How marketing campaigns have changed

How marketing campaigns have changed

Change is afoot in the marketing industry – but how has this filtered down to the campaigns marketers are creating? How might marketing campaigns continue to evolve in a changing world?

Putting experience at the heart

On 10 November, BrewDog hosted ‘Metro Mayhem’, their debut beer and music festival in east London. Initially tickets were exclusively on sale to the 90,000 “Equity Punks” (fans of the brand who have purchased stakes within the company), but following popular demand, thousands of tickets were bought by beer lovers across the UK.

With a raft of independent beers from international breweries available for purchase via a token system, including OverWorks, Hawkes Cider and LoneWolf, this event can be seen not only as a way of giving back to those who have invested in the business, but a move towards collaboration and partnerships in an industry that has seen significant disruption in previous years. This seems to be a reflection of their announcement earlier this year that they will focus on their product and responsible marketing, following controversy around their Pink IPA beer launch in March.

Putting customers at the heart of marketing activities seems like a simple enough concept, but often executing it is not as easy as it first appears. Last month, BrewDog announced that following a round of fundraising, in the coming months all “Equity Punks” will have the chance to set up their very own craft beer bar. In championing this highly engaged audience base and celebrating the fact that BrewDog is a business owned by over 90,000 ‘craft beer crusaders’, BrewDog have set a clear example that sometimes, collaborating with the customer is the best way to connect – and putting meaningful experiences at the heart of this is key.

A place in politics

Iceland made headlines earlier this month for their 2018 Christmas advert, which Clearcast, the body responsible for approving adverts for broadcast in the UK, refused to approve it for air due to its association with Greenpeace, who they termed a political organisation. Iceland, in retaliation – and some may say in a calculated move – instead took to social media to broadcast the advert, which has now garnered over 13 million views on Facebook.

Over 5,000 CIM Twitter followers voted in a recent poll asking whether Clearcast made the right decision when they refused to approve Iceland’s Christmas advert for TV broadcast – and 97% declared that Clearcast made a mistake, and that the advert should not have been banned. The advert, which reflects Iceland’s public move to become the first UK supermarket to remove palm oil from their own-brand products, has since become the subject of a petition to show it on TV regardless of Clearcast’s judgement, due to its powerful message about the effects of palm oil production. The petition has now been signed over 670,000 times.

Indeed, despite the fact that the advert makes little to no reference to either Iceland’s own products or Christmas, it has resonated with an audience who feel that businesses have failed to communicate this narrative in the past, and praise Iceland for pioneering it despite the adverse feeling from regulators. In this instance, injecting a political standpoint — when balanced with wider, integrated brand values — into a marketing campaign seems to have paid off for Iceland.

Not mobile-first, mobile-only

Technology has long been a pillar of marketing activities – but rarely is a campaign solely powered by technology. In an industry first earlier this year, Gordon’s Gin utilised location tagging and a National Rail application programming interface (API) to target delayed passengers with unexpected time on their hands, sending them an MMS to let them know where the nearest stockist of Gordon’s was.

In this highly targeted campaign, verified deterministic telco-contract data ensured the messages were sent exclusively to over 18s, who were known travellers and in the vicinity of train stations in London, Leeds, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Brighton. Extensive location and habitual data from O2-owned mobile marketing firm Weve was then overlaid to deliver the messages. As a result, the brand was able to prompt 21 per cent of targeted commuters travelling after 1pm to buy a can of their pre-mixed Gordon’s Gin & Tonic.

In total, over 150,000 messages were delivered, and 32,000 purchases of Gordon’s made, and the brand has indicated that the campaign will continue to roll out and scale up. Whilst technological interaction can be costly, the message for all marketers is clear – delivering the right message at the right time pays dividends.

Purpose above profit

Brand purpose has been front and centre for campaigns in 2018 – with mixed results. Earlier this year, Lush shocked and appalled consumers with an aggressive campaign focusing on corruption in the undercover police. Elsewhere, brand purpose has resonated with younger consumers looking to connect with organisations with whom they share a common moral standpoint.

To this end, in September 2017, LADbible partnered with the Plastic Oceans Foundation to launch a three month campaign to raise awareness of the amount of plastic littering the world’s ocean. The campaign aimed to turn a pile of rubbish that had collected in the ocean – cumulatively amounting to the size of France – into the world’s 196th nation, appropriately dubbed the ‘Trash Isles’, to gain recognition for the problem and bring the island under the protection of the United Nation’s Environmental Charters.

With the support of celebrities such as Mo Farah, Jeff Goldblum and Judy Dench, 200,000 people became citizens of the Trash Isles and the campaign reached half a billion people in total. Profitable? Perhaps not in the short term, but with a clear message that is sure to resonate with its millennial customer base, LADbible might just be on to a winner.

Back to basics

This Christmas, Amazon raised eyebrows across the globe by announcing that it will be printing and sending its very first holiday toy catalogue to millions of customers, starting this month. With one of the world’s most digital businesses going back to print, marketers everywhere should take note.

This follows Amazon’s growing presence in physical retail space, with the recent opening of their ‘4-star’ store in Berkeley, California, following success in New York. This retail concept exclusively features items that are ranked 4 stars and above on, as well as top sellers and new & trending items, perhaps addressing concerns around fake reviews and quality issues with items sold on the site. These stores offer Prime members the opportunity to purchase items for the often-discounted price in store, with non-Prime members having to pay full price or sign up for a 30-day free trial in store. However, like its Amazon Go stores already making a mark America, the shop is cashless, with shoppers paying by card or with the Amazon Prime app.

However, with news this month that on average 14 shops close on the UK high street every day, investing in bricks-and-mortar, alongside print, might seem a counterintuitive move. Or, perhaps, an opportunity to reinvent the retail experience. Either way, this return to fundamental marketing tactics should serve as a reminder to all marketers that often traditional channels can provide a trusted platform for engagement between consumer and brand.

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Ally Lee-Boone Content & engagement executive CIM
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