Big Stunts and B2B Marketing – Part 1

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Crazy stunts have always been highlight of marketing be it B2B or B2C. They take in many forms, go across all mediums, but what they all do have in common is that they either have a novel or aggressive impact. Either way, they draw so much attention in so many ways but, as this little exhibit will show, you need to know what makes them all play out.

They’re good. They’re bad. They’re ads!
Advertisements can be anything from videos and posters to graffiti or live events as long as it’s got a brand name tied to it. And while you don’t interact with your prospects directly, you leave a lasting impression to draw them closer.

Videos

  • Novel impact – Recent examples include Red Bull’s one-of-a-kind Stratos documentary, Google’s trendy How it Feels Through Glass, and Microsoft’s catchy Surface Movement. These are noteworthy ads in the form of innovative, if not inspiring short clips that just so happen to highlight a product.
  • Aggressive impact – Unlike the above, there are some ads that are popularized due to how ridiculously controversial and aggressive the presentation actually is. That’s right. These are videos that generate attention by more or less declaring war on a rival company. Examples include Sony Playstation 4’s game sharing taunt, T-Mobile’s CEO’s intimidating speech during CES 2013, and Oracle’s slideshow presentation.
  • Do they work? – There are still risks though, no matter how uplifting or intimidating they can be. Hyundai’s “Pipe Job” ad, where their product, promoted how clean their air was by preventing possible suffocation, was warned that it was a possible way to promote more ways for suicide even if it was unintentional.

Picture

  • Novel impact – There are plenty examples of inspiring and funny picture ads on the net. You have the likes of Mcdonald’s delicious burger books, Nike’s motivational greatness, and Google’s innovative map ad. But more than that, it’s really the growth of social media and the internet that has made them all the more memorable. Some of these get featured on gag sites alongside marketing and business ones!
  • Aggressive impact – People think that ads dumping witty but spiteful comments on other business products exist only in fiction. They obviously haven’t seen Samsung’s genius challenge to a certain fruit-icon company that’s now caught public attention. Whereas most would consider this in bad taste, others enjoy the challenge (like in Audi’s billboard chess game). This presents the opposing side an opportunity to fire back in entertaining ways before a general audience and both get the publicity they want!
  • Do they work? – Competitive marketing can end on a sweeter note, especially if the products never had much to compete with. A good example would be when Google’s new android OS was named after a famous choco bar that ended with the two cooperating by advertising each other without any prior plans or agreements.

Plain sight

  • Novel impact – One good way to actively promote your company is making it part of the background. Don’t take that too literally though. This type of marketing can really boggle the mind with the way it links everyday locations and. Mcdonald’s, in particular, is well known for this kind of out-of-the-box advertising. Other notable mentions include Coca Cola’s friendship machine and Kitkat’s engaging breakful bench.
  • Aggressive – There are some cases where the company itself absorbs iconic characters or titles as themes, wherein they not only promote those themes but themselves as well. One company that does this is Japan’s anime-centric Lawson Inc. where they collaborate with different studios and artists for the promotional theme of their products. In rarer cases though, an equally aggressive stance is not take one at all, a move that Starbucks made when it gave no reply to a certain fast food’s direct challenge.
  • Do they work? – Last New Year’s Eve, reception to Nvidia’s infamous crop circle incident was both positive and negative. While the company was praised for its daring approach to marketing its new processor, some details were left out (such as the work of the other parties involved). Others, clearly more sensitive to crop-circle issues, were also distraught by this “hoax”.

Everyone knows that advertising is supposed to get folks interested. And in both B2C and B2B marketing, interest is a start. It brings one step closer to either getting a customer through the door or getting a sale.

But as always, be mindful of the message you’re sending. While many these inspiring and controversial ads got their target market’s attention, it also snagged in rival parties and critics involved. Best brace yourself!

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