Renewing the Faith, Electronic Superpower, Big-Horned Trucks, Etc.

"Preaching to the converted" is routinely disparaged, as if such a practice were self-evidently useless. But marketers know they must never relax their efforts to sustain orthodox views among faithful customers. Moreover, such preaching is not as easy as one would suppose from listening to those who bad-mouth it. It's tricky to refresh the interest of an audience that already has fixed ideas on a subject. Cleverly pairing some simple graphic devices, a new campaign for Schwinn engages the attention of bicycle enthusiasts-as in the ad in which a bicycle wheel is to "Love" as the familiar inverted cross is to "Peace." Another ad in the series (via Carmichael Lynch of Minneapolis) shows a pair of 5-foot-by-3-foot spaces to note that a "Veal Stall" affords its occupant the same amount of space as an "Office Cubicle"-a good reason for people (or, for that matter, calves) to cycle off to the wide open spaces when they get the chance. Such a campaign might not do much for the heathens who aren't already devoted to cycling, but it certainly exalts Schwinn among those who've got the faith.

Put out the flags and declare a national holiday! A report from Forrester Research of Cambridge, Mass., annoints the U.S. as the leading superpower in electronic commerce. Ranking 45 major economies on a combination of three criteria-market size, technology penetration and cultural/political climate-Forrester put the U.S. in a class by itself where electronic commerce is concerned. One rung down, "contenders" include Germany, the U.K., Japan and Canada, while the next grouping (termed "gateways") consists of Singapore, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Hong Kong. France, Australia and South Korea lag among the "stragglers," but they're still miles ahead of the "low techs" (including Greece, Brazil and Thailand) and the "resisters" (including China, India, Saudi Arabia and Russia).

Want to play with elaborate trucks? Go into advertising. That approach has worked, at any rate, for the folks at Ogilvy & Mather in Houston as they fabricate one unlikely truck after another (including the "Triceratruck" shown here) in a series for client Shell Lubricants. And it probably pays better than being a cowboy.

As a marketing position, "the other white meat" was already taken. So, Milwaukee agency BVK/McDonald had to take a different tack in publicizing the availability of alligator meat at a local gourmet shop. Another ad in the campaign suggests a preemptive strike: "He'd eat you if he had the chance." Of course, that may leave potential customers wondering just what the gator in V. Richards' refrigerator case has eaten lately. Not necessarily an inducement to buy, eh?

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED