Friday, May 31, 2013

Great campaigns are about more than just ads

You've probably seen the Farmers Insurance ads on TV. It's one of the better campaigns in the category, combining a great brand mnemonic with relevant humor and what I call a "that guy" strategy – commercials featuring that guy you recognize, but couldn't recall his name if your life depended on it – to create a disruptive, memorable and effective presence amid the clutter that is television advertising.

What I love about the campaign, however, is not just how good the TV spots are, but how watchable the long form videos they've created are.

If you have two and a half minutes, watch this.

While most videos of this ilk are dry and technical, Farmers' agency has created an informational video that fits the style of the campaign without using professional on-camera talent. It almost makes me want to watch more of them.

A crowning achievement for an insurance informercial.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kmart steps on the gas

In a previous post, I wondered if Kmart's successful "Ship My Pants" ad was a campaignable idea or just another marketing one-hit wonder.

Well, they're two for two, and I actually like this execution better than their first.

"Big gas savings" works better for me because the promotion is more relevant. Gas is something you buy almost every week so providing a discount on this is a lot more compelling than free shipping for items not available in store.

Now the only question becomes do they do a furniture spot featuring a large convertible couch with the phrase, "that sofa king's awesome."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Greatest Spectacle in Marketing

I spent this past weekend in Indianapolis as a guest of HP. During my 48 hours there I got an inside look at how HP products are used to help DreamWorks produce its upcoming film "Turbo" about a snail who dreams of racing in the Indy 500. I was also able to interview Kate Swanborg, DreamWorks Head of Enterprise Marketing, see some previously unreleased scenes from the movie and hear directly from her why HP is such a great partner.

That was after spending the day with HP's Indy car team in their garage watching them use HP products to prepare their car for 500. Oh, and somewhere in between I was given a complete overview of HPs new wireless printing systems and drove their HP Workstation-powered racing simulator at the HP Pavilion in the Indy 500 FanZone.

In addition to that, had I been so inclined during my day at the track I could have sampled 5-hour Energy Drinks; gone on a Chevrolet test drive; tested printer, camera, tablet and apps from Crayola, Samsung, Verizon and others; amassed a small collection of commemorative posters; and seen Brett Michaels' in concert to promote his new tv show about over-the-top RVs.

If you want to see marketing's ultimate showcase of hand-to-hand combat, get to Indy next year for the 500.

But make sure you carve out a few hours on Sunday afternoon, I hear there's a race that's usually worth watching.