The celebrity endorsed commercial making the rounds right now that has everyone talking (and no, not the now infamous and debunk Pepsi ad), is an example of targeted marketing at its finest.
We posted a blog earlier this month highlighting trends in ways the world is adapting to rethinking the CEO of the future and how new leadership styles have been influencing the ways in which business are being built and products are being defined (with heavy influence from technology and ease of access). Well, a certain “company” is tapping into the consumer generation in the most blatantly targeted messaging and never actually saying their company name or showing their products and logo directly... Why? Because that is how our digital brains have been hard-wired, to access’ information quickly and become intrigued enough to immediately take notice of a specific product, in a vast sea of advertising and competing choices.
The commercial concept is so simple. A prominent face, in this case actress/comedian Mindy Kaling, stands in a room and speaks directly to the camera (the consumer). She never says the company’s name she is representing, instead uses a partner brand to influence the viewer to go “Google” the “place where Coke tastes so good”... And as a first-time viewers of the commercial, that is exactly what the audience did. You may have first thought, “I don’t get it, is she a new Coca-Cola sponsor?”, and found yourself on your phone immediately wanting access to the answer, and there is where it all makes perfect sense.
Everyone involved wins with this ad. The “company” in the commercial, we’ll leave unnamed, and allow you to grab your phone to figure out first-hand who is the marketer in question. You will see it is a brand that has faced some bad press and scrutiny in their industry recently, over quality in comparison to competitors, and has a clever new approach to bringing people back into their stores. But it is not just them, their partner brands Google and Coca-Cola win big here as well. The viewer will likely use Google as the search engine of choice to unravel the mystery (as it was named directly by Kaling) and Coca-Cola, long-time partner to the advertiser, is the clear winner, with a “tastes so good” tagline.
In a world where companies have now turned more frequently to YouTube, Bloggers and other “celebrities” and social media “Influencers” as the new brand ambassadors, it makes perfect sense. “89 percent of the U.S. mobile population (144 million users) now access news and information via their mobile devices” and at least 87% use a 2nd screen device while watching TV.
While for some reason it feels shallow admitting to this, as many of us would like to pretend we don’t multi-task and that we put our phones down allowing ourselves to relax in the evenings because it feels a bit cooler to be unaffected. But many of us are indeed guilty of it as well. Have you done this? You hear a song, or the name of a product, maybe see an interesting pair of shoes on TV and pull your phone out and Shazam the song to identify it, and then buy it on itunes, all in under 2 minutes’ time? So, let’s confess that we’re influenced by seeing something we like and the immediate gratification of access to it.
In fact whether you drink soda frequently or can’t even remember the last time you drank one, the commercial immediately makes most of us reminisce about how good a soda fountain Coca-Cola tasted as a kid from said “company”… Nostalgia, smartphones, celebrities, information-seeking and immediate gratification. It doesn’t get much more Millennial than that. We give kudos to the “company” and their targeted advertising win.
Clever, yet coy, and directly indirect. We should all take note at the some of the simplest forms of branding (or in this case “unbranding”) to reach our intended audiences.