Marketing

Vista Print Goes Fishing For Small Businesses

Do you ever stop and think about how an ad idea gets pitched to a client? Especially the totally off-the-wall creative that will have to be sold to all the key stakeholders.

Case in point the Vista Print ad below. I’m not knocking the ad, I get the concept when you see it in context to the description that is included on YouTube. The thing is, I guarantee you this was pitched to a number of executives at Vista Print and they had to buy into the concept and execution. And the creative team needed to be able to sell this in a short period of time with probably nothing more than a pitch deck filled with static images, rough concept copy, and a kernel of an idea. I’m wondering if during the pitch there was any discussion about production budgets because this was probably a fairly expensive shoot based on the number of people involved, props, and post-production work.

It looks like there is a series of hashtags associated with it, but when I did a Twitter search for #readyforanything and #supportsmallbusiness there were hundreds of results, so neither is unique to vista print. The hashtag links in the description don’t link to anything specific to Vista Print either. I keep thinking there is such a missed opportunity here. Vista Print could have extended this so far beyond the 30 and 45-second video spots created. There is no pull-through to any of their social media accounts that surface the concept in a unique shareable way, and I couldn’t find a micro-site or landing page that extended the campaign either. It’s a shame because the concept is so wacky it could have had some serious traction.

For small business owners, the world is one of constant change. Vistaprint is here to help you adapt to any situation. From the big, to the unpredictable, to the totally unbelievable. Vistaprint is your partner in an ever changing world.

Machine Learning Fairness

I get the Think With Google email every week, and I have to admit I only open it on occasion. It’s filled with great insights but I just seem to miss opening some of them from time to time. I didn’t open the one on Machine Learning that arrived about a month ago and I wish I had. The email was part of a larger campaign that featured a spectacular animated piece by The Furrow and one of the best-executed microsites I’ve seen in a while by This is Grow. Below are the primary video and the making of which doesn’t go into a lot of detail but shows how something that looks so simple is actually quite complex. The links above take you to the microsite and to This is Grow’s home page.

Heinz Canada Challenges You to Draw Ketchup.

When people think of ketchup, almost inevitably they think Heinz. Even if Heinz ketchup isn’t the brand you have in your fridge or your favorite. Everything from the shape of the bottle to the label are part of that collective consciousness that an established brand brings to the table.

Heinz Canada wanted to engage consumers in a new and unique way, leveraging social media and a multichannel campaign giving them a chance to win a customized bottle of Heinz ketchup. To do this Heinz asked followers to submit a drawing of ketchup via a Heinz microsite that is linked to their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. In addition, Heinz turned to outdoor with strategically placed billboards in Canadian cities.

On the social media sites, Heinz Canada posted a short video showing the experiment featuring people drawing ketchup. The result in the video, pretty much everyone drew Heinz ketchup. The video includes the hashtag #drawketchup and a link back to the microsite where budding ketchup artists can share their masterpieces through January 31st. 250 people will be selected and receive a custom box and bottle with their drawing on it.

This campaign uses the power of Heinz iconography that is known world wide to not only promote the product, but as an opportunity to gather more first party data. The latter which is definitely a larger priority for brands these days that might be losing losing access to audience tracking methods like third-party cookies and device identifiers.

One unique aspect to the campaign itself is the fact that entrants aren’t required to share their artwork on social media for a chance to win. This probably means that the campaign has less of a chance of going viral like other hashtag challenges that you see on popular platforms like TikTok Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Consumer engagement has become a bigger challenge for Heinz in recent campaigns. in 2020 Heinz ran a campaign that asked users to share TikTok videos of Halloween preparations for a chance to win a bottle of its limited-release Heinz Tomato Blood Ketchup. This was tied to the hashtag #HeinzHalloween hashtag which had generated 4.8 billion views os of January 25, 2021.

All of this comes as Heinz continues to see a downturn in sales in Canada which is contrast to sales in both U.S. markets and internationally. Hopefully this will help rebuild momentum for the brand in Canada. What will be really interesting to see if they do any follow up to this and release the data on how many people drew and submitted a Heinz bottle versus the competition.

KFC Gaming and the KFConsole is Brilliant Marketing.

Over the last couple of days, the internet and mainstream media have blown up over the new Kentucky Fried Chicken gaming console that dropped earlier this week. People are baffled by it and in many cases are playing it off as an absurd joke. The reality is, that the new gaming console is part of an ongoing campaign that reaches back a full two years. If you head over to YouTube and search for KFC Gaming you will see the first video was published two years back and since then KFC Gaming has produced and released a total of 47 videos over this period of time. In fact, the gaming console was actually introduced on the KFC Gaming channel 6 months ago with a release date of 11/12/2020 which they apparently missed.

This is all part of an ongoing ccampaign strategically designed to attract a younger audience through a series of goofball promotions. If you go back and look at any of the videos over the last two years you will see a very specific theme. There is an entire section featuring a guy wearing a KFC bucket on his head and reviewing video games. KFC has managed to gain 21,000 subscribers to the channel, and the videos have racked up a fair amount of views considering the limited amount of promotion that has been put behind this.

The gaming console however is the big winner here. The video has 294,000 views, and it’s been picked up by everything from the Today show, to very specific gamer blogs and vlogs. KFC and their agency of record have managed to create the kind of viral buzz marketers dream of through some clever positioning, savvy media buys, and by partnering with a manufacturer that has created what appears to be an actual functional gaming console for them. (I’m pretty sure it’s all smoke and mirrors but the landing page is pretty impressive)

Yes, this thing actually plays games. KFC teamed up with computer cooling brand Cooler Master to manufacture the console with some serious gaming specs. The console is capable of running “the latest titles in stunning 4k, 240fps”. With Asus-powered graphics and an Intel Nuc 9 chip, it seems the KFConsole is essentially a glorified gaming PC. Which heats chicken.

In addition to gaming, it features the “worlds-first” built-in chicken chamber “that uses the system’s natural heat and airflow system you can now focus on your gameplay and enjoy hot, crispy chicken between rounds.” Sounds like a game-changer to us.

This is just one more extension of some of the other campaigns that KFC has run in the last few years. Along with the landing page, there is an impressive social media campaign they have rolled out on Twitter Instagram, and Facebook all of which have been designed to promote the brand amongst a very specific target audience. You have to admit, as goofy as this is, it worked. KFC got the word out and generated a lot of chatter which is what good advertising and marketing are supposed to do. KFC knows the ridiculous nature of all of this and is willing to play it up if there is a chance that they might expand their base and get some fried chicken converts in the process.

I would have loved to have been at the pitch meeting for KFC Gaming 2 years back. Can you even imagine how that went down, how they sold this concept to executive management?