*Next Blog!* – Free From Marketing – by Roman Russo

Free from Marketing Roman RussoDear readers,

I had a very good experience with Intro Marketing, but it is time to move on. The blog has had some original success and therefore it motivated me to continue writing.

I therefore have created a new blog called: Free from Marketing.

There were some reasons for rebranding:

1 – A baby blog – Intro Marketing was one of my first blogs. It was the most serious one, as I wrote more than 100 small posts, but time to grow up.

2 – Marketing is all about looks – Part of changing my blog was a need to access more features and personalize more the blog. For example, I needed a new blog look and to remove “wordpress” from the URL. Small changes, but big results.

3 – Attention of a gold fish – The topic of Intro Marketing was a bit vague – all about Marketing for beginners. Too much information, too many people writing about the same things, too little interest. How should I stand out?

4 – What Marketers don’t talk about – In my search to become unique I focused on one specific question “Why do people have a negative opinion about Marketing?” Apparently, there was already a lot of information on the subject, but very unorganized. A bit here, a bit there and no one talking from the side of Marketing

5 – Love for Marketing – In the overview, Marketing is not bad. It is neutral. It is all about how you use it – for good or for bad. My passion for Marketing continues and I want show that we can live happily and Marketing Free in a most Marketed society ever.

I might be old fashion or living in the past, but I have some attachments with Intro Marketing. This is why it still exists online. More than emotions, I still get some traffic from this website and while it is not substantial, I still want to use it and redirect it to my new blog. Call it an experiment, call it Internet littering, but if you read until now I am sure you will enjoy my new website.

CLICK HERE and see you there!

PS: If you are a subscriber of Intro Marketing, I will migrate your subscription to Free from Marketing, so you can continue enjoying great new content!


Marketing is Good: “Have You Seen It?”

I love controversy of Marketing. It gives me a lot to talk about.

The biggest controversy in Marketing is of course related to the discussion of whether the Marketing is good or bad.

The following conversation shows that the Marketing is good, which I’m sure you had in one point or other in your life:

A: – Did you see this movie?

B: – No.

A: – I can’t believe it! It is so good.

B: – …

A: – Well you should go see it immediately!

Actually, this conversation does not have to be only about a movie. It can be about a place (like Paris – have you been there?), an object (like a car – have you driven it?), or anything else.

It is good to hear these words, not because it is one of the best Marketing promotional tool (word of mouth), but because it shows that despite all, Marketing has positive qualities, as people get to know good products and the society growth as a whole.

One of a good movie in cinema right now is The Great Gatsby. Have you seen it? My father lives in different continent from me, and he has seen it.

There are a lot of good movies out there and there is discussion as to “Which is (best) most watched film of all times”. Some say it is Titanic and Star Wars, some other say it is The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, just because these two last have been out for longer time (even though we have unprecedented growth of people on earth and people who watch cinema nowadays).

No matter what is the right answer, we can take another film that did very well in cinema as an example – The Avengers. This movie received several awards including the first film to break gross revenue of $1 billion worldwide. I could not find the estimated figure of how many people watched this movie, but even if it is 1 billion people and given the total population of earth is 7billion, only every 1 person in 7 watched the movie.

your argument is not validThis gives a high chance that even though a lot of people who saw it, a lot of people did not, therefore making the initial argument of “did you see this movie?” invalid.

Furthermore, it is interesting to notice that if you want to make the best marketing campaign for a movie you just have to go to Wikipedia. It has now a section for “Marketing” or “Promotion” in a lot of articles about movies, tv-shows, and other domains.

Game of Thrones, currently number one show in many rankings, for example, included a new and innovative way of promoting itself by creating “props” exhibition in different capitals of the world (last in Amsterdam, Netherlands), where people can take pictures siting on the Iron Throne, see clothing and items used to make this series and to get a feel as they were a part of this magical medieval world. They can later post these photos online and get other people to talk about this series.

siting on the Iron throne, game of thrones

So next time you hear “have you seen this movie?” just remember: Marketing is your friend.

Advertisement Failures (Part II) – Website Edition

Humor in advertising is very important. However, some elements that originally were not supposed to be funny, may come out as so, in a very wrong way.

This Part II of monthly Advertising Failures (Website Edition).

Every language has it’s own nuances and some things that can be said in one language, are not correct in other language. Foreigners can get lost in translation, as in their language a word can have completely different meaning.Very famous example of bad translation in Marketing is Pepsi’s “Come Alive!” campaign, which in China was not so well received because in Chinese “Come Alive” means “Pepsi brings ancestors from the dead”… Another, not so famous example, is of a brand RaboBank, which is a Bank. This is one of most respectable brands in Netherlands and few other countries, but this brand would never be able to expand it activities to Portugal or Spain, because of local meaning of “rabo”, at least under its own name.

