We’re all well aware that an awesome marketing campaign will evoke feelings of intense emotions within the viewer; whether that is shock, awe, lust, happiness, sadness or fright.
If the audience feel something or participate in an experience, they’re more likely to remember the event, and most importantly, remember the brand. This is all standard knowledge within marketing and has been implemented for some time now.
Another piece of well known knowledge in marketing, and as the famous saying goes … sex sells.
In 2014, however, we’ve found that sex just isn’t enough anymore.
Doing good sells.
Good is the new sex.
Recently, there has been an interesting shift regarding the customer ‘experience’. Sincerity and humanity seem to underpin a vast majority of marketing campaigns of 2013 and 2014. Brands want to appear sincere, a trusted friend, someone who does good in the world and celebrates good-doers in return. They want to be portrayed as a company that gives back to the people – especially their customers.
Just take a look at WestJet’s holiday campaign that went viral. The video ‘WestJet Christmas Miracle: real time giving’ surprised 250 of their lucky passengers with their Christmas wish list when they landed at their destination. The video went viral due to it’s impeccable timing and heart-warming scenes. It perfectly captured the notion of doing a random good deed for a stranger.
Another example of the good-deed marketing technique is seen in British Airways campaign ‘Visit soon’, which had the tagline, ‘Australia has everything … expect you’. In the video we see BA invite two British grandparents to a packed film screening unaware that the film they’re about to watch is directed at them, featuring their granddaughter Esme. BA then presents the overwhelmed grandparents with tickets to Austrailia to visit their family. Brings a tear to the eye, right?
This sense of a random good deed also went global through an unexpected spin-off from the social media craze ‘Nek-Nominations’. RAK nominations (random act of kindness) ejected everything that was negative about NEK noms and instead turned it on its head and promoted random acts of goodness instead of pointless excessive drinking and laddish behaviour.
So why have these campaigns been so successful and achieved viral status within hours? Well, people admire goodness; they praise it, promote it and even crave it. In a world that reports death in all its forms; war, illness, murder, on a daily basis through many different platforms, to hear a story that is grounded in humanity is a breath of fresh air and re-establishes our faith in people. Brands have cottoned onto this and are continuingly trying to distance themselves from the corporately cold world, and instead connect with each consumer on a personal level. Simultaneously, consumers are constantly demanding more and more from brands regarding the human touch.
And as customers we are affiliated with everything our brand does. Therefore we take part ownership of that sense of kindness that is grounded in their campaign: if a brand which I buy into is doing good, then by association, I, myself am doing good things too. Therefore, I will continue to buy this product, or be loyal to this brand because it gives me a sense of worth.
Not only that, but kindness and goodness contains a contagious nature. As the RAK nominations and the #nomakeupselfie campaigns show, if we see people doing good we are eager to jump on the bandwagon and participate in that too. On April 1st an unsuspecting waitress, Chelsea Roff, was the latest target of a campaign called ‘Prank it Forward’ which unleashes positive pranks to regular people who just need a break and should be rewarded as everyday heroes.
Call it random act of kindness by brands or excellent marketing techniques, either way, I’m happy for this trend to stay. When I see a video that demonstrates a gesture of goodwill, I can’t help but smile.