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Connecting With The Heart And Soul Of A AA Battery Customer

Sept 6, 2023 | Article

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amazon cmo.jpeg

Jennie Perry

Amazon CMO

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Lori Shambro

Energizer CMO

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Tatiana Jouanneau

Duracell CMO

By Andrew Penner




When it comes to marketing clout, is there anyone who can claim more status and prestige than the CMO's of battery companies? No. But among the chosen few, who will rein supreme? And how will they achieve their immortal glory?


he best kind of marketing is when we spend very little on advertising

do we ignite in our potential customers the desire to take action; to assertively, dare I say aggressively, take the steps necessary to purchase our product? Where do we start? We start with values. We start by figuring out our customers values and then we communicate those values back to the customer.

and we get a lot of people to buy our product. So how do we do that? How


Connecting with people’s value’s motivates them to act. Dog food, human food, rocket ships or 

Navel ships; commodities, staples, luxury goods, or back massages. Even the stuff you buy on Amazon at the lowest possible price because you just simply need the product and you don’t want to pay a cent more than you have to. It doesn’t matter. Your values are what motivate you to act. Let’s take a pack of Amazon branded batteries for example. Amazon Basics. A ten pack of AA batteries from Amazon to power your remote control car, your flash light, and your wireless automatic bubble maker. You could buy Duracell, you could buy Energizer. But you end up buying Amazon Basics. Why Amazon Basics? Why? Is it random? Is it happenstance? No. It’s not. It’s because Amazon Basics match your values. So what are your values if you are the type of person who buys Amazon Basics batteries?

At 50% of the per unit price of Duracell and Energizer, I think I have a pretty good idea of what your values are. You value your time. You value your mental energy. You value your money. You value a battery buying experience where you don’t have to think about batteries. You value an experience that is so uneventful, that by the time you’re racing your remote control car through a flashlight-lit course of bubbles, you don’t remember having ever bought or even thought about batteries. So when Amazon markets its Amazon Basics AA batteries, where should Amazon’s marketing team start? What should they do? Literally? What's step one?

Exhibit 1


This is what they should do. They (as in Jennie Perry, the Chief Marketing Officer of Amazon) should contact the customers of Amazon Basics batteries (as many as possible) and ask them what television shows they watch and what music they listen to and how old they are and what gender they are and what food they like to eat and what clothes they like to wear and what things they like to put their batteries into. Talk to them in real life. See the emotion on their faces while they describe their values in detail. Then Jennie Perry should thank these wonderful patrons for their time and compile their feedback into a customer profile report based on all the answers that overlapped; with an outweighted emphasis on the things that made these customers get emotional.


And then, finally, Jennie Perry should make a 15, 30, or 60 second video advertisement to be aired during one of the hippest and most culturally relevant television shows mentioned most often by her Amazon Basics battery customers. And what should be in this commercial? Certainly no mention of durability or long last ability or anything that has to do with high quality battery craftsmanship, function, or utility. None of that. In this commercial she should show a person like the customers she interviewed.


She should show people who don’t care at all about batteries. She should show someone who needs a battery, doesn’t want to bother with buying a battery, and then, almost without noticing, has already purchased the cheapest and most uninteresting battery option available to any person anywhere.


And then, for the other 95% of the ad, Jennie should show this customer enjoying their brilliant, if not genius use of what is ultimately a ubiquitous and virtually identical-across-brands commodity product. She should show this wonderful man or woman in their customer-profile-report inspired clothes, eating their customer-profile-report inspired food, listening to their customer-profile-report inspired music, racing tiny plastic cars through a flash lit bubble course enjoying life with a level of richness and contentment that far surpasses anything any Duracell or Energizer customer could ever dream of. (Jk, I love you Duracellers and Energizerers too. :))

In addition to this 15, 30, or 60 second television advertisement, Jennie should probably also roll out a cohesive global AA battery marketing campaign complete with billboards of clever and bizarre real life battery use cases, Tiktok challenges with sweat battery depended rewards and celebrity call outs, Instagram art and animation challenges with AA battery relevent trending news and IP cross overs, big city pop up food and music events with a live, timed, most-original-use-of-a-battery-after-opening-a-Food-Network's-Chopped-style-basket-to-reveal-a-set-of-must-use components-globally-broadcasted competition, google ads with a set of freshly published articles on the AA battery competitive landscape and a globally unifying societal movement toward loving things that use double A batteries, and perhaps a culturally relevant super star celebrity fresh off an international blockbuster movie with a heartwarming smile and leaked footage of being silly in a relatable and also objectively weird way, while being in a sort of backstage setting with other A list celebs, ideally including another super star celebrity crush who is stealing glances across the room and for which rumors of courtship and fan fiction communities are bubbling up on reddit.


ps. Duracell and Energizer customers are cool too. They just have different values. Therefor Tatiana Jouanneau (the CMO of Duracell) and Lori Shambro (the CMO of Energizer) should create a 15, 30, or 60 second video advertisement that is entirely different than the one I have described for Amazon Basics Batteries. Maybe something about a bunny with sunglasses that bangs a drum and never stops or a slightly different bunny that should probably put some sunglasses on to cover that uncanny valley face (Sorry Duracell 3D modeling art team, but it's true). Or maybe something new and fresh. Like an innocent young girl at the center of a dark dirty city packed full of Mario-style ghosts with a vampire-esque fear of light dutifully patrolling the streets with an insatiable hunger for the living. The ghosts flank the young girl from all sides as her flashlight flickers to blackness. Death has come for her. But no. She sees it. A fresh pack of double-A's in a nearby department store window. Turns out she's a world class athlete / ninja / parkour phenom. Or so she appears as she slides, jumps, and bounces her way between, beneath and around the off brand Nintendo Boos (or on-brand - Let's get Nintendo on board here. Heck let's make the young girl Peach - this whole paragraph should probably be a separate article about the fun of culturally relevant IP cross-over ads), snatching the single battery pack up and over that tiny ridge at the end of metal display hook through an empty apocalypse-brokened (Bowser ravaged?) window. Rip click snap. Light! She's back in business. The ghosts pick up the pace, crowding from all directions. Like a Navy Seal ninja she sends her villains exploding in puffs of ghost-killing light as she makes her way to the cities edge, using sneaky and classically makeshifty Die-Heartish moves ever step of the way. Until finally. She walks into the wild, the city behind her. The sun cresting the horizon in the distance. (Maybe a white and red castle is also in the distance?). The orange rays of the morning sun pierce her eyes and she shuts off her flash light. Cut to black. Duracell - For when it matters. Or Energizer. But only if this matches the values of Duracell and Energizers customers. It would be a fun ad to watch but it will only motivate action if the customer values the grit and determination and physical fortitude of a young girl escaping the terrors of the night with a trusty dependable battery-operated flash light. Probably best to talk to some real customers first and see what type of battery scenarios they relate to.

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