Some unusual marketing gimmicks that deserve a big shout out.

Written by Prateek Mathur

August 19, 2021

So, a marketing gimmick is a kind of strategy or an idea to attract the target audience’s attention. You can make your product or service “stand out” in the crowd. In Jim Kukral’s words -“Take two ideas and put them together to make one new idea. After all, what is a Snuggie but a mutation of a blanket and a robe?”.Customers are ready for communications, but you should have a message to make them feel clever. An excellent marketing gimmick can do wonders for your company. It is unexpected and catchy.

What is an Ideal Gimmick-

If it’s low cost and still grabbing the attention of your potential customers, it means it is an ideal gimmick for you. You can imitate or copy what others have done if you feel it would work well for your product. Remember, an imitation is a form of flattery. Try those things you never tried before.

There are so many examples of Marketing Gimmicks which gave their respective brand massive & immediate exposure and got more attention than their competitors. Even after so many years still, people talk about their campaigns. Apart from this, these brands got free media mileage also.

So, let’s check who those players experimented with these unique gimmicks to change their image and increase their sales numbers overnight. they also got instant fame and recognition on various media platforms:-

1. Go Daddy-Super Bowl Commercials

In 1997 Go Dadddy.Com was established by Bob Parsons. This name GoDaddy worked because it was a unique name and people noticed it instantly. This company targeted

“Everyone who wants a Web presence. ‘Go Daddy works as a registrar of the internet domain name and web hosting company. In late 2004 Go Daddy announced that the campaign would make its debut on television during the 2005 Super Bowl(Super Bowl commercials, generally referred to as Super Bowl ads are high-profile TV. commercials featured within the U.S. television broadcast of the Super Bowl) documented due to their cinematographic quality, unpredictability, surreal humour, and use of computer graphics. The use of celebrity cameos has also been common in Super Bowl ads. Under its first sustained offline advertising campaign.

For the duration of the Super Bowl, traffic to jumped by 378 per cent. A survey conducted two days after the Super Bowl found that the Go Daddy commercial was the most memorable of all spots that ran during the game despite its controversy. Due to this, Go Daddy became by far the most talked-about Super Bowl advertiser. Finally, the Go Daddy strategy worked and earned almost $12 million in free publicity in its kitty. Lots of the TV stories about the incident happened replayed portions of the commercial. It was Go Daddy’s first-ever Super Bowl ad–increased brand awareness. which successively has generated significant new business.” The magazine Business 2.0 declared the Go Daddy Super Bowl effort the “Smartest Ad Campaign” of 2005.

2. Dorritos- Content co-creation

Doritos is well- established brand of America since 1964.A packet of flavoured tortilla chips which is giving tuff competition to others. To increase its sale, Doritos thought of something new and experimented with creating brand value through content co-creation. It has worked as a great strategy. Company asked its users to submit their interpretation or version of what Doritos means to them; this helped the brand to understand the requirement of their customers and discovered their customers’ language, personality, pain points, and wants and needs.

Doritos asked its fans to record and submit their original videos, and for the winners, the prize was the Super Bowl slot. Over the subsequent nine years, their fans consistently showed up to play, submitting thousands of videos and pulling together to comment, vote, and share their favourites. The submissions to Doritos’ contest over the years have revealed valuable insights about their audience, as well as recurring trends: lots of babies, dogs, etc. You can mould your future marketing strategy if you listen to your audience . Online, user-generated content campaigns are pretty helpful in building long-tail keywords to build natural SEO. You can target the actual need of a customer.

Overall, UGC marketing campaigns give brands a 360% view of how their users talk, what they want, and who they are. After all, who would want to miss the chance to showcase his at the Super Bowl in front of millions of viewers or a dream job!

3. Frooti’s – “Digen Verma was here”

Do you remember Frooti’s “Digen Verma was here” marketing campaign, an unconcealed yet fabulous attempt to repositioning itself as a youth drink? It was one of the most exciting and innovative teaser campaigns ever made in India. The ‘Digen Verma’ promotion campaign Designed and executed by Everest Integrated Communications (Everest). Parle Agrochemicals launched a series of the teaser for its mango drink Frooti which evoked the public’s curiosity, especially the younger generation. The creative team decided that they need to bring something which could appeal to the college-going crowd.

They figured out where the college crowd goes, their hung-out joints, their reference points, what would grab their attention; after all the research work, they realized youngsters’ conversation and socializing always revolves around one person who someone would know, and the rest have only heard.

