As social media has lifted the barriers between brand and consumer, making one-on-one conversations not just possible but expected, marketing has begun to shift to beyond-niche levels. Smart brands are targeting consumers on a personal level, making marketing into a customized, exclusive experience that feels like it is just for them. Kleenex and Kotex were two brands at the forefront of the personalized marketing movement, both targeting small groups through Facebook and Pinterest, respectively, and sending care packages and personalized crafts to only a few hundred individuals. Each gained impressions far beyond the small number of people who were sent gifts, by making them feel they had a personal interaction with the brands that was unique enough to share (and re-share). Here are three more brands that have recently gotten personal with their marketing to get the attention of young consumers:
Wendy’s is launching its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger (a product aimed, of course, at Millennials) by spreading the pretzel love through song. Its Pretzel Love Songs aren’t just a jingle, though, but are composed to feature fans’ tweets about the new burger. After encouraging burger-lovers to use the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs to post about the new item, Wendy’s staged a live event starring Nick Lachey crooning ballads featuring the pretzel love messages. A YouTube channel for the campaign features artist Eric Michaels singing the pretzel love songs at a white piano as each individual customer’s tweets are displayed on screen.
The Personal Twist: Getting young fans involved and featuring them on an individual level by showcasing their creativity and encouraging conversation in a ridiculously humorous way.
2. Heineken: Departure Roulette
As part of its adventure-themed “Voyage” campaign, which has included spots dropping young adventurers into the middle of nowhere, as well as a short film, Heineken is getting personal by bringing a travel challenge to JFK. Heineken’s Departure Roulette asks participants to abandon their own trips to go on an all-paid alternative trip, to a completely unknown destination. Those who accept the offer will be given a hotel room for two nights and $2,000 to cover expenses, plus a completely distinctive experience, which they will no doubt be talking about for some time. This week, the beer brand expects to send five to eight unsuspecting travellers on personalized adventures.
The Personal Twist: Creating one-of-a-kind adventures for individuals in a way so unique that everyone else is talking about it.
Yes, it’s another beer brand, but Molson’s marketing gives a personal experience to a whole nation. Its recent "Beer Fridge" campaign played on national pride, making Molson beer available to Canadians only via very special vending machines. To celebrate last week’s Canada Day, Molson placed large red fridges throughout public places in European countries like France and the Netherlands, tempting passersby with bottles of beer trapped inside. The catch? Only individuals who had a Canadian passport to scan could unlock the fridges. Once opened by a Canadian, the booze could be shared with everyone. The campaign turned Canadian citizenship into a coveted conversation piece, all while featuring the individual Canadians and Molson’s home country.
The Personal Twist: Making a personal characteristic (like nationality) into an all-access pass to an exclusive experience, and rewarding.