This month’s reads are about putting culture first; using Agile principles to boost your marketing; what you might learn from businesses that take a stripped-down approach to advertising; one key trait of viral written content; and the travails of going viral for all the wrong reasons.
Marketing That Is More Than Just “Okurrr”
When Pepsi created their standout 2019 Super Bowl commercial, they embraced what Pepsi VP of Marketing Todd Kaplan refers to as “culture in, brand out.”
That means tuning into what’s happening in the broader culture, then building marketing messages from the business’s point of view on that cultural insight. In Pepsi’s case, the company acknowledged the uncomfortable fact that when sitting down at a restaurant, many people instinctively order a “Coke.” By confronting this awkward truth head-on—and working with actor Steve Carrell, producer Lil Jon, and rapper Cardi B, known for her “okurrr” catchword—they created a standout marketing campaign this is still going strong almost a year later. Read the full story.
The Benefits of ‘Agile’-style Marketing
Mozilla, the non-profit community of developers that created the Firefox web browser, is using the principles of Agile marketing to ensure that marketing team goals align with broader company objectives.
This approach entailed dividing the marketing team into smaller, cross-functional groups tasked with solving major business challenges from a marketing perspective. These teams’ transparent workflow also allows departments across the company to have insight into what the marketing division is working on, which streamlines communication, creates opportunities for collaboration, and builds company-wide confidence in the marketing team.
No doubt your practice is a lot smaller than Mozilla, but how might you make your own practice marketing activities more transparent so that more of your team members can be a part of your decision making? Read the full story.
Advertising Lessons From Business That Advertise Less
What lessons can we apply to our advertising strategies from companies that barely do any?
Inbox management software Superhuman learned that their lack of promotion created a sense of scarcity, resulting in a waiting list for a $30-per-month software that promised to help users wrangle their email. They got a major boost from tech-insider shoutouts on Twitter, raising awareness with just the right group of potential customers.
Spanx, which didn’t advertise early on because the company simply couldn’t afford it, discovered the power of positive word-of-mouth marketing in creating a brand lift out of the gate.
Practices might consider how to intentionally harness these lessons to boost their own advertising, including “Insider”-style programs to gin up excitement for new treatments (read about our own RealSelf Insiders program) and being smart about requesting, promoting, and deploying reviews to enhance positive digital word-of-mouth. Read the full story.
The Long and Short of Going Viral
Viral content can be a boon for marketing. But whatever you may have heard about the benefits of “snackable” content, when it comes to going viral, it turns out that longer is actually better. In-depth articles that include at least one picture are shared more than quick reads. If you feel motivated to create content that aesthetic consumers feel compelled to pass along, consider taking a deep dive—you certainly have the expertise to do it. Read the full story.
Speaking of Virality, Let’s Talk About Peloton’s Bumpy Ride
Peloton recently made headlines for a holiday ad that went viral for the wrong reasons.
In the ad, a “loving husband” gifts his wife one of their high-end exercise bicycles for Christmas. The ad was quickly panned and parodied—for the look of fear in the wife’s eyes as she prepares for a ride, for her seemingly slavish devotion to riding, and even for the very notion of an exercise bike as a coveted Christmas gift.
In addition to being eviscerated in the news and on social media, the company’s market value dropped $1.5 billion in the three days after the ad debuted. If all publicity is good publicity, well—mission accomplished.
But culture in, marketing out. Actor Ryan Reynolds featured the actress from the Peloton ad in a spot for his whiskey brand. In “The Gift that Doesn’t Give Back,” her friends ply her with Reynolds’ Aviation Gin, ostensibly a consolation as she contemplates life with her bike-gifting husband.