Last month on a shopping trip to New York with two teenagers, I found myself sitting quietly in Hollister on 5th Avenue watching the huge screen which depicts a surfing beach live from a webcam in California.
The last time I did this it was in Hollister in Brent Cross. The similarities between the two moments were very strong. The difference was that on 5th Avenue I fell into conversation with two out of town Americans who confided in me that they’d just come in (without kids with them) to have a sit down without having to buy coffee. Nobody would speak to you in Hollister in Brent Cross – London isn’t nearly as friendly.
This aside the atmosphere was identical, the chaos around me was identical as people rushed to buy Hollister t-shirts and hoodies as if they were hot cakes, the armchair was identical and the surfing magazines available were the same.
Hollister’s brand consistency demands use of media channels which remain consistent globally too – MTV, US movies and TV shows.
Last week on the way to Brent Cross there was a poster for Tesco’s advertising that it was a cheaper option for Passover. A very local message at a very specific time, delivered on an outdoor site on the main route from Golders Green. It was more open to being overheard as a communication on a poster than via more discretely targeted specialist media. But use of a big billboard was eye-catching and, since the overall message was good prices, perfectly in tune with Tesco’s overall brand promise.
A national brand – even a global brand increasingly – but yet one that must remain relevant in the local community. Using specifically targeted outdoor at a local level is great use of media to make that very point.
This is media selection not just for tactical and targeted reasons but a part of the overall brand communication strategy.