Don’t Present a Solution without a Problem

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Hi everyone! I’m such a dork. I was watching TV last night and I saw a commercial last night and of course, I see everything through my marketer glasses. And this particular commercial bugged me.

I felt like it presented a solution, but no problem. The only thing he says is he “couldn’t find a shirt that looked good untucked.” The video shows him wearing his solution – an UntuckIt shirt.

But to me, glancing at it, I saw no difference. He mentioned the problem, but didn’t explain it or show it, so the commercial looked really stupid to me. Here it is:

Now I’m sitting there thinking, “he created an entire product for THIS?” Seemed ridiculous. Looked too similar to what I feel like a normal shirt looks like.

But when I went to go grab the embed code for the original commercial, I DID see that they had a commercial that adequately explained the problem. Um but only the first few seconds. The rest of the commercial is tacky and crude for no reason. Weird. For this product? They started off so well.

Warning: If you’re easily offended, you won’t like this. I’m not offended about the content – I’m offended that they suck so bad at marketing.

And they have one more commercial and it’s about the most boring, message-less commercial I’ve ever seen.

Somebody needs to help this company. They have a real problem. People I spoke with about this all said it looked stupid to create a shirt like that. The few seconds of video #2 explains why it might actually be an okay idea, but we barely see that in any of these three marketing messages.

There are so many copywriting courses that delve into the necessity of pointing out someone’s pain. I know that in my own copy, the times I’ve takenΒ extra attention to detail in crafting copy about the emotions and pain my audience feels at failing or missing out, I convert better than if I simply say, “Here’s a great product.”

It may seem obvious sometimes to us as the product creators, and we may even know it’s obvious to our audience. I mean, they’re not going to land on a gout sales page unless they’re suffering form gout, right?

But you still have to address their feelings – make an emotional connection so THEY know that YOU understand what they’re going through.

This company would do much better marketing-wise if they focused on how sloppy a guy looks with his shirt untucked than how they might get a sneak peek of a woman’s crotch when he wakes up with his one night stand.

But who knows? Maybe they studied their demographic and think guys will appreciate that more – and they might. Unless their wives or girlfriends are buying their clothes. LOL!

And even then, if it’s the morning after, it’s not really a PROBLEM if the shirt she’s wearing of theirs is a few inches longer if she’s already promiscuous enough to have slept with some guy she met in a bar that night anyway. It’s not like she’s a hard sell for round two. I think a better “problem” is in order.

What are your thoughts on this? There’s no right or wrong, only what we see as consumers, so there’s majority/minority opinions in terms of polling. Have you ever seen a commercial that just grated on your nerves from a marketing perspective?

Tiff πŸ˜‰


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22 Responses to Don’t Present a Solution without a Problem

  1. Marilyn Ison says:

    The second commercial does get the guys’ attention because of the women in it. However, they need some help with stating why anyone would be interested in a shirt that isn’t long enough to tuck in. My first thought was a large man wearing one of those shorter tailed shirts and bending over and showing his crack. Maybe they don’t make them for the larger built man. They really leave a lot to question in all of those commercials, though. It seems they just expect anyone watching them to just know men don’t want to tuck in their shirttails for whatever reason. They don’t state that the tuckless shirt is supposed to be a better and more comfortable way to be casual yet still nice looking. You’re right, they don’t give enough information. They need to fire their marketing department and get better marketing for their shirt line.

  2. Marsha Spohn says:

    While the audience might have a need or desire for the product it’s impossible to actually “see” what the problem is in their usual shirts going untucked. I’m not easily offended but I did roll my eyes at the morning after one… really? Get real.

    So #1 the whole thing felt silly and yes, stupid. #2 it’s a “solution” to a non-problem in my eyes. #3 I get the impression I’m supposed to jump online to order this silly shirt just because they tell me my guy has a problem and I should fix it for him. And probably the biggest thing for me is that they don’t “SHOW” me why it’s any better. It looks remarkably like any other shirt with slightly shorter tails. Big whoop… in my opinion.

  3. Bayo says:

    Good observation.

    It goes to show how much online marketers know. The sad thing is that many people in the MMO niche fail to put their knowledge to good use!

  4. Rena Tucker says:

    LOL!!! πŸ˜€

    Tiff, my dear, my honest assessment (which may rile *some* of your readers) is that you don’t see value in any of the ads because you’re not part of their target audience.

    The target audience is clearly MILLENNIALS, who typically have more money than common sense. They’re quick to whip out their credit cards any time they think it will make them seem more *hip*, which is one of their highest motivations.

    I, too, watch/read ads through my marketer’s glasses and I LOVE analyzing why ads compel me to buy or have no effect on me, and thinking about who/how they’re targeting.

    Rock on, you marketing maven!


  5. Tasha says:

    I totally hear you Tiffany!