Another nuance about languages is that almost in any language, words are supposed to be written separately, except for few exceptions (e.g., I am – I’m). Websites don’t offer this luxury. Some funny Failures came out of this:

Bog photo 1

Stay tuned first day of every month for more Ad Failures! Remember, the best way to remember is to subscribe.

Virgin – Gérard Depardieu and Micheal Jackson Ad (from France)

Two weeks ago I went to Paris, France, to see once again this amazing city. Besides the usual photos with all the most important monument I also took photos of cool ads which I saw on the streets and in the metro.

France is a good place to advertise, as comparing to many other European countries, in France there are few legal limitation to the amount of the advertisement allowed. Specially in metro stations, advertisements can be seen everywhere.

I found this set of advertisements by Virgin Mobile, offering a monthly subscription of 10 euro a month. The title says:

“For this price I’m back” and “For this price I will come back to France”.

A ce prix-la, I'm back Virgin Virgin ad - a ce prix-la je reviens en France

The ads are great, because they are ironic and funny, because they are several variations to the same ad (so they don’t get boring as fast) and because they use dogs, one being a metaphoric representation of Michael Jackson and second of Gérard Depardieu.

As you may know Gérard Depardieu has recently emigrated to Russia, where he received Russian nationality (given to him publicly by Vladimir Putin himself) and was offered a posh house and governance rights over a specific region of Russia. This is to say that French people still may be holding some unresolved feelings towards this famous actor and simply seeing Virgin “making fun” of Depardieu makes them more positive towards the product and brand.

Harlem Shake and Planking

A new social trend has appears. It is called Harlem Shake. Basically, it starts with one person dancing in a repetitive way for about 15seconds in a crowded or none-crowded place, after which a crowd of people joins original dancer. At this point everyone is dressed in a costume or even dance half-naked.

This is social trend therefore of interest to Marketing. The demographic of the trend is about 20-30 year old, usually studying at university.

The interesting part about this trend is that it is socially incorrect and economically unprofitable. People doing this shake may get bragging right later on but that’s about it.

Still, people are doing it and companies should be aware of this trend, as if your companies demographic that of harlem shake people, you may consider doing a shake in your marketing campaign.

This trend comes out sometimes after another similar trends, one of which is called Planking. Planking required a people to lie on their belly, face down, in an odd place.

planking fail

Planking is an old trend, and this sort of trends tend to pass very fast, when people “saw it all” or think it is now to silly or even if a new trend substitutes the old trend.

As refereed previously, marketers can use this trend and some companies did. For example, South Park made an episode about this sort of trends (season 16, episode 3). Wikipedia has also an article about planking (press here to see the article).

Once again we see that social trends are unpredictable, but marketers should take advantage of these trends when they appear.

Advertisement Failures (Part I) – Bunny edition

Humor in advertising is very important. However, some elements that originally were not supposed to be funny, may come out as so, in a very wrong way.

This Part I of monthly Advertising Failures (Bunny edition).

The bunnies were supposed to be cute and adorable, characteristic that was meant to be transferred to the advertised product. However, there were some unforeseen complications… :

Stay tuned first day of every month for more Ad Failures! Remember, the best way to remember is to subscribe.

Best Ad from India

Marketing potatoes is hard, because potatoes are boring and everyone knows what they are. Therefore, as a marketer one needs to get creative in the execution for the ad of potatoes. The following ad is not about potatoes, but also has characteristics of the above described product. Also, it takes a Indian cultural characteristic into consideration so this ad is for Indian local market (with a quick explanation in the begging to make sense of the ad).

Advertising vs. Publicity vs. Promotions vs. Sales vs. Pattern Advertising

VersusHere is an interesting fact for you. Generally when it comes to Advertising and Publicity, people think it is the same thing. Promotions is sometimes but more rarely confused with the previous two concepts. Sales are considered the be very similar to Advertising. Pattern Advertising is an easy concept, but known by very few.

So I am here to tell you that all these concepts are similar, in a way, but also different. Lets remove the confusion:

Advertising – Also called “paid or unearned marketing”, is when a company pays for promoting itself in a non-personal way.

Publicity – Also called “earned marketing“, is when someone else, but the company, promotes the brand and/or its products (e.g., word of mouth). The company does not pay for publicity. The message can be both good and bad.

