Themed marketing

Sometimes you see an advertisement and it makes you smile, occasionally laugh out loud even. But does that make you respond or make it memorable for your future response?


When Brad and Angelina announced their recent separation, one airline ran an ad stating: “Brad is single….flights to LA £169″ which received huge coverage in both print and social media…but can you remember which airline?*

When Mrs Thatcher died, a newspaper showed a picture of a marmite pot replacing Marmite with Margaret and the logo with her face. To my mind a very clever visual, but I bet you can’t name which media it was promoting?**

In a similar vein many companies think it’s clever to try and capitalise on an event. For example, campaigns at Easter featuring eggs, bonnets and bunnies, or during a major football tournament you’ll see references to “score”, “goal”, “winning team” and other cliches. And perhaps the most cringeworthy of all are ads with headlines such as “Summer Sizzler” during July and August.

My sense is that if you try to cash in on an external event it begs the question, “Why?”

Is there nothing about your product and service worth promoting? Is Easter/the Summer/Brangelina more interesting that what you’ve got to say? Have you really run so low on ideas that you’ll try and use “the moment” for your cause? As I say, there are occasionally very cleverly timed and themed campaigns – but they are the exception that proves the rule.

Oh, I’ll leave you to judge the effectiveness of this video for a US Realtor timed to coincide with 31st October – Watch video

* Norwegian
** The Guardian

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