January 07, 2009

Best Marketing Ideas Ever

A great list of "Best Marketing Ideas Ever" by Gwen Moran for Entrepreneur.com (with some of my comments...)

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Best making the best of a bad image:
Las Vegas' "What Happens Here, Stays Here" campaign
After a failed attempt to promote itself as a family destination, Las Vegas finally embraced its Sin City image with its "What happens here, stays here" advertising campaign, launched in 2003. It's still going strong: 2007 marked the city's fourth consecutive year of busting tourism records. "It resonated because it's what people already believe," says Laura Ries, president of marketing strategy firm Ries & Ries.
I think if you boil it down, they are saying either one of two things:
  1. Gambling "happens" and your money "stays here" or,
  2. Come try our legal prostitution and no one will tell your wife.
Like it or not, it's working for them.

Best product placement:
Reese's Pieces in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Some marketing missteps make you kick yourself. Take Mars Inc.'s failure to take the opportunity to include M&Ms in E.T. After Mars passed, director Steven Spielberg went to Hershey's, which took the offer. It paid off. Time magazine reported in 1982 that Reese's Pieces sales rose 65 percent in the months after the movie's release. Even though the movie never mentioned the name of the product, showing the distinctive orange package was enough, and the placement enjoyed heavy promotional support from the manufacturer.
This one gets all the attention, and is now part of product placement folklore, but I would argue there's one brand has muscled it's way into way more movies than any other... the Ford Mustang. Probably the only other product that could beat it is cigarettes, but I that shouldn't count as they are rarely brand specific.

Best video ad:
Get a Mac
Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign, which launched in 2006, puts the hip, easygoing Mac against the hapless, problem-prone PC. "The message of these ads is clear," says communications professor Stephen Marshall, author of Television Advertising That Works. "Every one of them says, ‘Don't be this guy.' You don't want to be the PC." The TV ads also appeared online, and the company released a series of web-only ads to capitalize on consumer interest in the characters. People got the message--Mac's market share grew by 42 percent.
This probably should be classed more as a campaign than an ad. In which case, I think there have been many better campaigns over the years. Off the top of my head I can think of a few. The Energizer Bunny, Nike, "Just do it", Maxwell House "Good to the last drop", McDonald's "You deserve a break today", Miller Lite "Tastes great, less filling", Burger King "Have it your way", Wendy's "Where's the beef?", Budweiser "This Bud's for you" - Many more.

Best contest:
Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest
Launched in 1916, this homage to gluttony plasters the Nathan's name across international media each year. Brothers George and Richard Shea launched the International Federation of Competitive Eating in 1997. The IFOCE organizes and runs more than 80 eating contests throughout the U.S. and abroad, spurring a subculture of competitive eating celebrities who receive international media attention.

Best use of YouTube:
Blendtec's "Will It Blend?"
lendtec, a maker of high-end blenders, created a series of online videos that depict founder Tom Dickson using his durable machine to smash everything from small electronics to sneakers to credit cards. The videos are on Blendtec's site as well as YouTube, where, through viral marketing, some have been viewed more than 5.5 million times. It shows people are interested--and it saves money, since Blendtec didn't pay for all that band-width. Says Ann Handley, chief content officer of marketing information resource MarketingProfs.com, "They created a campaign that really builds brand awareness."
Love these vids. "Don't breathe this"

Best slogan:
"Got Milk?"
What better success benchmark than having your slogan work its way into the national lexicon? It's even better when it includes your product name, says Mitzi Crall, author of 100 Smartest Marketing Ideas Ever. The simplicity of the slogan lends itself to a wide variety of advertising interpretations, ranging from humorous

TV ads to the celebrity-driven milk mustache print series. "The images of glamour and fame contrasted with the hominess of a milk mustache make the versatile tagline a hit," says Crall. A year after the campaign launched in California, the state saw an increase in milk sales for the first time in more than 10 years.

"Just do it" should be either a tie or a close second

Best jingle:
NBC jingle
If you can name that brand in three notes, it must be the NBC jingle. Of course, repetition over the years has reinforced the brand, but there's more to it. "It's called mnemonics, or sonic branding," says Marshall. "By adding sound to its brand identity, it adds another way for customers to experience the brand. It especially makes sense because it's a broadcast medium."

Best use of truth in a crisis:
When cyanide-laced capsules of Extra Strength Tylenol were linked to seven deaths in the Chicago area in 1982, parent company Johnson & Johnson faced a full-blown crisis. While other companies might have lied or evaded the situation, then-CEO James E. Burke issued a full recall of the product and engaged in regular media updates that were shockingly honest for the time. All consumers with bottles of Tylenol capsules could swap them for Tylenol tablets at Johnson & Johnson's cost. "Telling the truth is always a good long-term strategy," says Scott Armstrong, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. "When that's violated, it leads to a fall."
A good present day example of a company that did things right too is Maple Leaf Foods here in Canada.

Best use of social networking to target tweens and teens:
High School Musical
After the success of the made-for-TV movies High School Musical and High School Musical 2, Disney teamed up with MySpace in what TV Guide called the social network's largest campaign. The promotion included a contest where fans showed school spirit by completing tasks such as uploading videos, changing profile skins and texting votes for their school.
Yawwwwn. I still don't get HSM. It kind of annoys me actually. Crap, I think that means I'm old.

Best celebrity spokesman:
William Shatner as The Priceline Negotiator
A tough call. Although, I'm a HUGE Shatner fan, Bill Cosby for Jello should get a mention - heck he did it for as long as I can remember growing up (Just checked... he did it for 30 years!). But I don't think either of the two Bills made more money for their respective brands than Michael Jordan did for Nike?

Best logo:
Nike Swoosh
There are a number of rumors about exactly how much Nike paid Portland State University graphic design student Carolyn Davidson for the Swoosh in the early '70s (actually $35), but it's been the brand's mark since it was introduced on Nike footwear at the 1972 U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials. The reason it works? It's an "empty vessel," says Ries. "It's so simple and visible at a distance. Another logo might have been well-known but wouldn't have done the brand as much good if it had been more complicated." Because the Swoosh has no innate meaning attached to it, Nike can use it to build any image it desires.
I'm not sure about this one. First of all, it probably shouldn't be "best" logo, but rather "most recognizable" logo. In which case, there are so many others. It could be a very long debate. What about McDonald's and the Golden Arches? What about Coca-Cola? How about the Olympic Rings? I'd even throw Google in there.

Best use of outdoor advertising:
The Goodyear Blimp
Is there anyone who doesn't recognize the blimp when it passes by? "The Goodyear Blimp is its own kind of magic," says Crall. "If we see it float by when we're going about our daily lives, we run to get our spouses and children to ‘come see.' We're receptive to the brand message."

Best use of promotional items:
Livestrong wristbands
After the news broke in 1996 that champion bicyclist Lance Armstrong had cancer, he founded his Lance Armstrong Foundation the following year. Working with Nike, the foundation developed a yellow silicon wristband stamped with the Livestrong mantra to sell as a fundraiser. According to lancewins.com, more than 45 million have been sold so far. The bracelets became an immediately identifiable symbol of Armstrong, who often wore the yellow leaders jersey while cycling to seven Tour de France victories.

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Click here for original article: Entrepreneur.com
There's also a small writeup of some of the worst marketing ideas as well which is quite good.