Although the Publicity is unpaid, Public Relationship department is responsible for understanding and changing the public perception about the brand and fostering goodwill.

Promotion  Related to monetary and non-monetary discounts given by companies, in order for clients to buy more products.

Sales – Different from Advertising in a way that promotion is done in a personal way.

Pattern Advertising – when it comes to advertising in different places (e.g., countries), managers have to make decision whether to standardize their marketing activities, making advertising the same in these two or more places, or to adopt them to the local needs, whereby every country has its own advertisement. Pattern advertising is somewhere between 100% standardization and 100% adaptation, whereby the “draft”, standardized version is produced and marketers adopt specific elements of the ad to their own market’s needs.

Lobbying – Senior Level Marketing

Pepsi Cola bribeImagine, you are a large Multinational Corporation (MNC) expert in a specific field. You are a portfolio brand holding brand of all sizes and specializations in the field that I just referred to. You hold 40+ % of the market. Your marketing budget is +100M (million) euro / dollars. What do you do?

Well, all this criteria and qualifications are necessary to say that you are not going to do things conventionally, and one thing you are probably going to look at is Lobbying.

Lobbying is an act of attempting to influence decision making of officials of government or other people responsible for regulation and legislation in a specific sector (which in the case of our imaginary firm is its specific field of its work). Lobbying also applies to hiring of the people who will be responsible for these legal aspects.

Lobbying is not illegal practice, if done publicly and within law, but for obvious reasons it has some controversy related to corruption and serving own interests, to the interests of the public. Lobbying might not be only done in a form of a bribes or other financial adding ways like presents and invitations to expensive VIP events, but also in non-monetary ways like arranging a meeting.

There are 12.000 estimated and registered lobbyists entities registered during 2012, companies like MNC Coca-Cola, which is reported to have spent over 9M$ dollars in 2009. This is nothing if you compare to firms like Patton Boggs LLP, which is estimated to have spent 452M$ between 1998 and 2012.

2012 US elections was one of the biggest and most openly accepted lobbying event in recent years. Top 5 lobbyists during these elections, by sector, are:

1) Finance, Insurance and Real State groups (640$M)

2) “Other” (540$M) – Individuals or parties that don’t belong to specific groups (usually people, not companies)

3) Miscellaneous Businesses (350$M) – e.g., manufacturing, textiles, consumer retail goods, gambling and tourism.

4) Ideology and Single Issue groups (320$M) – focus on a single-issue area such as abortion, the environment, gun rights or foreign policy.

5) Health institutions (250$M)


Lastly, the conventional wisdom holds, you don’t need to be rich to be powerful, you just need to be well connected.

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12 Controversial Ads from the Past

Ethics change, so do the societies, so do the ads. We are living in a “developed” society, or so we think. In 10-20 years what we take today as allowed and welcomed will be incorrect on so many levels.

Selling alcohol, cigarets and guns was once a honest way of living, but today it is not allowed. The opposite is also true. Talking about science was not allowed for many centuries, but now it is hard to avoid in everyday conversations. Who knows what legal or ethical restrictions will emerge in the future? Today anyone can change opinion of millions with few words or presses of the button.

However, today we are not going to talk about the future, rather about the past. We are going to look at some old ads, which could offend some viewers and start riots and demonstrations if shown in incorrect context, but I am doing it from a fun and educational level, so hopefully no one will sue me. Enjoy:

1. Tipalet – with cigaret seduction.

Controversial ad cigarets

2. Toothache drops – made of cocaine

Controversial ad cocaine

3. Rats – An Asian person is eating a mouse… yeh…

Controversial ad enthnicity

4. Decron – Carpets


5. Lysol – Concentrated germ killer for women

Controversial ad germs

6. Lucky Strike – Healthy cigarets for good looking people.

Controversial ad cigarets

7. Vitamin donuts – eat what you like and stay healthy

Controversial ad healthy donuts

8. Wheaties – Japanese trap for American soldiers

Controversial ad breakfast

9. Chase ans Sanborn coffee – drink it without telling others

Controversial ad coffee

10. Lane Bryant – Discounts on cloth

Controversial ad cloth

11. Humble – Energy provider

Controversial ad glacier

12. Perfect Christmas gift – Gun

Controversial ad guns

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Why God is Losing Popularity According to Marketing Theory (and how to solve it)

God + religion + technology + new ageUp to 18-19th centuries, the time of of enlightenment and scientific and industrial revolutions, it is fair to say that people where much more religious, in a sense of how much involved they where with religions (specially in terms of time they have spent with it).

After this period religion started to progressively lose its followers, which was countered by progressive increase of Marketing. Specifically, marketing provides different information about what is out there. By developing peoples knowledge about other activities and creating new interests, people started to spend less and less time with “God”.

Additionally, new technologies are much more computer based, meaning that people spend less time reading books and much more watching TV, watching videos on their computers, listening to music, and so on. This was not possible back in the day specially with information control policy imposed by the church.

This is still very well seen in very religious societies such as Islamic and Arabic societies, where the technology is still not very wide spread and where there are still legal limitations on information flow (Marketing flow).

Therefore, if religion is to continue with the progress it needs to become part of the progress,to use Marketing and to spread itself into new media channels such as facebook. It also needs to promote itself, in order to remind people about itself, because people have limited cognitive capacity, meaning that they can only remember / do limited number of activities at the same time.

Experts Word Is Your Command

Expert’s word is a rule!

“Read this post, because I am an expert!”

I often come back to the notion of leaders in a specific field, who usually (hopefully) are experts. One way or another, experts are the people who are going to have things done their way, because if an expert tells something, are you going to counter-argue?

Don’t get me wrong though, you can argue with an expert if you have strong arguments and if you have enough to say. However, high states of energy, wakefulness and alertness are not always present, nor you are an expert in all possible fields. Thus, when your processing recourses are low, words of normal people can seem like commands, not even talking about experts, who just eats you alive.

Let me raise the stakes: You don’t even have to be sleepy in order for expert to tell you what to do, for you to follow his words like it was your own decision in a first place. Simply, people have limited cognitive resources and they can’t dedicate enough of these resources to process every single stimulus that comes their way. What they do is process the information on “yes”, “no”, “lets me stop and think about it” levels, which in the case of an expert is more often just “yes”.

Take for example, George Clooney, and he telling you that drinking Expresso is very posh drink for which you have to pay big money, and that standards of coffee capsules are these small things that you have to insert in custom made machines, which are not cheap either… What people do, they say, “oh its expensive, lets me go buy Expresso, because George Clooney told me so”. The world of Clooney is so strong that even competition had to adopt their products in order to stay in the game.

But besides George Clooney and people in white coats, standing in laboratories, who else are experts?

Well, actually Internet, books, medium, TV and other media channels are considered equivalent to expert sources of information, so even this blog tells you how you should view the world and what you have to do. In my defence though let me just tell you that at least I am honest and I only have your best interest, which you should already know, if you are reading this!

Emotions and colors

In previous post (Colors in Marketing 1, 2) I discussed the associations people hold with certain colors. Now, in this post, I will look at the emotions triggered by each color.

Emotions, like colors, can be mixed, creating other emotions. The strength of emotions comes from brightness of a color, being the brighter the color, stronger the association. Emotions from colors, also come from the context they are presented, thus it is up to marketer to chose the emotion (color) he/she wants to convey.

Presented here are the emotions and their associated colors:

Black – power, strength, authority, elegance, submission, life or death (depending on the culture).
White – sterility, emptiness, spaciousness, positivity, simplicity, life or death (depending on the culture).
Red – anger, love, joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, love, vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Pink – feminine qualities, such as, romance, love and friendship.
Brown – masculine qualities and stability.
Green – fear, trust, piece, ambition, greed, sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.
Blue – hostility, peace, disgust, admiration, tranquility, understanding, knowledge, power, integrity, seriousness, and softness.
Purple – boredom, surprise, romantics, nostalgic, sad feelings, and frustration.
Yellow – caution, decay, sickness, intellect, freshness, joy, and jealousy.
Orange – shame, pride, deceit and distrust.
Gold – prestige, illumination, wisdom, wealth, and other high-end qualities.

Image Wheel Color Emotions

Effie award – Marketing Effectiveness Recognition

After running your marketing campaign and getting as much benefit as possible from it, marketers still have one possibility to have their investments that will allow them additional recognition for their work. This is done through Marketing Communication awards. One of most recognized award is the Effie Award.

Effie award (http://www.effie.org/)

Introduced in 1968 by the New York American Marketing Association, Effies awards are judged on the basis of ability of the companies to achieve their Marketing Communication objectives. Euro Effie is divided into: 40 national Effie Awards programs, 3 regional programs (the Asia Pacific Effies, Euro Effies and Middle East North Africa Effies), the Global Effie Awards and Effie conferences and case study presentations.

