Interview – Bob Garfield

Wunderman Seattle's Andrew Skirde caught up with noted advertising author and critic, Bob Garfield at SXSW Interactive.  Garfield, who, in addition to his writing duties for MediaPost and serving as the co-host of NPR's On The Media, has co-authored Can't Buy Me Like.  In his most recent tome, Garfield looks at the challenges--and choices--brands today face.

We all know money can’t buy you love, and in today’s world where the communication channels are almost endless, people have become so numb to the many ad campaigns and marketing slogans that this motto needs an update; money can’t even buy you like.

Noted advertising author and critic, Bob Garfield has partnered with founder and CEO of MEplusYOU, Doug Levy, to co-author Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results.

We live in the “Relationship Era,” a period in which your success or failure depends not just on what you say, or even what your product is, but more on who you are and what you stand for.

Taking these lessons from personal connections with friends and family, and applying them to the brands of today, both Garfield and Levy explain how companies that care about something bigger than selling their product can actually sell more of their product. As Levy put it, “Thinking of trust as just a way to influence transactions, is like thinking about a child as just a tax deduction”.

Secret deodorant transformed the way it built relationships with women by cultivating dialogue and igniting engagement, using their social landscape. In 2008, Secret’s growth had slowed to a near standstill, but this trend flipped on its ear as top Procter & Gamble management began an initiative for purpose-driven marketing. By 2010, the “Let Her Jump” campaign, collaborating with gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, brought awareness to the fact that Women’s Ski Jumping had not yet been an Olympic Winter Games event. More than 700,000 people viewed this video and according to P&G, the Clinical Sport lineup grew nearly 20% in sales. You can now witness Women’s Ski-Jumping in the 2014 Winter Games.

It’s acts like this that prove you can’t buy love or even like, but you can EARN it.

See also our video interviews with Doug.

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