The Better Mousetrap: Brand Invention in a Media Democracy

The Better Mousetrap: Brand Invention in a Media Democracy

by Simon Pont


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Why do we love certain brands - the ones that feel like ours - and passionately or indifferently reject the rest? What do our brands say about us? And why do we feel so compelled to use digital brands to say even more? 

Simon Pont, Chief Strategy Officer at Vizeum, sets out to decode brand charisma, taking readers on a provocative and insightful journey through the brand and advertising strategies behind some of the world's leading companies. Pont points out that the brand game is taking ever-new and remarkable turns in its pursuit of the smart and savvy consumer. He provides expert critique on how and why certain brands succeed in a world that is constantly redefined by digital media. The Better Mousetrap explores examples such as how the chocolate brand Wispa was brought back by social media, how certain logos have the power to inspire emotions (think Nike, "Just do it"), how "sub-brands" like Diet Coke and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog can achieve greatness, the psychological properties behind the colors used in advertising and the changes in the digital era, including the mobile revolution. 

Accompanied by by a dedicated YouTube channel and playlist partnerships with LoveFilm and Spotify, The Better Mousetrap offers original thinking and captivating new perspectives on brands, advertising and media in the 21st Century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780749466213
Publisher: Kogan Page, Ltd.
Publication date: 12/28/2012
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Simon Pont is a writer, commentator and brand-builder. He is the Chief Strategy Officer at Starcom MediaVest Group, and an EACA Effies judge.His agency career includes being part of Saatchi & Saatchi and Naked Communications, the pioneers of Communications Planning. Some of his clients include Coca-Cola, 20th Century Fox, Heinz, Ikea, Panasonic and BMW.

Table of Contents

Everything changes, everything stays the same 

Part One In Search of Brand Charisma 
Brands: thorny, gnarly, ever-so-twisty 
The brand organic 
Brands must behave, must woo 
"Same difference:" the counterpoint brand 
Reframing: originality and busting it up 
Brand duality: consider your brand's Batman 
"Lose the nipples:" what's in a logo? 
"Back in the day:" nostalgia brands and the retro sell 
"Yours digitally:" brand charisma's second coming 
Sub-brand splendor 
Drop the "The:" what's in a name? 
Gross assumptions, crumby conventions and the Churchillian view 
You are your own mousetrap 

Part Two In Pursuit of the Accelerated Consumer 
We are ALL consumers 
In strangers we trust 
The age of the accelerated consumer 
The brand communication model: a bit like a time-traveling DeLorean 
Allow me to position you 
Through a glass clearly 
Color me happy! 
Curve, contour and come-on: how persuasive is sexual persuasion? 
Truth, lies and advertising 
Irrational reasoning, magpie desire and the watch from outer space "
With great power…:"advertising to our inner superhero 
The big H 
Buying wine, getting her to drink it and other Adland misdemeanors 

Part Three Dawn of a Media Democracy 
"Digital:" what it is, what it isn't 
Web 3.0: regime change 
Transmedia…in a tube card 
Is social media just a bit antisocial? 
A pop culture where everyone's invited 
The second fundamental: avoid launching ghost ships 
Mobile: the new dependency 
Teen alienation is so analogue 
Efficiency and effectiveness: fish with feet sidestep moving trees 
Shifting icons 
Ed Burns, Tribeca and the film-making revolution 
The fabric of things 

Epilogue - Take Comfort, "Nobody Knows Nothing" 
The lists

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Gloriously smart. Some of the sharpest thinking I've read for a while; immensely enjoyable." —Faris Yakob, Chief Innovation Officer, MDC Partners

"From brands past to present, and with a firm eye on their digital future, Pont takes readers behind the curtain of brand-land. Today's Mad Men will either toast him or hate him for it." —Ashley Mackenzie, Founder & CEO, Base 79

"The Better Mousetrap is an astute and gripping critique on brand and cultural anthropology. Page by page your inner voice will be saying 'fascinating,' and by the end you'll be reminded of why you chose the brand-business in the first place. A truly compelling read." —Christian Johnsen, Communication Strategy Director, Aegis Media

"The Better Mousetrap is, as the title implies, sneaky in a good way...while Pont's prose entertains, his insights steal up behind you. This reader came away learning more than he'd planned." —Judd Labarthe, Former Executive Planning Director, Argonauten G2

"Simon can grab complex ideas by the scruff of the neck and shake them until they explain themselves simply." —John Paul Cadman, Group Strategy Director, MEC

"Pont tackles media and advertising themes with pace and passion. The ideas come fast; the thoughts are vivid and accessible. The Better Mousetrap might just do for brands what Gladwell did for Social Sciences and Levitt did for Economics." —Vicki Connerty, Head of Newcast, ZenithOptimedia

"The Better Mousetrap is a scalpel-sharp examination of our relationship towards brands, why we love them, hate them, or possibly feeling nothing at all." —Chris Maples, UK Managing Director & European Sales Director, Spotify

"The Better Mousetrap does what the best non-fiction is capable of - providing insight into the world around us, and by extension, the feelings inside us. The articulation is impressive." —Craig Wills, Head of Planning, Fallon

"Simon has achieved the near impossible, opening up the Ad world's evolving complexity, taking aim at this fast moving target and hitting dead centre, with smart, perceptive and holistic observation and comment. A must read!" —Steve Hyde, CEO, 360 Executive Search

"With the cunning more akin to a wild cat than a mousetrap, Simon takes on crowd sourcing, sandwich bars and Spotify as he explains why consumers need to be offered more than antiquated promotional messages in the digital age." —Greg Grimmer, Founder, HDMG

"Simon has somehow managed to write two books in one: an entertaining page-turner about the inner lives of brands, and a thought-provoking set text for professionals." —Stefan Terry, Founder, Leap of Being, former Managing Partner, Heavenly Group Ltd
 “It’s easy for modern-day marketers to get distracted by new technologies, fads and fripperies, in this ever-evolving, complex, digital world. The Better Mousetrap is an elegant reminder of the danger of such distractions and that while focus and discipline are key to success, business and brands cannot stand still and must be willing to innovate and do something new to attract the consumer.”  —Philip Smith, Head of Content Solutions, Brand Republic Group, Haymarket Business Media

“Simon has deconstructed the complex subject of what a brand is in an insightful and entertaining way, bringing his own experience in the advertising business to bear and giving a unique viewpoint on communication challenges in a digital age. A must read.” —Tom George, Chairman UK and Northern Europe, MEC

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