    And he “created” a shirt that, in my opinion, is entirely too short!

    I think it looks like it shrunk. So not only did he create a problemless “solution”, he “created” a ridiculous shirt in the process.

    He’ll probably sell a ton.

  6. Christopher K says:

    When this commercial first came out, it was always played after a credit card company’s commercial for financing businesses. I thought it was just an example of one of the businesses the financial institution helped save. It didn’t dawn on me until months later when it played without the bank commercial that it was trying to sell me shirts. It’s not really an attention grabber…

  7. Kate HW says:

    Agree with you Tiff regarding the commercials.

    Yes the shirts do hang nice and do seem to hang at the right length but still not special enough for most people to warrant buying another set of shirts. Not without some pretty compelling reasons.

    Not only do they need to go into the ‘why’ but they need to show the problems they encountered whilst trying to design the ideal untucked shirt. For example how they overcome the differences in torso lengths etc.

    I’m not easily offended either and understand that sex sells but that second commercial was just a poor excuse so show a semi naked women for no real reason but to titillate the male species.

    To me that shouts chauvinistic and no respect for females and I certainly don’t want to be recommending, buying or advertising a company like that.

  8. Edward says:

    Hi TIffany! I see so many commercials like this that I did not even watch the 3 above as I might get pissed and well I am in a good mood so while ruin a good mood over stupid ad agencies who do not know how to market good.

    I was thinking about what you said above about how many courses are out there for Copy writing.

    I would love to sell as an affiliate to a lot of the agencys these courses so they understand simple marketing.

    I see all the time geico commercials where they start out with way off topic nonsense and then it changes to geico stuff. Who ever came up with that crap needs there head exammed.

    One day I was talking to a co worker when I was still working for Kmart and I told her that if a internet marketer was running the joint the sales would go up.

    All The Best
    Your Fan

  9. Alex says:

    I agree with your assessment “This company would do much better marketing-wise if they focused on how sloppy a guy looks with his shirt untucked”, about the first videos concept.

    I think the second video is hilarious. It SHOULD be called “UNF*CK-it”. There is so much more wrong with it, that the marketing concept is just icing on the cake. Maybe we are over-internalizing it, and the whole point (other than the fact that she’s a whore) is the humor in the marketing.

    The third video is a waste of good video copy and marketing. I myself break my neck trying to put out a video of such good quality out. The difference is, my video would make sense as a product and from a marketing perspective.

    I get the same feeling from this as I used to from seeing a billboard for cigarettes or liquor that was supposed to make me think that by smoking or drinking THEIR product, I am going to get the “Hot Chick” on the billboard.

    Yeah, the point was missed here for sure.

  10. Kim Powers says:

    Until I saw the 2nd Video, I didn’t get it. They need to show guys of the same build/looks side-by-side, so the audience can see why one looks sharp and the other looks sloppy. I bet some guys know they look sloppy but don’t know why another guy looks good with his shirt out.

  11. Camilo Machado says:

    Stumbled upon this post while doing some research for a case study on this particular company. Wanted to a share a couple of thoughts as part of this dicussion thread for anyone who stumbles upon it later like I did.

    First off, the commercials are bad. We all agree there. The company does a better job on their print ads. I first discovered Untuckit on a flight two years ago while reading the usual seat-pocket airline magazines. The value proposition was surprisingly simple and direct: Shirts designed to be worn untucked.

    As a male on the older side of Millenials, that spoke to me. I like to wear fashionable, quality long-sleeved shirts untucked. Always have. Most of them fit okay. But some are definitely too long and get worn sparingly. I’d also like to wear a suit jacket with an untucked shirt. But I don’t because she shirt is often 1-2 inches longer. Definitely don’t like that look.

    So, from a marketing process stand point, they did their research and it revealed that a legitimately and viable market opportunity (the problem). And if you’re in the target audience and the right behavioral and psychographic traits check out, then you already know this is an issue for you. And you probably shop at Urban Outfitters, Zara and similar shops. If you think the idea is stupid β€” and boy are people ruthless on the YouTube comments for the first spot β€” then this is not a problem or a need you care to address. That said, the company’s growth and recent opening of 6 stores suggest they got their market segmentation and marketing mix mostly right.

    Btw, focus groups also revealed that women (or a segment of them at least) do indeed think guys look better in this type of shirt. Sadly, this insight is horrifically executed in the ads. I do think a big part of the product benefit is about guys feeling good about themselves. Which leads to more confidence. Which can make you more comfortable in social settings. Which can certainly lead to feeling and looking more attractive to women perhaps.

    So…I’d say their strategy is probably on track. Execution needs a little help for sure. And as far as the shirts go…my wife gave me one for Christmas last year. I like it. But having put on a little bit of weight lately, I’m suddenly feeling like I’m not quite in the right demographic at the moment πŸ™‚

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