Where Have All the Good Campaigns Gone?

Occasionally you come across a PR or marketing campaign that makes you smile. The simplicity, the effectiveness, the humor; it all comes together and makes you wonder why you haven’t thought of that.

When was the last time that particular thought popped in your mind? If you’re like me, it’s probably been a while. You could say it’s from having seen so many campaigns over the years, but I’m not sure that’s the case.

Are you working on your next campaign right now? Here are a few things yours could use if you want to stand out from the rest.

1. Creativity

Remember when the Old Spice commercials first came out? Man, were they funny. The seemingly random and nonsensical structure of the commercials and the rest of the marketing and PR around the campaign was just fun to watch, both as a shopper and a PR pro.

However, how long did it take for companies to start aping that campaign? Not long, of course, as they wanted to try and capture that lightning in a bottle. In fact, a friend of mine was working on a (failed) commercial shortly after the campaign came out. The company insisted they change a character to the Old Spice guy, which was not only silly but breaking a thousand copyright rules.

Try to maintain your vision when creating a new campaign. The Dairy Queen campaign mimicking the Old Spice ads may have been cute, but they were hardly memorable. It doesn’t have to be brilliant, just something nobody has seen before.

2. Skip the Corniness

“Everybody loves corny humor.” You hear that all the time, whether it’s for a series of magazine ads or a Facebook campaign. The idea is everyone you talk to rolls their eyes at a company saying corny things but in the end they not only remember it, they like it.

Just because you’re forcing people into liking something doesn’t mean it’s a successful campaign. It may or may not get you a few more sales, but sticking to your vision could easily pay off way more.

A little tongue in cheek humor never hurt anyone, of course. But if you’re having trouble thinking of something actually funny, hire some outside help. Even if it’s just some of your pals paid with pizza, a punch-up session could do wonders for your PR campaign.

3. Play to Your Strengths

In the end, you know your product best of all. You know what makes people desire it and you know why it could potentially improve someone’s life. When you talk about it in a press release, on Twitter, or just out on the street, you should always know what to say to sell it.

You wouldn’t intentionally talk about the product in a way that doesn’t make any sense. For example, if it’s a fun product that nobody needs to survive, there’s no need to make it seem like it’s the most important item on the planet. That is, of course, unless you’re being funny, then go for it!

What’s the most recent campaign you can remember loving? (You may have to think back. I know I did!)

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html

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