Having trouble dreaming up a new Web campaign for your product or service? Borrow some ideas from these viral videos.
Marketing is all about capturing the attention of the masses. Since the masses are often on sites like YouTube and Facebook, these four innovative social media campaigns provide a good model for any business to follow, even if you can’t quite afford to pay for the same production values. Will your next Web banner involve cartoon pigs? Maybe.
1. Infiniti hiring Cirque du Soleil
One of the trends I’m seeing for 2012 is to show live productions on the Web. It’s one thing to create a video or commercial for network television, but holding a live event on the Web has an added appeal. Infiniti hired Cirque du Soleil to perform a live show as a way to introduce their new JX model. The company capitalized on a new trend showing live events on the Web, and built momentum by making sure everyone views the same news at the same time—a technique Steve Jobs perfected.
2. Logitech introducing their BH320 earbuds
Logitech has found a way to market their products in an unusual way. For the new BH320 earbuds, the company created a series of hilarious videos that show common office problems, including the one below about how headsets for office workers lead to some curious hairstyles. The lesson? Tie a product into a well-known office predicament, one shared by a large audience, for your campaign. Do you sell water bottles? Do something funny on YouTube showing germs at the water cooler. Have an app that helps people create forms on their phone? Create a Facebook de-cluttering page.
3. Honda and the Ferris ad
What makes this redux of the famous Ferris Bueller's Day Off movie from 1986 so effective is how the ad doesn't even seem like an ad. There's an immediate draw: We see the aged character in bed, an instant reminder of the movie. He's sarcastic and a bit dim-witted. For those who remember the movie, they are the prime target for the CR-V, folks who might have one or two kids, want an economical car, and are willing to buy new. For any small business, the ad, which has over 15 million views, the takeaways include targeting your customer base, poking fun at your own product (the finale scene even shows the car landing with a thud and a flurry of sparks over a steep hill), and nailing your age demographic.
4. Chipotle and the chunky pigs
If you have not seen the Back to the Start commercial for Chipotle, it is worth viewing. The cartoon hits home the point that this taco chain is more environmentally responsible than most. (It reminds me of a restaurant in Charleston, NC called The Husk that lists the local farm sources for all the food they serve.) This messaging is a bit unusual—probably because other chains are not as responsible. The lesson: Find a message that your competitors do not use or cannot use, and own it.