Like Marketing = Like Advertising?

This popped up on my Facebook page.  Maybe “too many” who like Marketing like Advertising?


Chick-fil-A Gets Spicy

I love Chick-fil-A.  In my book, their Chicken Sandwiches are only surpassed by Turkey Sandwiches.  I also love their marketing.  Chick-fil-A has found a great mix of mass media and word-of-mouth.  Their “Eat More Chick’n” billboards have reached and almost iconic status.  Chick-fil-A has also demonstrated that they are one of the top word-of-mouth marketing practitioners as they have launched their new Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

What did they do right?

They built tension and anticipation – Chick-fil-A teased their existing consumer base for weeks by promoting a countdown to the launch of the sandwich on Facebook and on banners as consumers made their order in the drive-thru.  It would have been easy to just launch it and make it available, but instead, they were disciplined and created a simple word-of-mouth opportunity.

Company execs told consumers why they were launching the sandwich – It’s pretty simple, but when consumers know why a brand, product or line extension exists, it allows them to authentically share stories about it.

Discussion was encouraged – It’s not all that risky to launch a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but Chick-fil-A opened up the lines of conversation and as of this post, over 1600 comments were posted on their Facebook page.

Chick-fil-A created scarcity and a VIP event – Perceived scarcity and elevating the attention to loyal/heavy users are two classic word-of-mouth marketing strategies.  Leading up to the event, Chick-fil-A accomplished both in one effort: they gave consumers the opportunity to make an appointment for their Spicy Chicken Sandwich.  It’s common for the Chick-fil-A drive thru to have a long line, but reservations for a fast food restaurant?  That’s unheard of and they did it.  The consumers who participated walked away with a great experience that they will share with others.

Chick-fil-A does a lot of other things right in their marketing.  For more information, check out my collection of articles on Chick-Fil-A marketing.

Hardee’s Successfully Integrates Mass and Social Media

Many try, few succeed. I’m talking about successfully integrating mass media with social media. But it looks like Hardee’s might have found the sweet spot with their new “Name Our Holes” campaign.

Hardee's Viral Website

Many of you probably know that Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr are basically the same company, but just called different names in different markets.  I happen to live in a Carl’s Jr market, so I heard about this campaign from my friend Tim, who just happens to be the guy conducting the “consumer research” in the videos.

The whole thing works because it includes all of the necessary mass and social media elements

  1. The videos are edgy, funny and memorable.
  2. The TV spots encourage the consumer to get involved and contribute the the fun they’re seeing on TV at the website.
  3. The website does more than just repeat what consumers already saw online.  It offers up a few extra “too edgy for TV” spots so that they can be spread around the web.
  4. The website allows consumers to participate at various levels of engagement. If you want to record a webcam video, you can. If you’re not that kind of person, you can do a write-in. And if you just want to watch and vote, you can do that too.  Too many campaigns rely on getting super-engaged consumers to participate. The reality is that they’re aren’t too many of those out there.
  5. The website facilitates sharing. They make it easy to embed links, post them on Facebook or Tweet them.
  6. Then they figure out how to make even the lesser engaged consumers feel like they’re a part of the process by emailing them a custom video featuring their content!  I’m not the type of person who records webcam stuff, but I did submit a name for their holes and found it to be pretty cool to see my name on their commercial.
  7. Most importantly, the whole campaign stimulates on and offline word-of-mouth.  Yes, it’s cool for consumers to spread the videos around using social media platforms.  But it’s even cooler when consumers talk about and recommend the brand because they came up with a funny name.  Plus, Hardee’s really wins because they don’t even need to use the silly, sexual innuendo names.
  8. The campaign will continue to live when the TV commercials are long gone because Hardee’s gave consumers permission to call they whatever they want.  A great example of  letting consumer take control of the brand.

Name Our Holes - Consumer Submissions

Nice work, Hardee’s. Really nice work.  And I gotta say that my friend Tim’s great role as the  straightman makes the videos even funnier.

I Gotta Get This Off My Chest

This Brett Farve Wrangler commercial has bugged the shit out of me for a while now.  Here’s why:

  1. Is Brett Farve such an ego maniac that he wears a number “4” t-shirt when he’s not on the field.  Does he really need to remind people that he’s Brett Farve and he wears number 4 on the field?
  2. This is obviously a pick up football game out at some farm.  Can’t Brett give up the spotlight for a day and let someone else play QB?  What about blocking for a change, Brett?
  3. Is it really necessary to call audibles?  If you listen closely, he’s apparently changing the play at the line of scrimmage.  I mean, are they planning out some audibles in-between plays?
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(for those of you that don’t know me, I’m just having some fun with this.  I know why advertisers do this shit.  But it still bugs the crap out of me.)

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Just What I Want to See as I Sit in a Hotel Room

I’m a bit of a germ-phobe. I’m not so weird that I have to have to wear flip-flops in the hotel shower, but germs still freak me out a bit.  So as I stay in a hotel this weekend, the last thing I wanted to be reminded of is disgusting human beings doing unspeakable things in MY hotel room.

Who was the ad genius that came up with this one?  Was this supposed to be some kind “Viral” stunt?  Oh good idea! “Let’s talk about farts and get people to stay at our hotels!”


Via the Denver Egotist.

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“You Can’t Buy That!” dot com

You might have noticed that I changed the name of this blog.  This is now the home of:

Why the change?

First off, I never really liked the last name (Blg Slice of Awesome) since it was relatively meaningless.  Second, it occurred to me last week that the best marketing is the kind that you can’t buy.  In fact, you hear people say “You can’t buy that that kind of marketing!” when they see a brand truly connecting with consumers.

  • You CAN buy advertising (that’s why they call it an “advertising/media buy”) – but if you’re here reading my blog, you probably know that advertising old school thinking.
  • You can’t buy product innovation that captures consumer attention and imagination.
  • You can’t buy passionate consumers who recommend your brand, product or service to their friends.
  • You can’t buy meaningful interactions and conversations with consumers that educate them on your brand’s folklore or functional benefits.

Of course you can spend money to facilitate these “priceless” opportunities, but you can’t flat out buy them.

So this blog will focus on the idea of the best marketing tactics being the ones you can’t buy.  Sure, I’ll have some other odds and ends here and there, but my focus will be on the ideas that connect with consumers in a personal way.

If you have an examples or ideas for marketing program that ar better than anything you can buy, email me at: nealdstewart (at) yahoo dot com.


You know, when you think about it, Bum-vertising isn’t really all that different than a celebrity taking money to endorse a brand they would never even think about using.  Think Tiger Woods and Buick.

This guy is homeless and therefore doesn’t know anything about selling a home.  But somehow, isn’t he more believable that Tiger driving a LeSabre?

Via Spur.

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Guess What They’re Selling

Here are a couple photos of a billboard that I see pretty much everyday. My challenge for you:

Can you tell me what they’re selling?  Don’t even worry about the brand, I just want to know what industry they’re in.

(Scroll down to see the answer)

Worst Billboard Ever

Still Can't Figure it Out

Ready for the answer?

Bear Naked Website

It’s granola…I think.  (FYI, my guess was a mountain resort)

Beer: The Movie

I came up with an idea today: There should be a movie about marketing beer.  As it turns out, there already is one – from 1985.  I’m about 20 minutes in to the flick and here have already been several scenes that are completely out-dated:

  • A memo being copied and distributed by hand
  • Smoking in the board room
  • 3-piece suits
  • Believing that a big advertising campaign will save a brand (great scene at the 20 minute mark)

This movie is 23 years old after all, so it stands to reason that things have changed in the beer business.  Too bad a lot of breweries today haven’t realized this.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  REMAKE!

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Do You Really Think Ad Reps Care About Your Business?

A guy I used to work with used to say something really funny (but true) about advertising sales people.  He said:


He said this because in this particular company, the sales people were somewhat empowered to make media buys.  And when these sales people would come to us (the Marketing Dept.) with a media buy, they would say, “My friend is a rep at this radio station and she’s giving me a great deal” or “My buddy sells billboard space and he’s cutting us a special rate”.

He coined this phrase because he had to literally convince our people that they really were not friends with the reps.  The reps were just selling them.

I’m not sure if I need to go as far as saying that you can’t be friends with them, but I do know this: If ad reps sincerely cared about your business:

  • They would check in with you on a quarterly basis to see how your brand is performing and not just when it’s time to re-up the contract.
  • They would report the growth or other positive news of the medium they’re selling throughout the year – and not just when you’re up for renewal.
  • They would bring opportunities to the table that are good for the brand and not just for their bonus check.

As always, there are some exceptions to the rule but for the most part, THEY’RE NOT YOUR BUSINESS PARTNERS.