“People don’t read ads. They read what interests them, and sometimes it is an ad.” The late great San Francisco adman, Howard Gossage, made that observation some 40 years ago and it still holds true today. Only you need to add a few new verbs to sit alongside “read” to capture our current media landscape. Words like “watch,” “click on,” and “engage,” to name but a few. The point is content. People are attracted to amazing content, and sometimes, yes, it’s from a brand.
There are a few brands who are starting to wake up to the reality that part of brand communications is now “programming.” Let’s take a look at a few examples.
First let’s turn to Heineken. The Dutch beer brand has done some nice advertising and some smart sponsorships for decades. Very recently, they came up with a “program.” The marketing objective is simple: Think big sport, think Heineken. Yet the clever bit here is how it all unfolds. Heineken created a 3-minute reality show called, “The Candidate.” It’s a behind-the-scenes look at hiring an intern for their sport sponsorship group. It’s “The Apprentice” meets “Punk’d” with a little bit of the UK “Office” for some delectable moments of awkwardness. The story highlights a series of odd tests like the potential boss holding your hand to bring you into the interview room and then asking you about it. Another test challenges the candidates to deal with a medical emergency and a fire — yes, both events break-out during the interviews. In the end, Heineken creates some hilarious content — that all actually relate to their sponsorships. Have a look here:
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