Posted December 4, 2010 8:55 am by with 5 comments

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Ben the BodyguardRecently a new site launched that has had a lot of folks talking on social media. The designers are using an innovative scrolling design with high quality illustrations to entertain and sell their brand. Ben the Bodyguard is a soon to be released app on the iPhone and iPad that protects your phone from theft and your boss from reading about your former workplace…I think….Or is it the photos on the phone from thieves? Where does the iPad play into all this???

Oh, to be honest I am actually pretty confused about exactly what or how this new product works. But for the 20 seconds it took me to look over their beautiful site, that didn’t matter. Will I buy their product? No, I mean I don’t understand it!

In marketing we  often hear folks say, “people want to be entertained”, which is true. But it’s also true that if you are doing nothing but entertaining your audiance without communicating your brand’s message then you are pretty much doing it all for sh*ts and giggles! And if that’s all you are interested in, more power to ya!

So the real question is, when do you entertain and when do you inform? Here’s a tip: Education is needed when you are innovating.

For example, when our fearless leader Andy Beal launched Trackur in Febuary 2008, he needed to not only sell his new tool, but also sell the concept of Online Reputation Management as well. Therefore a month later he published the first and only book on the topic! Here, Andy, knew that at the time ORM was so innovative that he needed a vehicle to communicate the underlying concept. Now, as a result we have an extremely competitive ORM consulting and tool marketplace because of Andy’s work.

Other products that aren’t that innovative can be more entertaining without the need to educate. Take for example Old Spice. Here we see a strictly entertainment-driven campaign. Education wasn’t needed because let’s face it, hopefully, everyone knows what deodorant is.

Talented marketers are able to mix both entertainment and education to create campaigns that engage their audiance in ways that stimulate their minds and their funny bone!

  • This is good information Joe. I definitely agree that there needs to be a mix and I like how you’ve broken it down here – makes perfect sense.

    I believe that keeping your message simple is key as well. Thanks, Laura

  • Nice post — “educate when you innovate” is a pretty good formula for knowing when to entertain and when to inform. As good as any I’ve heard.

    That being said, I like the Ben site. I signed up for updates out of curiosity. I’d like to do an A/B test to see if they’d actually do better with a more educational landing page. Perhaps they could have put some more info on the building tops without sacrificing the fun factor.

    Of course, it’s a lot different with a brand like Skittles which has no need to educate and can focus on making a fun endless scrolly page:

    Thanks for the read.

  • As attentions spans get even shorter it seems to make sense to try for a chuckle. The benefits are that busy people might actually ‘get’ the message, and better yet, they might spread it virally.

  • ads today speak very little of the product, it is easier for advertisers to highlight the supply and capture customer.

  • You drove the point home well.
    It is very good on Andy Beal’s part to promote Online Reputation management along with trackur as the web users were very much ignorant to the need of such a tool.