Friday, November 30, 2007

A Marketing Plan Gone Awry

Here's how I imagine the conversation went, many months ago:

Marketing Person 1: Hey, instead of a traditional Santa in the mall, which is timeless and has classic appeal, let's do a tie-in with a Hollywood movie.

Marketing Person 2: Yes, I totally concur. That would not be tacky in any way. If I were a parent, I would love to pull out pictures of my child year from now and see them surrounded with promotional items from a movie that has since lost all its relevance.

MP1: Now we should decide what film to use.

MP2: I hear there is a movie called "Fred Claus" coming out. It has Vince Vaughn in it. He's the guy from "The Wedding Crashers." Even though Vince Vaughn is associated with R-rated comedies, and this film will be geared toward family, I can see no way that people might be confused and possibly avoid the film.

MP1: Me neither, because marketing people are all geniuses. I am certain "Fred Claus" will be a huge success at the Box Office.

MP2: Yes, marketing will make "Fred Claus" a huge hit. And marketing will make our "Fred Claus" Santa area in the mall a huge success too.

MP1: I am so glad we see eye-to-eye on this. We marketing experts must continue to think outside the box, working on proactive win-win solutions that shift paradigms.

Fast forward a few months later. This the "Fred Claus"-themed Santa area that Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley and I saw at the mall last night:

"Fred Claus" area at the mall

The fact that this area is vacant is meaningless: it was 8:20 p.m., and the person they had hired to play Santa Claus had gone home.

I'm just stunned to see the Santa area at the mall linked to such a dud of a movie. (Granted, I haven't seen "Fred Claus," but I have heard it's a failure both on screen and at the box office.)

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