In keeping with tradition, this summer is already bringing with it swimsuits and sunscreen, campfires and, yes, ad campaigns. Brands simply can't resist a good seasonal advertising effort, particularly if it's digital in nature. While summer is a tremendously important season for certain businesses (hotels and airlines come to mind), every brand stands to benefit from a relevant and well-executed campaign. Traffic to retail sites has been known to increase by at least 10 percent during the summer months as consumers prepare for vacations, outdoor activities, and back-to-school, and this uptick can be leveraged with promotional initiatives that play out online.
Pinterest As a Source of Marketing Content
From the perspective of marketing, it seems every summer is defined by a trend. This year advertisers are experimenting with Pinterest. For months now they've been creating Pinterest pages that showcase their brand personality, and the next step seems to be to reposition this strategy as it relates to a summer promotion. In its daily email newsletter "The Dish," for example, Food & Wine Magazine recently tapped its Pinterest page to create a recipe feature. Instead of presenting the images as magazine content, they were bundled into a gallery and named "F&W's Top 50 Pinterest Recipes." Naturally, the recipes were ideal for easy summer living.
The Uses of Seasonal Pinboards
Pinterest is also being used to emphasize summer events related to brands. Better Homes and Gardens magazine extended coverage of its recent "Chill and Grill 2012" festival by creating a pinboard to house real-time photos and live pins from the event. Sponsors Weber Grills and Bush's Best Beans were featured in both images and copy, adding value to their promotional investment. For both brands, along with Better Homes and Gardens proper, Pinterest provided a way to share the experience with all those consumers who couldn't make it to the Chicago venue in person.
Travel Channel took a similar approach by creating a pinboard to promote its upcoming new summer series, "Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America." By the time the show premiered in early June, the board was already drawing interested viewers. When taking this approach, however, be sure to include a link to your Pinterest page where your users are most likely to find it. On your brand or product site page it should live with other social sharing links such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube, but it should also be added to the email newsletters you send to subscribers who have opted to receive your branded content.
Sponsorships, Sweepstakes, and Integrated Content
When brands make an effort to advertise their summer specials - whether those come in the form of a new series or a seasonal product - opportunities arise for others to take their cut of the consumer attention. As part of the launch campaign for Travel Channel's summer series, the media company partnered with Kenmore to create the "Best Sandwich Sweepstakes" and generate interest in both brands. The buy included a series page sponsorship logo, display ads, and a pre-roll ad that played alongside an integrated video of show host Adam Richman making a "legendary sandwich" with only the ingredients found in a Kenmore fridge. Whenever it's a contest or sweepstakes that's being promoted, it behooves media brands to make entry information as prominent as possible and even feature it within the video itself, as securing entries is the primary objective of this kind of campaign.
Disney/Pixar's film "Brave," which promises to be a summer blockbuster the world over, is creating advertising opportunities for related businesses as well. Scotland tourism organization VisitScotland has launched a microsite in conjunction with Disney that highlights the country in the context of the movie that's based there. Images and clips from the film are interspersed with real-life national history and travel videos for an effect that's informative, endearing, and serves both parties' marketing needs.
The summer months have a lot to offer consumers - and digital marketers, too.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Tessa Wegert is an interactive media strategist with Enlighten, one of the first full-service digital marketing strategy and services agencies, serving such brands as Bioré, Bratz, Food Network, illy, Hunter Douglas, Jergens, and Olympic Paints and Stains. An industry veteran, Tessa has worked in online media buying and planning, marketing, and online copywriting since 1999. She is an active freelance writer specializing in interactive marketing who has contributed to U.S. and Canadian publications, including "USA Weekend Magazine," "Marketing Magazine," "The Globe and Mail," and "The Montreal Gazette." She is frequently quoted as an industry expert and speaks regularly at industry conferences and events.
March 19, 2014