By Benjamin Haslem
Personal care products giant, Dove, has developed a reputation for thinking outside the square when it comes to marketing. Its Campaign For Real Beauty garnered massive publicity in 2004.
It's latest effort in the US has attracted attention because it takes a dig at poor old New Jersey, so long the butt of jokes from the rest of America, especially those living across the Hudson in New York.
Not sure how this will play out around Trenton and Newark but it got me wondering what would be an Australian equivalent?
2 for 1 shampoo offer: "Dear Tasmania, one for each head".
A punching bag emblazoned with the word 'Sydney': "Dear Melbourne, when the frustration gets too much...".
An XXXL hat: "Dear Sydney, something for your head..."
What do you think?
By Isabelle Walker
Very rarely do we see an ingenious marketing strategy, intertwined with genuine good will, which restores faith in both humanity and reinforces the ability of successful corporations to act with unadulterated generosity.
Canadian Airline WestJet’s new marketing campaign has gone viral with a nuanced approach to online advertising.
The five and a half minute video – long by viral video standards in the age of the 6 second ‘Vine’ – captivates viewers from start to finish in the feel-good campaign of the festive season.
The clip shows a large decorated Christmas present displaying an interactive St Nick (complete with hidden cameras and - unbeknownst to the travellers - communication to a control room) where travellers scan their boarding passes. St Nick asked travellers what their dream Christmas present would be. Little did the jetsetters know their every wish was being recorded and purchased by the WestJet “elves”, ready to be presented once travellers reach the baggage claim at the end of their journey.
Despite purchasing customers everything from socks and underwear to a snowboard and a flat-screen TV, this was not an expensive campaign as WestJet easily recouped the cost by being smart enough to come-up with a concept that would go going viral and therefore avoided paid advertising. This ‘giving’ approach has undoubtedly improved WestJet’s consumer perception and I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in its bottom-line.
Perhaps this marketing strategy makes a point that human kindness and generosity can be the making of great business and advertising, rather than cut-throat business decisions and unfettered greed.
By Benjamin Haslem
Most, if not all of us, are mourning the passing of Nelson Mandela.
Like me, you probably posted something on Facebook or Twitter to express your feelings.
I quoted Shakespeare's Hamlet; others great lines from the man himself.
But predictably, a digital marketing fool thought the death of possibly the greatest man to have walked the Earth in the past 100 years was a good opportunity to spruik their employer's product.
Step up Virgin Active Australia."Sadly Nelson Mandela passed away today. A close friend of Richard Branson, he was pivotal in Virgin Active expanding into South Africa, where we now have over 100 health clubs". (Emphasis added)
How can people be so stupid? You would have to be a sociopath. Yet, it seems with almost every death and tragedy, somewhere a social media manager puts the proverbial in their gob.
Unsurprisingly, the backlash has been swift.
They are going BACKWARD!
My next thoughts as the camera pans out and and Van Damme proceeds to do the splits on two reversing trucks.
To close the screen reads: This test was set up to demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering
That’s the best piece of marketing I’ve seen in quite some time.
And the statistics seem to back that thought up. Week one: 27million YouTube hits on the stunt video, nearly 2million YouTube hits on the teaser, hundreds of thousands of views of ‘the making of’ YouTube videos (which seem to disprove my theory it was CGI), social media abuzz, countless news articles from across the globe … one could claim an exceptionally successful campaign.
But what has made it so successful?
(Very) Generally speaking men love trucks. Statistically speaking, men undertake more risk-taking behaviour than women - and so a piece like this is going to sell well with them. What I think is truly impressive is that I as a woman am genuinely impressed. I think it’s the poetry of the piece (mixed to perfection with the danger): the Enya soundtrack, golden trucks glimmering in a Spanish sunset, and Van Damme’s deep Belgian voice overlayed "Now I stand here before you. What you see is a body crafted to perfection. A pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics. And a mindset to master the most epic of splits."
Are we the ones heading out to buy the Volvo truck (given the stunt was to promote Volvo’s dynamic steering system which it says greatly improves precision and stability in any driving situation)? Most likely not. However the brand is fixed in my head when I think of this incredible piece. Connecting content and brand can be a challenge for any marketer, and Volvo seems to have achieved it here.
Will it improve the bottom-line?
Perhaps not directly. Most certainly not immediately. But it’s an excellent branding piece. Not to mention Volvo is tapping into an audience that is savvy at avoiding traditional advertising – the highly-desirable Millennials and Digital Generation (Gen Y and Gen Z). In using social media Volvo has started a conversation with young people who will go onto purchase their cars (and perhaps even drive their trucks) and made quite the impression.
Want to go viral?
Join the very, very long queue. This is one of the main requests I get from clients when it comes to digital campaigns. There is no winning formula, but here’s a key tip: don’t treat it like traditional advertising – get out of your box and that way of thinking; throw the brief out the window and run with a mad Creative’s idea.
1. Is Social Media Stifling Political Debate?