“How does awareness evolve when advertising stops?” The use of frequency tactics

Written by Kaleigh Dickson. For more on this author, see LinkedIN and/or Twitter.

Advertisements bombard us everyday. With numerous brands, messages and logos surrounding us, which ones stand out? And how long will we retain these messages?

In this week’s readings, we learned about frequency tactics while planning campaigns. The author of Strategic Planning for Public Relations, Ronald Smith, writes that the frequency of exposure to a message is important in determining whether or not “the message takes root in a persons consciousness.” The more a consumer repeatedly sees a message, the more accepting they will be of the message.

It has been determined that one exposure usually has no effect on the person, unless that person is highly attentive to the situation. Smith says a person should be exposed to a message three times in order to make an impact on the consumer. However, when many different messages are being thrown at a consumer, three exposures may not be enough.

Smith suggests that in order to keep the audience thinking about your messages and brand, repetition and reinforcement of the messages through media is important. The author also says, “Most audiences remember a message they have seen daily for several days more than one presented several times in a single day.”

In order to further drive this point of brand awareness and message repetition, I found a study that shows how impactful repetition is when trying to sell a product.

Milk is a basic necessity that our bodies need in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But, what happens when the company that sells this refrigerator staple stops advertising? Does advertising really matter for milk?


Photo courtesy of thedoctormommy.com

Ashwin Aravindakshan and Prasad A. Naik, the authors of this article, reference a 2009 case study by Sutherland on the sales and brand awareness of milk after advertising stops. Sutherland (2009), found that a milk companies sales remained constant 12 months after its advertising stopped. But, after this 12 month period, milk sales rapidly dropped.

In another case study, Sutherland (2009) tested the brand awareness of milk. Sutherland (2009) found that brand awareness was not a gradual process, but dropped significantly after several months.

Aravindakshan and Naik believe that this previous study of advertising and brand awareness has holes, so the authors plan to fill those holes by proving how the evolution of awareness when advertising stops through a series of new developed formulas. Aravindakshan and Naik studied a French car company, Peugeot, and analyzed the decline in awareness after this company stopped advertising. They estimated that for Peugeot, ad memorability would be about three weeks.


Photo courtesy of walkit.com

Awareness formation models describes the growth and decay of brand awareness. This model was used by Aravindakshan and Naik in order to determine the memorability of Peugeot advertisements. This model was used because the current advertising model, suggests (without testing) that consumers forget advertisements instantly.

Aravindakshan and Naik operationalize consumer memory as “the delaying the forgetting of consumer ads”. The delay differential equation was used, which is new for the field of marketing.  Advertising effects were measured under various scenarios.

The authors of this study conducted several different situations in order to test the memorability of Peugeot’s advertisements to its consumers. Awareness, memory and forgetting rates were tested and formulas were used in order to obtain statistically significant data.

Similar to the milk case study, Aravindakshan and Naik found that awareness remains steady for awhile, and then awareness declines rapidly. The authors found that, “when ad memorability is high, the resulting long delay and rapid decline is what we would observe based on our formulation…”


Photo courtesy of adverbox.com

Currently, companies monitor for brand awareness only by using tracking study. This experiment by Aravindakshan and Naik, provides a new way and formula to test brand awareness in a more accurate way in order to expand this field of research.

This study helps reinforce the fact that frequency tactics are vital when planning campaigns. Lack of messages decrease awareness of the brand, and in turn, sales will decrease. While implementing patterns of message repetition in campaigns, there are four concepts you can use to help disseminate messages: continuity, flighting, pulsing, and massing. Continuity presents messages consistently over time; flighting presents messages in waves; pulsing is a continuous base supported with bursts of communication; and massing is a mixture of a message into a short period of time. These four tactics can be used not only for advertising messages, but also for special events, blog postings, posters, and brochures.

One-time messages are usually not effective, so to make your brand last in the minds of consumers strategically use frequency tactics.

Aravindakshan, A., Naik, P. “How does awareness evolve when advertising stops? The role of memory”. Marketing Letters (2011) 315-326. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. http://www.lib.lsu.edu/instruction/guide_on_the_side/tutorial/academic-search-complete

Smith, R. (2013). Strategic Planning for Public Relations. New York: Taylor & Francis.


