Last week's post was so much fun, I've decided to continue the conversation…sort of.
If you haven't read What Do YOU Deliver?, you should. It spurred the highest number of comments for any of my blog posts in the 3 1/2 years since I began Two Hat Marketing. A very high number of public comments and private emails agreed the Water.com picture was a bad attempt at using sex to sell bottled water. Many comments were very funny. Several thought it was inadvertent and exactly two people said there was nothing to see (one of them doesn't really count as he just enjoys disagreeing with me all the time). One person, apparently a stalker who somehow got my cell phone number, called to say she thought it was an attempt at being funny. I've blocked her number.
Frankly, the Water.com graphic was a silly and amateurish attempt at using sex to sell water delivery. Whether the people in charge did it purposely to be funny, I don't know. But SOMEBODY approved photographing a woman dressed in a tight sweater, high heels, and suggestively posed at an open door. No question this is very tame attempt to use sex compared to many other advertising today, but an attempt nonetheless.
Now look at THIS photo I took two weeks ago in a Las Vegas Hilton Men's room. (Be sure to click on the photo to see a large version.)
Is THIS an example of marketing?
Obviously, I want to read your comments. (And please submit them below in the Comments section instead of emailing me.) But from my perspective, yes, this is marketing. And more to the point, I believe this is actually GOOD marketing.
Why do I say that? I have a couple of reasons.
First, I believe the purpose of business is to create and maintain long-term, profitable relationships. Marketing's job doesn't end after you've created the relationship. Marketing's job is to also help maintain that new/old relationship.
Second, and this is a big one — a satisfying experience, when RICHLY IMPRINTED, wants to be repeated. In other words, the Experience IS the marketing. In fact, it's your BEST marketing.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that when people go to Las Vegas, they have very different expectations than when they go to New York or Chicago or Orlando, or any other major city in the US. Las Vegas is Sin City, baby! What happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas! Las Vegas is naughty! And everywhere you look reinforces that perspective…the Las Vegas brand!
Well, almost everywhere. The Hilton figured out that their Men's Rooms were not reinforcing the brand. But, eventually, every man is going to spend time in the Men's Room, so why not include that in the Las Vegas Hilton Branding Experience? Voila! Life-size photos of beautiful women above the urinals "checking out" the guys!
Unlike Water.com's misguided attempt, this is clearly congruent with the branding proposition of Las Vegas. It speaks directly to the mindset of most Las Vegas visitors and maybe even enhances their expectation for the Vegas Experience. I dare say, most men using that facility told their friends about it, and I wasn't the only one taking pictures.
So yes, the Hilton Men's Room is a good example of marketing, while Water.com's is not. Matching all potential messages and enhancing experiences (however mundane and obvious) with your exact right target market is a great formula for success.
If you're marketing like Water.com, stop right now. It's stupid and you're prospects are laughing at you. If you're marketing like the Las Vegas Hilton, good for you. Do more of it.
Oh, and for those of you who want to see this Men's Room — walk through the Las Vegas Hilton's casino towards the Benihana Village and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Go past the Village and down some short steps. On your right are the Men's and Women's Rooms. Sadly, the Women's Room doesn't have a similar motif. At least that's what the women I talked to said!