I recently posted about my initial love affair and growing disenchantment with iPod, and in that post I also mentioned SanDisk and its anti-iPod iDon’t campaign. Interestingly, Banner, a WPP agency in London and SanDisk’s ad agency for the EMEA region, contacted me to acknowledge my honest feedback and promised to award me an “iDon’t” T-shirt (which I could use at the gym where there’s an epidemic of white ear buds). This experience draws a few issues to my attention:
First, while Banner is SanDisk’s ad agency of record for the EMEA region, I clearly fall outside of that jurisdiction, but was very much impacted by the campaign. Regardless, Banner didn’t hesitate to indoctrinate me. This says loud and clear that the Internet and social media are breaking down barriers of geography and will make the legacy of geographic boundaries increasingly incompatible with the reality of today — especially in marketing.
Second, the iDon’t campaign resembles more of a grassroots political or ideological crusade versus the more conservative and neutral marketing that WPP typically is associated with. I’m all for the former, because I think consumers are better off for it. But I would imagine that it is more acceptable in the EMEA region versus the U.S. I guess this example gets back to the issue of collapsing boundaries where the competitive fight moves into the realm of online social media.
Third, at the end of the day, I deeply admire and am moved by the iDon’t campaign for a few reasons. First, it was clever and edgy – something too much marketing in the U.S. lacks. Second, it spoke directly to my pains as an Apple and iPod customer, who forked over thousands of dollars and feels betrayed. Third, SanDisk (by way of its agency) took the time to reach out and talk to me as an individual…yes, little, unimportant me. I’m tempted to give SanDisk a try one of these days. Their attitude and spirit are winning me over, and as iPod’s genius has proven, that’s potentially more important than the product itself.