We know great content when we see it. Our Hawke Media Content Team breaks down some of their favorite marketing highlights from this summer and provides takeaways you can use for your brand.
Brand: White Claw
Product: Spiked seltzer
The draw: With Millennials seeking more health-conscience (coming up at just 100 calories per can), accessible (found at your local grocery store), gender-neutral (branding that speaks to everyone), portable (grab-and-go, and not t mention Instagrammable) alcohol, White Claw was able to dominate 55.5% of the hard seltzer market.
Marketing takeaway: White Claw did away with traditional alcohol marketing tactics (luxury, unattainable, often sexist—but we won’t get into that) by thriving off of user-generated content and positioning their product as the solution to those looking for alcohol alternatives that larger corporations weren’t keeping up with.
Can you give an example?: Break the internet! Play on your brand name, keep up with meme culture, find new ways to engage your audience, and circulate fresh content that people can relate to.
– Lindsey Englander, Project Manager of Content Marketing
Brand: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Product: Fried chicken sandwich
The draw: The latest food craze to hit the news cycle was Popeyes and their newest menu item, the fried chicken sandwich. Why is something as common as a chicken sandwich the latest craze, as opposed to a unicorn-themed cake? Because of the intense loyalty to a brand—be it Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, or, subsequently, Popeyes.
Popeyes originally launched this new menu item on Aug 12., with forecasted inventory to last them until the end of September. However, after everything was all said and done, they sold out of all their stock by mid/late-August. This translated to a $65 Million Marketing Win.
Marketing takeaway: Popeyes succeeded in this viral campaign by hitting the one thing that everyone can resonate with when comparing similar foods from different providers as mentioned above: brand loyalty. Using a passive-aggressive Twitter feud between top brands that already have chicken sandwiches like Chick-Fil-A and Wendy’s, Popeyes was able to jump-start the public conversation into who really does have the “best chicken sandwich” in all the land. To add to that fact, many brands have discovered that one easy way to cut through the social media noise is to poke fun at the competition.
Can you give an example?:
– Chris Liu, Social Media & Content Manager
Product: Diamond necklaces
The draw: Using nostalgia and channeling our favorite ‘90s romcom How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Mejuri sent out a marketing email campaign that centered on the iconic theme, “Frost Yourself.”
Marketing takeaways: Build your email list with engaging, meaningful content that evokes emotion. Lots of consumers nowadays are quick to hit the unsubscribe button, but if you create content that is entertaining and provides value, you can keep a loyal subscribers, who turn into loyal customers.
Connect with your audience. It’s clear here that Mejuri knows its audience demographics pretty well. Clearly, their audience must have been born sometime in the early ‘90s to appreciate this particular film. Find a way to promote your product without making it feel like an ad, and show your customers that you really “get” them.
Can you give an example?:
– Sara Ehlers, Social Media & Influencer Manager
Brand: Megan Thee Stallion, rap artist
Product: “Hot Girl Summer”
The draw: Megan Thee Stallion teased a hit new song with a title that became the anthem of summer 2019. “Hot Girl Summer” was introduced to the music scene in May 2019, although the full song did not debut on the charts until early August 2019. Megan and her team capitalized on a three-month hype campaign to reign the charts and create a name for herself all season long.
Marketing takeaway: Megan applied to trademark her summer anthem to profit via merchandise and capitalize off her hit single. The phrase went viral in May, although the hit didn’t drop until the end of summer. Brands such as Wendy’s, Forever 21, and Maybelline tried to capitalize on the social-viral phrase that pays through ad copy, email blasts, and more.
Commit to relatable content! Utilize social listening for opportunities to capitalize on micro-trends in order to convert into mass appeal and recurring conversions.
Can you give an example?:
– Jenna Hughes, Social Media & Content Manager
Brand: New Amsterdam Vodka x Barstool Sports
Product: The Pink Whitney
The draw: The Pink Whitney was inspired by the favorite drink of Ryan Whitney, former NHL player and co-host of Spittin’ Chiclets. The drink went viral in October 2018 after Whitney shared his favorite way to drink New Amsterdam Vodka—with pink lemonade—on the first episode of the podcast New Amsterdam Vodka sponsored, resulting in an unprecedented amount of social media posts from enthusiastic fans who organically coined the term “Pink Whitney.”
Marketing takeaway: New Amsterdam sponsored the podcast Spittin’ Chiclets—which generates 575,000 downloads—and the episode in order to reach younger adults. As the number one hockey podcast, New Amsterdam was able to target the hockey community and its loyal fans. When host Ryan Whitney mentioned that his favorite drink was New Amsterdam Vodka and pink lemonade, fans started to refer to the drink as a “Pink Whitney” and began posting about it on social media.
It got so much traction that bars and NHL arenas started selling it to hockey fans, while also referring to the drink as the “Pink Whitney.” When New Amsterdam realized how big this had gotten, they decided to bottle up the lemonade-flavored vodka and sell it nationwide. On Sep. 1, the vodka hit stores, and loyal fans—including NHL players—began buying the drink and tweeting out pictures of the bottles to the Spittin’ Chiclets Twitter account.
