Last weekend I had the fortune of attending "Wishes in Wine Country," an annual fundraiser benefiting the Greater Bay Area chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What an amazing day! A croquet-themed event hosted at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyard, the beauty of the location was only outdone by the quality of the guests. Hundreds of individuals from all walks of life, coming together to support the Make-A-Wish mission of enriching the human experience of children with life-threatening medical conditions with hope, strength, and joy was wonderful to witness. And everyone dressed in white – the standard for a croquet match – was quite a vision.
Beyond the guests and location, I have to commend the wineries, restaurants, partners, and sponsors that helped to make the event a success. Across the board, their genuine support of the Make-A-Wish mission was quite evident. As a marketer, however, one sponsor truly stood out. Not because they did more, or had a bigger presence, but because they had the perfect contextual tie-in. The sponsor . ..Clorox. With everyone dressed in white, the personal bleach pens Clorox provided at dinner were just perfect. They were highly relevant, appreciated, and a great example of the power of well-executed contextual marketing. In fact, it was so notable that I’m choosing to mention it in this post.
After dinner, a second example of marketing, in context, was highlighted. This time from New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. One of the live-auction items was an opportunity to participate in the upcoming San Francisco opening of “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around The World.” A documentary film, “Batman Begins” chronicles the journey taken by the family of a young boy, Miles Scott, who captured the world’s attention when the Greater Bay Area chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted his request to be his favorite superhero for a day. The opening, and other red-carpet activities, were the result of New Line and Warner Bros. purchasing the worldwide distribution rights for the documentary.
Once again, a perfect example of marketing in context. Who better to house the film and promote the story than the studio that is home to the Batman movies that inspired the event, and a sister company, DC Comics, the publisher of the Batman comics. The connections are natural and organic, and that realization and initiative by the team at New Line should be recognized. And by truly embracing the humanity and innocence of the story and message, I think many of the billion+ people who engaged in the original event will choose to re-engage. It’s simply too good a story to ignore.
With great context, marketers have an opportunity to execute great marketing. The trick lies in finding associations that are natural and relevant. Whether an entertainment event or a specific piece of creative content, as marketers we should look for opportunities where our messages will be amplified by their surroundings. When done well, the benefits will be significant.
Oh, and by the way, just a thought for New Line and Warner Bros. ... maybe profits from the “Batkid” story should be donated to fight leukemia and support Make-A-Wish? Just a thought.