“Think Global, Act Local”: An Evaluation of McDonald’s Marketing Mix

Written By Elle Schmidt.  For more on this author, see Twitter and/or WordPress.


Photo courtesy of Interbrand

McDonald’s is a household name in America and throughout the world.  It is the leading global foodservice retailer with over 33,500 restaurants in 119 countries.  It remains at the top of its market by delivering a remarkably consistent customer experience while still allowing for locally relevant menu and service variation.  The article I would like to share with you today focused on the integrated marketing strategies used by  McDonald’s and the ways in which it combines internationalization and globalization elements to fit their various markets.

In our readings this week, we learned that times, styles, and tastes change.  In order to stay ahead of the competition, and protect market share, companies need to make the most out of their opportunities and be willing to adapt. The key to the company’s international success has been its use of franchising.  It’s important to look beyond traditional markets and borders in order to fully exploit a brand’s sales potential.  Crossing borders, both physically and electronically, is becoming increasingly vital for even the smallest businesses to remain competitive.

Claudio Vignali, the author of this study, evaluated the marketing mix of McDonald’s brand in terms of globalization versus internationalization.  Globalization, he said, involves developing marketing strategies as though the world is a single entity, marketing standardized products in the same way everywhere.  Internationalization involves customising marketing strategies for different regions of the world according to cultural, regional and national differences. The study also identified three additional additives to the 4Ps of the marketing mix formulated by McCarthy in 1975.  Vignali applied the 7Ps,  product, place, price, promotion, people, process, and physical, developed by Gilligan in 1996, in his analysis of McDonald’s. First, he looked at McDonald’s use of product in its marketing mix. One of the major aims of the organization is to create a standardized set of items that taste the same regardless of the country in which they are found.  Applying this strategy, while maintaining its ability to adapt to certain environmental conditions, ensures success.


Photo courtesy of FlushNews.com

There have been many situations, however, where McDonald’s has adapted its product in order to match religious laws and customs in a country. For example, in order to match the needs of the people in India, McDonald’s serves Vegetable McNuggets and a mutton-based Maharaja Mac. India is a nation comprised of Hindus, who do not eat beef, Muslims, who do not eat pork, and Jains, who refuse to eat meat of any kind. In our readings, we learned that it would be the height of American arrogance to assume that what works here ought to work in other places that have older and probably must richer cultures than ours.  This is a perfect example of McDonald’s sensitivity to other cultures and a way in which it integrated itself, as a brand, into those special markets.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of McDonald’s marketing mix is its use of promotion.  Promotion consists of five major tools: advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, public relations and publicity, and personal selling.  Although the driving force behind McDonald’s marketing is to promote its global image, the company still focuses on the needs of the communities they are entering.

In its advertising, McDonald’s conveys one overall image with different personalities in different cultures.  They concentrate on standardizing the brand name but localizing advertising campaigns.  For example, in East Asia, McDonald’s advertisements are geared toward children, to whom it credits much of its success in that region.

According to our readings, one of the most important marketing public relations activities is the generation of positive publicity for the brand and company.  In terms of public relations, McDonald’s typically has localized its efforts.  However, there are some cases in which the company has adopted a more global strategy.  In 1997 they paired up with Walt Disney, which allowed them to share exclusive marketing rights for everything from films to food, for the next ten years.  This was a tremendously successful global public relations effort because Walt Disney has a world-wide appeal. Another way McDonald’s gains positive publicity through its public relations is through the use of sports sponsorships.  The company sponsors a vast array of sports on both the national and global level.  Globally, it enhances its name with associations with the Olympic Games and the World Cup.  Nationally, it links itself with organizations like the NBA and NASCAR.

The readings for this week also discuss the problems of language barriers in global marketing.  It’s not enough to study language out of a book. Even within a country, not everyone understands the connotative meaning that words pick up through usage. In addressing this issue, McDonald’s uses pictographs, where employees world-wide can ring up sales on machines that display symbols of Big Macs, french fries, or colas instead of words or numerals.  The company is also strongly committed to staffing locally and promoting from within, hiring only managers who understand both the corporate and local cultures in which they operate.

