Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Straight, no chaser.

The verdict is still out on Dixon's new ad campaign created by M&C Saatchi in London. I think it works because it touches on a real valuable consumer insight - people love the physical shopping experience, but yet know that the best deals will be had online.

However this doesn't necessarily mean that most people will browse in high-street shops and then go home and order their desired items on the lowest bidding site. The reasons for this may vary, sometimes the relationship and trust factor weigh heavier than price, sometimes not.

I know that I much prefer the experience of renting a movie in a small, local independent video shop, even if it is more expensive, than on or I enjoy the conversation with the movie buff at the register and discovering titles I may have never heard of otherwise. I like holding the DVD case, seeing the images, reading the synopsis and talking to other people in the store. I enjoy strolling down aisles and perusing movie titles that are ordered in interesting ways (and not to mention easy to find - if you're looking for a film at, new releases will also include old movies that have just been released on DVD or Bluray, which clutters the space and drives me mad) - from staff picks to foreign new releases, to movies segmented by directors and actors. The online experience pales in comparison. So in this instance, cost isn't the main factor in my decision-making process.

That said, I think the Dixon's campaign is brave and honest. It taps into human purchasing behavior on one level, but in order to really increase sales or drive traffic to the Dixon's website, Dixon's must deliver on their promise of price, as it recognizes that its in-store experience isn't what it should be (otherwise why would people prefer to window-shop in Selfridge's or John Lewis?).

One thing the campaign doesn't account for is irrationality. Some people may rather pay more for perceived (whether actual or real) value. Is shopping at much better than their in-store experience? Or does it not matter since it's cheaper? Do people trust the Dixon's brand? Would they be willing to pay more for the relationship and shopping experience? Or does it all come down to price in a quasi-post recession?

I'm not sure what the answers are, I suppose we'll have to wait and see if there is any correlation between honest messaging and increased traffic/profit margins. Whatever the outcome may be, I appreciate the copy and candor of the campaign. More on the Dixon debate here and here.

What do you think?

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