Truly memorable ad campaigns create a deeply felt response- one of joy, surprise, motivation, innovation etc. When brands can achieve this feeling with their consumers, chances are that the message will stay with you forever and they in turn create a buzz for the product. This is especially true for an industry that’s truly built on recommendations through word of mouth (wom). Having said that it’s not quite easy for brands to grab people’s short span attention and improve their social media presence.
When I think of a brand that has built a strong online presence and has fostered engagement with a massive audience “Dove” comes to my mind.Here is the link about the campaign http://realbeautysketches.dove.us/
Now most of us are aware of the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign making it the most viral video of all times. “Real Beauty Sketches” was a viral video in which a police sketch artist contrasted on how women describe themselves to the prettier versions described by strangers. How did the Unilever brand reach that extreme level of virality?
Simplest answer could be the brand was trying to connect with the audience on a personal level.It evokes the customer’s true emotions. I broke into tears when I had watched it the first time. The brand was trying to make you think rather than communicating a product or selling it. Second it was sharability content and was not just meant to be watched, because it had meaningful and share worthy content. Third trying something unique and going that one extra mile to show that you care. The company did an extensive research in finding the best sketch artist who was very crucial for the campaign. This was important as they were trying to boost women “self esteem” and they knew they can’t go wrong with that. Lastly the project was pretty diverse involving Caucasian, African-American and Asian women participating and promoting the cause.
One other company I could think of who puts enormous emphasis on creating real relationships is Zappos an online retailer that sells clothing, accessories and shoes. Zappos is continuously trying to improve the communication with the customers and is finding innovative methods to engage with their clients. One of their great strategies I loved the most is their “Like-Like” relationship on Facebook. One strategy where they ask for the customer to first click the Like which then provides immediate access (only after becoming a fan) to their great contents, promotions and videos. Also it asks their fans to join their new email list and interact with their products as soon as they become a fan.
Although, the bottom-line strategy for all the businesses is the same the content and the intentions behind the brand definitely matters.The above strategy adopted by Zappos shows that they care about building relationships with their audience as they are ready to wait for people to hit the Like and then get into business. This is fairly unique because its common for brands to continuously push people to Facebook wherever possible.
Another excellent engagement strategy of Zappos, I have seen on Facebook is the “Fan of the Week” contest. Fans are encouraged to send their photos with their Zappos box and the best picture is crowned “fan of the week” and is posted in the wall (as their profile pic on zappos fb page) so everyone could see it. Not only does it builds loyalty but shows how Zappos put their customers first. The more the companies put their followers/fans into limelight the more engaging they will be and are ready to get into action for the brand.
The Holy Grail for advertising (be it traditional or social media) in today’s world is the same as it’s always been. To go beyond the soulless sales pitches and thinking outside the box to grab the consumer’s attention will not only make it memorable for the consumers/viewers but will be ready to stay with the brand for a long time. Best brands get that. They aim higher.