In 2014, its focus will be on Asia, where it must find the product sweet spot for consumers across the region, a key to successful expansion and relevancy in the market.  McDonald’s has faced numerous challenges in the Japanese market in particular.”The biggest reason behind our failure is our declining creative ability,” says chairman and president Eiko Harada, apparently blaming himself for not coming up with interesting-enough trinkets and freebies. “We have not been able to astonish our customers.”  In Japan, one of the most important roles of food is bringing people together and creating a sense of community.  What marketing strategies/tactics would your recommend for McDonald’s to increase its presence here?

In summary, this article found that the McDonald’s message stressing a family environment is the consistent throughout the world. It just depends on where you are as to how that message is packaged and broadcast.  After analyzing the marketing mix of McDonald’s, Vignali concluded that the company can be said to be “glocal,” meaning it combines elements of both globalization and internationalization. They have achieved this by applying the maxim, “think global, act local,” to all the elements of the marketing mix. My only concern with the findings in this article is that it failed to address McDonald’s social media strategy, which has been criticized in recent years. In today’s rapidly evolving media environment, social media is becoming an integral part of both marketing and public relations and McDonald’s in particular has been criticized in recent years for its various social media flops. But that doesn’t change the fact that today, McDonald’s maintains 69 million daily consumers through greater choice and localization, consistent global brand expression, and customer experience.


Fiegerman, S. (2012, November 25). 11 biggest social media disasters of 2012. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/

Interbrand. (2014). Best global brands 2013. Retrieved from http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/previous-years/2012/McDonalds

Merwin, H. (2013, 4 22). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/04/mcdonalds-japan-french-fry-holder.html

Vignali, C. (2001). Mcdonald’s: “think global,act local” – the marketing mix. British Food Journal, 103(2), 97-111. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=870577

The effect of product-harm crisis situations on firms’ spokesperson strategies

Diana Cordero writing today. From this weeks readings we have learned that a crisis is an unexpected event that disrupts the daily routine operation of an organization, and carries with it a potential negative outcome. As public relations professionals, it is our responsibility to learn from an organization’s mistakes and observe how they handle the negative effects of a crisis.

In this article Xiaoyu Wang and Zhiliang Wang look specifically at product-harm crises. These types of crises usually attract a lot of attention and are a direct result of a product, or service, causing harm to the consumer. The authors focus on when should a product harm crisis dictate the use of a corporate spokesperson, i.e. a top executive in the organization. Content analysis of 127 product-harm crises in the Chinese market between 2004 and 2011 was conducted to determine what type of crisis dictated the use of an executive spokesperson. The results indicated that a preventable crisis was more likely to employ a top-executive spokesperson than a victim crisis. In addition, the severity of the crisis had no impact on whether the organization would use a top-executive spokesperson.

The Chinese market highly benefits from the business of popular foreign brands. This helps them lessen the impact of the negative publicity that comes with product-harm crises as the foreign brands are usually associated, or tied to, the crisis.


Major retail companies such as Zara and H&M were using products with angora fur made in China. The process in obtaining this fur was done by brutally plucking the fur of rabbits. PETA made a gut wrenching video displaying the cruelties of this process, and started a campaign on the website sumofus.org to stop these retailers from selling items with this fur. The result of the campaign was victorious as they obtained over 300,000 signatures for their petition, and the retailers agreed not to carry or buy these products. It is interesting to observe that not a lot of media attention was given to this campaign, and that the issue was quickly resolved.


Another good example of a product-harm crisis involving a spokesperson is the product recall of Lulemon yoga pants. The pants were too sheer and resulted in a 17% product recall. The problem was immediately addressed when later on that fall in an interview with Bloomberg TV founder Chip Wilson blamed the problem on women’s thighs. “Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work,” He later released what seemed to be a heart felt apology to his employees for his insensitive remark. Do you believe this apology is sincere? Why did he not address his customers?

The biggest product-harm crisis with an extremely inadequate and insensitive spokesperson remark was during the B.P. oil spill when CEO, Tony Hayward said: “We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.”


