Mobile phones are everywhere. The number of people who have access to them is much larger than the number of people who have access to PCs. Mobile phones and tablets have outsold PC’s and laptops for years now.
Mobile marketing is critical for any successful marketing strategy. Why? Watch the video to find out!
——–Cameras & Gear Used To Shoot My Videos ——-
Being true to my principle of using the minimal amount of consumer gear to produce the best possible content, my in-studio videos are shot with an Apple iPhone Xs, a Rode Wireless Go mic kit, Viltrox LED lights, a Parrot portable teleprompter, an Apple iPod Touch, & a Manfrotto monopod.
I edit with Apple FCPX on a 13″ MacBook Pro (16GB, 1TB SSD) attached to a Samsung T5 2TB Ext SSD, & an LG 34-Inch UltraWide Monitor via a Blackmagic eGPU. I use music from Birocratic.com & EpidemicSound.com, Pixel Film Studios plugins & Noam Kroll LUTs.
2020 rolled in like most years before it, with me on a plane.
Between work and holidays, the second half of 2019 had felt like I was away more than I was home. We flew home on New Year’s Day having spent the holidays with my parents. I had no idea at the time that it might be both my first and last flight of the year. All the 50th birth-year celebration plans – parties in Ibiza, Olympics in Japan – blown away like leaves in a monsoon wind.
Overnight, my relationships with a host of organisations went to zero., particularly in the travel sector. I had played the points game intently. KrisFlyer, Marriott Bonvoy, DBS Altitude points and Changi Rewards had absorbed brain cycles and administrative planning time. Until they suddenly didn’t.
And I started to wonder, did these brands still have relevance in my life?
As a design thinking practitioner, I am endlessly fascinated by how humans interact with the world, and how those situations can be made better. Empathy is at the core of insight, and even if we are socially isolated, there is so much to learn from self-reflection – and, of course, Zoom calls.
Prognostications that offer comfort in the form of certainty do not seem a responsible way forward in such exceptional times. I don’t think that is a responsible course of action either for people concerned about their family, or their business. Very few organisations have planned for a worst-case that involves a pandemic driving their business to zero and we have no modern examples of what coming out of that looks like.
It made more sense, to me at least, to gameplay. There is a range of views on where we come out of Covid-19. Placing them on a game board, mapping potential outcomes, and observing one’s own confirmation biases seemed like a good place to start.
At one end of the spectrum, Mark Ritson snarkily asserts that consumers go back to doing exactly what they used to do. If that is true, then after having tentatively emerged back into the sunlight and re-discovered my sea legs, I will re-engage with all my favourite travel providers in pretty much the same way. Hmm, my confirmation bias screams ‘no!!!’ I realise I have started to replace the status and points game with a couple of new games, one called ‘how much have I saved today?’, and its twin called ‘how much carbon have I not emitted today?’
Still, it is eminently possible.
At the other end, we have David Galbraith arguing we are in a period of flow change, a shift as profound as the industrial revolution. It is one that Galbraith believes will need society to re-balance from efficiency to flexibility, embracing the anti-fragile resilience that feeds on chaos, that Nassim Nicholas Taleb had advocated for.
In that world, some relationships really do go to zero, some will re-factor, and new brands will gain prominence in my life.
Back to my question: these huge brands that went to zero in my life overnight, do they still have some relevance to me?
Take Changi Airport, which is 98% down year-on-year. Like most residents of Singapore, I believe it is the best airport in the world. For leisure trips my family would always want to go earlier to spend time at Changi; truth be told, I did the same for business trips.
Changi is the last place in the world I want to be right now. I do, however, remember it with affection, and look forward to being back there. Reflecting on life as we all are, I hope to be there less often, because of carbon. But I also hope to have more time to value that experience when I am.
Similarly, Singapore Airlines. Best airline in the world, down 96%. Don’t want to be on a plane, looking forward to fewer SQ flights with more time to enjoy them.
The most interesting experiences have been with hotel groups.
