Getting viral with one part humor, one part daring, and a finely-honed sense of timing. Conclusion of a two-part series.
Last month, I wrote about what I call "instant branding." You see instant branding in email messages in particular. Because of their irresistible wit, the messages are passed on to friends to share a wry smile, regardless of the fact the senders know they're distributing advertising for free.
One example is McDonald's promotion that ran at the same time the Beagle exploratory spacecraft landed on Mars. Picking up on the old adage, "Is there life on Mars?" McDonald's capitalized on an existing expression of popular culture, free of identified authorship, unrestrained by copyright, and available to all in the public domain. McDonald's seized an opportunity offered by current events. It married news of the Martian landing with the life on Mars concept. It started the ball rolling with an email bearing a picture of the Martian surface; in the corner was a McDonald's sign and the words, "Life found on Mars." Chuckling recipients cooperatively forwarded the message to friends, spreading cheer and the McDonald's brand.
Today, I'll provide some hints on making the most of such opportunities. How do you spot the right wave of popular culture and ride it? How do you ensure an initial distribution will multiply your message's exposure through email forwarding?
Part one mentioned some ingredients for instant branding success. Here's how to mix them:
Instant branding is all about riding the right wave, at the right time, with the right balance of humor, irony, and brand message. You'll never run out of a marketing budget for instant branding. Only running out of ideas can hold you back. What more could you ask for these days, when a tight marketing budget always seems the ultimate obstacle to spreading a brand's messages?
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Martin Lindstrom is recognized as one of the world's primary on- and offline branding gurus by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He is the author of several best-selling branding books including his latest, "BRAND sense: Build Powerful Brands through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound," published by Free Press. BRANDsense.com details information about Lindstrom's "BRAND sense" and the BRAND sense Symposium, a branding conference running in 51 cities in 31 countries.
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