In the United States, there is simply nothing quite like the Super Bowl as a placement for word of mouth advertising and to generate buzz in the world of marketing.
You just can’t say it. You have to get people to say it to each other.
Word of mouth advertising examples
A report from Zeta Interactive highlights exactly why this is the case.
The New York Times ran a story about Zeta Interactive’s report. Each year Zeta studies which ad campaigns created the most online buzz. In 2011, eight of the top ten campaigns were launched during the Super Bowl. The list included notable Super Bowl advertisers such as E*Trade, Snickers, Chrysler, Bud Light, Cars.com, and Volkswagen.
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Eight of the top ten campaigns launched during the Super Bowl … pretty impressive results.
So in just a few hours, marketers sparked a massive amount of interest and discussion, capturing the attention and interest of millions of people. The rest of the year, eleven months and thirty days, there were just two campaigns that achieved a similar spike.
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Any effective marketing campaign whether it’s a series of Web videos, direct emails, magazine display ads, banner ads, outdoor billboards, television and radio spots, or any combination thereof, will only work if it focuses on a single message.
At the heart of all advertising is the promise you commit to delivering to your clients. No matter how clever or memorable your marketing, if you fail to deliver on that promise, you will fail.
Word of mouth advertising examples
Learn a lesson from the politicians. The general publics’ opinion of politicians is about on a par with having a prostate exam. Politicians can’t help themselves; they promise the electorate what the electorate wants to hear, and then fail to deliver on promises that can never be kept. Consequently, people become cynical and distrust everything politicians say.
Failure to deliver on your promise to be the cheapest, the best, or the guy with the most features, is like a politician promising no new taxes. Read my lips! Those kinds of promises are a prescription for a marketing disaster.
Taking the conceptual approach requires a certain degree of confidence and an understanding that you are going to have to give something up to get something in return. If you present your identity as the Timex of widgets, inexpensive and ubiquitous, then you are giving up the audience looking for the Rolex of widgets, expensive and exclusive.
Here is another example:
Jack Daniels wants your stories
Stories of intrigue…passion…and maybe a few chairs and tables flying. That’s what great bar tales are made of. Sensing that everyone loves a good story, whiskey manufacturer Jack Daniels invited users to share their wackiest, most unbelievable bar story, and bundled them into a campaign it called “The Few & Far Between”
Word of mouth advertising effectiveness
Some of the stories involve Jack Daniels – like the “200 Shot Salute”, wherein a well-liked bartender’s remains were cremated and added to shots which were then consumed (knowingly) by patrons at his bar. Others don’t involve Jack at all, but are still funny and worth sharing. The brand doesn’t place itself at the center, but rather hovering in the background, but still noticeable and still in the back of consumers’ minds.
You don’t have to put your product or service in the spotlight. With interactive content, simply inviting users to share a story from your particular industry can be enough to reinforce your own brand. What stories are your users waiting to tell?
For grabbing attention, the Super Bowl is a great place to launch a marketing campaign!
This list could go on, but I’ll end with one last powerful principle that is useful in reshaping opinions and getting people to rethink brands or categories — one of the best reasons to invest $5 million in a Super Bowl ad in the first place.
In early 2011, selling an American car was a tough ask. Most people still associated Detroit and American automakers with failure and bailouts.
More to study: Press Coverage … 9 Actionable Ways to Get Good Coverage
The principle of “two-sided messaging” was brilliantly used in Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit”(No. 13). We are more likely to engage with a message that fits with what we already believe. If someone feels negatively toward a brand, they’ll be resistant to hearing a direct, positive message. By first acknowledging a few of its flaws, they’ll be more open to changing how they feel and what they believe.
The Chrysler spot tells us that, yes, Detroit has been through some tough times, but it’s also strong, resilient and knows a thing or two about art and culture and luxury. By validating the viewers’ impressions of Detroit and, by reflection, Chrysler, the brand was able to turn “Imported from Detroit” into a “hell yes!” rally cry for the Motor City everyone felt proud to get behind.
Whether or not any of these ads were developed with the conscious use of behavioral science, it’s clear to see that when ads work the way our brains work, they capture our attention and make a lasting impact. Think how much further ahead you can be if you start your ideation with behavioral science in mind.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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