I love Christopher Walken. I’m beginning to appreciate Justin Timberlake. And I’m a huge fan of healthier-for-you foods. Brands are my thing and as an ad rat, my senses are heightened during the Super Bowl. All of these things converged during the Super Bowl of 2017 with the fruit drink spot featuring Messrs. Walken and Timberlake. Granted, at the Super Bowl party it’s not always easy to hear, but I did get the Bai-Bai-Bai joke. “Oh, that’s the Justin Timberlake song.” Nice ad craft, if you are trying to seed a name.
In an article in the NYT two days ago, Bai brand stewards were crowing about an increase in TV ad awareness of 50% since the spot first aired. Not a metric that launched a thousand marketing directorships. Ad awareness doesn’t always equal sales — though it’s a good first step. It wasn’t until I finished the article that I realized Bai, Bai, Bai was a phonetic representation of bye, bye, bye to sugar. That was lost on me.
So this was a case where the main brand idea (no sugar) was lost in the creative translation. And that’s poor ad craft.
When you build a brand, your claim or idea must blast through. That’s brand stewardship. Sometimes ad craft gets in the way. Ad awareness should never trump message.