Marriott as a brand has gone up huuuuugely in my estimation. In March, the CEO wrote to Bonvoy members with the opening line ‘For more than 90 years, Marriott has lived by a core value established by our founder, JW Marriott, Sr., to “take care of our guests and associates.”’
Arne Sorenson’s next email focused first on how their hotels were helping provide shelter for frontline staff in healthcare, the military and supermarkets. He shared how associates were making facemasks, providing food for those at risk, and lighting up hotel windows with messages of hope and solidarity.
At the end of that email, I was assured that my status and points would be extended for another year and was informed I could support charitable efforts using those points through Marriott’s giving program.
Subsequent emails provided armchair travel opportunities using video and augmented reality, the chance to order food from the restaurants of local hotels, and a poem reminding me that ‘we will travel again’.
Now that is a brand communication, and the experiences offered up really hit home. This is a wonderful example of something we at VMLY&R believe; that brand experience is the promise, and customer experience is the fulfilment of that promise.
It is more important than ever for brands to be empathic to what customers, employees and the community at large are going through. Those who can tap into this human-centred approach can position themselves for take-off as we come out of this crisis. Even if their business has gone to zero.
Keith Timimi is chief innovation officer, VMLY&R Asia.
You’re a cannabis brand who can’t use social media marketing in the traditional sense to bring growth to your business. Don’t fear! Because NSPR Media is here to show you how to navigate both the online and offline world of marketing!
Here are the top 6 best growth strategies you can use both online and offline.
Want to know the real deal about social media marketing and business. Check out our podcast! It’s called “AM I TRENDING” We come out with new episodes every single Monday and Wednesday! We cover topics like Influencer Marketing, Donald Trump & Social Strategy, Digital and Social Marketing Strategies For Every Single Industry.
It’s remarkable how quickly a ‘new normal’ can embed itself in our culture and in our lives. Humans are clearly very adaptable, as within little over a month we’ve dramatically changed the way we live and, largely, settled into it.
But the deluge of depressing and tragic news is one thing we all struggle to get accustomed to, and this new research from Twitter suggests that many people want other content to consume, content that for a moment allows us to forget about the fear and uncertainty of the global coronavirus pandemic and instead explores the mundane, nice things in life – cocktails, modern art, penguins, beer, books, and cookies.
In fact, 64% of respondents said that brands should continue advertising their products as normal, while 52% of them said that this content helped give them a sense of normality in their own lives.
However, a huge 93% of respondents agreed that the tone needs to change, which means that as brands we need to find a way to operate in this new atmosphere of sickness and death. Not something you’ll find in your corporate social media policy handbook.
Some companies have thrown in the towel and simply shut down, not seeing a way to adapt their tone to this harsh new reality (a missed opportunity for a furniture brand, while rival West Elm were cleverly offering Zoom backgrounds).
When asked what brands should be doing in social media during the COVID-19 crisis, the themes that came up were supporting front-line staff (82%), supporting vulnerable people in their community (86%), providing reliable, accurate information (89%) and showing acts of kindness (74%).
Our amazing Intensive Care Unit Team at #Maidstonehospital now have somewhere more comfortable to relax
People see brands as being in a unique position where they can step up, and direct considerable resources to help in a crisis as with DFS in the above tweet, donating sofas to healthcare facilities.
New rules for a new era
There’s clearly a coronavirus-era social playbook emerging here. New rules that have sprung up organically in reaction to this unexpected crisis, but that are becoming set in stone. As more brands play that way, it sets consumer expectations which in turn solidifies these ad hoc rules further.
Look at your industry and how the big players are adapting. Look outside to the bigger consumer sectors. What new language and conventions are forming?
While now is not the time to be opportunistic, the fact remains that it’s become pretty quiet out there on the ad platforms, for most industries anyway. Expedia, one of the internet’s biggest ad spenders said this week that they usually spend $5 billion a year on ads, whereas their 2020 bill will be less than $1 billion.
