The cynic, or the person who steadfastly believes they’ve never been influenced by advertising in their lives, would say that all advertising is gimmick related. While there might be some mileage in that argument, that would be to discredit some of the memorable gimmick campaigns we have loved and loathed as a global community in recent history.
If you’re an online business, a gimmick ad campaign could be something that makes a difference to your levels of exposure, especially if you’re able to harness it alongside SEO, social media, and other areas of your digital marketing strategy.
What are some top tips for creating gimmick image adverts?
Although the temptation to demonstrate your competitive edge can be fantastic, you should be careful about how you do it.
What you can’t do is create an image of King Kong representing your business and have the animal crushing a building clearly labelled as your competitors.
What you can do is something similar to Microsoft’s “Smoked by Windows Phone” campaign from early 2012. If you didn’t see it, it was a simple yet very effective piece of gimmick marketing. It was simply a picture of a Windows Phone next to a black burn mark and smoke, with the title wording to the side.
Microsoft garnered some criticism for it, but ultimately it worked. How could you do something similar relevant to your business and industry?
Every product, every service, and every piece of marketing should deal with, or demonstrate how to deal with, a particular problem. To put this into a gimmick image advert, you need to forget about the competitor and think about what your product or service does to make someone’s life better. Why is it so valuable?
An example of this would be gimmick ads for toothpaste. How often do we see AquaFresh demonstrating why they’re better than Colgate? We don’t. Instead, we see the toothpaste battling germs, eliminating 99% of them, and creating whiter, stronger teeth.
How would a similar campaign fit in with what you do? Whether you’re offering a service to minimize office paperwork or make the internet more accessible for older generations, you have a wealth of options you could create.
Marketing is always about getting people on the hook. If there’s a criticism of the toothpaste campaigns from earlier, it’s that we all know what toothpaste does, so gimmick campaigns can lose their impact. If your business is already established, be more daring with your gimmick marketing.
Create something unexpected that will stick in people’s minds, will make them think about your brand, and look again at your ad. Look at what Compare the Market did by using meerkats to advertise across multiple platforms; no one is ever going to forget that!
Don’t use gimmick marketing just for the sake of it. Done wrong, it can devalue your brand and make people turn away from you.
If traditional marketing ideas are working, then keep using them, and introduce a gimmick when you need to freshen up your campaigns, or to promote a special offer, rather than making it your standard advertising type.
License: Creative Commons
Gabriel is a marketing student who hopes to go into the industry as an analyst of marketing practices in the future. He is currently designing a website hosted by JaguarPC where he plans to publish some of his own case studies into particular advertising campaigns, what they mean, and whether they were successful.