6 Marketing Moves We Loved This Month
- Mar 27 2019
- Marketing & Advertising
These campaigns, activations, and social media efforts targeting young consumers stood out from the crowd…
According to YPulse’s recent ad/marketing effectiveness survey, half of young consumers have talked to friends about an ad—a stat that shows that an interesting ad will spur word-of-mouth marketing. But it’s not easy to get Gen Z and Millennials’ attention, as we’ve discussed before, with many of the ad-skipping gens going out of their way to avoid commercials and digital messaging. That’s why we regularly highlight creative marketing campaigns that stand out from the crowd. Here are six marketing moves, from social media efforts to experience-driven activations, that we loved this month:
Hostess’s quirky Instagram could be sweetening sales. According to Mashable, the brand that went bankrupt in 2012 has made a comeback, partly thanks to a social media strategy that leverages memes and viral moments. Instead of trolling other brands, Hostess instead makes their treats the stars, integrating them into both original meme content and jokes inspired by pop culture (like replacing the giant diamond in Jennifer Lopez’s new engagement ring with a Twinkie). They put product first with a tone their brand director describes as “deliciously unapologetically irreverent.” The account has over 124k followers, earns upwards of 1,000 likes on popular posts, and yields real-world results. Posting about Suzy Q cakes each week reportedly caused the revived brand to “gr[ow] over a hundred percent from what it had been the previous year.” While it can be dangerous for brands to play with memes (it might come off as trying to hard), they are young consumers’ second language, and Hostess seems to be striking the right tone with their content.
HBO’s #ForTheThrone campaign leading up to the final season of their massive hit Game of Thrones asks fans how far they’ll go for the Iron Throne—recently challenging them to a real-life scavenger hunt to find six iron thrones hidden across the globe. The only clues given were live streams of the thrones in their far flung locations, along with hints on the show’s social media, but fans raced to find them, discovering the first within a day. Currently, five of the six thrones have been discovered, with images of the winning throne-hunters everywhere on social media. The interactive marketing move is the second part of campaign, which kicked off at SXSW 2019 by asking viewers to shed blood for the show and donate to the Red Cross. While trailers and ads for the show are expected, this real life adventure campaigns gives fans a thrill of the show’s action in a completely different way—and likely appeals to experience-driven young consumers.
Burger King is asking students to plan their April Fool’s marketing push. Marketing Dive reports that every year, Burger King plans a hoax for the prank-fueled holiday, like the left-handed Whopper. But this year, they’re handing the creative control over to young people. Whoever’s crowned the winner by the fast food restaurant will receive the Gold Clio (an international advertising award) along with the chance to work with Burger King’s creative execs to execute the campaign. More brands have been turning to Gen Z for marketing help, a smart move for brands who want to authentically appeal to them. This crowdsourcing campaign not only showcases their creativity, but also rewards young participants in a very real way.
Halo Top’s Dark Ice Cream Ads
Halo Top is appealing to young consumers’ dark side with their nihilistic new ad campaign. As Adweek reports, in the brand’s latest string of commercials, a Halo Top ice cream truck driver doles out frozen treats to pessimistic adults over happy-go-lucky kids, making sure to leave the kids with bleak life lessons—like congratulating a six-year-old on being “one year closer to the inevitable” for his birthday. The Instagrammable ice cream brand is reinforcing its catch phrase “Ice Cream for Adults” with an angle that we’d be willing to bet no dessert brand has taken before. With Gen Z and Millennials turning to dark content to escape their everyday, the gloomier humor has a good chance of resonating. The completely unexpected approach could help them to stand out—if young consumers aren’t fast-forwarding through the spots.
American Eagle is luring Gen Z shoppers to their store with a $50,000 pair of sneakers. Business Insider reports that the brand is teaming up with Urban Necessities (who specializes in sneaker resale) for an in-store pop-up at their NYC location. Special-edition shoes from the likes of Nike and Supreme will be on display for sneakerheads to purchase and pair with American Eagle apparel. American Eagle doesn’t expect shoppers to splurge for some of the expensive kicks but does think the products will bring them to the store and leave a lasting impression. Pairing up with a sneaker resale player may seem an odd move for a retail brand, but according to Bisnow, Gen Z hype beasts are making the resale market big business, with the lure of limited edition spawning the major shopping trend among young consumers.
Esports fans can earn cold, hard virtual currency for clicking on Gillette’s Twitch ads. According to Marketing Dive, 11 Twitch livestreamers are creating content promoting Gillette products, and viewers who click will earn Twitch Bits—a virtual currency redeemable on Amazon and other sites. Gillette has been one of the most aggressive players in the esports space, and this partnership shows how brands can leverage Twitch’s parent company Amazon. With so many young consumers avoiding ads online (44% of 13-36-year-olds use an ad blocker according to our most recent survey on ad/marketing effectiveness) we have wondered when brands would just start paying them to click. Gillette’s reward campaign smartly targets esports fans (a hard-to-reach group) with something they’ll want and be able to use immediately.
To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.