Maybe I've been focusing on this social media thing for too long, because lately I seem to look for a social media aspect to every ad campaign I read about.
And so it was, yesterday
morning, that I came across a story in Marketing Daily
resurrection of the famed "Talking Tub" campaign for Parkay. You know -- the commercials where the tub of margarine actually talks, with the rim of its lid acting as the upper lip? Hope
I'm not dating myself.
The good news -- for ad nostalgia enthusiasts -- is that the campaign is back. The bad news, is that, from what I can tell, the brand missed one of the most
obvious, and admittedly silly, social media opportunities since the first spoof commercial was uploaded to YouTube. As I read the story, I kept hunting for the social media angle... and it wasn't
Think about it. Talking tub ... trend toward sharing of funny commercials ... consumer-generated personalization of commercials ... why not have a social media effort in which people
can insert their own audio message into the talking tub and share it with friends? Was such an obvious idea shouted down by the client? Or is the idea of giving every campaign a social media hook
still too new for most major marketers?
I suspect the latter. So let me use this platform to say to clients that there's little downside to putting some major or minor social media spin
into every campaign, even if it's a simple upload of the commercial to YouTube, just to see what happens. Every client knows it's a fragmented media world where marketing messages get lost in
the increasingly deep shuffle. Social media provides an opportunity to achieve free distribution of your marketing message because consumers liked it, instead of consumers being forced into seeing
your message for the usual reason: they didn't get to switch the channel fast enough once the commercial pod containing your message came on.
At the risk of getting way too speculative,
I can only imagine that if someone at the agency (the Marketing Daily
story didn't say who the agency was), were to discuss the possibility of consumers putting their own words into
talking tubs and sharing them with friends, the client would reply that such an idea was off-brand. Even if that discussion didn't happen here, we all know it happens with brands every single day.
To that, the only reply is that no message is off-brand, if it comes from an engaged consumer.
With this highly speculative column, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Oh, and, pass the