Recent research from Gupta Media found that the average CPM on Facebook has sunk below $2 for the first time in the company’s history. It’s just a lot less competitive out there, and for lots of reasons now is not the time to disappear from your customers’ lives.
Keep advertising, change the tone
While many marketers are delaying campaigns, even product launches, there’s an argument for keeping some ‘always-on’ inventory live to remain present in your customers’ lives (if you’re still operational of course).
Think about how you can creatively adapt your tone to celebrate your brand, keep the audience entertained and provide value in their lives.
As the Twitter research suggests, people want brands to be there, whether it’s to offer support and positivity or simply to distract from late night doom-scrolling.
We want to support you as much as we can during this uncertain time. Check out the COVID-19 Small Business Care Package for a roundup of useful resources—including tech discounts, government subsidies, and marketing tips to help lessen the impact on your business.
Let’s face it: a lot of landing page optimization is guesswork.
Educated guesswork, sure. You know the best practices—copy and design techniques that, by and large, get more of your visitors to convert. And you know your customers. Looking at the results of past campaigns, you’ve got a pretty good sense of what will (and won’t) resonate with your audience. Like a hardboiled detective who’s about to accuse the police chief of having been dirty from the start, you’ve “got a hunch.”
That’s supposed to be where A/B testing comes in, right? You can create landing page variants and see which performs better to validate your hunches. The problem is A/B testing takes an either-or approach to optimization, aiming to find the one page that’ll appeal to as many people as possible. Not all visitors are the same, though, and even your highest-converting variant won’t click for everyone.
That means a lot of your hunches—optimizations that are probably great for some of your visitors, but not enough of ’em—get canned.
We first revealed our AI-powered conversion tool Smart Traffic at CTAConf 2019, where Unbounce co-founder Carl Schmidt made the case for using artificial intelligence to direct visitors to the landing page that’s most likely to convert. That means marketers can follow all of their hunches, using them to create relevant variants for different types of visitors. Rather than either-or, Smart Traffic is either-and… and-and-and-and.
We’ve already told you how Smart Traffic works. Now that hundreds of Unbounce customers are using it, we want to tell you about some of the marketers already optimizing their landing pages with AI.
ConstructConnect: Experimenting with Colors & Imagery
Meet ConstructConnect, a project management tool for contractors and manufacturers that helps them win more bids and grow their businesses. ConstructConnect has only been using Unbounce for a few months, and Smart Traffic was one of the big reasons they gave the platform a go.
We checked in with Tim LaBarge, Marketing Director of Campaigns, and Steven Keyser, ConstructConnect’s Inbound Marketing Director, to see how Smart Traffic is working for them. As Steven explains, they were both eager to take the feature for a spin:
Smart Traffic made sense from the first minute we heard about it. And that’s really why we bought into Unbounce. If you looked at our account, you’d go, “Gosh, these guys hardly put anything in here for four or five months.” That’s because we were waiting for Smart Traffic.
ConstructConnect had only built a handful of landing pages with Unbounce before using Smart Traffic. Tim was running an email promo that pointed recipients at the page below, prompting them to sign up for a demo:
This is one of the original pages ConstructConnect created pre-Smart Traffic. (Click to see the whole thing.)
When Smart Traffic launched, this page was converting an impressive 17% of all visitors. Tim was eager to see if Unbounce’s AI could push that number even higher, so he got working on some variants. And since the page had already been running for a little while, he could compare the results to his existing conversion rate.
For the first variant, Tim experimented with the page imagery. He replaced the background image and swapped the color overlay from blue to orange.
I wanted to test whether color and imagery have any effect on how captivating or engaging the page is. Everything else is the same as the original.
It didn’t take more than a couple minutes to whip up this page variant with new visuals. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Next, Tim wanted to try different messaging. He created two more variants—one in each of the new visuals—and changed the page headline from a statement (“Get Access to Private Projects in Your Area”) to a question (“How Many Private Projects Are Bidding in Your Area?”).
