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Marketing Campaigns That Killed It (and some that didn't)


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Not all marketing campaigns are created equal. Some are dripping with creativity and executed flawlessly generating a great response. Others are well intended but get derailed by poor execution or a lack of attention to detail. And then there are some that never should have been launched due to poor concept, planning and/or execution.

This presentation - originally given by Steve Phipps (from at the 2011 Memphis BarCamp - reviews a number of marketing initiatives ranging from wildly successful to incredibly disastrous. The design of the presentation is to learn from all of these marketing efforts and then apply them to our own marketing efforts. After all, experience is a great teacher, especially when it’s someone else’s experience!

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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Marketing Campaigns That Killed It (and some that didn't)

  1. 1. Marketing Campaigns Some That Killed It and Some That Should’ve Been Killed What We Can Learn
  2. 2. What's the point of this presentation? <ul><ul><li>Learn from some really good marketing efforts and some really bad ones from a strategic perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes online, offline & mobile efforts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice your opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Takeaways for your business or clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catch a 30 minute nap </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Who am I? <ul><li>14+ years of marketing experience... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>marketing director  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>business/marketing consultant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>owned a Chick-fil-A  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sang on David Letterman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>husband, father, runner, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new director of business development at LunaWeb </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>@runningstp #reallygreatguy </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Marketing That Killed It
  5. 5. Blendtec <ul><li>“ Will it Blend?” videos featuring founder Tom Dickson </li></ul><ul><li>Started October, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>130M+ video views </li></ul><ul><li>Sales increased 5x </li></ul><ul><li>Tons of PR </li></ul><ul><li>Ad Age ’s top 10 viral </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why It Works <ul><li>Destroys things </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates product </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple channels (video, app) </li></ul><ul><li>Timely: Piggy backs on popular products/news (i.e., iPhone 4S) </li></ul><ul><li>Raises curiosity </li></ul><ul><li>It’s unexpected </li></ul>
  7. 7. Applebee’s Talking Cat <ul><li>89 restaurants </li></ul><ul><li>Started 06/11 </li></ul><ul><li>14 minute guarantee </li></ul><ul><li>60k+ scans </li></ul><ul><li>5,900+ FB likes </li></ul><ul><li>70k+ YouTube channel views </li></ul><ul><li>Lunch sales up 9.8% </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why It Works <ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Considers a captive audience with time on their hands </li></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Unique </li></ul><ul><li>Clear message: Builds on the 14 minute guarantee </li></ul>
  9. 9. Takeaways So Far <ul><li>If you have a great product - show it, especially if you can show it doing something unusual </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment is good! </li></ul><ul><li>Success doesn’t always require high investment </li></ul><ul><li>QR codes can be effective when used at the right time </li></ul><ul><li>Always consider your audience and what message you want to communicate </li></ul>
  10. 10. Marketing that should have been DOA…
  11. 11. Sony PSP - 2005 <ul><li>“ Vandalism” - urban kids w/ PSP’s </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted “urban nomads” </li></ul><ul><li>Touted as disruptor device </li></ul>
  12. 12. Urban Nomads Respond No street cred for Sony!
  13. 13. Sony PSP – Christmas, 2006 <ul><li>Charlie blogs to get his friend Jeremy a PSP for Christmas </li></ul><ul><li>Charlie’s cousin Pete raps about wanting a PSP </li></ul>
  14. 14. A phony is sniffed out… …
  15. 15. Sony, er, Charlie Responds Yo where all u hatas com from... juz cuz you aint feelin the flow of PSP dun mean its sum mad faek website or summ... you all be trippin. -Charlie
  16. 16. Surprise, it was us… <ul><li>Busted. Nailed. Snagged. As many of you have figured out (maybe our speech was a little too funky fresh???), Peter isn't a real hip-hop maven and this site was actually developed by Sony. Guess we were trying to be just a little too clever. From this point forward, we will just stick to making cool products, and use this site to give you nothing but the facts on the PSP . </li></ul><ul><li>-Sony Computer Entertainment America </li></ul>
  17. 17. Why It Failed <ul><li>They faked it </li></ul><ul><li>And then they tried to cover it up </li></ul><ul><li>Condescension is a bad marketing tactic – they underestimated their audience’s intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>They used a really bad rapper </li></ul>
  18. 18. Rutgers Mobile Marketing Mini MBA According to the website, it’s a program designed to help : “participants design, manage, and track mobile-marketing programs and campaigns. It provides the business case for integrating and leveraging mobile into marketing plans, as well as practical and tactical uses of mobile tools. ”
  19. 19. When you scan the code with your mobile device you get… … a standard, non-mobile website
  20. 20. Why It Fails <ul><li>QR code takes you to traditional website not optimized for mobile. </li></ul><ul><li>These guys should know better given the content of what they’re teaching. </li></ul>
  21. 21. More Takeaways <ul><li>Be authentic. Faking it only ticks people off. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t insult your customers – they’re smart. </li></ul><ul><li>If you mess up, own up to it – don’t cover it up. </li></ul><ul><li>When using mobile, truly go mobile. Standard websites tied to QR codes are a bad idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Have relevant content for mobile – interactive is good. </li></ul><ul><li>Tie it to a good promotion or message. </li></ul>
  22. 22. More Marketing Fails <ul><li>GM ad for college discount program </li></ul><ul><li>Ads pulled after complaints </li></ul>“ Stop pedaling… start driving”
  23. 23. Giant Bicycles responds quickly… <ul><li>Opportunistic </li></ul><ul><li>Timely and effective </li></ul><ul><li>Understands target market </li></ul>“ stop driving…start pedaling”
  24. 24. Get a 2 nd opinion!!
  25. 29. These are your call…
  26. 30. Dr. Pepper Ten <ul><li>A not-diet soda targeted to men </li></ul><ul><li>Offensive? </li></ul><ul><li>On-target? </li></ul>
  27. 31. Quiznos’ Spongemonkeys <ul><li>Men 18-34 </li></ul><ul><li>Loved or hated </li></ul><ul><li>4x website traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Created by Joel Veitch </li></ul>“ They got a pepper bar!!!”
  28. 32. Recap <ul><li>Consider your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment is good </li></ul><ul><li>Be consistent & clear </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of recent trends/headlines </li></ul><ul><li>Be authentic </li></ul><ul><li>Customers are smart </li></ul><ul><li>Get a 2 nd opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize for whatever channel or platform you’re using </li></ul>
  29. 33. Other Noteworthy Campaigns <ul><li>Good </li></ul><ul><ul><li>True Blood launch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ford Fiesta Movement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geico guinea pigs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PETA – Got Beer? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Milk PMS campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GM: Create your own Tahoe ad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Others?? </li></ul>
  30. 34. Questions, comments, or other wit to share?