As originally published in Synergyzer Issue 3 – 2016

Suppose yours is a marketing and PR company and you have just landed a high priority client. Obviously, this client wants all the bases covered, i.e. TV, Radio, Print, Digital; the works. But apart from that, this particular client wants something new and innovative, something that has never been done before. Now, this is where things get challenging; as most companies with big budgets can get a brand up and going on one or more of the aforementioned mediums, yet coming up with innovative solutions that have the ability to capture the imaginations of the masses in an increasingly challenging environment is more complicated.

Some innovative promotional tactics that have been used recently and can be viewed on YouTube are:

  • Flash Mobs

The element of surprise can be a very useful marketing tool for creating brand awareness, a marketing ploy which was used to great effect by T-Mobile in 2009. Passersby in Liverpool Street Station simply stood still in awe when a flash mob started with a girl singing and dancing and then joined by other such performers culminated into an energy driven conclusion. With this, T-Mobile marketed itself in an outlandishly subtle manner, a strategy other organizations should certainly follow.

  • Augmented Reality

While the augmented reality (AR) technology is still being developed as we speak, some high-profile brands have already used it to truly amaze their audiences. No brand has used AR better than the famous augmented bus shelter by Pepsi Max, where the brand surprised commuters with incredible experiences like a giant robot crashing through the street, flying saucers abducting people in broad daylight to a huge tiger roaming freely and staring people down, the technology is used beautifully!

Search the terms, ‘Unbelievable Bus Shelter by Pepsi Max’, on Google or YouTube to view the visual brilliance of this campaign.

  • Guerrilla Marketing

Innovative, unconventional and probably giving the best customer reach considering the costs involved. The dancing vending machine by Coca-Cola is probably one of the best examples of an attention-grabbing guerrilla marketing idea. As part of a playful experiment, a vending machine invited people to dance and rewarded them with a free Coke! This campaign gained amazing traction with minimal cost, hence guerilla marketing done right!

  • Mobile Marketing

Conventional mobile marketing has been around for a while, yet the popularity of mobile apps has opened up plenty of opportunities for brands looking to make it big. Car manufacturer Audi’s brilliant start-stop app sums up the innovativeness of mobile marketing. Designed as a simple task-killing app for smartphones, this app also doubles up as a promo for the innovative “gas-saving technology” found in Audi cars. A subtle yet powerful campaign which makes users associate Audi with efficiency, this was one of the many successfully executed mobile marketing campaigns!

The Digital Invasion

Despite the effectiveness of the aforementioned marketing methods, more and more companies are investing significantly in digital and social media marketing. The latter particularly provides startling access to millions of potential consumers and targeting tools much more focused and precise than any other mass-marketing strategy. But then again, with the overwhelming information hurtling through smartphones and tablets, creating a lasting impact seems to have become an obsolete idea. The only way companies can stay abreast of the competition is by flooding newsfeeds, whether it is on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. What then, can be innovative ways of reaching out to such hyperlinked individuals, who, in essence, are our prospective customers?

Corporate Theatre Plays: The Next Big Thing

Primetime television spots, gigantic billboards in premium locations, a social media command center and enough “big data” analysis for large-scale content marketing, are some of the marketing tools a well-equipped company is likely to have at its disposal. Meaning, any company willing to spend will ultimately end up in the same shark tank.

So how should a marketing company differentiate itself from the competition?

I believe one answer can be theatre plays. Although brand placements are already being carried out in theatre plays and stage shows around the world, associating your brand with a theatre play, if done in an in-depth manner, will leave a more lasting impression on the audience resulting in information retention. In addition, there are other select advantages associated with this type of marketing.

  • Precise Targeting: With corporate theatre plays, a brand has the option of exclusively inviting a very select audience. This ensures that 100% of the audience comprises of the target market and hence, no spillage costs.
  • Personal Touch: During sponsored plays, company reps could be personally present and have priceless face-time with potential clients. This type of personal interaction is quite rare, and something a company would be willing to mete out a little extra for.
  • Relatively Economical: Obviously, a custom-made play, keeping a certain brand in mind will cost you, but that is nothing compared to the big bucks you will otherwise expend for television spots or product placement in movies.

Corporate Trainings: It’s About The Who!

If words like, ‘boring’, ‘a waste of time’ or ‘I don’t need this’, are coming to your mind, then the perception you have for corporate trainings is a very conventional one. Versus a boring HR rep, imagine a world-famous celebrity or motivational speaker addressing your company. For instance, your employees will certainly be more interested if Jordan Belfort was giving sales tips to your top executives, making trainings a lot more interesting.

Currently, not a lot of marketing firms offer the aforementioned services but incorporating one or both of these tools into your marketing arsenal would open up a whole new avenue of possibilities, propelling us into a new age of marketing going beyond the digital boom.


About the Author

Ali Kazi is an experienced marketing specialist with a Masters degree from IoBM. He is currently working at Edge & Chase Global Marketing looking after digital marketing and content. In his spare time, Ali enjoys playing all kinds of sports, particularly football, and believes Ronaldo will be responsible for a future revolution. 

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Ali Kazi is an experienced marketing specialist with a Masters degree from IoBM. He is currently working at Edge & Chase Global Marketing looking after digital marketing and content. In his spare time, Ali enjoys playing all kinds of sports, particularly football, and believes Ronaldo will be responsible for a future revolution.