Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category
Is it too soon to talk about Christmas?
I’ve come to a conclusion: Christmas is the ultimate marketing success. (But not, I assume, in the way originally intended.)
God’s gift to retail business: the marketing campaign that runs itself
Year after year, the whisper of Christmas arrives on the autumn wind. With a little help, the whisper builds quickly to a song and then a shout. Frenzy grows. Shoppers are trampled.
How does it happen? I have some ideas that may account for the popularity and success of consumer Christmas.
- Consumer Christmas is based on an existing broadly recognized cultural-religious holiday, which gives it legitimacy, but it has been effectively expurgated of all spiritual meaning, which means you don’t have to be Christian—or even religious—to celebrate it.
- It has persistent and wholesome themes (charity, selflessness, giving, family, light in the darkness). In our fast-paced convenience culture, with little time to make gifts or really even think about them, the theme of giving means buying.
- It has simple symbols (trees, stars, snow, wrapped gifts, red, green), which allow it to easily spread and adapt to different places and cultures.
- And it has honourable mascots (Santa, Jesus). Who doesn’t root for poor babies born in barns and jolly eccentric old white men who bring gifts to the good children and coal to the bad ones?
- Followers defend it vehemently, whether or not they have a faith connection to it.
- You never need to tell people it’s coming. Everyone already expects it.
- Its power of truncated tradition and manipulated myth combine to create a gravitational pull that sometimes traps other events, like Boxing Day, in its orbit. Other pure marketing schemes, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, try to ride the gravitational wave to prominence.
A brief digression
No other holiday is more associated with a child’s smiling face as she unwraps a gift. Today, however, these anticipation and joy have moved from the holiday to the everyday. We have elevated unwrapping to an art, a spectacle to share with the world, and called it unboxing. This is the power of consumer Christmas.
A questionable conclusion
I haven’t got a clue what you can do with this information. Okay, maybe I have one clue.
I guess don’t mess with success is the best I can assess. It’s a fair bet that until Jesus returns, Santa will be his lieutenant and consumer Christmas will march around every year, everywhere. It’s hard to out-promote a man who selflessly travels the globe bearing gifts for all. (You don’t hear too much about the kids who get coal these days.) It’s also hard to be heard above the noise.
I’ve got a few questions, too.
What if marketers always acted like they were selling to one person? That seems to be the goal of much marketing today, but does it succeed? What would that mean for Christmas: compassion, authenticity, humanity? Does this work? Without a sincere connection to the traditions of Christmas, how can a consumer respond to these themes in Christmas marketing?
I don’t know! So please let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter.
“Surprise & Delight” videos are everywhere these days, but often the surprise isn’t very interesting, isn’t connected to the product or is so connected it feels forced.
That’s why this spot from Land Rover New Zealand is so perfect. It’s a truly spontaneous act of love from the brand that isn’t just rewarding vocal influencers or creating a predictable vending machine stunt.
It’s a beautiful little piece of film, and almost makes me want to buy an old Land Rover of my own to restore. Or at least a new one for new adventures.
I’m a big fan of Instagram these days (I post there more often than Facebook, and even used it to find a photographer for some family portraits) but haven’t been impressed with with way brands are using it (Nike and a few other sports brands aside).
However, Smirnoff New Zealand made excellent use of the photo-sharing service throughout December with their #PurePotential campaign.
The gist of the idea was that Smirnoff NZ asked users to take a picture of the ingredients in their fridge, tagging the photo @SmirnoffNZ and #PurePotential and that the brand would give them a recipe for a vodka-based drink they could make with the ingredients. These recipes came in the form of high-quality videos, perfectly sized and paced for Instagram.
As far as I can tell, they responded to almost every single one of the fridge images that Kiwis uploaded (including this one of my very bare fridge).
It worked well by taking advantage of that fact that user’s are used to giving their followers an intimate look at their lives using photos on Instagram.
It wasn’t just a social campaign, either. They had out of home ads (billboards, bus shelters, wild postings) throughout Auckland (and, I presume, New Zealand) related to the campaign, driving to Instagram and pushing the “Pure Potential” message.
PS: I’ve been impressed with a lot of the advertising work I’ve seen from New Zealand since I moved to Auckland a few months ago, and I’ll try and share more of it when I can.
Last week, I had to good fortune to attend the Communications Agencies Association of New Zealand’s Effectiveness awards. The “Effies,” as their called, are Kiwi equivalent of the Canadian Cassie awards. It was a great way to be exposed to some of the awesome advertising happening here, and I’ve included some of my highlights below.
SKY TV/ Game of Thrones: Bring Down The King
I might be a bit biased because it was my DDB New Zealand colleagues* who came up with this idea, and because I love Game of Thrones, but it was great to see this spot that lets Kiwis bring down a statue of Joffrey by tweeting about him win a gold at the Effies.
Maritime New Zealand – Saving Lives Like They Did in the 80s
I heard somewhere that there is no where in New Zealand that is farther than 150km from the coast, and Auckland also apparently has the highest number of yachts per capita in the world so it makes sense that water safety is a big deal. The video below from Maritime New Zealand is a playful look at why you need to be wearing a life jacket for it to be effective.
Tui Beer: Catch a Million
I have no idea what cricket is about (and pretty much think of it as this) but I think everyone can still appreciate some of the great catches, even when they come from the crowd. Tui Beer capitalized on this by holding a promotion that promised a share of $1,000,000 to anyone in the crowd who caught a ball from the game with one hand. Check out the video below to see how this took off.
Bonus fact that I learned about cricket: They only change balls every 50 overs (which takes about 3 hours or so), so that the way the ball spins and bounces changes quite a bit throughout a game. Compare this to American Baseball, where I think they change up the ball almost every pitch to keep it consistent.
There were a lot of other great pieces of work at the awards, but those were my favourite. The full Effies results are here.
Even after all these years I’ve been in advertising, it’s still exciting to see an idea go from research, through to strategy and a finished execution. That’s why it’s great to see the creative that my colleagues at DDB developed to promote SONY’s line of High-Resolution audio products:
As part of the campaign, we’re working with music bloggers across Canada to share content and give reviews about these products. Check Ride the Tempo if you want to try and win a pair of these great SONY headphones now.
Otherwise, learn more about SONY’s High-Resolution audio products at store.sony.ca/sound-evolved
What do Punk Rock and Bird Watching have in common? Paul Riss. That’s because he has just finished a “big year” (birdwatching lingo for seeing as many bird species as you can in one year) and is making a documentary about it. He’s also getting a tattoo of every bird species he spotted, and there’s punk rock involved.
“I’m most excited about the fact that younger people might take a second look at birding because they always thought it was just for retired people. If they get interested, it generally leads to a love of the environment on a grander scale. “
Follow Paul on Twitter (he’s @ThePaulRiss), support Punk Rock Big Year on IndiGoGo or just check out his blog (it’s got lots of interesting notes on his bird watching travel and info on ways you can support bird conservation.
I’ve been a a huge fan of Instagram for the past couple of months now. I know it’s all about the people you follow, but Facebook is too full of brand posts for me, Twitter is just news and often I’m not interested in clicking through. Instagram is a quick-hit of beautiful images.
Anyways, here’s a great shot of a Vancouver sunset on Instragram from my friend Natalie that she uploaded to Instagram:
Below, you can see the shot I took of Natalie taking her photo:
Are you on Instagram? Follow me. I’m Parker now there.
The following post appeared originally on the the DDB Canada blog as part of the Radar DDB 10am series of blog posts and emails I contribute to at work.
A few months ago, Pepsi launched a global campaign, “Live For Now,” by redoing Pepsi.com to feature a waterfall of branded content and fan comments about the beverage. It was a unique way to embrace social media while not relying too heavily on third-party networks. More recently, Pepsi also partnered with Twitter.
On Tuesday night, we started to see what that partnership was capable of as Pepsi delivered on that “Live For Now” promise by streaming a Nicki Minaj concert on any Tweet with #NickiMinajNow hashtag. As the go-to site for what’s happening now, we think Twitter was a perfect channel for Pepsi and this campaign. It’s also a great reminder that the world still loves a super-star endorsement deal.
Check out an archived version of the concert or just take a look at some of the tens of thousands of Tweets from users talking about it.
If you liked that, you might be interested in knowing that Nicki Minaj also wrote a song for Adidas just for the “All Originals” video.
We also wrote about Pepsi’s year-long partnership with Twitter here.
If you’re a regular reader of BlogCampaigning, you might have noticed that we often slow down our posts during the summer months. Normally it’s because I’m outside enjoying the great weather, but this year it was because I was working on an amazing project for McDonald’s Canada called “Our Food. Your Questions.”
You might have seen this video that was part of the campaign:
Or you might have just seen the site, McDonalds.ca/YourQuestions:
Or you might have just seen some of the great answers that my team of writers wrote in response to the thousands and thousands of questions that Canadians asked about food at McDonald’s Canada:
No matter how you saw it, I hope it gave you new appreciation for the food that McDonald’s Canada serves. I also hope that all of the hard work by an incredibly talented Tribal DDB team was able to shine through.