The entry fee is between € 965.00 and € 1.495 and the campaigns are judged in one of the following several categories (see also the examples of the best campaigns per category):

1. FMCG (“Nespresso George Clooney” Nespresso)

2. Consumer Goods (“I AM Nikon” Nikon)

3. Pharmaceutical & Healthcare (“Sensodyne / Recommended by Dentists ” for Sensodyne)

4. Automotive (“The next best Audi” Audi A1)

5. Corporate (“We know what it takes to be a tiger” Accenture)

6. Retail (“Make it your project” Hornbach)

7. IT / Telco (“Kseniya Sobchak. Crash” Samsung Duos)

8. Services

9. Leisure & Entertainment (“Adidas +10” Adidas)

10. Social media Effectiveness (“Slow down. Take is easy” Accident prevention campaign)

11. Product/Service Launch (“BOSS Orange” – BOSS)

12. Brand Re-vitalization

13. Best demonstration of Integrated Effectiveness

14. Small Budget (under €5 million)

15. Long-term Effectiveness (Campaign which has run for a minimum of five years) (“Dove Deodorants” Dove)

16. 360 degree Integration (“Halo: Heroic Story Telling – Believe” – Xbox 360)

There are also Effies “Special Awards” called:
1. Grand Prix Award
2. Agency Network of the Year Award

The competition will be conducted in two rounds:

Round 1 –The Round 1 Selection is about the cold hard facts such as the campaign background, business and communication objectives, creative strategy, media strategy, and the proof found of the evidence of the results.
Round 2 – the evaluation of the case based 80% on effectiveness and 20% on the creative work.

The prizes of Effie Award are Bronze Effie (for campaigns that overall score 6.0-6.8 /10.0), Silver Effie (score 6.8-7.5 /10) and Golden Effie (score more than 7.5). Other awards are also applicable, such as, 100 free spots on EuroNews given to the winner of the agency network award.

Colors in Marketing (part 1)

As every color can have a different color in the minds of consumers, it is important for marketer to, at least, know the basics of the color spectrum. Some main insight are that perception of colors may differ from culture to culture, when presented in different brightness and when combined with other colors, but generally speaking if you hold to the rule of thumb that the colors associations come from nature, you will be alright. So here is a description of the main colors:


Black is the color of night. As people usually sleep at night and, thus, are most vulnerable, black is usually associated with evil, taboo, death, gloom and mystery. It is not thus surprising that people respect black and associate it to strength, power, and authority. In fashion people wearing black appear thinner, giving black the feel of elegance, sophistication and style. Black can further imply submission, making it a seductive color.

Overall black is a serious color that evokes strong emotions, which can become overwhelming in large dozes.


The opposite of black, white symbolizes light. It is a neutral and simple color, sometimes perceived as absent or transparent, thus may leading to a perception of wide spaces. As it is easy to get white dirty, making it a color of cleanliness and sterility. White is also a color of the beginning and the end, thus, being associated with life, purity and youth and sometimes death (specially in the Eastern countries, such as China).

Overall white goes with everything.


Red is the color of blood and fire, elements of nature, conditioned to immediate reaction. Red is often the first color that people notice and it stimulates faster breathing and heartbeat. On this account, red is sometimes associated with love, strength, excitement and arousal. It is often used to emphasis events, such as, sports, occasions and holidays (i.e., speed, red roses and Christmas) and thus it is a color of life.
Overall, red is the most emotionally intense and heavy color and it well suited to complement other colors.


While red is a color of passionate love, pink is a color of a “smooth” love. Pink is the most calming of all colors, as it drains energy and calms a person. Pink is associated with romance, love, gentle feelings and security, being often a symbol of femininity.


Blue is the color of the skies and oceans, and it is considered to be one of the most popular colors. As watching a cloudless skies or slowly moving water can be a very relaxing and peaceful experience, seeing blue may result in the feeling of calmness and tranquility, thus being the opposite of the red color. Blue is often being blamed for the feelings of boredom, as it might also be perceived as cold and depressive. In business blue is a popular color as it symbolizes wisdom, honor, loyalty, and trustworthiness. Blue is also a productive color. For example, studies show that weightlifters are able to lift more weight in blue gyms. In restaurant business, blue is a bad color to use as it decreases appetite.


Green is the color of untamed nature, thus being associated with growth, fertility, peace and freedom. It is the easiest color on the eyes, which can help to improve vision, as well as to create a feeling of harmony, calmness, refreshment and relaxation. Moreover, dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies money and luck.

(Stay tuned for the part 2 of “Colors in Marketing”!)