My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

You should follow me on Twitter.

Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pomegranate Phone Controversy

So, a lot's been said about Nova Scotia's Come to Life brand and their "Pomegranate Phone" campaign. It's been labeled the PomBomb by some (and yes, I've used the term myself), but here's how I feel the campaign could have been more of a success:

Your microsite needs to work as a separate, standalone product.

But it has to be so good, so interesting, that you can stamp your brand's name on it without being ashamed.

I love that Nova Scotia tried something bold and new. I love that they took a risk. The issue here--the sole, important issue--about the Pom Phone site that needs to be remedied, is the bait and… hope that people stumble upon the actual message.

If you think your microsite is entertaining, fun, engaging, and will get people to show it to others you don’t have to hide your branding.

You hide your brand when you fear that putting your actual logo on your microsite will make people less interested.

They just need to slap the Come to Life logo on the actual Pom Phone site (which they should have done in the first place), and bam!, you’ve got a cool site that will keep people playing around, while they know what the actual product is!

This is what Landlord Lou did, what Jonzed did, what the BK x-box games did, what Simpsonize Me did, what all those cool microsites or promotions did… They created an interesting product but weren’t afraid to tie it to their brand up front.

When you have to trick someone into finding out what the message is, dupe them into seeing the actual thing you’re advertising, their reaction will only ever be negative or neutral.

I don’t think $300k is too much to spend on a cool, innovative campaign that gets people talking. But they should be talking about your brand, too, not just the site you dropped the money on.

Kudos to Come to Life for trying something new, now they just need to make it a little more effective.


Ben said...

Joel, may I just say again that I love your perspective on things? I'm happy to see so much discussion around a campaign but I can't help but wish more of it was constructive rather than condemning. Like Carman has said, there's a balance between making people aware of a campaign's faults and just plain trashing it.

Nice points on the microsites, man.

Harvey K said...

I fail to see what's "controversial" about this campaign? An alluring headline to garner some readers?

Joel Kelly said...

Thanks Ben! Glad I could add something to the conversation.

Thanks for your comment, Harvey, I appreciate your point. But the amount of discussion and back-and-forth, and the opposing opinions (plus Stacey from Come to Life posting her, very reasonable, defense of the project) seemed a little controversial to me. I can understand why the word might seem a little over-the-top to you, but I think it's apt.

adverlicious said...

Clever! It's apparently effective since they now (01/2009) have online ads supporting the site. Check 'em out:

Pomegranate "Where No Phone Has Gone Before" 300x250

Joel Kelly said...

VERY interesting! Thanks for the link!