Creating variants for Smart Traffic doesn’t have to be big work—it can just be little tweaks. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Then he turned on Smart Traffic.
It wasn’t long (only about 50 visits) before Smart Traffic started “learning” and ConstructConnect got results. Two of the three variants immediately started converting between 23 and 24%—about 7% higher than before. The third variant slightly underperformed at 14%, so Smart Traffic started routing more visitors to the higher-converting pages automatically.
Not only that, but optimized traffic meant that the original page started seeing more conversions, too.
That was really cool to see. It wasn’t just the variants contributing to a higher conversion rate. Smart Traffic actually helped increase the conversion rate of the control page as well.
One month later, Smart Traffic had created an overall conversion rate lift of more than 35%. That’s translated into a ton of valuable leads for the ConstructConnect crew.
Smart Traffic added about 150 form fills in this [demo] campaign. We’ve got some duplicates, but that’s probably 125 more leads going through to our sales team. That’s significant.
Now that they’ve had a chance to take Smart Traffic for a spin, Tim and Steven plan to use it in all of their campaigns going forward. That includes rebuilding a number of high-traffic landing pages (we’re talkin’ thousands of visitors) in Unbounce so they can take advantage of the feature.
To have an effective A/B test, you need to go slow—just crazy small steps. With Smart Traffic, you can just create a totally different page.
That means ConstructConnect can optimize their pages faster than ever. And since Smart Traffic is constantly re-assessing which visitors are converting where, there’s no need to pick a champion.
Dooly: Using Variants to Target Different Benefits
Next up is Dooly, a CRM automation tool for Salesforce. Though it’s only been around a few years, Dooly has quickly become a must-have for tons of sales teams around the world.
Mark Jung, Dooly’s Head of Marketing, explained the tool’s popularity:
Dooly makes updating Salesforce fast and easy, saving reps up to 20 hours of CRM busy work every month so that they can sell smarter.
Lots of Dooly users discover the tool on their own, then refer it to coworkers at their company. One user becomes two, then four. Before long, the whole sales team is using it.
The viral nature of the product inspired Dooly to create its referral program. It’s super simple: the company assigns each user a unique referral link that they can share with their network. When someone signs up for Dooly using that link (or within 90 days of being cookied), the referrer gets 20% of the revenue—forever, uncapped.
Mark and his team created the promo campaign for the referral program in Unbounce. The plan was to send an email to their customer list, directing them to a landing page that explained how the program worked. But the question came: what messaging would best convince users to participate?
Mark found there were two main motivations for referrals. One was the financial incentive, obviously. (Speaking of which, wanna try Dooly? Lemme grab my referral link.) The second was about helping other people escape the time-suck of plugging data into their CRM.
While an A/B test of the landing page would’ve let Mark figure out which messaging generally resonated better with his whole audience, he knew that highlighting the right incentive for different visitors would help him convert better overall. So, he decided to try Smart Traffic.
For me, Smart Traffic made sense out of the gate. I’ve used Unbounce for years, so I’m used to building page variants, running tests. It’s kind of a natural stepping stone.
Mark built two page variants, with the messaging of each targeting a particular motivation.
One was mostly about the financial benefit: “Refer, earn 20%.” But we’ve also seen a lot of positive mentions in the community about the emotional benefit of Dooly—the pain it saves them every day.
The messaging in the second variant was more about helping your friends stop their CRM suffering. That’s translated really well for our audience.
This variant page for the Dooly referral program is all about that dolla. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Just by swapping the headers, Dooly emphasizes the opportunity to help friends. (Click to see the whole thing.)
When Mark turned on Smart Traffic, he saw results almost immediately.
We had about a 30% lift in conversion rate from Smart Traffic on day one. We’ve also had a ton of conversions that didn’t necessarily convert on the Unbounce page but went to the referrals page in the product. So we’re looking at close to 45 or 50% conversion rate on the campaign.