So they strategize their promotional campaign around a person who is not only a brand ambassador but someone who youth could relate to. To reposition the brand, that person had to have some mass appeal also, the storyline needed to be strong enough to sustain interest.

Finally, they thought of Digen Verma; though the name was unusual, still it has a family ring to it. Southern markets like Kerla well respond to this name as per a test market survey. Verma as a surname holds a national identity and almost all Indian community has people who can relate them with him. On the other hand, Digen means as such nothing, but people interpreted it is as Dig-In.”

It was supposed to have the quality of a role model whom others would imitate, but on the other hand, this name was chosen as an unknown identity so that the young crowd enjoys Foorti without any image hassle. The creative team wanted to introduce the image of a person never heard about, never seen them. This was the trick which this character made larger than life. Within a shoestring budget, Parle Agro decided to launch a catchy and creative promotional campaign. It was aggressive and different from its competitors. Television commercials (TVCs), outdoor media campaigns, offline promotions, and online advertising campaigns were included in this campaign. The first stage of this campaign was a teaser to build the brand image of the brand ambassador ‘Digen Verma’ It was an innovative and creative promotional teaser. To create the hype team designed outdoor ads, promos, cinema, and teaser spots with the name of ‘Digen Verma. Youth hung out joints like restaurants, movie theatres, buses, local trains flooded with eye-catching posters asking like ‘Where can you find Digen Verma on Saturday nights?’ or ‘What is Digen Verma’s favourite serial?’ etc. Even in the colleges, they put the exam banner with the tagline’ Digen Verma will be the topper again’. In cinema halls, they glimmered by slides of showcasing him to tow his Ferrari away from the parking lot. Soon this faceless man becomes the talk of the town all around the country. As a second step, they revealed that Digen Verma is the one who is a brand ambassador of Frooti. A search also started to look for a perfect guy who could fit into the role of a Digen Verma. Also, as a part of the relaunch strategy, creatives change the packaging of the Frooti tetra pack .new tagline” just like that ‘and new “splash “graphics were also introduced, which consumers liked a lot. though they were drinking Frooti or not still they recalled the brand and the reason was “just like that”.The Digen Verma campaign was a successful one. It generated its target audience interest. The company spends 30 million on this project. In the end, the kind of customer response and awareness this brand got was quite phenomenal. And their sale got increased by almost 30 per cent.

It was one of the most innovative teaser campaigns ever run in India. , the ‘Digen Verma’ campaign would be remembered for its pure creativity and exceptional public interest.

4. Nike- Live Strong Lance Armstrong Yellow Cancer Livestrong Rubber Wristband Bracelet

Nike is a sportswear and apparel company. it is the most valuable brand among sports businesses. The company derived its name from Nike, which means the Greek goddess of victory. Nike promotes its products under its own brand not by outsource. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of “Just Do It” and the Swoosh logo on its products. In May 2004 Company started the production of the Livestrong bracelets. It was instant support for the cancer patients. these yellow silicon-made bracelets were launched as a “LiveStrong” campaign. Agency Weiden+Kennedy and Nike developed this idea as a fundraising project.

The company designed these bracelets especially for Lance Armstrong who was an American professional cyclist and cancer survivor. The yellow color represented the color of the jersey worn by leaders during the Tour de France as well as the ribbons welcoming Americans who returned from batter field. The cost of this bracelet was $1 and this fundraiser campaign was meant to improve the life of cancer patients. The Livestrong brand soon expanded to yellow exercise gear and gained immense popularity. since this partnership began Livestrong raised over $500 million for cancer research. This charity retail partnership is one of the most inspiring partnerships on the planet.

In the Tour de France, many celebrities and cyclists wore these yellow bands. It became an icon soon. This yellow bracelet was not just an opportunity to help a noble cause it was the perfect combo of sleek design, strong message, affordable price, and smart idea which turned into outstanding results. This campaign allowed other businesses also to create their own design for specific purposes. people start wearing these bands even after an event also. This campaign is a perfect example and set a benchmark of long-lasting marketing at a low cost and exposed the companies to the public eye for an extended period.

5. Pan Bahar Masala’s – Class Never Goes Out of Style

Today Pan Bahar Masala is a well-known brand. Pan Bahar is recognized as one of the pioneers in the industry. It is known as a primary manufacturer of ethnic Indian mouth fresheners (Pan Masala ). Today We see many print ads and tv commercials on Tv as well. It’s been 54 years now since the company launched this old secret blend. Earlier, this brand was unknown virtually. Then came 2016 and the controversial Ad featuring Mr. former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan. Overnight this ad advertisement started trending and also got great coverage from the media.

