Marketing campaigns: The weird, the whacky and the wonderful

Sometimes when I talk about my experiences with various different jobs I have had or clients in any form, people are kind of amused or bemused by some of the things done in the name of marketing campaigns.

So rather than do a usual kind of retrospective and look back on 2010, Unashamedly Creative presents some of the weird, the whacky and the wonderful marketing campaigns of my marketing career.

Grand Final Beer

It’s great to be creative, but sometimes an idea but you need to know your boundaries of reality versus plain lunacy. Take for example a discussion I had with a high up in a printing company. It was his dream to cash in on the fervour of footy fever and use printing equipment to print winner labels for grand finals and get them into local pubs to celebrate victory. Part of the suggestion was to have big printers at the pub, start printing at half time and stick them on the bottles with the winning team.

Our friend ignored the logistics of having dirty great printers in a hell of a lot of pubs, whether the beer companies may not be too happy about sticking something over their labels on mass and the hoteliers wondering if they’d enjoyed a rather unhealthy dose of crack before coming to them with such an idea.

And the focus of the campaign? To show off the speed and multiple uses of the industrial sized printers to an audience which had no need for them. Oh dear.

You’re in dating, so you must like sleaze

We used to joke about being electronic pimps in the online dating world, but nothing compared to a certain TV programmes pitch. Back in the day when reality was a hot ticket, we were not exactly sold when a TV programme that shall remain nameless sent a representative to pitch the idea of having a “singles only” version of their annual show, together with increased alcohol and games to put them together.

Any good marketer or sales person will do some research on their target, surely?

Not this TV programme rep- they went way past relationship or dating and went straight into reminding me about last year’s programme and hot spot, the spa and how great the ratings were with the “sexy controversy”. As an added bonus, they wanted to be able to add a filter to their site where the person in sexy mode could be clicked on and a search of “like minded people” would appear on our site.

Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I would gather most people wouldn’t really want to proffer up their customers as an alternative to a horny twenty something unless they had XXX in their usual marketing copy!

Marketing campaigns on the run: A marketing marathon

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just goes from oddball to crazy? Try organising a completely branded marathon team of eight people, together with matching Australia tracksuits, company logo and personalised messaging, finding two coffee table books on Australia, brochures collated for pretty much every tourist attraction we have to offer in a branded folder, a tile from the roof of the Opera House, create a customised silk and wood presentation box and getting it to Houston, Texas.

Oh, did I mention you have two days?

Job completed on time and to spec with an afternoon to spare. The dreams about being in some kind of high pressure Easter Egg hunt dissipated shortly after.

Barking Mad

Business development can be one of the most tedious assignments you can get- unless you make it creative. Rather than flick through the yellow pages and make a short list of IT clients to call, with the blessing of the company director, I decided to put something special into “cold calling” by choosing clients outside of scope and using email instead.

From this, we gained some successful conversions to ad-hoc and regular clients and more interviews and meetings for prospective clients than the company had seen. I guess writing to insurance companies from the point of view of the office dog and how important he believes it to be for himself and other fur friends like him to have the appropriate pet cover really does pay off- it certainly made for some interesting responses.

I don’t know, but I’ll learn

Beyond rejoicing being able to unscrew Australian wine as opposed to wrestle with cork and being a card carrying red drinker, I have to say I didn’t exactly know much about wine. So many people have become quite surprised to find me talking about leather, tobacco and star anise and discussing tannins, length and finish in increasing regularity.

What started as a gig helping some very keen brothers write some copy for a community based wine-store has turned into over 400 wine descriptions, countless articles and a massive passion. It has also opened up a love of tasting wine, tasting plates and beer and food matching. Now if someone would just make a diet wine and a decent low fat cheese, life would be sweet!

In the name of research

Having a whole self full of books on serial killers, abnormal psychology and murder is a tiny bit unusual for a marketer. The same could be said of owning most of the latest Gothic revival literature about vampires, or booking viewing time for these assets as a billable item under approved research, but it has become a reality for me.

For anyone out there who’s tired of the current soppy vampire paleness and simple “shock awe” concept writing, or for any fellow marketers who love nothing better than plumbing the depths of creativity in the late hours of the day with a glass of red and a bit of sinister music floating through the stereo I can tell you without a hint of being self serving, you will be as intrigued with what becomes of this labour in 2011.

Exchanging words for magic beans

Product managers have loved the concept, corporate colleagues think I have finally lost my marbles and more than a few eyebrows have been raised when speaking of Swap Creative.

Still in its infancy, it’s been great to have so much interest and questions, and even an email from Clover Moore saying she will spread the word!

I am very serious about making this concept work and potentially become a mainstay of the Unashamedly Creative mix, so if you know anyone who is interested, send them my way!