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How Successful Advertising Focuses on Memorable Experiences (And Not Products)
Analyzing the success of other company’s advertising campaigns can be a strong tactic for informing your marketing strategies moving forward. Every marketer should be familiar with the success of the Old Spice, Smell Like a Man, Man campaign, the content marketing gold from the Red Bull Stratos Jump, or the Budweiser ‘Whassup?!’ commercials.
These advertisements are some of the most successful campaigns in recent history, reaching millions and in some cases billions of impressions worldwide. But their effectiveness wasn’t from focusing their advertising around their products. It was from creating memorable content that resonated with a wide audience of people.
Learn how these three successful advertising campaigns intrinsically connected their customers to their brands, resonated with a millions, and remained memorable after all of these years—not by arguing why target audiences should buy the brand, but by delivering distinct content that resonates emotionally.
Relating to Your Target Audience—Budweiser
During a Monday Night Football game back on December 20th of 1999, millions of fans tuned in to watch Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers take on the Minnesota Vikings. The game had major playoff implications as to which team would represent the NFC in the Wild Card division. Budweiser latched onto this hype and premiered one of the funniest and most brilliant marketing advertisements to date.
By identifying and understanding the habits of their target audience, Budweiser crafted a commercial that related the brand to their customers’ joy of football, friendly camaraderie, and having a good time. Focusing on memorable content rather than the product This left a positive impression and built an emotional connection within the minds of their customers—again focusing on memorable content rather than the product.and expanded beyond their typical target market.
When creating an advertisement to capture the attention of your target audience, start by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. What TV programs do they watch? What websites do they often visit? What content do they find interesting? How are they likely to use your product? Your goal is to identify their wants, needs, and behaviors so that your advertising can better create situations that are relatable to your customer’s interests and depict your brand in a desirable manner.
Using Data to Inform Your Intuition About an Audience—Old Spice
In early 2010, Old Spice launched the wildly popular Smell Like a Man, Man campaign with their debut commercial, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” While the commercial was an immediate success that quickly became culturally iconic, Old Spice and contracted creative agency Wieden+Kennedy were originally unsure about how the campaign would perform—this was their first attempt at targeting both their male and female demographic simultaneously.
Through ongoing market research, Old Spice found that women were responsible for over half of body wash purchases. Often times, women would purchase body wash for themselves, and men would also use it as a convenience. This meant that men would ultimately be smelling however the women chose.
To capture both gender’s interest while maintaining their existent humorous advertising formula, Old Spice used the sex appeal of a suave spokesman to generate female attention while concurrently reinforcing that men should have the right to smell like a man.
Old Spice and Wieden+Kennedy played around common male stereotypes, advertising faux pas, and created a campaign that was tactfully edgy. In this case, Old Spice wasn’t telling men why they should buy Old Spice; they were speaking to women.
But the point of the content was less about a rational proposition and more about appealing to emotions and senses of humor, and building a memorable experience for their audience. The commercial resulted in 40 million views the first week of launch, effectively reviving Old Spice’s market dominance.
By informing your marketing decisions with data, you can identify new ways to resonate on an emotional level. Conduct thorough market research to have a stronger understanding of who purchases your products or services, how your customers interact with your brand, and more importantly, how you can adapt your marketing campaigns to best appeal to this audience.
Making World-Class Associations with Your Brand—Red Bull
In 2012, Red Bull launched the Red Bull Stratos Jump which captivated global audiences with the thrill of a death-defying world record stunt. While people have come to expect wild and action packed content from the energy beverage giant, the Stratos Jump quite literally reached new heights and broke marketing barriers.
Generally speaking, Red Bull’s content has been catered to younger males, thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies, and athletes, and while the Stratos Jump still encompassed their core market, the sheer magnitude of their efforts captured a much larger audience by breaking the norm and creating an extraordinary “WOW” moment.
The Stratos campaign was much more important than the Red Bull brand itself, the event has become an iconic moment in human history that just happens to be associated with Red Bull. This illustrates one of the key fundamentals behind successful content marketing; it’s not strictly about the brand, it’s about providing value to the audience.
While not every company can pull off marketing to this scale or have their evergreen content cemented in the history books, businesses can increase brand awareness by creating bold content that appeals to the interests of their audience and focuses on providing their customers with value rather than only talking about their products.