Personally, I am quite surprised with the findings of this article that stated that crisis severity had no impact on the use of a spokesperson. It would seem that the greater the damage the more appropriate it would be for those in charge to come forward and address the problem head on.


http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/stupidquotes/a/gulf-oil-spill-quotes.htm, Public Relations ReviewVolume 40, Issue 1, March 2014, Pages 110–112, http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2013/11/11/do-you-accept-lululemon-billionaire-chip-wilsons-teary-apology-over-his-body-shaming-comments, http://action.sumofus.org/a/topshop-angora-rabbit/5/2/?sub=homepage

Brand Equity: Are partnerships/celebrity endorsements effective?

Joe Trinacria writing today.  The Olympics are a major global and cultural event that provides companies the opportunity to associate with in order to advance their brand recognition on a massive scale.  The types of advertising conducted by these select companies during the Games are meant to showcase their brand equity to the consumer.  They want you, the viewer, to buy in to a certain ideal that is relatively unrelated to the brand’s products and function in the hopes that you will see the brand in a specific light and as a result, be more inclined to give them your business.

BP_Team-USA-Logo1Jenni Romaniuk examines the effectiveness of a company’s strategy to partner with other brands in their messaging, and whether or not the consumer retains the information presented by the main brand.  Her research found that advertisements containing two or more brands are in many cases not the most effective way of reaching consumers.

Viewers of dual-brand advertising find it difficult to remember both brands represented in the ads, and instead focus on either one or the other.  Some even zone out completely and forget both brands in the ads.

BP has used the Olympics as a platform to generate brand equity, although their recent Winter Olympics commercials hardly mention their company name at all.  They have even created a website specifically for their Team USA athlete campaign, where there is also a lack of brand representation.  BP is relying too much on the consumer to connect the dots to their company, and research already shows that to be difficult.  Is BP’s current strategy effective?

An Ehrenberg-Bass Institute study of BP’s previous Olympic marketing strategies yielded the following results when a focus group was asked about brand retention in ads:  “50 percent said ‘only BP,’ and 10 percent said only the ‘Olympics/ Paralympics.’ Only 4 percent named both brands. The remaining 36 percent mentioned a brand not present or could not name any brands at all” (Romaniuk).

My concern with this data is whether or not these figures make any difference in regards to establishing brand equity to the consumers who identified BP.  The 10% who named only the Olympics/Paralympics and the 36% who named neither obviously did not process the messaging.  But the 50% who named only BP could still have retained the intangible message of the ads in relation to the company despite omitting the Olympics as a partner.

Companies also use celebrity endorsements to project brand equity, with the idea that consumers identify with their favorite stars and what they represent, and will project that identity to the product being endorsed.  If you think Clive Owen is cool, then you will buy Three Olives vodka so you can be cool too.  However, similar to dual-brand ads, the celebrity endorsement can take away from the brand itself and cause the target audience to instead focus solely on the celebrity.

Do you think any differently (positively or negatively) about brands based upon their partnerships?  Are you more inclined to buy a product because a certain celebrity is an endorser?  Do you think brand equity is relevant?  Or should companies focus their messages more on the effectiveness of the products themselves, not the image they wish to project?

Romaniuk, J. (2013). Is there room for two brands in one advertisement? Journal of Advertising Research, 53 (3), 247-250. Web. 23 Feb. 2014


BP initial image repair strategies after the Deepwater Horizon spill

Jane LeGros writing today.  On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.  The resulting oil spill caused a massive uproar focused on British Petroleum and their role in the disaster.  Authors William Forrest Harlow, Brian C. Brantley, and Rachel Martin Harlow studied how BP first tried to repair its image, noting that BP’s strategies centered on helping the victims of the spill while not admitting blame.


Their study focused on BP’s initial image repair strategies.  As the authors described in their study, initial strategies often come from existing policies put in place in the event of a disaster.  These policies may change and evolve over time depending on different situations.  In BP’s case, no one could have predicted that an oilrig explosion would cause one of the worst environmental disasters ever.

In one of BP’s first press releases about the spill, CEO Tony Hayward had this to say:

“We are determined to do everything in our power to contain this oil spill and resolve the situation as rapidly, safely and effectively as possible.  We have assembled and are now deploying world-class facilities, resources and expertise, and can call on more if needed. There should be no doubt of our resolve to limit the escape of oil and protect the marine and coastal environments from its effects.”

