This is creative — and a lot of fun. Check out the video. Coca-Cola and its interactive marketing agency, Definition 6 put this “special” vending machine on a college campus. The unsuspecting students got a lot more than just a bottle of Coke. The promotion fits well with Coke’s recent positioning around happiness and directly targets an important target market of college students. Of course students are more likely than most consumers to check out YouTube and pass along a viral video. My bet is that this will climb into the viral video top 10 in no time. In class it could also be shown when talking about Place, if you are looking for a fun example of vending machines. Enjoy.
Here’s a current and very hot viral advertising campaign. This article talks about the campaign (“A Stairway to Marketing Heaven,” (scroll down for article at BusinessWeek.com, October 22, 2009) but the fun occurs at TheFunTheory.com website. As of this writing, there are three different viral videos (the stair video is shown below), each of which ask the question: Can you get people to change their behavior and do the right thing by making the right thing more fun? The viral videos are sponsored by Volkswagen and they will eventually tie into an online advertising campaign that features VW’s environmentally friendly cars. For 10 years (until earlier this year), VW’s “Drivers Wanted” campaign implied that driving a VW was fun. This new campaign is a natural extension to that positioning. You could use it to discuss positioning, viral video promotions, or promotion objectives. The campaign is also a good example of publicity; it’s received considerable attention from the press. Besides all that, these viral videos are fun to watch.
Retailers are trying many new strategies to deal with the economic downturn. Many are concerned that they are witnessing the beginning of a long-term shift in consumer behavior. This BusinessWeek combo includes an article (“’The Hard Sell,’ How retailers are fighting for the hearts and minds of the new consumer,” BusinessWeek.com, October 15, 2009 ) and video interview (“Retail’s New Normal,” BusinessWeek.com, October 15, 2009, 2:08 — see video below) with the story’s primary author. There are several related articles on specific retailers. The video is an interview with the story’s author primary Jena McGregor.