More often than not, the best marketing campaigns are those that don’t actually sell the customer a product at all. Both large companies and small start-ups can benefit from an approach to marketing which eschews the hard sell in favour of a more subtle, innovative approach.
Some of our favourite marketing campaigns from 2013 so far have been of this ilk, attracting new customers and raising brand loyalty with clever stunts and fun concepts. Take a look at three more of our favourite marketing campaigns of the year so far – proof that it pays to be adventurous!
Lowes is a chain of American hardware stores, in the vein of Wickes or Homebase here in the UK. Not the kind of company you’d associate with an innovative social media marketing strategy, perhaps, but the company’s use of Vine earlier this year was a truly excellent way of marketing products and services to their customers.
Under the hashtag #fixinsix, Lowes posted Vine videos where everyday DIY problems were solved using quick, easy techniques. The videos weren’t overtly product-based, which meant customers didn’t feel as though they were being sold to, but were relevant enough to work as a marketing outlet.
Best of all, the videos were legitimately helpful – capitalising on the ‘lifehack’ trend that has been particularly popular this year.
Another company to make the most of social media marketing this year has been Nike. The footwear giant already has an enormous global following, but sometimes, large companies have the most to lose when attempting to engage with their customers via various social networks.
Nike launched the PHOTOiD campaign this year to help promote the iD service the brand runs with its Air Max trainers, reaching out to customers through the social sharing app instagram. The concept of the campaign was to encourage customers to upload pictures via Instagram, take them to the PHOTOiD app and the company would design a shoe that drew on the colours present in the image.
A beach scene, for example, might result in a trainer comprised primarily of blue and yellow, while a more urban landscape would bring up greys, whites and blacks. We love this innovative use of social media because it is so directly relevant to the product – and could be replicated by businesses on a limited budget to some degree.
Oreo Cookies Versus Creme
Over the past few years, the marketing team at Oreo have shown that they aren’t afraid to push a few boundaries, be brave and see what happens. As a result, they have generated some of the most memorable, engaging campaigns in recent memory.
This year’s ‘Cookies Versus Creme’ campaign has been no exception. The concept was that Oreo fans preferred either the outer cookie or the inner creme of the product, rather than the whole biscuit – but how is one to separate the two halves without compromising either element? Oreo hosted a website full of user-generated videos debating the various merits of cookies and creme, with the grand highlight inarguably the robotic machine capable of separating an Oreo built by physicist David Neevel. This campaign proves that you don’t need a huge budget to be creative and successful in the marketing world!
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