Marketing Through Social Media

The advent of internet has changes how people communicate and share information. The speed and frequency are much higher than traditional media; reach of social media knows no boundaries. It’s an inbound method of sharing where people welcome new and interesting ideas coming from their friends and acquaintance. Having said that, it is not easy to get people talking about your brand; companies have to constantly think of new ways to generate the interest. The ROM campaign I previously talked about, owes its success to social media.

Another big name that has been focusing on these viral marketing opportunities is Coca Cola. Coke has been making the fullest use of free publicity through social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and more. Many of the commercials I shared before by Coke had been geared towards triggering a conversation.

An interesting campaign by Coke carried out in Australia a couple of years ago included personalized bottles of Coke with some of the most common names used in Australia. This campaign resulted in long lines, blogs, tags, likes and online sharing. People would flock in front of vending machines looking for their names. The following feature on this effort is really interesting.

Advertisements

ROM Commercial – A Distinct Marketing Approach

Advertisements don’t always have to deliver a favorable message; sometimes companies opt for a different approach of annoying the customers to attract attention. ROM’s marketing campaign is an apt example of this phenomenon. ROM is a Romanian chocolate brand. The packaging of this product contained Romanian national flag. Over the period of time the brand lost its appeal to the youth, who preferred international chocolate brands more than the local ROM. The company came up with an ingenious idea of challenging the national pride of consumers by changing the packaging which resembled with Romanian national flag to resemble with American national flag.

This campaigned stirred a national debate and resulted in an increased sales as a result of this campaign. The company eventually changed back its packaging but this was a very good example of making your ad stand out from the crowd.

Skeptics on Project Sunlight

The consumer goods market is highly homogeneous; it has become essential for large conglomerates to generate a preference toward their brand name. Unilever’s “Project Sunlight” is a similar effort towards letting people know how socially responsible the company is. On one hand the campaign generates positive emotions; on the other hand it may indicate the greed with the hidden message of “Buy Our Products.” As indicated in my previous blog, this campaign may end up receiving criticism for being an insincere marketing gimmick.

The skeptics have expressed their opinion by saying, the company has tried to position itself as an agent of change and is urging its customers to change their habits for a better future (by buying Unilever products). The video throws some light on a different aspect of this campaign.

Unilever has been consistent in its endeavors to reduce its carbon footprint, cutting down on its impact on the environment and its CSR activities around the world. This campaign provides the most suitable platform to showcase the CSR efforts that the company has been spending money on. At the end of the day there is always a profit motive behind these CSR efforts to create a positive image or attract customers.

Unilever’s Project Sunlight

Unilever is one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world. One of its recent initiatives was “Project Sunlight.” I came across this short film from Unilever a couple of days ago and the first time I watched it I couldn’t help but be impressed by the excellent execution of the idea.

Considering the current volatile situations around the world, the question that arises in every parent’s mind irrespective of the ethnicity is, what kind of future their kids will have? This campaign was beautifully carried out by first raising the question that resonates with the target audience and then presenting the ray of hope (Unilever products) that will make it happen.

In my opinion, this campaign seems to be successful in getting people’s attention. It may even become Viral for obvious reasons. But there may be questions arising about the sincerity of the message and how exactly is the company going to justify its claims?

iPad Air – Pencil Commercial

I saw this commercial today and I felt like I had to share it. This is probably the first Apple commercial that I liked in a long time. And the reason is, it is sensible and has a relevant plot, the commercial is tastefully made with the emphasis on the utility of the product “iPad Air” which is capable of doing all of those things that are necessary to succeed. I also think iPad is officially trying to reach out to a more diverse target market with academically oriented target audience as the product has been used in schools, colleges and offices for educational purposes.

Though the product is only shown at the end but I think it makes sense because of the gripping beginning with kind of emotional relation with the learning process of mankind. The ad has successfully demonstrated the unique features in the end with thinner, lighter and more powerful product message that registers in the minds of the audience.

Managing Customer Expectations

In highly competitive markets customer satisfaction has become a differentiating factor for companies. A satisfied customer can not only result in a higher loyalty but will also improve the lifetime value per customer. A happy customer can generate positive word of mouth/reviews and bring in new customers which are crucial for any business. Companies need to manage customer expectations in order to keep them satisfied for long term.

Every company wants its customers to be satisfied but not everyone is successful in doing so. The first step in this direction can be to know what your customers want and derive value from, to give them a best suited value proposition. Another important aspect in managing expectations is to educate your customers about what your company can and cannot do at the beginning of the buying process. Having set rules help tremendously in making customers content and gives an opportunity for companies to under promise over deliver.

Random gestures or free services/discounts may help in getting customers happy the first time but this act may set the bar high for the next visit. If the company does not deliver on the promise of the experience the customer had before, chances are they will be dissatisfied. Hence it is good to have special offers on special occasions than a random discount.

Console Wars PS 4’s Advertising Approach

In my last post I talked about the console wars and the big is better appeals used by Xbox One in its commercials. Play Station 4 on the other hand has been focusing on the emotional aspect to attract gamers by urging their inner greatness through messages like “who are you to be denied.” The ad below has been publicized by PS 4 quite aggressively. I found it very interesting in the beginning but it gets old very quickly; maybe because of a lot of verbiage.

The second ad from PS 4 below captures the idea of spending time with your friends. Message is, “It’s a perfect day” with your friends and PS 4. Both the ads have an emotional appeal. Whether or not this emotional appeal works for the specific target audience of youngsters and young adults is a different story. In my opinion, generation Y is looking for cool factor in their gaming devices.

Comparing the two different appeals used by Xbox One and PS 4 it is too early to say which methodology will work better. Though it is a known fact that emotional advertising has a better potential of brand recall, it may not be as effective for this target market.