Here's a great idea from Ricola, and I'm very curious to see how it plays out for them. Identify a mystery cougher and offer him/her a Ricola and win up to a million dollars. Depending on how much promotional effort they put behind this, expect to be offered a Ricola if you cough next month.
For a reasonable fee ($35 - $60 depending on the team), women get up
to four hours of education in football which includes meeting the
players, touring the locker room, trying on equipment, getting a team
playbook, learning what all the terminology means, refreshments, and
tickets to a future game.
Not only has this been successful in attracting fans, it builds
strong fans who feel connected with the players that they have met.
There are plenty of businesses where the intimidation factor is
huge. By helping customers become part of
the in-the-know group, you can build a better experience and loyalty.
Here's something new and helpful - MarketingLinx.com. Readers of the site submit their favorite marketing links for others to read and then vote on. It's a great idea for compiling a lot of really good stuff. Add it to your RSS reader right now!
I was digging through my collection of quotes and came across this one by Amy Curtis-McIntyre, JetBlue's Vice President of Marketing. So many businesses miss the mark when they leave out the part of branding that takes place inside the company.
"Advertising is the last thing you bring to the mix. You start by getting the product right, getting your attitude right, getting everyone internally understanding the mission. Then you move to telling the story through PR. You build the advertising last, and that way you can live on realistic budgets."
Preach on, Ms. Curtis-McIntyre! If theatrical producers spent more time upfront making their shows better, they could spend a lot less time and money and worry and angst on the backend trying to sell them.
It's been a big week for TiVo. First, it was ruled ILLEGAL in Japan to fast forward through commercials!! WHAT?
Now comes news that TiVo is going to incorporate instant response into TV ads. This means if you're watching a commercial for a new off-Broadway play, you can theoretically click a few times and have a brochure sent to your home, or an email sent to your computer.
The good news is that it means that people won't forget your message immediately after seeing the commercial. Instead of saying, "I'd like to see that show someday" or "we ought to buy tickets to see that" they can now have the information delivered right to them, and hopefully they'll be one step closer to purchase.
Here's the full story from Reuters:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - TiVo Inc. on Monday introduced a feature that lets television viewers send personal information directly to advertisers when they see certain commercials, a move designed to open up TiVo's technology to more markets.
File this one under "a good idea I had that someone else beat me to"!
Calvin Klein is unveiling a living billboard tomorrow in Times Square to promote the CK One fragrance. At a Slava's Snowshow marketing retreat many months back, I had an idea to have a live billboard opposite the TKTS Booth, where clowns could actually perform live in Times Square throughout the day. I contacted several billboard companies and some of the advertisers who have large billboards in Times Square...but alas, wasn't able to make it happen (plus there's the little issue of having clowns to staff a billboard every day in the summer heat, rain, etc). But it's still a great idea. I'm curious to see how CK's version will work. Sounds like it's going to be a one-day thing, but I'm not sure.
Well no one gets the prize for having the idea first. The glory goes to the one who gets it done first.
From my man Joe Jaffe's blog today is this little piece of brilliance. The marketing folks behind the new movie "Wedding Crashers" have posted a trailer online with the ability for anyone to modify using their own pictures. They call it "Trailer Crashers" and it is pure genius. Of course you have to try it. You simply upload one or two pictures, it puts your pictures in the trailer and then creates a link so you can spread it virally. You have fun, your friends get a laugh, and everyone sees the trailer to the new movie. Love it! Love it! Love it!
It meets all the criteria for an effective viral campaign: it's funny, it's unexpected, it's entertaining, engaging, not hard sell, etc.
Here's the link to the trailer I made. It stars me (naturally) and my running partner Manny, best known to my friends as "Running Boy."
The one caveat I'll add to this is that, unfortunately, some of the best ideas come for some of the worst shows. This movie looks dreadful, and this crash-able movie trailer was probably born more out of desperation than anything else. Successful and effective word-of-mouth still requires a good product in order to work. Yes, people are going to forward this trailer all over the place, and to that end, this campaign will be successful. But like me, how many people who view it will have absolutely no intention of ever seeing this movie? As is often the case in the world of Broadway and off-Broadway, the advertising is sometimes better than the actual show.
