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The Marketer
April 30th, 2010

Election based marketing – 5 examples

Here is post describing how 5 brands are riding on the back of media interest in the election in order to boost their profiles.  Two are brands of crisps – Tyrells and the Real Crisps company.  They have different flavours for the different parties.

My favourite is IKEA who have launched a tongue-in-cheek website that makes fun of the leaders with the ranges Brun, Kameron and Kleggi.  This cheeky approach has paid dividends with strong viral take-up and many comments on Twitter and blogs.

There are also interesting examples from Marmite and Ann Summers.  It all goes to show that topical marketing can pay off.  If you can quickly react to a situation and bring out something humorous, up to the minute and even controversial then you can grab more attention.

  1. If, a month on, you’re embarrassed by your election based marketing, you’re not alone. DLA Piper’s marketing team were one of many to promote a company view on a potential coalition – bad news, they said. Fair enough. Until the Daily Mail revealed that Nick Clegg’s wife is a DLA Piper partner, raising all sorts of questions about her faith in him – or her company.
    Toeing the company line is a tricky one for marketers, who might have to promote all kinds of ideas that are not their own. The last thing they need is staff who won’t play ball. But should staff have to “walk the talk”?
    Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey says he does, and so surprised many when, despite his assertion that love and care are company “core values”, he was vocal in his controversial views on US health care, even arguing that many people bring their health problems upon themselves. Equally problematic were Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein’s assertions at the height of the banking crisis that he was “doing God’s work”. HSBC’s Stephen Green is another who straddles Christianity and banking – never an easy pose.
    Fittingly, it’s a US shoe retailer that has come up with a solution to the walk-talk problem: Zappos offers new starters $1,000 to quit. If they take it, good riddance – they’re not Zappos material, reasons the company. But that particular method of policing company values could get a little expensive when it comes to the boss.

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