I often feel like I read, talk and think about marketing campaigns on an endless basis. I read about the latest campaigns, talk about marketing flops, and analyze branding efforts I stumble upon in my daily life. Sometimes it seems I just can’t escape marketing, therefore I can’t stop thinking about it.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I know that constantly paying attention to the subject helps me learn, evolve, improve. But am I the only person in our industry who found myself distracted from the competition during the football bowl games because I was thinking about sponsorship assets?
Yet for all the thinking and talking I do about marketing, I’ve noticed one thing: the campaigns that truly impact me are the ones I don’t think about. The ones that pull me out of my role in the industry and grab me unexpectedly in my daily life are the ones I am most swayed by.
Here are a few personal examples of campaigns that did just that:
- Vitamin Water has a presence at a 24-hour charity bike ride I participate in annually; not only do they offer an unlimited supply of icy Vitamin Water, they have a shaded tent with misting fans and free massages for all participants. While I sit under a cool fan sipping my Vitamin Water and waiting for my massage, I never think about their rationale for sponsoring this event. Perhaps this is because I’m so low on sleep, but I tend to think it’s because I simply love them for understanding what I need right in that moment. (And as I think back to this past weekend when I picked up a Vitamin Water on my way out of the supermarket, I chuckle at myself for buying into it.)
- A few months ago, I noticed a CVS-branded van next to a car that appeared to be stranded on the side of the highway. A few weeks later, I noticed a similar scenario on the side of the road, and noticed the van said something along the lines of “CVS – Helping People.” I wondered if that could possibly be the case – not a policeman, not a tow truck, but someone from CVS helping the person with car trouble? I have since seen about eight or nine CVS vans helping stranded motorists, yet haven’t thought enough about it to look into the campaign. But my prescriptions are waiting at the CVS around the corner.
- I will never forget the first time my dad, an 11-time marathoner, taught me about “the snot rocket.” (If you’re not a runner, I apologize – just don’t think about it.) As I myself became a runner, I soon came to learn there are many ridiculous, but unavoidable, tricks you develop as you increase your mileage. So when Adidas came out with a campaign that confessed many of these habits, I knew they understood me. I wore Adidas Supernova running
shoes until they were discontinued.
So for all of my ponderings of the marketing campaigns I come across all the time, here’s my new true measure of success: did I fail to notice it?