Of the roughly 100 visitors who hit the landing page on the first day, almost 30 clicked through to get their referral code. Compared with the results Mark would’ve had in a standard split test, about 5 of those conversions are attributable to Smart Traffic.
Since then, Smart Traffic has continued to provide an overall lift of more than 10%. And remember: the virality of the tool means any single new user could win Dooly an entire organization.
Get Better Results Faster with AI-Powered Optimization
Smart Traffic isn’t a replacement for A/B testing. Instead, think of it as another tool in your arsenal. But when you want to deliver the best conversion experience for each visitor (rather than your average visitor), there’s really no comparison.
With Smart Traffic, I can test more things. Just the speed at which the tool is able to start adapting and sending people to different pages, and how quickly you see real gains—more form fills, more leads going through to sales—is impressive.
Start converting on more of your hunches. Build some landing page variants (using these tips), turn on Smart Traffic, and let AI do the rest.
TikTok 101: A primer for brands – Search Engine Land
What Is Your Brand’s Responsibility to Content Now? [The Weekly Wrap]
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How to use influencer marketing to build your B2B brand? Yasmin Vantuykom, Founder & CEO of eFluenz joins the Chaos show.
How is B2C influencer marketing different than what they call Opinion leader marketing in B2B? How could you become an influencer yourself?
– what type of influencers to use for awareness or for conversion
– what is influencer media
– what is the difference between B2C and B2B influencer
– how can you become an influencer yourself
– What is next on the roadmap
if you want to work with influencers or want to become one, check out
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Michael Humblet is obsessed with designing, building and scaling sales engines and founder of Chaomatic.com and Schoolofsales.org , focused on unlocking & maximizing revenue growth trusted by over +230 companies. He is a seasoned sales strategist who served in different Sales Leadership functions. Michael Humblet is the host of The Sales Acceleration Show, the leading sales and marketing focused Q&A show on how to accelerate and scale your business.
Overnight, meal-kit company Mindful Chef has gone from bringing in around 150 new customers a day to over 2,000. This colossal growth has been powered by the UK government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lag in supermarkets to stock shelves quickly. But it’s presented a unique challenge for these start-ups: how to scale quickly in a national lockdown.
“It’s a very scary time for the world, but it’s also propelled services like ours into the mainstream,” Giles Humphries, co-founder of Mindful Chef, tells The Drum.
Humphries set up the meal-kit company in Devon in 2015 alongside two friends with the aim of delivering healthy recipe boxes which are gluten-free, dairy-free and contain no refined carbs. It’s grown steadily in weekly subscribers since then and now operates from a factory in Birmingham. In the last few weeks, demand for its meals has soared.
A noticeable increase in traffic came on Sunday 15 March, says Humphries, the last ‘normal’ weekend for many Brits. Restaurants, bars and cafes still remained open but most mass events had been cancelled, headlines highlighted how panic-buying was decimating supermarket shelves and predictions of nationwide school-closures were beginning to surface. The country finally looked to Italy and Spain and realised what was in-store.
“We would normally on board around 150 new customers a day. On 22 March we saw 2,500 and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down, even as the supermarket shelves are stocked,” Humphries continues. “It’s mind-blowing levels.”
The world’s most popular meal-kit company HelloFresh – which pulls in half of its sales from the US – has told investors to expect a hike in first-quarter sales and profits due to increased demand as a result of the coronavirus lockdowns in Europe. Quarterly revenue will be up 69% from the same period last year, coming in at between €685m and €710m.
Despite shares have gained almost 40%, it’s being more cautious with any long-term projections and has kept its 2020 guidance for revenue growth at between 22% to 27%. It declined to comment to The Drum ahead of its 5 May financial update when it will give a full picture on the impact the coronavirus has had on its global business.
It’s a similar story for Pasta Evangelists, which has been delivering hand-made pasta and sauces through letterboxes in the UK since it was founded by Alessandro Savelli in 2015.
“We’ve seen a surge in orders. We’ve tripled sales, and some days it’s quadrupled. Though it’s early days and probably just a spike,” Savelli says.