Now take a look at this report by Fox 9 News in St. Paul/ Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Conducting his own research about the BP oil spill in a city that was not directly affected by the spill, reporter Tom Lyden, discovered that many people in the community did not trust BP during this crisis.  Citing cover-ups, “corporate speak,” and insincerity, Lyden showed the reality of the situation.

While BP’s initial strategies are not considered successful, the authors of the study believe a few things about their response to be noteworthy.  First, BP focused their strategy on how it was going to compensate victims.  Second, they talked about how they would fix the problem.  Third, they did not fully admit responsibility, nor did they shift blame to the other companies involved.

One might wonder why a company would compensate victims of a disaster when it has not accepted responsibility for causing the disaster?  According to the study, “there may have been significant public relations ground to be gained through a strategy focused on mortification.”  Perhaps this would have changed the public’s minds about BP.

The authors admit some faults in their research regarding BP’s initial response.  Citing difficulty in coding paragraphs from BP press releases, the authors believe that more data could help professionals understand what makes corporate image repair strategies at different stages of a crisis succeed.

For their own study, they believe that data relating to the responses of other corporations in the initial stages of crises, the reaction of BP in later stages of this crisis, and responses other than BP press releases in the initial stages of this crisis could allow insight into successful image repair.

Finally, let’s look at one of BP’s 2011 commercials about the oil spill.

How do you feel about this commercial?  Does it change your mind about BP?  Do you think that BP’s image is repaired?

For more information on the BP’s efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, visit their website.

For more PR musings, as well as a variety of other interests, follow me on Twitter @janelegreaux.


Harlow, W.F., Brantley, B.C., & Harlow, R.M. “BP initial image repair strategies after the Deepwater Horizon spill.” Public Relations Review, 37.1 (2011): 80-83. Web. 16 Feb 2014 <http://dx.doi.org.libezp.lib.lsu.edu/10.1016/j.pubrev.2010.11.005>

Getting out of the doghouse: The image repair strategies of Michael Vick

Lauren Myers writing.  In 2007, NFL quarterback Michael Vick was convicted of dog-fighting and sentenced to three years in prison.  Throughout the process, Vick only spoke once about his role in the operations, providing a six-minute apology during a press conference.  Mark Holdener and James Kauffman of Indiana University Southeast provide an analysis of his speech in their study.

To begin, here is what Vick had to say:

You can also find a full text of the speech here.

Holdener and Kauffman describe two main tactics they believe Vick used to begin repairing his reputation in his speech: corrective action (vowing to change his ways) and mortification (accepting full responsibility for his actions).

His mortification is apparent in statements such as the following:

“Like I said, for this—for this entire situation I never pointed the finger at anybody else, I accepted responsibility for my actions of what I did and now I have to pay the consequences for it.”

As Holdener and Kauffman explain, however, his corrective action is very brief, only referring to religious actions that he was taking:

“I’m upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God.  And I think that’s the right thing to do as of right now.”

eagles 24 0827 sds

Additionally, Vick had one unique public he had to pay attention to throughout this ordeal.  Not only did he have to address his teammates, the organization, and his fans, but because of the nature of his crime, he also had to keep in mind animal rights activists.

In his statement, Vick addresses some of these publics, but not all.  He specifically mentions members of the NFL and his young fans.  He does not speak to those in the animal rights organizations.

What is obvious about Vick’s comments, as he explains at the beginning of the speech, is that they are from the heart.  Whether or not certain aspects of the speech were planned, Vick did not read from a prepared statement. Although this bodes well for the honesty and sincerity of his remarks (something integral to crisis communication efforts), it seems that he sometimes loses track of what he has already said and what he wants to say.  Perhaps reading from a prepared statement would have ensured that he addressed all target publics, including the animal rights organizations.

