Friday, December 12, 2008

Realpolitik Design

Marketing Analysis (5 of 6): Bord Bia Pork Crisis National Press Advertisement

This full-page advert ran in the national newspapers yesterday. It is interesting as it crosses over the lines between PR, marketing and advertising as discussed in this MA module.

This advert plays an important part in the ongoing pork crisis PR activity and it serves different purposes aimed at the different publics it addresses. To the general pork-consuming public this is an ‘Important Public Announcement’, it puts forward the official Department and Bord Bia version of the facts surrounding the Irish pork recall. It is designed to be informative and factual. The design is very basic, arguably crude, but I propose that is an intentional choice. It needs to shout, to get attention and to be read. While being very factual, this advert is intended to reassure pork-eaters and put them back into a state of mind where they will begin to happily start to buy Irish pork again.

This advert is also indirectly addressed at the food industry, as the various stake-holders on that side need to see that the relevant Government agencies are taking proactive actions to get product selling again. That is why the advert is jointly accredited to both Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Joe Public cares little about who is responsible for such official pronouncements, but the industry insiders are very attuned to know who is acting in their interests.

The marketing component of this advert is the promotion of the new ‘Pork and Bacon Approved’ label that consumers are going to see on-pack*. It is important that they are made aware of its existence, although just this one full-page advert is not enough to get the word out about that. I would have also run small follow-on adverts the next week specifically about those new labels. I would have supported those with in-store posters and materials circulated to all retailers.

* Speaking from a design perspective, the new label is a very poor piece of communication. But I have an scenario in my head of the designer saying “we can make this communicate far more effectively if we work on it for more than eleven minutes” and the Man From The Department replying “every hour that pork is off the shelves the industry is losing X-million euros, just send it to the printers”. Real-Politik wins the day.