We can learn a lot from the mistakes of others.
The case of the mystery bottle that I should not forget.
Consider this ad that appeared on the back cover of the Air Baltic magazine. I saw this ad while on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Riga, Latvia.Like most people on the flight I do not read Latvian nor did I know a great deal about Latvian history. But since this company is paying Air Baltic about $2000 per month for this ad placement they must want to target foreigners coming to Latvia.
I had no idea what was in the bottle. I had no idea what I should not be forgetting. So that money was wasted on me despite the fact that I like to buy a premium bottle of alcohol now and then. And I was not alone.
Now that I read a bit more Latvian and have lived here for a couple of years I understand the ad. But it is still a terrible ad and I show it at every lecture about marketing, branding and positioning. If the ad is targeting Latvian people then it should be all in Latvian. But since the headline is in English I have to assume they are targeting foreigners. But foreigners do not know what ‘degvīns’ is. Nor is it likely that they know what all the people are doing in that street in the black and white picture.
This ad is a prefect example of what not to do and reflects a common error based on what I call, national narcissism. Decide who you are targeting and then create a marketing campaign to capture them. You are marketing for them, not for you.