Can Your Brand Make Me Smile?

So often, brands are only as creative and as fun as their brand managers will allow the agency folks to be.  You can just look at some products and brands or their marketing initiatives and tell that the folks doing the agency work are not allowed to be creative.   Other brands are obviously having fun with their audience.  You can imagine the team working on Mountain Dew, Old Spice, or  are allowed to be creative and run with fun ideas, because their audience expects it.    But Baked Beans is not a product that normally gets to have any fun.  I imagine the brand manager says to the agency:  “Could you make the beans look more glossy…. can you make the dog talk?”   And the creatives at the agency make the dog say something that hardly makes you even listen when you are watching it on TV/Web.  You probably are getting up to get some Mountain Dew out of the refrigerator.

Every now and then, a brand tries to break out of the ordinary and get noticed.  They turn their creatives loose with a budget to support it.  And magic happens.  People actually pause the DVR fast forwarding to backup and watch the commercial.  Everyone at the water cooler in your office is talking about it and passing around the YouTube link.   And that’s exactly what happened today with Haynes Baked Beans.   So I’m passing the link to you and asking: “Can your brand make me smile?”    If not, who is causing creativity blocks in your process.


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How Does Your Brand Surprise And Delight Your Customers?


Brands want people to share their story. How do you get someone to share? By inspiring them, surprising them and delighting them with your brand or product. There are many good examples out there and this recent WestJet video shows how they surprised a plane full of customers at the Christmas holidays. Obviously, capturing all of the video and posting it to YouTube has inspired and delighted many of us enough to share the story. My wife shared it with me after her co-workers shared it with her. See it below.

What makes someone want to share? In the book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” author Dr. Jonah Berger states: “Awe is the sense of wonder and amazement that occurs when someone is inspired by great knowledge, beauty, sublimity, or might. It’s the experience of confronting something greater than yourself. Awe expands ones frame of reference and drives self-transcendence. Awe is a complex motion and frequently involves a sense of surprise, unexpectedness or mystery.” Awe also inspires sharing. For example, Jonah and his team determined that awe-inspiring articles were 30% more likely to make the “Most Emailed” list.

As a developer of self service kiosks, interactive and mobile I especially enjoyed the “Santa Station” that WestJet setup in the terminal to allow customers to talk “Live” to Santa. Notice the carpet where people should stand to be in the full view of the camera. This illustrates that any sort of photobooth kiosk needs to be more than just the enclosure. A kiosk is the enclosure and everything around it used to draw attention to the kiosk including signage, floor branding, surrounding product, etc. Ensure your kiosk is not just a screen on a stick or on the wall. Think of your kiosk as the entire environment.