Marketing professionals know that branding which creates marketing campaigns to promote their products and services is a smart thing to do. But only the best of the best actually get people talking about their brands. Here are three companies that took a chance and reaped the rewards of generating buzz that allowed them to stand out from the crowd.
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3 Ways Top Level Marketing Professionals Stand Out
Red Bull Stratos Campaign
When Red Bull teamed up with Felix Baumgartner to sponsor his nearly 23 mile jump from the middle of the earth’s stratosphere, people weren’t just amazed by the pure craziness of the stunt. Marketers around the world were amazed at the sheer brilliance of this strategy on Red Bull’s part.
The jump, which was live streamed on YouTube, drew in more than 8 million people to watch Baumgartner become the first person to break the sound barrier, and has since jumped past 33 million views.
In addition to the YouTube live stream, ABC News reported more than 40 TV stations and 130 digital outlets broadcast the jump. Within just 40 minutes of Baumgartner’s stunt, a Facebook picture of the jump, posted by Red Bull, received nearly 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments, and more than 29,000 shares. Additionally, the jump dominated half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter that night.
The company couldn’t have done a better job of conveying their brand message, “Red Bull gives you wings.” This campaign was brilliant, not only because it generated a buzz, but also because they found a way to make the buzz all about them.
Every time viewers watch and re-watch the video of the jump, the Red Bull logo is right there, covering Baumgartner head-to-toe. When he was interviewed about his experience afterwards, there’s no way to discuss it without mentioning the name Red Bull. Even when people discuss the stunt amongst themselves, they’re going to think about Red Bull.
Instead of being one of many companies to sponsor an event, where individual names and logos blend into the fine print, Red Bull went out on a limb and created their own. Pure brilliance.
Microsoft’s Outlook.com Campaign
Once the leading email provider in the world, Microsoft’s Hotmail lost its title long ago to Gmail, and they want it back. The company created a new email system, Outlook.com, and kicked off an aggressive new marketing campaign to convince users to switch over.
The campaign used a couple of different components to draw in the attention of users, including “Scroogled” attacks on Gmail and advertisements designed to promote the new features of Outlook.com. The negative “Scroogled,” campaign targeted Gmail for using customer’s email data to display relevant ads on their computer screen, playing to those customers with privacy concerns. Conversely, the Outlook.com push promoted new features of the site, including the capacity to send enormous files in one email, address books that automatically pull new contact information from followers on social media sites and update users’ address books, fewer ads, and more.
Microsoft has been praised for finding ways to make email television spots, a seemingly dull topic, light-hearted and fun. One ad, put to the beat of an upbeat song while showcasing the features of the site, deemed it more than simply an email service. Another demonstrates how their automatic sweep feature can save users time by deleting old emails for them.
While email is by no means a sexy topic, Microsoft did a great job of taking something rather boring and getting people excited about it.
AT&T’s Its Not Complicated Campaign
AT&T knows that people are always suckers for adorable kids, so they made their enormously successful marketing campaign play to that. In the ads, moderator Beck Bennett sits with a group of young children and asks them simple questions such as, “What’s better, bigger or smaller?” and “What’s better, doing two things at once, or just the one?” The improvised answers given by the kids are hilarious, keeping people from turning the channel.
Of course the moral of the story lies in the company’s simple marketing message to customers, which is “yes, bigger is better” and “doing two things at once is better than just the one,” even small children can tell you this. The campaign has become so successful that AT&T has kept it running longer than planned, and now intends to keep it running indefinitely, in sporadic periods.
The campaign certainly has people talking. It started running in November, and by the week of December 27 to January 2, was the most tweeted brand, with 11,600 mentions. Moral of the story — cute kids sell.
The best marketing campaigns are those that take a risk. No one is going to get excited about an ad or promotion they’ve seen 100 times. To get people’s attention, you must take your strategy to the next level.
John Gower is a writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance site that “does the homework for you.”