Finally Gousto, a meal-prep brand backed by ‘the nation’s PE instructor’ Joe Wicks, said it will deliver some four million meals to 380,000 households in the coming month.
How to scale in a lockdown
The rapid rate at which people have subscribed to meal-kit brands to see them through the lockdown period has presented an unusual problem for these companies – how to scale quickly and safely with minimal contact.
To meet demand in the UK, HelloFresh said it planned to expand its workforce by 50% at its Banbury factory, offering 400 people three-month contracts to pick and pack orders.
“At uncertain times like this, the community is of utmost importance and we want to encourage those in the local area whose working arrangements have been affected by recent events to get in touch,” said chief executive Laurent Guillemain. “We’re taking all the necessary measures to ensure that the health and safety of our customers, employees and product is prioritised.”
For Pasta Evangelists, it’s established strict protocols for its current staff of 30 as well as the wave of new recruits it expects to onboard. When they can, people are being asked to work from home but there’s a kitchen team whose physical presence is vital to make and package its kits.
“Right now, I’m in the office which includes our warehouse kitchen,” says Savelli. “We’re here with masks on, we wash our hands regularly, stay two meters away from each other, and we’re measuring the temperature of everyone before they come in. We don’t have lunch together. We’re restructured packing operations to keep people away from each other. We’ve also divided into four teams so that should someone get ill we can still have the business moving forward.”
Savelli says Italians and Spaniards make up a large portion of its workforce and, having seen the “war” in their own countries have taken the measures seriously while accepting that, though difficult, the company is making food for the general public to stop them leaving their homes. “We have a duty to our business to keep on trying,” he adds.
At Mindful Chef, its customer service team has doubled in the past week to manage the orders it’s processing. The need for staff on site is also desperate but with the closure of chains like Pret and Eat as well as the grounding of airlines, the company been able to recruit many workers facing the prospect of job loss.
“We’ve been able to do is help out really quickly the catering staff from airlines, in particularly, and other food industries such as sandwich packing companies which have suddenly seen a drop in volumes. So, suddenly there’s a load of people in need of work and we can provide it,” explains Humphries, adding that it already had strict food hygiene policies but with the lockdown he’s also established equally stringent social distancing measure in the warehouse.
Much like finding staff to fuel these booming businesses, it’s been surprisingly easy to find the food supply to keep up with demand.
“As a business prior to the crisis we would be seeing around 500,000 ingredients go through our warehouse every week. The biggest challenge in the supply chain is whether we have enough stock to fulfil orders,” Humphries continues.
“There is plenty of produce out there; restaurants and bars account for a huge amount of food eaten every week. So, there’s all of that food in the chain that needs to be redistributed. Right now the supply chain is backtracking and trying to serve companies like ours which has seen a massive surge in demand which just takes time.”
Attracting and retaining customers
Thoughts at these companies are squarely on managing the increased load and ensuring that customers get their food delivered in a timely manner. But slowly, as we move further into this crisis, thoughts will turn to how marketing will maintain levels of interest as well as retain the first time users flocking to their services.
For the time being, Mindful Chef has “switched off” all marketing activity to allow it to simply deal with the influx of orders it’s getting from word of mouth. Humphries has no prediction of when it might resume spend.
“We have come to the realisation in the past couple of days that any form of modelling is being blown out the water. We need to allow this time to keep delivering meals, and then we’ll see where the land lies in a few weeks before we start forecasting and making marketing plans,” he says.
“But as a business that’s essentially a subscription model, maintaining customers and increasing lifetime value is in our DNA. We have a CRM team dedicated to it, so we have robust systems in place that we’ll double down on so that in three months’ time customers still want to shop with Mindful Chef.”
Conversely, Savelli at Pasta Evangelists is not killing its marketing plans but has abandoned its push into TV, OOH and events-based marketing in favour of a tried and tested digital strategy.
