Mercedes Benz has just spent a lot of time and no doubt huge amounts of money producing a glossy advertising campaign to match the innovative and creative benchmark set by the new A-Class (bleurgh).
Credit where it's due, it looks good (as it should for such a brand) and #YOUDRIVE uses a number of engagement techniques to attract the demographic it is after. Viewers can vote via Twitter on which way the advert's car chase goes, as well as visit YouTube to drive their 'own story and spot the secret gig date for the chance to win a new A-Class for a year'. Just a year? Bit tight!
All very well, but I'll be interested to see how the sales figures do and what the purchase decisions are, if they are ever shared. Not sure a reason given will be 'I liked the game on YouTube and just had to buy."
There's no denying that social media campaigns remain a key part of the future for brands looking to engage with their audiences and that in time #YOUDRIVE will prove to have been a powerful awareness raiser. However my personal belief is that brands will win out most when they use social media tools for customer service. What's more, I'm glad to say the North East is home to some rather nice campaigns that I believe will ultimately bear this out.
Take Benfield Motors. Benfield commissions local agency Different to set its marketing strategy. Different's 'different' thinking has included the launch of an overarching company initiative ‘EconomySave’ to help its client's customers save money - a rather clever initiative to launch during a recession, wouldn't you agree. The social media element of this, as rolled out by OPR, has been to ask Benfield's social media audience to share their thrifty tips via a specially designed Facebook competition page, with the best weekly suggestions awarded with supermarket shopping vouchers on ‘Top Tip Tuesday’ and ‘Top Tip Thursday.’
A nice, targeted and very cost effective campaign that is also easy to run that will go a long way to build brand loyalty with Benfield's customers.
There are plenty more examples where that one came from, with Northumberland County Council and many other regional practitioners embracing the campaign opportunities that social media provides. Perhaps Mercedes should look to the North East next time it needs a marketing strategy put together - the team might even save themselves some money!
Let me know what you think and what good and bad examples of social media activity you've seen recently.
PS For those who think it's strange for me to be congratulating a competitor on a nice piece of work, I refer them to my earlier blog post here. The more contracts we bring to / keep in the North East, the more work there is to share around. Let's celebrate best practice.