This morning Kerwin and I walked into a Prescott Starbucks and both ordered their strong-brew coffee of the day to then find it was free. The barista at the cash register motioned over to a gentleman sitting in an animated discussion with a group of about six others, and said, “Your coffee is on Mr. Perez this morning.” As Kerwin stirred cream and sugar into his coffee, we read a poster on the wall right above the condiment station with a picture of Mr. Perez’s smiling face explaining that every Wednesday morning from 8:30am-9:30am he buys coffee at that Starbucks for all his customers and anyone else who wants to talk story with him about investment banking and Prescott’s promising future. Why offer free coffee in your office waiting room, when you can use Starbucks? This Starbucks in Prescott is clearly a happening place, and one of those coffeeshop locations where there is unlimited parking and lots of café table seating available inside as a respite from the Arizona heat. One glance at him holding court and you could see that Mr. Perez is brilliant. He was also enjoying himself immensely. What a great way to work.
The second idea comes from The Gap (via BusinessBits). When The Gap started redesigning stores in Colorado, they did this:
On April 15, tax day, all parking meters in downtown Denver were free. The bags over the meters said: Change is good. Keep yours. Pardon our dust, the Gap.
Now neither of these two ideas are terribly expensive. But I bet they were remembered by many people long afterwards. Imagine if a Broadway or off-Broadway show bought everyone coffee one morning during the early morning rush at the Starbucks next door to the theatre (pretty soon, there WILL be a Starbucks next door to EVERY theatre, it's just a matter of time). Hand each person a flyer that says "while you enjoy your free cup of coffee, we hope you'll take a minute to read what the critics are saying about our show." Now every time they walk into that Starbucks, they're going to remember the time you bought their coffee for them. And every time they pass your theatre, they're going to think twice about the nice folks inside, and maybe take an extra second or two to actually read all that stuff posted on the walls and doors. And they're also likely to tell people about you as well.
There are probably lots of other examples: pay tolls one morning for the bridge and tunnel crowd on their commute into the city(Chitty Chitty Bang Bang); pay library fines for a day (The Color Purple); pay for marriage licenses for a day (Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding); hair cuts (Steel Magnolias, Sweeney Todd); shoe shines (Stomp).
Congratulations to Signature Theatre for getting Time Warner to underwrite their 15th Anniversary Season to the extent that they'll be able to sell every ticket for just $15! (See The New York Times announcement here). Hopefully if they're able to give Time Warner enough prominence and credit, other potential sponsors will take note and this will become more the rule than the exception.
Though I think this is pretty big news, I find it interesting that it was posted on TalkinBroadway (THE theatre chat site) over 12 hours ago and no one has commented on it yet. Major works by major playwrights for just $15. Come on people! What does it take?!
One of my heroes, Joe Jaffee, has a post today about the GM Employee Discount. He takes exception with it, but I must say, I love it. Surely you've seen the commercials where a GM employee promises that new car buyers will now get the Employee Discount, so "you pay what we pay, not a cent more."
As reported in Ad Age, promotion has found the hearts and minds of consumers and GM's competitors are reacting/retaliating:
GM's "employee discount" hype on all its 2005 models is attracting more consumers who had Ford, Chrysler or other non-GM brands on their shopping lists, according to CNW Marketing/Research. CNW found that while 57% of all people who entered a GM dealership last June were already GM "intenders," just 37% were intenders this June. That means, CNW President Art Spinella explained, that the new program is drawing increased numbers of non-GM consumers, and that the showroom traffic is less reliant on those who already own GM vehicles.
For our purposes, theater tickets at staff discount rates are generally 25-50% of full price. I'm not sure how such a promotion would work for an intangible like a theatre ticket where there is no limit to how low you can discount, but I sure like the idea behind the campaign. And if I was in the market for a new car, I'd like knowing that GM was going to give me their best price without all the gimmicks.