Thursday, September 11, 2008

Marketing 101 - The Morton Salt Case

Question: As a consumer living in North America, what would you do if Morton Salt puts out a large scale TV advertisement dissing and making fun of a competitor, who holds less than 5% share in the Salt industry?

I hear your answer. Which is is why the second installment in the Seinfeld, Marketing Campaign and Advertisement series is the way it is.


Anonymous said...

salt is a commodity.. apple is making sure pc is not...

Hawkeye said...

Why the literal comparison?

Arvind said...

Actually, Mac sales have a lot to gain by just taking a bite out of PC sales. The reverse is not true since Mac market share is relatively minuscule.

I would've thought that Microsoft's goal with this campaign would be play to their strengths and establish a cool factor for Vista. They seem to be establishing the coolness of the Gates-Seinfeld pair but they need to engage the viewer soon.

By leaving a lot open to the viewer's interpretation, the ad opens itself up to misinterpretation as well. Case in point, this is from Gizmodo tonight -

the new Laural and Hardy of ambiguous advertising have a new spot out and it's... making fun of your average scalloped potato-eating, leather giraffe from Cabo-buying, grumpy Grandma-having Suburban family. The incredibly rich duo try to connect on a “normal people” level and kind of fail utterly. Like Windows Vista. I think.

Miss J said...

i was just wondering.. has Microsoft ever blatantly dissed Mac before? I saw a really cool Mac ad on nytimes recently.. well cool cos it was kinda funny... But Mac directly and blatantly targeted Vista. It was an editorial piece written from the POV of a PC pointing out Vista's flaws...

it goes like this:

Stop Switching To Mac! by PC

I think I speak for all PCs everywhere when I say, “What’s the deal, people?”

Have things really gotten so bad between us? You used to love my charming little flaws, right? What’s changed?

It’s Vista, isn’t it? You’ve gotten sick of all the problems and hassles of upgrading. You’re tired of the endless security prompts. You were hoping Vista’s bugs and glitches would be resolved by now. I understand. I’m a big computer, I’ll admit it- Vista hasn’t really lived up to expectations. But we’re only a few years into it. These things take lots of time and patience.

Or did you finally hear enough Mac superlatives? The simple and intuitive operating system, the hardware and software that’s designed to work together, the… you know what, I think we’ve said enough about Mac’s superlatives. Nobody cares.

Look, I believe that we can overcome these problems facing us. You need to get back to overlooking my shortcomings. After all, I’ve overlooked yours for years. I mean, do you really need to hit the space bar that hard? Yet I always keep my mouth shut. That’s what you do in relationships, you ignore all the bad stuff, and live with the pain.

So please, stop with the switching already. We’ll get through all these issues. Together.

Soo touching and sooooooo funny!

This MAC vs PC campaign is really becoming a part of our pop culture..

I said...

This ad is making fun of mac? where? pirilaye..

Anonymous said...

"I have so many cars, I get stuck in my own traffic!!!"
Only JS!!!

Sriram said...

The mac ads and products are cool. PC sucks. Okay. Can I have my PC now? I mean how does it matter when you still see Jenna Jameson in a browser? The day when you can feel her in a mac, I will buy one, however expensive it is.

Arksantos said...

M$ should not trash Apple. (They can if they want to, Mac has its own problems with MobileMe and Iphone 3G).

But I expect something more from Gates and JS. Are you trying to connect to people? So have you succeeded so far?

They must have connected to the family using Vista or something. "Vista can help solve problems even for Georgie this family is a piece of cake "

Maybe this ad series is building up the overall image of M$ than just vista. In the first ad, they said something like "Jupiter brains".. etc etc... Improve the company brand, so all products benefit than just Vista. (They do have some cool stuff, but they have the bad M$ stigma)

The easiest thing for them to do is give out Halo3 with Vista purchase. :) Go Masterchief.

Hawkeye said...


dominant category leader expands the category. the rest fight for increased share in the category. thats the way it is usually done. it seems like the same is the case here.

the agency who does this advt seems to be the kind who usually do such random ads that grow on people because of its bizzaire'ness.

with regards to gizmodo comment - its always hard to expect +ve press responses to anything the company does.

miss j,

the post is about why it should not diss apple.


nee nejamaave bulba illai bulb madhiri nadikiriya?




yes. we pick morton salt without even knowing we are picking it.


/* Maybe this ad series is building up the overall image of M$ than just vista */

i suspect the same too.

Anonymous said...

i have a feeling MS is getting desperate. No?

Hawkeye said...


like i said to arvind. anything or any comment with a decent dose of -ve connotation and sarcasm about MS is always highly believable. it is also extremely popular to say -ve things. its reputation preceedes it that way.

I said...

nijamave bulb ba.

gradwolf said...

i totally agree. most don't know what they are talking about when they talk open source, mac etc. Ppl switch to mac just coz it's cool and a popular trend everywhere to do so. Similarly how it is a popular thing to criticize MS in whatever they do.

Anonymous said...

Check this nice 21 page book :)

Its totally free ! Do pass it on to your friends.

Hawkeye said...


i worked for 5 years in UNIX/Linux development and selling solutions based on it. essentially competing against MS solutions. Then I had to hear some bschool buddies with no-technology background give "expert" arguments on ms vs non-MS products. enna panradhu pesaama kettukka vendiyadhu dhaan.

you can never expect depth in anything in this world.

Sriram said...

gradwolf, I am programmer too, but I dont think the MBA types are blathering. You might have an amazing solution based on cutting edge technology far superior to the alternative, but the buyer's yardsticks are usually completely different.