, tools have become a tough, crowded category. It's also worth mentioning that a product targeted toward men is not targeted toward America's biggest buying group. But if I'm wrong about the first point, the other two won't matter.

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