Here’s an exercise for you. Try to go one day without seeing an advertising message. Ok, how about an hour? Some subtle, others overt, marketers are finding us in as unsuspecting of places as the bottom of golf holes. Every business is talking at customers. But what makes that chatter banal or brilliant?
For a while now, videos like Coca-Cola’s “Friendly Twist” campaign have ricocheted across social media. A refrigerator filled with Coke was placed in the center of a college campus on the first day of classes. Predictably, the freshmen were somewhat uneasy and weren’t talking to one another. Coke had dreamt up something to help break the ice. A few students approach the fridge for a Coke and discover they can’t open the bottle…unless the friendly twist cap is matched with another. Eye contact, aha moments and smiles ensue. “Open a Coke, open a new friendship” is the tag that appears across the screen. From engineering design to marketing execution, there is something awe-inspiring about this work. Current, yet nostalgic, you are so easily transported back to your freshman year, recalling the search for familiarity and belonging. You remember how uncertainty eclipsed the empowerment and freedom you thought you would be feeling during those first days.
Global advertising network Saatchi & Saatchi introduced us to the idea of lovemarks in the book Lovemarks – The Future Beyond Brands by CEO Kevin Roberts. It’s a book I have been talking about and quoting from for years. Lovemarks.com shares the “three intangible, yet very real ingredients” that characterizes a lovemark:
Mystery draws together stories, metaphors, dreams and symbols. It is where past, present and future become one.
Sensuality keeps the five senses on constant alert for new textures, intriguing scents and tastes, wonderful music. Sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.
Intimacy means empathy, commitment and passion. The close connections that win intense loyalty as well as the small perfect gesture. These are often remembered long after functions and benefits have faded away.
This viral “Friendly Twist” video rings with these elements, endearing the brand to the viewer. How does your business’ advertising, and for that matter your brand experience, employ these ingredients to draw people into a “loving” relationship with your brand?