Let me start by saying, I am a big fan of brand associations, joint campaigns and running brand relevant campaigns. After all everybody likes a bit of entertainment, that extra bit of WOW and something more than just what they already get from who they follow.
A campaign by definition, for me is a form of push marketing. You reach out to people through meaningful messaging to push your idea and elicit responses. So your messaging defines what kind of response you elicit and how your campaign shapes up and what kind of impact it has on the Brand image. So the key really is tailoring campaigns through messaging to how you want the Brand to be perceived.
Messaging. This is the key which effectively unlocks your audience. But does it really make sense for trying to really tie things up without good and relevant messaging?
We’ve had lots of social media talks about joint hash tags and campaigns etc and this will keep coming up time and again as the world of social media becomes more cluttered with brands trying to make an identity for them and create their own niche.
The key areas that somewhere get lost in the clutter are brand relevance and association and messaging. This is where I feel brands and their agencies make their biggest mistake. Most people run after trending a hashtag or making it go VIRAL like most clients say it. But do they tend to compromise Brand guidelines and associations?
A Recent trending topic was #ThingsIwishWereQuikr. A hashtag launched by..Yes, You guessed it right, QUIKR. The popular Classified website. The hashtag was perfect for Quikr. Addresses the core message of the brand, has the Brand name on it, and well the right ingredient for it to trend : An Open ended question which has multiple right answers! While Quikr did everything right, some brands didn’t …
It had Quikr written all over it and none of the brands had a reason to jump in. Would these Brands participate in a campaign by Quikr offline? Then,Why this?
Another example and more current is AXN India tweeting about an upcoming film called Student of the year with the hashtag #AXNStudentOfTheYear. Now while that is a great engagement idea, they got a few things wrong.
1. The Movie is a Hindi one. Something that AXN has steered away from over the years and carved a niche for themselves as a quality entertainer. English Entertainer.
2. They didn’t give the users a clarity on why SOTY was being promoted by them
3. They chose to publicly defend their hashtag (which is good), but didn’t really complete the discussion as can be seen. Clearly caught off guard as they probably haven’t aired a Hindi movie in years.
4. They created a hashtag with their Brand name on it. Why AXN why??
5. What they did further wrong was pushing it aggressively and still no signs of WHY was the movie Promoted.
The key takeaway here is, any joint campaigns need to be handled carefully and the objective of why a third party is being mentioned on your platform and given so much visibility needs to be clear. Such techniques do great for visibility , exposure and gaining followers etc However, the Brand completely goes for a Toss!
Afterall, AXN is not a BookmyShow is it? And Let me ask this as well, Will AXN ever air SOTY?? This was a great launch campaign for the movie, If the movie was going to have a TV premiere, That too on AXN.
So in order to maintain the Brand’s essence here are a few tips and Tricks. Again these views are personal and you are free to discuss and debate:
- When doing any joint campaign, Set the objective of what you want out of it.
- Define clearly what the enagegement is all about. Whether it is a sponsorship, an Association, a Promotion, An offer etc
- Pick your partners carefully. A brand focusing on women cannot promote condoms on the pretext of “To avoid Abortions” unless it is well fleshed but as a Prevention of Abortion day or something of that sort.
- If you chose a partner who doesn’t really have a direct association (like AXN and SOTY) make sure you build up to it by letting your fans/followers know WHY.
- Once your association is ON, the Word is out as to WHY, make sure the messaging through out your association underlines and highlights the engagement in the appropriate light, without making the Brand look silly and without the guidelines being compromised.
So here is hoping for more tightly integrated joint campaigns and hashtags and Better messaging and communication through it!
Image source opensourceway