Monday 26 March 2012

What are you driving at Parallel?

The Ukranian filling station operator Parallel, one of the country's major fuel retailers, is steering an unconventional course with this online marketing campaign. Sitting on a blank background (or invisible car seat) the seductive gaze leaves you thinking: "What is Parallel's real point?"
A mildly provocative image like this succeeds in getting your attention for a brief moment but is there any substance over the choice of image beyond the obvious? If you head to their website and mouse-over the image on their landing page, it may become a little more apparent what Parallel's marketing team are really up to...

...or not?

Ultimately, Central European energy politics may figure in this and impact on brand perception and levels of consumer trust. A tongue-in-cheek campaign, however, may be all that is required to turn public perception around.

But does this unconventional approach and image strike the right tone? Treating an important issue like corporate transparency in a sexualised way appears to be a somewhat risky strategy, but this is without understanding the Ukranian cultural code and climate of gender politics. 

If Parallel are trying to usher a new era of corporate transparency then it needs to carefully identify the core (brand) message and consider how to make it work harder, give it fuller expression and clarity. Additionally it needs to look at how the campaign might be interpreted differently amongst its target audiences as so often coded messages fail to deliver.

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