When is the last time you watched a TV commercial more than once. On purpose.
While I was skipping past commercials during a program I’d recorded, one ad caught my eye. I actually skipped back to watch this “Holiday Surprise” commercial from Kohl’s. I was touched, and checked-out the #ShowKindnesshashtag shown at the end of the video.
It hit a chord with me and I checked if the video was on YouTube. Clearly it resonated with many other people, since it had been watched hundreds of thousands of times. After watching it a couple more times, I shared it across several social media sites, like this post on Twitter:
Most people appreciated when the United States Postal Service started marketing the “priceless” Forever Stamp in 1997. This was a great “do the right thing” moment, tacitly acknowledging that if you don’t use a stamp for a year or five, the Postal Service has still had the use of your money for that time and shouldn’t charge you extra to use it. It seems only fair that a First Class stamp should always cover the postage for a First Class letter.
The compromise was that the Forever stamp was usually pretty generic, such as the American flag stamp. If you wanted a commemorative stamp (such as a Christmas stamp, or one that featured someone important to American culture, such as Rosa Parks), it was going to depreciate like any other stamp.
Let’s consider the marketing for two products you have bought. The first is your latest car. How did that automaker market to you? You probably saw TV commercials, newspaper ads, maybe online ads as well. In other words, likely a very ‘traditional’ marketing model was used by this automaker to connect with you and get your attention.
Now recall the marketing that was used to promote the latest CD or song you bought on iTunes. How did that artist promote themselves to you? Did they use commercials? Probably not. Newspaper ads? Nope. Direct mail? Be serious.
And yet, you bought the rock star’s product, despite the fact that they did little to no direct marketing to you.
The reason why rock stars can sell their products despite the fact that they do little to no ‘traditional’ marketing represents a fundamental difference in the ways that rock stars and most brands market their products.
It’s been said that “any publicity is good publicity.” The corollary, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” is in good company with other variations. Some TV ads during the Super Bowl stretched that concept, perhaps to the breaking point.
Why the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is perhaps unique in sports in that many people watching the game on TV don’t even like football. They actually ignore the game and focus on the commercials. Between the football lovers and the ad lovers, there is an enormous audience available to advertisers who are willing to spend an enormous amount of money to make a quick pitch. (In 2013, “enormous money” meant nearly $4 Million per ad.)
It seems it wasn’t that long ago when I posted tweet number 1000. In fact, number 100, wasn’t that long ago. I opened my Twitter account (JoeBugBuster) in 2008, on September 11, but I hardy touched it for several years.
Back then I followed very few people on Twitter, and very few followed me, but they were all people I knew personally. I prided myself that all my followers were “real people – no bots.” I’m still particular who I follow, but anyone is welcome to follow me – even bots and other computer programs. I used to just tweet with people I knew IRL (In Real Life), but now I chat with people across the country and around the world.