The Power of Dates


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I recently had a conversation with a client about a potential anniversary campaign, and it got me thinking about the importance of utilizing special and unusual dates.  Big anniversaries, the return of Halley’s Comet, and January 23rd, 2045 (01/23/45) aren’t events you can celebrate just anytime, so you have to plan accordingly.  A special date is a perfect opportunity to do something unique, but when the date passes, the opportunity is gone.

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 is a red letter date in the history of science fiction. It’s the day that 1985-based Marty McFly, Jennifer Parker, and Dr. Emmett Brown arrived in the Hill Valley, California of the future, in Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future, Part II.

Their voyage gave 1989 audiences a theoretical glimpse at what 2015 would be like:

Flying cars (not yet)
TVs you control with your voice (yup!)
Fax machines all over the house (yeah, but why would you want that?)
Take-and-hydrate pizza chains (close, but no)
Hoverboards (coming soon!)

Lexus recently released a cryptic but exciting promotional video for the SLIDE, a hoverboard product they are developing. You can find a little more information about the device if you dig online, but Lexus has promised to release more official information about their magnetic levitation machine on, you guessed it… Wednesday, October 21st, 2015.

Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity! Like the 2011/2015 Nike MAG campaign, Lexus is jumping all over 30ish years’ worth of expectations and delivering one of the cooler theoretical products from the fictional 2015. It would’ve been cooler still to see a flying car, but hey, you’ve got to hoverboard before you hoverdrive.

Campaigns like this show a great situational awareness. People who saw BTTF2 when it came out are in prime car-buying years now AND they’ve been waiting 26 years to see if the movie’s predictions will come true. Even if Lexus never sells an actual hoverboard, this branded product launch process will capture the attention of millions of 35- to 65-year-olds.

I can’t wait to see the SLIDE in action, but it doesn’t take a new technology to celebrate your special occasion.  Some new messaging, good press relations, and perhaps an anniversary logo and collateral can really go a long way to letting everyone know about your big date.  That said, the company that comes out with Star Trek-style “beaming” or Blade Runner “spinners” will have my undivided attention!

Getting to Know AFFIRM – Part 1



Well, it’s official. You are reading the FIRST installment of “Getting to Know Affirm”. As I’m sure you’re aware by now, we’ve recently re-branded ourselves. We decided it was time to change our name to something that better describes what we do and how we do it. We provide positively engaging marketing (we don’t sell toner or paper clips.) In honor of the re-branding process, I thought it was fitting to ask a survey question that actually relates to what we do. What did I learn? It’s shocking that our office doesn’t constantly smell like Old Spice.

What is your all-time favorite marketing campaign?

Ryan: Old Spice, “The man your man could smell like”

Danny: The original Miller Lite Beer campaign in the late ’70’s/early ’80’s featuring famous former athletes and comedians arguing over “Tastes great” and “Less filling”

Katie: Old Spice, “The man your man could smell like”. I also love new Southwest Wedding Season commercials!

Karissa: The 2015 Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial – “Lost Dog”

Erik: I don’t know about all-time, but this child abuse PSA designed to be seen only by children is a great campaign in recent memory:

Amy: Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like! (link above) Otherwise a not as funny but great commercial is the Budweiser 2014 Super Bowl commercial.

Cathy: I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but the one that immediately came to mind was the Get a Mac campaign. I will admit to rooting for poor PC.
And if you’re looking for a more current one – I do enjoy the Kristen Bell & Dax Shepherd ads for Samsung.

Josh: Guinness is good for you.

Traci: I’d say the Anti-Smoking “Truth” campaign. It was very hard hitting public service announcement that really made an impact for me.

Steve: That question is like asking what’s your favorite dessert or song – way too many choices! Here are my top three:
1. Volkswagen – Think Small. It’s an older campaign but a testament to the fact that Volkswagen never tried to be something there weren’t.
2. Apple – Get a Mac. Simple, clever, and people could easily relate to the people and benefits.
3. Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. Proof that even great marketing can resurrect an old, tired brand.

Rick: Quiznos Subs – Spongemonkeys

Roe: The Fireside Dinner Theatre – High School Musical

Laura: I have many favorites, but two that are sentimental faves:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: “You got your peanut butter on my chocolate. You got your chocolate in my peanut butter. Two great tastes that taste great together.”
Tootsie Pops: “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.”