Regardless, six years after the fact, Vick has mounted what Good Morning America called “the comeback of all comebacks.”  He has also made specific efforts to coordinate with one public he did not address in his original statement.  Vick is now a strong supporter of animal rights and regularly speaks out against animal cruelty. This has been positive for both him and the organizations he works with. The Humane Society has made him a celebrity spokesperson in their campaigns against dog-fighting.  (Although some people see this as a public relations mistake). Here is a statement from the Humane Society on why they chose to use Vick as a celebrity endorser:

the humane society “Michael Vick was a role model for many young people, and he lost everything because of what he did to dogs. His story is the strongest possible example of why dogfighting is a dead end. Just as former drug addicts are able to reach people struggling with addiction, former dogfighters are some of the most effective voices against this crime. We realized the potential that Vick has to reach at-risk youth and pull them out of the quicksand of animal fighting.”

To read the Humane Society’s full page devoted to Michael Vick FAQ’s click here.

Although Vick did not make initial remarks of corrective action to appease members of animal rights groups, further actions he’s taken show the efforts he’s making toward change.  Successfully addressing all publics is integral to Vick’s success as an athlete and a person.  Vick’s work with the Humane Society is a prime example of ensuring he keeps in mind all key publics.

For more of my musings on public relations and sports, follow me on Twitter @laurenfmyers.

Holdener, M., & Kauffman, J. “Getting out of the doghouse: The image repair strategies of Michael Vick.” Public Relations Review, 40.1 (2014): 92-99. Web. 8 Feb. 2014 <http://dx.doi.org.libezp.lib.lsu.edu/10.1016/j.pubrev.2013.11.006>.

Arby’s is Slicing Up A Good Reputation: Image Repair Tactics as A PR Strategy

Sarah Voelkel, here. Today’s topic relates to a scholarly article written by Josh Compton describing Arby’s image repair tactics that were, well, rather genius. Arby’s minimized any potential damage to its brand by executing risk management, and as you will see, did so in a timely fashion.

Have you eaten at Subway lately? According to retired NYPD detective Bo Dietl in a 2012 Arby’s commercial, “that’s a long walk for a turkey sandwich.”

Dietl is referring to the distance from Subway restaurants to the location where Subway actually slices its meat. After a little investigating, Dietl discovers that, despite what many people think, Subway doesn’t slice its meat in any of its store locations. The truth is that Subway slices its meat in an Iowa factory. With Subway’s misleading “Eat Fresh” tagline, it’s easy to be misinformed.


The Arby’s commercial was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CPB) as part of a new branding campaign strategy called “Slicing Up Freshness.”


Check out the original Arby’s ad.               

Arby’s isn’t the first fast food chain to target Subway. In an ad promoting Pizza Hut’s P’Zolo, the novelty pizza company directly attacks Subway by saying, “it’s time to say so long to the footlong” and “get more bang for your five bucks.” Subtlety is not Pizza Hut’s strong point as it claims, “you deserve better than the same old sub.” 

This is the Pizza Hut P’Zolo ad that blatantly attacks Subway.

While Arby’s might be debunking Subway’s freshness claim, this wasn’t the center of controversy, at least not for Subway. Two days after the Arby’s ad debuted, residents of Iowa were less than amused and frankly quite upset that they were being singled out. 

In Compton’s article, he suggests five strategies developed by Benoit for repairing a brand’s reputation: denial, evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, mortification, and corrective action. 

Arby’s responded fast with its initial response to the people of Iowa being one of mortification; it offered a sincere apology if the ad offended anyone, and clarified the true intentions of the ad. The statement also served as a corrective action because Arby’s promised to soon revise the controversial ad.

Arby’s second statement on the Iowa issue was highlighted by a personal touch from Arby’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Russ Klein, who was responsible for the idea behind the ad. Klein released a personal apology that kept with the theme of Arby’s original response, except with some improvement. Klein showed mortification and accepted full responsibility while reducing offensiveness by saying that Arby’s felt it was doing a good thing by informing customers of the truth. Bolstering, a tactic used under the previous strategy, was attempted by Klein when he explained how he felt when comedians would make jokes about his hometown – Cleveland, OH. 

Here’s an excerpt from Klein’s official apology statement:

“My name is Russ Klein and I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Arby’s Restaurant Group. I want to extend my sincerest apologies over offending the good people of Iowa as a result of our new advertising campaign, “Slicing up the Truth about Freshness”. I am responsible for Arby’s advertising, and I approved the work in question.”

