I'm going to just admit it: I am easily swayed by advertising. Pretty much regardless of product or service, if the hook is good (or funny, or loud enough), it'll grab my attention. (This is probably why my wife mutes the TV commercials ... I can't tear my eyes away from those singing hamsters!)
In the spirit of the year-end countdown, I thought I'd share the Top 3 Marketing Strategies of 2011 that sunk their teeth into my attention span and wouldn't let go. Get ready for too much information about my personal eating and hygiene habits.
It wasn't long ago that the Indianapolis public transportation system was threatening to close up shop. Through what I'm sure was a process of many difficult decisions, IndyGo has remained an available resource for commuters, and at least one change that I am aware of is the IndyGo Green initiative. With federal aid, IndyGo has introduced a fleet of hybrid, energy-saving buses into their line. In what I think is a brilliant marketing decision, those buses actually LOOK physically different than the older vehicles, with a streamlined profile and brightly colored graphics: a moving advertisement of the changes made. I applaud IndyGo for recognizing the need for change, and implementing a solution that is beneficial for them, and the environment.
2. Scotty's Brewhouse
Scotty's is a chain of restaurants that does a great job offering better-than-average food in a pretty-much-average sports bar atmosphere. In my opinion, they have absolutely nailed their target demographic with the design of their menus, even going so far as to visually mimic a well-known publication ... I can't speak to copyright issues, but IT WORKS! They're talking point-blank to guys: we like our giant televisions with sports, and our big menus with pictures!
1. Old Spice
This one falls squarely into the "so weird it's good" category. Old Spice has gone through a complete overhaul of their brand over the past few years: I have childhood memories of my dad's slightly sweet, musky aftershave - not for me. However, their ridiculous, hilarious, and irreverent ads featuring muscular spokesmen, and often (for some reason) horses, are impossible to ignore. Not only that, they've introduced sharp new packaging and various product lines that appeal to a younger audience. I recommend Matterhorn.
As we often tell our clients: in our media-soaked culture, it's really hard to be heard above all the other noise that's out there. So what does it take to stand out above the rest, to stay true to your vision, and to reach your audience?
Here are 3 lessons to learn from the strategies above:
- Embrace Change - be willing to rediscover who you are, and make changes to accommodate.
- Know Your Audience - and be sure you're speaking their language.
- Be Creative - we can't all Photoshop torsos onto horses (nor should we), but you need to compare favorably to what others are doing.