This controversial campaign was designed by DDB Murda. This commercial showed Brosnan doing Bond-square stunts, but all the actions were performed using one low-tech device – a weaponized Pan Bahar tin-pack. The tag line of this ad which comes at the end, was: “Pan Bahar, class never goes out of style.”. the strategy of the campaign was to links success to a man who is the epitome of perfection and hopes to thus pitch itself as the bond of all pan masalas. Pan Bahar bout Hollywood A-lister Brosnan on board to reposition its brand. It was a clever association though it raised many eyebrows; several people were offended at Brosnan for endorsing the pan masala brand; the actor had to apologize to be a part of the ad finally and declared that he was unaware of the health effects of the product.

Still, Paan Bahar got instant fame and recognition. As they say, ‘any publicity is good publicity. This unique marketing gimmick worked for the brand Pan Bahar. And today, most of us remember this brand by its most controversial ad only.

6. Netflix- “Make It” project: Netflix Socks!

As a hardcore NetFlix fan, I don’t want to miss my favourite shows. Netflix often shares their bing -watching life hacks thru social media. This fan -culture-inspired Netflix to design a campaign that displays its loyalty to its consumer-centric setting. It allows its viewers to enjoy entertainment on their terms. On social media, Ntflixains often share their frustration about how they missed their fav NetFlix show when they slept while binge-watching.NetFlix wanted to come up with a solution that we never heard of. Finally, by user-submitted ideas and Informed by customer feedbacks and their discussions thru social media. Netflix innovated the perfect bing -watching bright accessory socks for Netflix users who watch themselves to sleep:

Netflix socks work on sleep detection technology and use an accelerator program to detect when you’ve drifted off and then send a signal to your TV that signal.

Automatically pause your favourite show, so you don’t wake up two episodes ahead of where you left off. The company launched the socks during the holiday season and released a short video on the market website. Netflix invited its fans to create socks of their imagination and creativity, including knitting patterns inspired by Netflix Originals and step-by-step instructions available on the website. Furthermore, it also allowed fans to put forward their ideas for future MakeIt innovations. Also, for your hacking pleasure, Netflix even posted considerable instructions on making your pair of Netflix socks. Isn’t it one more smart move of NetFlix?

Within few days of the launch, these unique socks went viral—then too without any traditional PR support or advertising. Netflix socks suddenly became a global phenomenon as the socks took over the internet. It reached over one billion media impressions and appeared in over 1,000 media placements. On social, Netflix socks outspread organically—fast. In a short span of just three weeks after launch, the socks were mentioned 49 times per hour on Twitter, garnering an average of 1,175 tweets per day from nearly 20,000 users. prominent personalities

In media—including Arianna Huffington, Marc Andreessen, and Michael Arringtontweeted about the socks from their accounts.

The uniqueness, relevance, creativity, and authenticity of the project made Netflix socks a topic of daily conversation across various social platforms and further established Netflix as a creative force in the entertainment industry. This Netflix gimmick is a fantastic way to bring attention to those projects which blend technology plus craft.

7. Nestle India -Educate the girl’s Child campaign.

“When you educate a girl, you educate a nation” An educated woman is like a bliss for her family she not only contributes to the economy but also suppresses the inequality in society. The world bank also admits that educating girls is the most effective investment. If we look in India’s perspective still the number is very low when it comes to girls education. As per an estimation, every year 20 million girls drop out of school. I rural area situation is more worst.

Nesle understood the crying need of the hour and joined hands with Project Nanhi Kali for the launch of their campaign – #EducateTheGirlChild with the aim to educate a million girls. Famous Innovations conceptualized a minute-long digital film to spread awareness about the education of girl child which eventually results in increased brand awareness. Nestle extended its support to this noble cause by changing the packaging of three of its most iconic brands KitKat, Maggi, and Nescafe. Maggi has altered its tagline from “2-minute noodles” to “2 minutes for education”. NESCAFE modified the tagline “It all starts with a NESCAFE” to “It all starts with education”. KitKat has also reframed the visual of the finger snap to one without the break with the line “No break from education. further strengthened with a blue band which gives more information on the association. Also, it mentions the URL of Nanhi Kali

Nestle became the ever FMCG brand in India that initiated this innovative approach. It was surely and path-breaking and innovative partnership between Neste India and a non-profit organization, also a very smart move of Nestle to reach out to maximum people.

If you make no mistake, marketing Gimmick works for you. It can help you to get noticed fast. You get a massive slice of your market position. Also, if you use your creativity, then it cost you pennies.”


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