The demise of the independent coffee shop has been a real threat on high streets across the globe for a number of years now. In one city an enthusiastic team refused to accept this threat as a foregone conclusion and a partnership sprung up between three Singaporean organisations with the aim of saving the local coffee shop through their Be Disloyal card campaign. The disloyalty card encouraged customers to visit as many of the eight participating outlets as possible with the intention of encouraging the eight to join forces against the major chains. This initiative managed to effectively combine grassroots retailing with a savvy business approach — a blueprint for the future perhaps?
Word of mouth is an essential tool in any company’s kit if used correctly. Californian fashion brand Volga Verdi were well aware of the power of the spoken word when they offered discounts to their customers based on the amount of contacts they had on social networks — the more popular the customer, the more discount they received. This clever campaign encouraged customers to increase their friendship base, all the while broadening the company’s pool of potential fans. Customers were also more likely to associate the Volga Verdi brand with the attributes of friendship — trust and kindness — thereby enhancing their brand image in one fell swoop.
Companies have often made the most of data on their customer base in order to effectively target their products and Vicks’ recent campaign was no exception. Using information from Google on flu incidents across the US and flu-related web searches they were able to pinpoint areas where flu rates were high and directed Vick’s Behind Ear Thermometer advertisement to relevant smartphones in these areas.
There’s nothing quite like a business venture that combines clever ideas whilst rewarding good behaviour. Chocolatier Anthon Berg managed just this with their sweet gifts being sold in exchange for acts of kindness. The use of iPads to replace tills meant that staff members could immediately post the good deed to the customer’s facebook wall, successfully sharing the person’s thoughtful act as well as marketing the brand.
There’s nothing groundbreaking in the idea of shops maximising sales during quiet periods by slashing their prices, however South Korea’s Emart added a touch of adventure to their discount offers. The Seoul retailer placed QR codes dotted around the city that could only be scanned between the hours of 12 noon and 1 pm each day. Between these times the QR codes were visible because the sun was at its highest in the sky, casting the correct shadow for the 3D QR code to form. Once customers scanned a code they were taken to Emart’s homepage where they could browse reduced price items and have purchases delivered direct to their door.
An age-old dispute centres around gender, and whether men and women are so very different from one another. One charity that used this debate to their advantage was Plan UK, who adopted facial recognition software for their bus stop advertising campaign to highlight gender inequality. The software identified whether a man or woman was standing in front of the screen and then played a different advertisement accordingly. Women were shown profiles of three females from around the world who each experience gender discrimination in different ways. Men, however, were denied access to the full profiles and could only read a set of statistics about gender inequality. The charity hoped to bring home to the male viewers the limited opportunities women can find available to them simply based on their gender.
The Mexican sneaker company Panam noticed an increasing demand for their 80s designs as a demand for retro style swept the country. They boosted their wavering popularity by organizing shoe exchanges in the country’s busiest squares, where people were encouraged to bring an old pair of shoes and swap them for a Panam pair.
It is a brave company who hands over responsibility for their brand image to the consumer, but Finnish insurance company If did just this when they asked 852 of their customers to provide live one-to-one testimonials to potential customers over the telephone. These one-to-ones could include positive and negative feedback on the company and aimed to give a fair and unbiased assessment of the service offered. This was a potentially risky strategy that empowered the consumer. Fan-sourcing sales platform, Needle, also recognized the importance of customer testimonials, matching up brands with their most loyal fans to provide personalized recommendations for potential customers.
Most people need a little help to clear heads in the morning, and this app from Lufthansa airline struck us as an ingenious idea to kickstart the brain at dawn. Set up as an alarm on the user’s phone, the app played sounds to represent different cities as a wake-up call. The user then had to guess which city the sound represented and input their answer into the phone. If they were correct, they won discounted plane tickets to that destination. Lufthansa created a fun game as well as cleverly alerting the user to their brand on a daily basis.
While we’re used to marketing campaigns that have stand-out qualities, it’s rare that we come across one that takes the risky step of potentially annoying its customer base. But that is just what Paraguayan ONIRIA/TBWA did when they arranged for the country’s two leading pizza delivery chains to deliberately deliver their customers’ pizzas late. The campaign aimed to give consumers a glimpse into the lives of those who suffer from a lack of food every day, and each pizza was delivered with a note inside explaining the thinking behind the strategy. The campaign helped collect 50 tons of food for the Food Bank Foundation, but its success perhaps lies in its one-off nature.