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Whether it represents traditional family vacations, exhilarating adventures, or relaxing work schedules, the summer is a season surrounded by fondness. With consumers freeing their schedules, replacing morning coffee with mimosas and acquiring more sunny outlooks, this time of year gives way to opportunities for brands willing to capitalize on the change in routine. The benefits of tailoring marketing strategies to this fleeting consumer lifestyle is no hidden secret. Brands have been successfully altering their campaigns to reflect the blithe, sizzling months since the stone age of advertising. For brands to successfully trump the competition in effective seasonal activations and campaigns, they have to think outside the box and engage with their fans with unique and unexpected ideas. Here are the top 5 surprise summer marketing strategies of 2015.
Uber Ice Cream
For the fourth year in a row, Uber brought out the kid in all of us with its annual Ice Cream Social. The perfectly timed, summer activation presented by Taylor client partner, Capital One, delivered free frozen treats to card owners in 2050 cities. On Friday, July 24th, Uber users across the globe were screaming for ice cream delivery from their backyards and offices. This sweet arrangement was flawlessly executed and gained copious amounts of social media attention – bringing working adults back to a simpler time. The campaign, however, had relevancy within the digital space as well. From the brand live-tweeting their event, to futuristic drone deliveries in Shenzhen, the ice cream giveaway effectively applied to the summers of our past, present and future.
Visa Checkout Presents: Time To Savor Summer
Visa’s “Time To Savor Summer” debuted following an unforeseen Visa Checkout deal with high-end appliance company, Williams-Sonoma. The YouTube video series is a group stories featuring simple recipes for fun, summer-themed gatherings. What do yummy recipes and themed celebrations have to do with Visa? The Visa Checkout system is all about fast and convenient online shopping. Many of Visa’s consumers are working adults with families, crunched for party planning time after working all week. Visa thought of a way to help this summer by offering a cut down on online shopping time so they can quickly put together impressive events for friends and family. Coming up with a summertime marketing initiative that is both fun and unique is no easy feat, but Visa managed to do so with “Time To Savor Summer,” capturing the essence of the season through food and family bonding.
Enterprise released a crafty, social media campaign commanded by the hashtag #ArtInExploration. The cross-platform marketing approach took inspiration from weekend road trippers and created an exciting, visual strategy with wonderlusting explorers in mind. These bursts of visually stimulating media by partnering artists can be effortlessly consumed by Enterprises’s target audience on the go. Artist endorsers with Vine accounts post fun, #ArtInExploration videos providing snapshots of their travels and Enterprise shares them across their social platforms. The Vines provide a combination of travel scenes, advice and creativity. With targeted clips, the promotion appeals to both the creative and the traveler. The company isn’t solely providing a car for the trip; they are offering inspiration through art.
Taylor and Friskies Pull ‘n Play Playhouse
This June, Taylor’s client partner, Friskies launched the innovative Pull ‘n Play product: the latest in cat snacks, featuring the first-ever edible string for cats. Thinking on the playful spirit of the summer and the tasty toy itself, Taylor and Friskies teamed up to create a whimsical, cat-themed playhouse scene right in the middle of NYC. Fully equipped with funhouse-esque games from dunk tanks to tether ball, Taylor helped Friskies kick off the summer. Continuing the seasonal, family fun, The Friskies Playhouse opened its doors for guests to meet and greet with the most playful cat in America, Waffles the celebrity cat. Throughout the event, Waffles was in the safe hands of celebrity guest, Steve Weatherford whose job as the NY Giant’s punter is quite literally to play. Not only was the event epitomizing outdoor family fun, it was for a good cause: two kittens were adopted and donations were raised for local shelter cats including 2,500 Pull ‘n Play Packs and 2,5000 pouches of Party Mix cat food. With over 220 guests in attendance, the experience was a huge success.
Dunkin’ Donuts Summer Soundtrack on Spotify
With Dunkin’ Donut’s fun, cookie flavors returning for the season, the chain was more than prepared for the influx of customers looking for summer pick-me-ups. Taking the summer themed beverages to the next level, the brand was seasonally-effective across social platforms. Scrolling through DD’s social platforms like Twitter and Instagram, the media consumer is submerged by bold colors, outdoor scenes and poolside Dunkin’ cups. Right off the bat, the brand was appealing to the unique mind of the seasonal consumer, but Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t stop there. On June 21st, Dunkin’ Donuts kicked off a summer-long Spotify partnership and takeover spread wide across all social platforms: Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Vine, Facebook and Periscope. According to Scott Hudler, the VP of Global Consumer Engagement at Dunkin’ Donuts, “this will be the first time we’ve had the mass social presence across all the channels on the same idea for the same promotion. With a program like this – which is clearly designed to reach a younger consumer – we feel like we need to cover all of our bases.” The activation, “DD Summer Soundtrack,” comes together around 5, cross-country concerts popping up in different states throughout the summer. The concerts stream live on Periscope and are tweeted about by artists and fans alike. Dunkin’ Donuts also created a media platform where consumers can get concert news, streaming and behind the scenes information regarding the summer-long concert series.