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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Charlie The Tuna for Content Marketing: "Sorry Charlie"

What would the famous Charlie the Tuna character say in the world of content marketing? Who and why would someone tell Charlie: "Sorry, Charlie. StarKist wants tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste." Actually, we see good taste content most of the time, beautiful designs, nice words and ideas, slick presentations and catchy writing... essentially pretty articles, graphics and videos. But, for the most part, we need to hunt for "... tuna that tastes good". Content that is useful, interesting, engaging, maybe even controversial or helpful. The type of content which will pass the Charlie the Tuna test. The internet is filled with "cool, hip, made in good taste" material. But that is not what attracts readers. What the "bad old voice of StarKist" says is pay attention to the quality of the real product... AND the message. You can sell some products based on a "hip, cool" image, but not certain ones like tuna. 


That is true for most products and for the message we use. Obviously fashion products need to be in style and show this aspect. These products do not sell on basic material type, quality construction or price value. Yet even when fashion dictate a message, it has to say more than just "we are a hip, cool, fun or exciting" company. Basically the lesson here is to be careful and target well the message. Don't simply say something that will not be accepted by the consumer. Even better, it shows how telling the consumer "we make tuna that tastes good" is making fun of the idea that they could have used a less relevant message. Here is essentially poking fun of other advertisers, especially the fast food and soft drink manufacturers who use messages which are not relevant to the actual product. Here is a product which the manufacturer considered not only healthy but also tastes good. Using a fun message like this made the campaign effective and memorable. This is not always easy with many products. Bypassing the preconceived notion of 'healthy food probably does not taste good' is not easy. Here is an example of not only clever use of a message, but also addressing a preconceived negative popular belief without making excuses. They could have said, give your kids tune, it healthy... but they usually don't like it. But this would be less fun and probably less effective.