DON’T GOOGLE JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME!

(Note: This may only make sense if you read Carrie’s post first.)

Look, I’m as big a Van Damme fan as the next guy. His acting in “Double Impact” still haunts my dreams. And he’s at the top of his game in that Volvo “The Epic Split” video.

But let’s not get carried away.

First, don’t trust Google. (Yes, I know they’re watching, and that there’s a drone headed for my house right now.) The Google guys and gals are always selling. Always. We had a group of them in our offices recently. They had bestowed our agency with some sort of ‘preferred status,’ which naturally made us feel awesome. In return, they were simply “hoping to learn how midsized agencies like (ours) work.” You can rightly assume that we will be as out of business as your local newspaper in six months.

So now they’re selling YouTube videos as the best (and only, it seems) way to reach customers’ hearts and wallets. Have they ever seen an IBM TV ad? The Snap-on Tools product and training vans? Accenture airport terminal billboards?

Second, great b2b marketers have known about this “Promotion to Emotion” thing for ages. There are rational and emotional reasons for b2b preferences and purchases. Brands that connect with b2b buyers above the features-and-benefits level always have made more money and bigger margins. This is not new.

That said, it’s a positive that CEB/Google are promoting this idea, regardless of their motives. Because while the core idea is not new, very few b2b marketers actually commit to and fund that type of brand building and communications.

Yes, if I had Volvo’s marketing budget, I’d hire – let’s aim higher, shall we? – Chuck Norris to do a cool stunt with my product. But 73 million YouTube views for a b2b product that, in a great year, sees sales of 300,000 units is 99 percent nonsense. Speaking of nonsense, Google claimed with a straight face that all those views meant the world was “engaging” with the Volvo brand; but that’s a topic for another day. *Google drone accelerates towards Pat’s house*

So let’s not get carried away.

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