Monday, February 20, 2012

Hello Friend

If you live in Central Florida, and perhaps elsewhere across the country, you've undoubtedly seen a series of television commercials and billboards with the tagline "hello friend" and not a whole lot more of anything else. The final screen looks something like this...



...minus the "what is" above the logo.

There's been a lot of speculation over the past few weeks as to what these advertisements are even for, who's putting them on, what the intent behind them is, etc. I for one was convinced that they were for amazon.com. Notice the similarities?


I did some research on the on-line forums and found this site, which gives the viewer a little insight into the intent behind the ads. Ok, so now we know whoever is behind this wants to be our friend, but we still don't know who it is.

Then I found this site, which shows that the domain above is registered to BrightHouse Networks, LLC. Then, on my way to work this morning, one the billboards I pass every day has been revamped with the same line it has always had, with an added BrightHouse Networks logo at the bottom.

Ok, I get it. BrightHouse wants to position themselves uniquely as a friendly, caring cable provider. They want to situate themselves above the competition as having far superior customer service (friend service?) and make it clear that we as customers mean so much more to them than that.

I also get the element of surprise. Buzz marketing and word of mouth can be huge, and I've definitely heard people talking about these ads, but most of the feedback I've heard isn't that positive.

Where I think that BrightHouse got it wrong:

1) Designing a logo that is so similar to one that is already so familiar to a huge group of consumers. I am on amazon.com quite often as a kindle owner, and as someone who enjoys saving money. I am a huge fan of amazon, and I know I am not the only one who is familiar with their logo. I think BrightHouse made a major misstep in allowing their ad campaign to be so closely related to another huge brand. I want to be friends with amazon.

2) I really think, and this may just be me, that they let the element of surprise hang in the air for too long. It's been over a month since the first commercials began airing. In that time frame, I've rode the wave of interest, research, and boredom to the point that now I can't see the campaign for the creativity behind it or for what it was intended to be. I'm tired of it, and I don't think I'm alone in this. (though I guess I'm still talking about it, so that's  a win for them.)

Well, either way, whether you think its brilliant or a creative misstep, now you know who these ads are for. I'd love to hear your opinions.

Happy Monday!

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