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Newsletter #894: The “It’s Easier Than You Think” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Great marketing doesn’t have to be hard. The best ideas are simple, practical things you can do without big teams or big budgets. How some fantastic marketers are doing it:

1. To be transparent
2. To create a viral video
3. To say goodbye to a client
4. Check it out: Branding the U.S. Presidents

1. To be transparent

Transparency is powerful marketing. When you open up and take your fans behind the scenes, you instantly become more human and more trustworthy. Done right, it’s also fascinating — like a recent video from McDonald’s explaining why burgers in their ads look different than what you get in the restaurant. The video features one of their marketing execs purchasing a burger at a restaurant and taking it to professional photographers who use some food styling tricks to make it look extra delicious. The whole thing is a quick, simple way to instantly explain a longtime misconception.

The lesson: Think of the common questions and misconceptions in your industry. How could a quick, honest explanation from you change them?

Learn more: Huffington Post

2. To create a viral video

There’s no magic formula for creating a viral video. Your best bet: Try a bunch of simple, inexpensive experiments and see if anything takes off. The team at Pine-Sol recently had some luck with this strategy. Their big idea? They set up cameras and invited people to test their product. But what these people didn’t know was that Pine-Sol’s spokeswoman was ready to jump out and scream at them from behind a poster. The resulting montage of everyone’s reactions is already over a million views.

The lesson: Budget and complexity have no correlation to the viral potential of your video. So, you might as well keep things cheap, easy, and fun.

Learn more: YouTube

3. To say goodbye to a client

Great marketers see the possibilities in everything, even the hard stuff — like saying goodbye to a longtime client. When Taxi recently parted ways with 10-year client MINI, they used it as an opportunity to pay tribute to the brand and their work. They created one last promotion, saying, “After 10 years of working with MINI, we only have one left to sell. Ours.” They took the 2008 MINI from their boardroom and put it up for auction, with all proceeds going to charity. They also posted ads thanking MINI for “One hell of a ride,” and there’s a good chance that all the adoring publicity of their high-road approach is getting attention from some new clients.

The lesson: Even tough situations with customers, clients, and partners can be hiding great marketing opportunities — and it’s often easier and more straightforward than you might think.

Learn more: Adfreak

4. Check it out: Branding the U.S. Presidents

History and design nerds will love this collection of brand interpretations of each president.

Check it out: Branding the U.S. Presidents

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