Social Marketing

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.

How Many Social Media Ads Do You Remember?

I use social media, but I’m not addicted to it. I post maybe once a day to Facebook ar twitter on average. Sometimes a bit more but not hourly. I also use both desktop and mobile versions of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. On the desktop though, I’m running things like AdBlock Pro, and Facebook Purity so I don’t see all of the ads that are being pushed via social media to me. Mobile, however, is a different story, with 15 plus ads being pushed to me with each Facebook or Twitter session. Now before I go on, I want to qualify what I consider a session. It is every time I log into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, after at least a one hour pause, so a minimum of 1 hour between my last visit and current visit. This is important because it relates directly to the actual effectiveness of the ads.

The point of any advertisement is for you the viewer to remember the brand and the product after you have seen it, and hopefully click through and convert to a sale. If any of these fail to get you to engage, the effectiveness of the ad is a failure as well. I’m going to ask everyone reading this to try something. Open Facebook or Twitter, go to your feed and block or hide every ad you see. This includes sponsored videos, sponsored posts, tweets from companies you do not follow, retweets by someone you might follow for a specific product or service you don’t care about, etc. If it looks like an ad kill it. Don’t engage with the ad, just get rid of it and move on. This is important because digital advertising has less than 2 seconds to hook you and get you to engage.  Now close out of the social media feed, wait five minutes, and try and recall any of the brands, products or services that were sponsored.

Chances are most people can’t remember 90 to 95 percent of the ads that were crammed into their feed disrupting the experience with things they care very little about. And because of that, I say most current social media advertising is a big old fail. Sure they tell you that the ads are targeted to a specific audience, and the data shows great levels of engagement because big data never lies. I’m not seeing it, however. The traditional social media campaigns I have worked on don’t perform much better than an email with about a two to four percent engagement and conversion rate. The ads aren’t bad, people simply ignore them because they have become white noise in the social media users feed.

In the last 24 hours, I have blocked, hidden or deleted 167 ads in Facebook, and Twitter on my iPhone. I couldn’t tell you what any of them were for. At the same time though, I have engaged with posts created by influencers that were ultimately promoting a product or service because I perceive them as a trusted source, and frankly I think this holds true for most people. So why then are you being bombarded with so much advertising in your social media feeds? The bottom line… Money. Social media advertising is a huge business that promises better engagement, a better value, and higher conversion rates, yet it has become the spam of this decade which makes me say that the effectiveness is an oversell.

When readers/viewers become numb to your advertising, your advertising is no longer effective. So, think back to all of those ads you hid and ask yourself how many of them you actually remember. Now think about someone you follow that recently posted something you found interesting, that ultimately was about a product or service that they liked. Did you engage with it? Did you share it? Was there a link in the post that you clicked on?  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you not only remember one, but probably two or even three which shows that influencer marketing in social media is more effective than traditional sponsored advertising. I know what all of the big social media powerhouses will say, they are going to continue to tell you that the current form of social media advertising is the most effective, has the greatest reach, and better conversion rates. And for now, it does because there is no alternative. The thing is though as they continue to oversaturate the effectiveness breaks down, and people become numb to the ads, or they do what I did on my Mac and block everything in the browser hiding the advertisements on the page neutralizing them all together.

In the last few years, firms have emerged dedicated exclusively to influencer marketing. They help tie a brand or product to a celebrity, sports figure, pop star etc. for those that aren’t  aware of what Influence marketing is, it is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It’s not new. TV has been doing this for decades. Think about all those weight loss ads featuring people like Marie Osmond, or Oprah right. The difference is that influence marketing in social media and digital channels has greater potential reach because it isn’t limited to a specific region, it can reach anyone in the world at any given time. In addition, influencers can be anyone from a traditional media celebrity, to some kid that has managed to rack up a few hundred thousand YouTube subscribers.

Like I said, this isn’t new. Nike sold tons of Air Jordan’s not because it was necessarily a better basketball shoe. They sold them because Micheal Jordan’s name was on it. Digital Influence Marketing has been on the rise for the last 5 or more years. I think we are reaching a critical mass where it is poised to become the dominant form of social media marketing for a couple of reasons. First, it’s seamless. Someone you like, like something, therefore it’s cool and I’ll like it or want it too. Second, it’s perceived as a more trusted source. Most people don’t realize that the influencer is being paid to say they like or use something, especially when it is set up as a post in a social media feed. They don’t read like ads, they read with a higher sense of honesty and integrity and that means they will be less ignored, remembered more often, shared, and engaged with at a higher rate.

So, how many of those social media ads you hid earlier can you remember?

MNSTR, Lacoste, The Australian Open, and the Small Screen.

If you work with video, animation, or motion graphics for advertising, or promotional materials you should probably start thinking heavily about mobile outlets and how you will deliver content. Case in point, the video below from MNSTR for Lacoste and the Australian Open. This video showcases the work MNSTR created specifically for the small screen, and even more specifically for the short time frame, touch points like Instagram and Snapchat require. Simple, short, colorful animations paired with high quality sound design help to make these work. MNSTR did their homework and got their heads wrapped around the space these would presented in and pulled it off. This series of short animations were dribbled out over the two week event helping to extend the total reach of Lacoste’s efforts. 

DDB Spain, Polowers.

volkswagen-spain-polowers-by-volkswagen_campaigns_01

Tweet races, Twitter games, and Twitter based competitions are nothing new, but occasionally one comes along that really works. Case in point VW’s #polowers campaign created by DDB Spain. The numbers in the video are pretty impressive, even though the number of participants was only 4075. This collective race, generated over 150,000 tweets with the hashtag #Polowers in 8 hours averaging 5 tweets per second. On top of that the campaign reached more than 10% of Spain’s global twitter audience. In addition, the game generated a vast amount of visits to Polo´s product section on www.volkswagen.es, reaching a record of its history. The screen shot above is from the integrated website that was developed for the game. Unfortunately it has been pulled down.