The Campaign that Worked on a Campaigner

With this post I want to discuss a campaign (communications and advertising that involve both PR efforts and marketing elements) that have influenced me. Which is a particularly daunting task. As a marketing professional for over– let’s just say approaching decades, I like to think I’ve built up an immunity to the crafty and brilliant efforts of marketing departments. Slick multi-million dollar ad campaigns are wasted on m as I’m too clever to fall for an ad-man’s tricks.

You should realize right away that I’m lying. To say marketers are unaffected by marketing would be like saying airline employees are immune to flying. The truth is we just understand how it works but that doesn’t mean we can dodge it’s effects (I think Bill Waterson explains it well in this classic bit of illustration). Just look at all the Apple products in your typical ad studio and you’ll realize marketers eat up marketing like a starving wolf at a buffet. Communications people love, absolutely love, a slick PR campaign, we crave clever advertising, and we adore marketing that speaks to us.

And that’s the key right there for all marketing, it should speak to the individual, to be effective. Anytime you’ve experienced MarComm efforts and thought the marketers have wasted their efforts, you’re only half right. They’ve simply missed their target this time. Next time you might not be so “lucky” and will ride the proverbial wave into a purchase or participation. And as for that clever marketer, if you throw a really clever campaign targeted right at them, they’ll be right there with a spork eating it up next to the wolf.

Your barrista’s knows a good cup of joe and MarComm’s know a good ad campaign. Neither will settle for less. Both drink up and are addicted to the good stuff.

So which campaign of persuasion got to this guy? Just look for the underdog and you’ll probably find me with an open heart or wallet. I was an Apple evangelist screaming there merits seemingly all alone in the 90’s, long before the iPod first came out, back when the company was teetering on oblivion (post iPhone success that’s hard to imagine, I know). I recently picked up an Android device but even that’s a little too successful for my liking (it’s driven by Google after all) and have recently jumped onto the near doomed BlackBerry wagon wholeheartedly (that was through chance though, and not any particular effort on mypart). These choices haven’t been particularly campaign driven, as their best campaigns happen after they get to the successful level, it’s more of a similar determination of thought.

So what PR efforts have driven me to perform a new action?

A recent election had me supporting the underdog once again, Brian Bowman, with our family out handing out flyers and signs. Going in he was the least known candidate but represented himself online very well. His acceptance of new communications methods spoke to me that he might be willing to try other ideas once in office. He was fresh and idealistic and that came through in his campaign and that spoke to me. I’m glad his selfie-storm has settled down after two years in office and one presumes he’s focussing in on the very hard job of leading this city into the future.

  • Danielle

    I absolutely loved the comparison of marketers being immune to marketing strategies like aviation employees being immune to flying – as we both know, that just doesn’t happen. It’s like a poison, once the bug is in you, it’s there for life.

    I think you raised a good point about just because you are aware of something, doesn’t mean that you will be able to dodge the effects. All that knowing and understanding means is that you can watch yourself fall under the spell of truly wonderful marketing campaigns. And there are many out there. As a comms professional, when I see really good campaigns done well, it’s exciting. I especially get excited when I see social media engagement done well. A friend of mine recently had his vacation disrupted by a pan-Canadian airline and took to twitter to make comments about it. Within the hour, they had responded to him publicly AND privately, and re-booked his trip. The fact that they had someone dedicated to reaching out is an example of a great communications strategy. The ability to take a negative situation and turn it around is a learned skill, a necessary skill. It’s not a matter of if something goes wrong, it’s a question of when it goes wrong.

    Great post!

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