“We hope you liked the movie. Would you like some Crest Whitestrips?”
Sounds strange, but that is exactly what P&G did recently as part of a very clever product sampling program. At the conclusion of the film “He’s Just Not That Into You,” which featured a scene with Crest Whitestrips, Crest brand representatives handed out 200,000 promo packs in five major markets. The packs included samples of the product, a coupon and a fun tie in to the movie. (You can read more here)
It isn’t easy to create demand for a product in today’s world. People know they control their attention. I don’t watch t.v. commercials. I ignore banner ads. I get my news from RSS feeds and Twitter. How does a brand tell me about a new product without annoying or alienating me? This is a huge issue for brands.
Brian Morrissey made the case recently that brands can’t give up on interruptive advertising. His argument: Google has built an amazing system for harvesting existing demand (we tried to improve upon their model at Jellyfish), but brands still need to interrupt to create the demand in the first place. I agree with Brian that interruptive advertising isn’t going away anytime soon, but I think the answer is to interrupt in ways that create value to the end user. The value can come from entertaining me, surprising me in a fun way, giving me status, and (of course) putting some extra savings in my pocket.
I salute P&G for finding a way to interrupt people in a fun, and valuable way. You can see other great sampling examples here.
Our team at Alice is working hard to give brands other value-added ways to create and harvest demand. It’s part of the evolution of advertising that we’ve been fascinated with for a long time.