Monday 7 April 2014


First Kiss

Every now and then someone comes along with a fresh take on things and we all sit up and take note. Recently we’ve had not one but two highly successful marketing campaigns that have caught the public attention and produced incredible results.  Results that can be measured in public awareness and hard cash!  We know these are great campaigns because we’re already seeing many imitations.  What makes them great is their difference!

In the last few weeks we have seen the no-makeup selfie go viral. Women have been using social media to post an image of themselves without makeup and in the process raise over 8 million pounds for Cancer Research.  We have also witnessed the recent video First Kiss, produced by Wren Studio which so far has recorded nearly 75 million hits on YouTube. 

The Wren Studio video is yet another example of the positive effect of social media marketing. Wren Studio is a clothing company based in Los Angeles and came up with the idea to get twenty strangers to kiss. They never intended to use this as a hard sell campaign but as a PR exercise to raise their brand identity. This campaign travelled across the internet at lighting speed and the effect on the company’s bottom line has been phenomenal. Traffic to their website is up 14,000% with 96% of this is coming from new visitors and their online sales are up a staggering 13,000%! I’m guessing they are extremely happy with the results.

To the uninitiated these campaigns seem to spring from nowhere but somewhere, in a small meeting room, design studio or even the pub someone has contributed a fresh idea to a group of people and some enterprising risk taker has said, let’s do it!  Of course, the more we see these original ideas come to the fore the more difficult it gets to follow them up and the question is, can the same group of people do it again?

What these campaigns really do is buy into our emotions.  Over the last few years we have seen how John Lewis has achieved this with their Christmas campaigns and the public now wait in anticipation to see what they do next. There are other good examples too, for instance, the hugely successful T-Mobile ads such as the Liverpool Street Station flash dance which spurned imitations across the world.

Even without the advantage of social media back in the eighties Mary Portas, then creative director of Harvey Nichols, installed empty shop windows in the run up to Christmas donating the annual Christmas display budget to charity. A brave and risky move in the highly competitive and hugely important London retail season, but in its way this was just as impressive and at the time attracted huge media coverage.

Marketing has now changed beyond recognition and will continue to do so as technology advances and we all become more tech savvy.  More and more people will begin to understand how to get the best out of their mobile devices.  In particular, marketing in the retail sector will become ever more inventive but this doesn’t mean that marketing is some complicated science or unattainable skill.  Anyone of us could come up with the next idea, the opportunities are limitless but the important thing is to keep trying and keep doing.  Who knows, you might be the person who comes up with the next viral campaign!

Making of T-Mobile Dance
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