Not only did Klein sincerely apologize, but he also goes on to explain the reasoning behind the ad, which was to “dramatize” the distance between Subway restaurants and Subway factories. Klein leveled with his audience, and that served him well. Corrective action wasn’t just promised by Arby’s like in its first response, it was already being delivered. Within 48 hours of Klein’s apology, a revised TV commercial aired that replaced “Iowa” with the word “factory.”

I believe the overall message of the ad, although somewhat watered down, remained in tact. It was a brilliant move.

Here’s the revised Arby’s commercial:

The point to remember from Arby’s is that multiple image repair strategies can be effective, but only if the message in each strategy is consistent, as it was with Arby’s. The article analysis suggests that Arby’s displayed successful image repair efforts.

Arby’s successfully avoided a potential crisis because they acted fast and took responsibility for their actions. This is a great example of effective risk management that offers insight on how confronting a problem head on, and providing a proactive solution, can help a brand escape a sticky situation.

Follow me on Twitter @Saruhface to see what I think about other branding strategies.


Compton, Josh. “Arby’s Image Repair Tactics As A Public Relations Strategy.” Public Relations Review 40 (2014): 122-24. Elsevier. Web. 1 Feb. 2014. <http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0363811113002002/1-s2.0-S0363811113002002-main.pdf?_tid=4d66189c-8be0-11e3-ace1- 00000aacb35e&acdnat=1391328304_0ccdf43ffe6595e4bd0e44f721217969>.

Welcome to MC 7043 – Strategic Communication Campaigns

I started this blog last year during MC 7040 – Foundations of Strategic Communication. The class read Groundswell (hence the title of the blog) and created their own projects using many of the ideas in the text. You can view their projects on this blog site: Teach MC and Social Swag.

We will be using this blog again for MC 7043 – Strategic Communication Campaigns. Each week we will be hosting a discussion about different topics of campaign research, programming, implementation and evaluation. Specifically, graduate student discussion leaders will provide summaries of academic articles that relate to our weekly topics.

I’m Dr. Moore (and I approved this message). You can find out more about me from my website. What the website won’t tell you is this — I love strategic communication. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE it. I think synchronizing all of your organization’s actions, images and words is the best way to communicate with your internal and external publics. I don’t understand organizations that have “multiple personalities” that they show to various audiences.

For example, I HATE Geico‘s advertising strategy (or lack thereof). Their communications are all over the place. From the gecko to cavemen to the pig to stacks of money with eyeballs, to rhetorical questions to the “easier way to save” commercial here.

Yes, they are entertaining. Some are even cute. But they are not identifiable as Geico until the very end when the logo is displayed. In addition, they have nothing to do with one another. Strategic communication helps with creating a brand that is easily identified and says the same thing.

Think about Nike. Every time they place a message somewhere you know it’s theirs. For example this “find your greatness” commercial from last year’s Super Bowl. It doesn’t have a professional athlete, a rock star or supermodel in it, but you know immediately that it’s Nike and that the message works with Nike’s other messages — Just Do It — Inspiration and innovation for every athlete in the world.

These are just a couple of examples of some of the things we will be discussing in this class. I hope you follow us along on our journey.

Want more Dr. Moore? Connect with me on Twitter (@jensenmoore) or follow my other blog Magical Public Relations.

teachMC Debuts at Louisiana State University

LSU’s teachMC team unveiled a new mass communication educational tool during a presentation in Dr. Jensen Moore-Copple’s Strategic Communication class. This teaching tool allows mass communication professors and students to come together as one when teaching and learning mass communication material. Visit us at http://teachmc.wordpress.com for more information on the teaching tool. Follow teachMC on Facebook or @teach_MC on Twitter!

Geaux Connect #socialSWAG Presentation

The Geaux Connect team successfully presented its Alternative Media Campaign in Dr. Jensen Moore-Copple’s Strategic Communication class at Louisiana State University today. The team loved sharing #socialSWAG with fellow LSU Manship graduate students. You can view the Powerpoint we presented here.

Remember to download your free “#socialSWAG” eBook at www.geauxconnect.wordpress.com (available for iPad, iPhone, Android, and desktop readers).

Follow us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook. You can also reach the team via email at GeauxConnect@gmail.com.