branding ideas low cost marketing memes

Is growth hacking really a thing?

Some good slides and links here, so  worth a read, though I wonder what’s really new. Whatever, it’s a groovily-branded (growth hacking! lean marketing!) reminder to have a rounded product/marketing mix and to pay attention to loyalty management.

Growth Hacking from Mattan Griffel
humour low cost marketing product surprise viral

Instagram releases Polaroid-style camera

Not really of course, but it’s a pretty good gag and will play well amongst the early adopter/geeky market who may feel they’ve lost the brand to new owners Facebook

HT to petapixel

advertising get famous likeability low cost marketing Pricing viral

Virile and Viral – our blades are f’ing great

This splendid video for the Dollar Shave Club has lathered itself all over the chin of the internet and it’s offering a serious disruption to a high-margin sector. Note:

  •  A nostalgic nod back to no-nonsense times (shaving as virility)
  •  Humility: he’s rubbish at anything involving throwing or catching (this brand is reachable by you)
  •  Clear repeated branding and the dead simple proposition (why wouldn’t you?)
  •  “The party is on” – hints at peer approval and that it’s an OK gang to join
  •  Acres of humour and likeability (use this and have more fun!)

advertising disruption getting it wrong humour low cost marketing pr viral

Greenpeace and the double-edged light sabre

Fun and very well-made Greenpeace video attacking VW, but the comments are mixed at best, with many commenters suggesting they picked the wrong target.

[edit] looks like George Lucas didn’t appreciate the copyright infringement!

disruption location low cost marketing pr shareability surprise talkability viral

This guy has my laptop!

Amazing story of how someone tracked down the thief of his laptop and posted its webcam pictures for everyone to see.

It’s fantastic publicity for the tracking software used, Hidden. Had this been a deliberate PR stunt, it would have been genius.

branding likeability low cost marketing surprise talkability

Talkable, likeable, edible

I know it’s clinical old CRM, but it still made me feel good that O2 sent me a surprise bar of chocolate

advertising humour low cost marketing surprise talkability viral

Your mother clicks ads in hell

Bang on the money guerrilla marketing.

link via the next web

advertising low cost marketing surprise talkability

Damn fine media buying

Spoofing ‘missing’ posters might be a touch questionable, but this ad for Twin Peaks certainly made me look twice

advertising likeability low cost marketing product

Shot to perfection

I’ve said before that it’s better to be brilliant than say you’re brilliant. Here’s a great way to showcase your coffee store by providing a beautifully shot ‘how to’ video. Much more powerful than an ad could ever be.

via boingboing

get famous likeability low cost marketing talkability

How to get people to take note

Lovely low-cost marketing for a hair loss product. From JWT in Hong Kong.


low cost marketing surprise talkability

Shockingly good or shockingly bad?

Opinion appears divided on this campaign for an anti-landmine organisation. Rip the sachet and red spills out of the leg.

I’m not usually a fan of shock tactics for charities and causes, but I think this is such an unexpected medium, and the experience so tangible, that it compels people to take notice and discuss it.


humour invention likeability low cost marketing pr surprise talkability

It’s marketing Jim, but not as we know it

Spotted in Soho, promoting the new Star Trek DVD – get yourself a Spock haircut

low cost marketing Misc productivity viral

clinginess is the new spam

Quite rightly, forward-thinking brands are connecting with their audiences via facebook fan pages. It’s a readymade network of peer groups and allows saliency and reputation to be built. It’s a social database that can be accessed for commercial means – to announce a promotion, drive traffic to a site or augment another brand experience.

ITV’s X-Factor are doing this especially well. By crafting provocative, open-ended questions and posting them while the programme is on air, they are tapping into increasingly popular TV+laptop behaviour and creating real-time water cooler moments. I saw one thread about the twins have over 10,000 comments in it. That sort of engagement has never been possible until now.

Picture 1

Unlike email newsletters, publishing content onto fan pages can and should be done quite regularly – certainly at least once a day.

And this is where brands need to spot the danger. All new media bring new communication opportunities. You can speak to your fan base whenever you like. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Just as no-one wants to receive too many (any?) emails from you, over-communicating on facebook risks flipping the consumer’s mindset from “I love your brand!” to “hmmm… stop talking all the time. You are so needy.

Clinginess is the new spam

likeability low cost marketing surprise

Capturing attention

Googling for information on the (apparently fabulous) Bold Tendencies III exhibition in Peckham, I stumbled on the Londonist’s website.

All routine stuff, but note the polite, likeable way they sniffed that I’d arrived from search and tailored a friendly message inviting me to subscribe to or bookmark their site.

Nicely done with exactly the right balance of call-to-action v pushiness.

Picture 19

featured likeability low cost marketing

Nano-fame: one line on the Sopranos

So you’re a.n.other actor wanting to be famous, and you get a minor part in a major show.

Is it possible to use that fleeting moment to market yourself globally?

Sure is. As the b3ta newsletter* explains,

You probably don’t remember Erik Weiner’s performance in The Sopranos. His single line was, “Leon, take your break at two.” Erik is now stretching out his small moment of fame, for comic effect, and thereby making himself much more famous as a result. Clever stuff, Erik.

* often nsfw

advertising likeability low cost marketing viral

The early days of viral marketing – pure Genius

Way back in 1994, I was Assistant Brand Manager on Draught Guinness. I was dutifully learning the blue-chip marketing ropes, but really far more captivated by this fledgling thing we then called, wonderfully, the Information Superhighway.

It’s to the eternal credit of my then manager, Jason Nicholas, that he signed off a £25k budget to investigate further. Over the following months, I worked with great people at Ogilvy & Mather (especially Saul Klein) to create Guinness’ first website. We didn’t have the brand domain, so it was hosted at the clunky URL of (sadly not captured on’s wayback machine). We stretched the limits of  Mosaic/Netscape to offer not only images (woo) of a pint, but also an animated gif (double woo!!) of, er, a spinning globe. We even put that address on a TV ad.

But by far the most successful and illuminating piece of work was the Guinness Screensaver. As a format, screensavers went on to be be hackneyed quite quickly, but at the time it was wildly original. It’s not too much of a brag for it to lay claim to being one of the first pieces of viral marketing.

Guinness had just launched a new ad, Anticipation featuring a guy dancing round a pint to infectious mambo music.  The idea was to bring to life his inner excitement while waiting for the pint to settle and be ready to drink. It was fresh and wildly popular.

O&M created the screensaver and we put it on the website. But back then, very few people had internet access and this file was a mammoth 1.3 megabytes(!) In the end, we branded up hundreds of 3.5″ floppy discs and put the file on there (it just fitted, thankfully). We seeded a few to friends and colleagues and suddenly the requests came pouring in. By letter! I had a box under my desk and spent most of my day stuffing envelopes. People would take the discs and pass them around friends and colleagues. People loved having beer imagery in their workplaces. There was a point in 94/95 when it seemed every office had screens saved to Joe McKinney dancing round a pint.

[edit] thanks Leo for the screencap!
Can anyone help preserve this small piece of web/marketing history? It’d be great to screencapture it to a movie file and put it up on YouTube for posterity. The .exe file ran under Windows 3.1 and if you’d like a copy, please email me hello (at] contrarymarketing dot com or via Twitter @cslyons