“We’re increasing spend. It’s strange, on one hand, it’s Armageddon and companies are closing and it’s only going to get much worse very quickly so [I’m wondering] should we also go into preservation mode and limit spend and cut things? But in a completely fortuitous way our business is positioned to do well. So, at least in the short term, there’s an opportunity. It’s a bittersweet situation,” he laments.
Despite the “fortuitous” implications of Covid-19 on his business, Savelli has ensured one initiative has been pushed through at lightning speed in order to support those most vulnerable.
Coming from Italy and understanding the problems faced by an ageing population, he had planned for some time to establish a way to ensure older people in the UK were able to access his service. With the coronavirus crisis acutely affecting those aged over 70 years old, Savelli forged a partnership with Age UK to allow people to “gift” pasta boxes to those unable to leave their homes.
“In a heartbeat we made that happen and it’s a noble cause, irrespective of coronavirus, that we’ll continue after this period has ended.”
Apparently not, if you check Twitter, where commenters have been proactively warning brands for at least the past week against pulling any April Fools’ Day pranks.
“Many of you typically have big plans,” wrote @amaliaefowler, a Vancouver tech company marketing director, mirroring much of the sentiment on the platform. “I beg of you, put them away this year. You will be remembered for launching them, and it won’t be in a good way.”
Tomorrow is April Fools. Many of you typically have big plans.
I beg of you, put them away this year.
You will be remembered for launching them and it won’t be in a good way.
Marketers, already trying to tread lightly and sensitively with their communications in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, seem to have read the room. Brands, including Google, SodaStream, Honda, T-Mobile and Giphy, are skipping the annual “holiday,” even as they’ve made it a perennial and high-profile part of their advertising.
There will be exceptions (see Poo-Pourri), but the spring tradition of companies unleashing a flurry of fake products, epic misdirects and clever (or cringeworthy) hoaxes doesn’t appear to be happening. Not en masse, anyway.
“When times are good and brands want to show their humor and personality, it can be positive. A good stunt can humanize a brand,” said Joe Baratelli, evp, chief creative officer at Los Angeles-based RPA, whose client Honda says it will opt out of the holiday. “When things are serious, it’s probably not the time to be messing with people.”
Execs at Poo-Pourri respectfully disagree, and they’re willing to swim against the prevailing tide this year. But they think consumers will immediately understand that their candle called This Smells Like My Poop is a gag, so to speak, meant simply to get a chuckle from the public, says Nicole Story Dent, the brand’s svp, creative.
If the Goop-inspired name doesn’t give it away, then its description (“evokes rich, warm and familiar aromas”) and price tag, $41.20, certainly should, she says.
“We think it’s important to continue to bring some levity to those that need it most,” Dent said. “It’s an uncertain and devastating time, no doubt, and if we can bring a little bit of joy to people right now, we are all for it!”
Poo-Pourri isn’t actually selling the odiferous swag, but giving away a handful of them via Instagram. (This was not a mass-produced item).
Companies seem to be erring on the side of caution, like SodaStream, which already had its 4/1 campaign locked in place but will not go forward with it. The planned video revolves around a fake product and, like much of the brand’s ongoing advertising, focuses on environmental and social messages.
“It was a hard decision because April Fools’ is a beloved tradition with us and this would’ve been our fifth year,” said Karin Schifter-Maor, the Pepsi-owned brand’s global CMO. “But now is not the time for pranks.”
SodaStream will likely use the spot later, Schifter-Maor says, calling it “a unique and disruptive idea.” For now, the brand will continue to adapt its social media and marketing to reflect the current crisis. “It’s not just business as usual,” she noted. “All the messages we put out right now are about how you can make your life easier.”
Google has been a legendary player in the April Fools’ game for more than a decade, with goofs that range from a faux high-tech, low-carb “smart drink” called Google Gulp to a Morse code keyboard. The company, via a recent internal memo from CMO Lorraine Twohill, put the kibosh on stunts from any and all departments.
“Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people,” she wrote in the email, “so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one.”