We’ve been talking a lot lately around here about the concept of “experiential” marketing. Perhaps using a term loosely, I mean, by this, marketing tactics that sell the user an experience, as opposed to the selling the product on features alone. Companies that do this extremely well: Apple, Disney, Nike, BMW.
For one, Palm is, in fact, launching a product…not an experience. The experience they’re peddling was launched by the iPhone. They need to compete with that, first and foremost. To do so, they need to demonstrate product performance and highlight product features, at least to a point. Failing that, the user is left with the impression, “Okay, Pre is trying to be iPhone. I already have one.” (Or, my friend does, and I don’t need it or can’t afford it.)
And this ad is SO heavy on the experience, the viewer is left (at least I am) with the question, “So what does this product actually do, other than make throngs of orange-robe-clad minions maneuvre in unison?”
I personally love experiential marketing (again, using a coined term loosely). I think it’s generally more important—and more effective—to tell a customer how your product will change their lives or make them feel, as opposed to what the product does or the minutia of how it works. At the end of the day, consumers are purchasing experiences. Your message should be that your product will get them there. If you really want to tickle their buying bones, you need to market on emotion, or sell on price. The choice is yours, but you have to make it.
(…I just think this specific ad misses the mark.)