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.
Verizon continues to run ads that promote its superior 3G network. The 3G network allows simultaneous speech and data transmission at higher speeds — it is what you need to surf the web from your phone. We have reported on this subject in a previous blog post (the previous post now includes links to articles on the subsequent legal battle).
This is a great example of a marketer identifying a competitor’s weakness (AT&T’s 3G network has significantly less coverage than Verizon and is a source of complaints of many iPhone customers). Of course part of the goal is to distract customers from Verizon’s own weakness — Verizon doesn’t carry the most popular smart (surf the web) phone the Apple iPhone (although its recently Droid has received some positive reviews following its recent release. The ad below is Verizon’s latest salvo in the battle.
UPDATE 11-22: AT&T responds to Verizon. How well do you think it works? Who is winning this battle? And should AT&T be replying to Verizon?
ESPN has begun to develop locally focused websites. This WSJ.com video,”ESPN is taking over Sports Journalism Everywhere,” (0:37, The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2009) describes a new ESPN product. So for example, ESPN Chicago has news about Chicago sports teams. This brand extension provides new competition for local newspapers and television stations. This is a nice example of market segmentation with a nontraditional product. You might ask students if they think this will be successful? How should a local newspaper respond?
I know that I am trying to figure it out and get a handle on it. These two presentations have helped me.
I’m not sure if these presentations are better used in the classroom (do our students already know this?) – or our offices (do marketing faculty get it?). I showed the first one in class and my students appreciated it. The “Social Media Revolution” (top one below) has data that really can be a surprise. While I cannot vouch for the accuracy of any of the data presented, I did not find people on the web arguing with the numbers. Usually the web will “out” any bad data. The second video is more a tutorial — but still very helpful if you are not up on social media.
Do any of you have other online video slide shows that do a good job with this topic? (click on comments in the gray banner below to share)
This video (below)/article (“The Accidental Hero,” BusinessWeek.com, November 5, 2009) combination tells the story of a very successful Subway promotion. The promotion was originally the idea of a Miami franchisee who successfully launched it locally. It was later picked up nationally and has helped Subway provide more value during hard economic times. The video can be used as an example of sales-oriented pricing objectives or as an example of odd-even pricing. The story also shows the value of listening to franchisees.