Nobody wants to feel like they’re being sold something. Thanks to the internet, as consumers we’re all super savvy these days, and so big businesses (and small ones too) have really got to get creative if they want to promote their products and services without irritating us right into the arms of the competition.
Digital marketing expert
Traditional adverts have given way in favour of content marketing – the idea of giving consumers something that’s interesting to them in order to get them to engage with you. If it’s done right, you won’t really know you’re being marketed to.
Here are five really great examples.
1) Share A Coke
In a fizz of excitement, supermarkets all over the world in the summers of 2013 and 2014 people were rummaging around shelves of Coke bottles, looking for their names. In the UK alone last year more than 150 million personalised bottles were sold. It prompted massive interaction on social media as people shared photos of their bottles. Coca-cola said there were 998 million impressions on Twitter (that’s the total number of times a tweet mentioning the campaign could appear in users’ feeds) and 235,000 tweets using the #shareacoke hashtag in the UK alone. Sales popped too – by around 2% in the USA. This unique and innovative campaign has everything – brand building, interaction and a measurable ROI. Result.
2) Lego Movie
Plenty of film studios have made movies knowing that most of the money would come from merchandise – think Disney Pixar’s Cars and Planes – but this is different. The brand came first. The film is genuinely entertaining, not only for kids, but also for the people who hold the purse strings. Lego reinforces its place as the toy of choice by appealing to our sense of adventure, and it also makes fun of itself while tugging at the heartstrings of anyone who has created a masterpiece out of those little colourful blocks and wanted to keep it pristine forever. The film will sit in families’ DVD collection for years, inspiring generations to keep on building. And buying. Everything Is Awesome!
3) Dumb Ways To Die
Metro Trains, an Australian company, wanted to run a campaign to promote rail safety. Yawn. Knowing nobody really pays attention to safety messages, the advertising agency created something to really make people sit up and take notice. They made a video with a really – I mean really – catchy song about the many dumb ways you could die, including being an idiot in a train station. The colourful characters caught the public’s attention and, most importantly, the message sunk in, because accidents and deaths were reduced by 21% and one million young people pledged to be safer around trains. With 83 million views on YouTube and a spin off game app, this one really demonstrates the value of creative content in driving home a difficult message.
4) Red Bull Stratos
This was a real triumph for the motto ‘engage, don’t promote’. The campaign itself had very little to do with the product. No one was suggesting that Felix Baumgartner wouldn’t be able to dive into space if he hadn’t downed a can of Red Bull, or that you, too, would be able to jump from the cold edge of nothingness if you drank one. But the name was out there as the videos garnered unprecedented views and the tweets were shared. It demonstrates the power of videos for telling a story, too, as Red Bull slowly cranked up the drama in the days and weeks before the jump. People became so engaged with the tale that they felt compelled to share. It really did give them wings.
5) British Airways Look-Up
This is a clever one. Digital billboards that could track BA’s aircraft were placed in Chiswick and Piccadilly, London. Whenever a plane flew over the adverts, the billboard showed an image of a child pointing to the sky, and details of the flight and it’s destination, along with the hashtag #lookup and details of the airline’s website. Innovative and smart, it appealed to our inner geek – we’ve all looked up at the sky and wondered where planes were going, and wished we were on them.
6) Google Doodles
You might think a huge company like Google doesn’t need to promote itself – at least not to improve their SEO – but they do need to stay relevant, just like the rest of us. It’s so familiar it doesn’t need explaining, but on notable days Google changes its logo into animations to match the celebration. You’re bound to be going on Google anyway, but the doodle is an added bonus and it engages consumers…a perfect example of content marketing done right!