As a result of this huge success, New Amsterdam signed a three-year deal to be the official vodka of the NHL. In October, when the NHL season starts, New Amsterdam will air 15 and 30 second commercials on NBC Sports featuring Ryan Whitney and co-host of Spittin’ Chiclets Paul Bissonnette. By 2021, marketers are projected to go from spending $479 million on podcasts to more than $1 billion, according to The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
Can you give an example?:
– Andrew Chacon, SEO Specialist
Brand: The Confident Collective
The draw: The Confident Collective just launched their podcast, so they created a “What Makes Me Confident” campaign centered around showing different videos of the founders doing what makes them feel confident. This campaign resulted in their first 3,000 followers on social but also was able to show the brand values in a creative, relatable way, creating excitement for launch.
- Utilizing quick, digestible video content
- Sharing fun facts about the founders through core values
- Launching with a branded campaign with the initial goal of email captures
- Creating a branded hashtag
Can you give an example?: https://www.instagram.com/confidentcollective/?hl=en
– Tyler Grove, Social Media, Influencer & Content Manager
Brand: Bulletproof 360
Product: InnerFuel Prebiotic
The draw: Bulletproof started out as a blog run by Dave Asprey, a former computer hacker and Silicon Valley executive who “hacked” his own biology to heal his body and mind from a number of grave illnesses and dysfunctions. In doing so, he quarterbacked (and popularized) the modern “biohacking” movement.
Since then, he got famous for putting (grass-fed) butter in (mold-and-mycotoxin-free) coffee, wrote a book that launched an entire wellness philosophy and approach, opened several cafes and biohacking labs, and put a line of high-quality supplements, coffee beans, snacks, and apparel on the market. He’s creating an “empire” that’s taken niche health concepts and made them palatable for a greater cross-section of modern individuals who simply want to perform better.
For the July 2019 launch of the latest line in his supplements portfolio, BP targeted gut health from an angle that most competitors have been ignoring. Instead of creating a probiotic (of which there are already many on the market), they decided to launch a prebiotic. In short, prebiotics feed probiotics; without the former, probiotics can’t even do what they do.
Since there’s a lack of quality prebiotic supplements on the market, BP was able to enter the “biome modulation space” (as some call it) and dominate a completely different side of it. This allowed them to create a significant buzz in an otherwise quiet arena.
Marketing takeaway: To make a big splash in a crowded pool, find a less crowded pool. Though Bulletproof is already a big company with a loyal following and curious peripheral audience, they took advantage of a saturated space by creating a type of product (in the same space) that hasn’t gotten the same kind of attention. Along with their March 2019 launch to over 20,000 retail outlets (including Target, Costco, CVS, Ralphs, Safeway, etc.), the prebiotic supplement (InnerFuel) was the perfect product to attract new customers who have never heard of prebiotics, as well as reel in veteran biohackers and savvy wellness enthusiasts who’d been looking for one.
Other things BP did well:
- Paired the product launch with an article on their blog explaining the importance of prebiotics
- Used Instagram to create a product reveal experience for followers, posting a picture of a “tub” silhouette with the caption: “Something big is coming…TOMORROW!” Dave himself (a thought leader and influencer in his own right, with nearly 170,000 followers) commented, “It’s a new tub???”
- Launched the product with a basic video on Instagram featuring Pac-Man-style animations in the classic Bulletproof signature hexagon icons and illustrating the benefits of prebiotics as well as high-level product information.
Can you give an example?:
– James Han, Content Editor
Brand: Taco Bell
Product: The Bell — a Taco Bell branded hotel
The draw: Taco Bell debuted a hotel concept in Palm Springs, California where superfans could book a getaway and take part in branded Taco Bell experiences. The lineup included food tastings, synchronized swimmers in hot-sauce suits, a poolside concert by Fletcher, and a gift shop selling branded apparel. Open from Aug. 8-12, The Bell had a limited number of rooms for stay, and they did such a great job at creating buzz that the hotel sold out within two minutes of going live.
Create an experience that caters to your superfans.
The Bell builds upon Taco Bell’s branded experiential marketing strategy. Catering to their millennial audience, Taco Bell aimed to create an experience that would resonate with consumers offering travel and exclusive apparel and dining options.
Additionally, Taco Bell surprisingly didn’t put a ton of effort into pre-marketing buzz. The brand launched a website along with an 11-second video that gave users just enough information to get excited but left most of the experience up to the consumer’s imagination. This strategy shows there’s something to be said to a mysterious approach that sparks curiosity and intrigue.
Can you give an example?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VytXc9rZS8&feature=youtu.be
– Emma Paye, Manager, Content Marketing
Product: CBD drink
The draw: Recess, a recently launched CBD brand, dedicated significant time into their branding. Their website, email, and social media assets focus on eye captivating designs to stand out from their competitors. Following the simple pastel color palette on their packaging, their visual assets follow the same consistent branding across the board.
Marketing takeaway: Consistent branding across all marketing collateral is key to building brand recognition with your audience. Whenever someone clicks through from an ad to your social media profile to your website, messaging and visual aesthetics should all be aligned.
When it comes to creating brand assets, keep it fun! Your customers come across hundreds of ads a day that don’t stand out from each other. Focus on your target audience and determine what will have them wanting to consume your content on a regular basis (and what they’ll want to share with their friends and family as well).
Can you give an example?:
– David Chon, Director of Content Marketing
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