Thursday, August 2, 2012

Creative bravery

The day you start running a shop on fear is the day your shop is doomed

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The ingredients for a successful Foursquare campaign

Alright, I don't have the actual result numbers to verify that this duet between Sam Adams and Buffalo Wild Wings was a success, but really, how could it not be? While some brands openly beg people to check in, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter without giving them a single good reason why they should, this effort hits all the main points you need to make a Foursquare campaign (or any social media promotion) a hit.

Right reward
How many times have you seen social media promotions for lame rewards like, "Check in on Foursquare every Wednesday this month to get a special access code to view an exclusive online video preview of some marginal crap we're gonna try to sell you?" This reward is beer. Beer is something people want. And free beer is something that people will do crazy things to get, like help friends move heavy appliances from third story apartment to third story apartment (God, I'm glad I'm not in college anymore). If you want your Foursquare campaign to work, you need to give the people something they actually want.

Right place
I'm sure this campaign was promoted elsewhere, but the touch point that touched me (no, not like that) was the handy dandy table topper pictured above. I'm at Buffalo Wild Wings drinking beer. If I come back on a certain night at a certain time, I could have that beer for free? Sold! If you're trying to inspire loyalty + repeat sales and make a slow shift busier, who better to help you out than the people who are already visiting your restaurant?

Right partner
It's beer at a sports bar. If I need to explain why that one works, you might want to go back to marketing 101...or just get out more.

Right time
Because Foursquare checkins include the element of time, you can not only influence WHAT people do, but WHEN they do it. I'm guessing Buffalo Wild Wings did this one to help fill their restaurants during a traditionally slow shift.

Sense of urgency
Perhaps just as smart as limiting which shifts the Foursquare campaign applies to, Buffalo Wild Wings has made another smart move here- limiting the free beer to the first 20 people to check in at the desired time. That makes the campaign easy to budget for (max= cost of 20 beers) and really encourages people to compete to be one of the first in the door. If you can come in anytime after 9pm on a Friday and get your free beer, what's the rush? If you have to be one of the first 20 in the door...well...just think about all those black Friday shopping videos you see on the news.

So, what about you? Have you encountered any Foursquare campaigns compelling enough you participated in them? Or even created one yourself? Let the world know in the comments below.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Smart Car copywriters borrow from another iconic ad campaign

I recently wrote about how several modern car manufacturers, including Smart, have been borrowing from an iconic VW Beetle campaign. Based on the web banner above, that's not the only place that the copywriters on the Smart Car account have been finding inspiration.

The Smart Car folks are also taking a page from 7-Up's classic "uncola" campaign. Want a different kind of soda? Get the uncola. Want a different kind of car? Get the uncar.I will say there's a subtle difference, as the 7-Up campaign used its "un" word as a noun to refer to the product. Smart, on the other hand, uses "uncar" as a made up verb that accompanies other "un" words that allude to consumer benefits.

This approach actually puts more focus on the consumer instead of the product and on actions vs state of being. And research has shown that messages focused on the audience that use action verbs (not passive being verbs) tend to be more effective.

So, the copywriters are certainly borrowing, but at least they're putting their own spin on it. Is it too close for comfort? I'll let you decide.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fiat takes copywriting hints from VW

The Fiat 500 may be relatively new compared to the VW Beetle, but the copywriters on the account are certainly channeling the famous Doyle Dane Bernbach ads from the early '60s.

Touting the wisdom of small. Slightly irreverent. Apparently challenging the status quo (even though there are plenty of small cars on the road today).

And the design- a simple, modestly sized product shot, unassuming type and plenty of white space.

VW and Mini have shown that the approach can work. I'm interested to see if "think small" can carry a third car to success, though it might be hard with TV ads like this.

UPDATE: "Small" has actually supported four car models. I forgot Smart is currently running this ad, probably because I assumed it was for the same tiny vehicle.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The sour side of in-store copywriting

Just wanted to share this nugget of in-store copywriting for Vlasic pickles I saw at my local grocery store. It's appropriately playful, and though not completely life-changing, makes you stop and think right before making you smile (assuming you like pickles). That's more than most in-store advertising will do.

Plus, kudos to media on the placement.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spanglish web banner writing 101

If copywriting bilingual ads is this easy, I should have started doing them a long time ago.

For those without a sense of humor, that was what we in the industry call a funny haha joke.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reviewing Long John Silver's fresh tagline

Long John Silver's latest tagline is:

Sea food differently

Obviously combining the ideas of "see food differently" and "sea food" into a single thought, this tagline scores high for economy of words.

The tagline is often used in TV and radio spots in the first person by employees, or actors playing employees, that declare "I sea food differently." The first person usage conveys the idea that Long John Silver's is not only a different dining experience, but that the company's unique way of doing things permeates every corner of the company, or what executives might call a "top-down" adoption of the corporate vision.

All in all, I think this tagline is a win. It's short. It holds multiple meanings and something about it seems fresh, which can be hard to do in the often stale fast food category. My compliments to the copywriter.