I have always loved when you see a big idea come out of the smallest of ideas. As Brand Leaders, sometimes we complain about a lot of things: no money, we don’t have any new products in our pipeline, our agency keeps presenting the same old thing and we are too conservative to do the really cool stuff. While many Brand Leaders are struggling with how to use new media too many times they opt for the new conventions they see everyone else doing so they say “Like Us on Facebook” approach that generates 38 likes, or they start their own Twitter account and tweet out something boring every six months. Instead, you should think about the new media as liberating in that you can use even more creativity than just trying to follow along what everyone is doing. If you want your brand to generate more love among your base of users, finding ways that surprise and delight them is a great starting point. Consumers will feel more connected with you. Here’s a few different takes on creative solutions that started small and grew, trying to inspire you a little bit while you sit at your desk going “so what can we do”.
Take a chance. Be inspired.
Volkswagen “Fast Lanes”
When you have very little money, I always say “Act Like a Blowfish” and try to find a way to appear bigger than you really are. That may require more creativity than dollars. It might mean something a bit odd, compared to the conventional 30 second TV ad. If you have no money, tell me you couldn’t have done this one. It must have cost only $5,000-10,000 to produce, it is one of the simplest ideas ever and yet they now have 3 Million YouTube hits. Mainly because it just makes people smile a little bit. And it fits perfectly with the Volkswagen brand.
What’s your version of this idea on your brand?
Chipotle “Back to the Start”
The Chipotle brand is unique in that many times it runs against convention. Everything about their “Back to the Start” runs counter to how things are supposed to be done. First of all, if any agency came into you and said “we want to do an animated spot about a farmer and we’ve decided to use Scientist by Cold Play as the main song….except we want to get Willie Nelson to do it”, I wonder how many Brand Leaders would have said “go on, tell me more”. Most would throw the Ad Agency out and opt for something more conservative. The good news for Chipotle is they didn’t have to go through that conversation because Chipotle doesn’t even have an ad agency. They did all this work themselves. It took them a year to make it. Now that’s crazy. On top of that, the goal of the ad was never to sell more burritos but to let people know of their commitment to sustainable farming. The barely mention the brand name, never shows one of the products and even sells the Willie Nelson song on iTunes at the end of the ad. The media plan calls for showing it viral first, then show it in movie theatres and then just show it once on TV, but show it during the Grammy Awards. Who is still with me? Would you as a Brand Leader have the guts to do this?
This ad has generated over 10,000,000 hits on YouTube and was the hit of the Grammy Awards, lighting up Twitter that night. And if you’re totally interested now, then here’s “the making of” that generated another 100,000 hits.
McDonald’s “how a Burger is Made for TV”
Now McDonald’s has all the money possible, and is on TV all the time. Yet this “behind the scenes” look at how they make a Quarter Pounder for their advertising takes on question that many consumers have probably been thinking for decades: “how come my burger doesn’t look as good as the one on TV?” McDonald’s answers this with direct honesty, showing why they have to fluff up the pickles or eliminate little blemishes on the bun. They compare a recently purchased Quarter Pounder to the one that their stylist works on for the ad. This simple little spot, made up in Canada, has generated almost 8,000,000 hits on-line.
I want these ideas to inspire you to do something different!
To find ways to make your brand more loved, read the following presentation: