In this series of posts I aim to bring to light off-beat stories from the world of marketing, ranging from serious successes to downright abysmal failures.
In these times of receivership, redundancy and recession people are looking for great offers. So this week I bring you 2 stories for 1 (by the way the second is funnier so keep reading…).
The first is about some beer brands, notably Hobgoblin and Guinness which have jumped at the chance of ‘owning’ Halloween. At first this might seem odd but linking a brand to an occasion can be a powerful marketing tool as it can encourage consumers to believe they are embracing a collective experience in a more authentic way, for example, if they are drinking Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. Obviously that works because Guinness is the Irish beer.
Hobgoblin has an obvious link to Halloween through its name and ghoulish mascot who they are taking on the road this weekend in an inspired piece of brand activation.
For Guinness, other than being dark (which is what the comms plays to), the link is less clear but both brands are conscious of the trend for beer to be consumed away from the on-trade (in pubs and bars) to the off-trade (in kitchens and living rooms). This feels like a response to that shift, an attempt to encourage people to incorporate bottled stouts/ales into their cosy, autumnal nights in. And by hooking into an occasion they may be able to make this habitual. Time will tell but with both being such great beers, I hope it works.
In tune with some previous Friday Tidbits the second story is a bit more ‘interesting’. Inspired by a curious and potentially spoof ad for HundForum, a day-time dogcare brand in Sweden, I briefly pursued a line of research into the range of products and services that are available for pets. We all know about some of the extreme pet pampering, cleaning and massage services that exist in LA but were you aware of a French company called HotDollForDog? I don’t know if this a spoof but particularly if you take a minute to watch the slightly questionable promo video, it does look professionally done.
Very little more need be said but it is interesting as a niche marketing opportunity: firstly because it highlights the existence of niches and how far some (apparently French) consumers are willing to go to satisfy their pets and secondly the importance of a real insight, even to smaller-scale niche marketing. In this case, although I’ve never owned a dog in my life, I am aware of the nightmares friends and relatives of mine have had with the canine abuse of net curtains, the odd thigh or ‘pretty much anything else that’s going’ as a colleague, James Wallis, revealed.
So hopefully you won’t get nightmares, but there are a couple of stories from the world of marketing to ponder as we wander into the Halloween weekend…