I am by no means a high profile internet marketing genius. Hell, I couldn’t even sell a glass of lemonade for $10k to a thirsty CEO after a long stint inside of a sweat lodge 50 feet over the Mexican side of the border. But once in a blue moon, a marketing campaign pops up that somehow manages to keep my attention. One that makes me actually put in the effort to move my mouse slightly upwards and to the right and firmly push down on the left-button to click an ad, to want to see more of what someone is selling to me.
Being a bearded gentlemen, purchasing razors isn’t exactly at the top of my bi-weekly grocery list, but Gillette’s new campaign posed a question that I just couldn’t ignore: How does the Man of Steel shave? A seemingly innocuous question for some, but if you know anything about the red caped, undies on the outside-wearing badass, this question bursts open some kind of geeky Pandora’s box of possible scenarios. To help aid in answering this perplexing conundrum (big words make me sound smart), Gillette assembled a team of experts: Bill Nye The Science Guy (the guy who made science cool in the ‘90s), Kevin Smith (Hollywood’s biggest comic book nerd), Mayim Dialik (“Blossom” and “The Big Gang Theory” star and PHD holding neuroscientist), and duo Jamie Hyneman & Adam Savage(from Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters”). Each give their own explanation as to how the dude from Krypton could tangibly achieve a clean shaven face when bullets bounce off him like Nerf gun darts and he is almost invincible.
SPOILER ALERT: HE DIED ONCE
Entertainment value aside, this campaign embodies what an advertisement really needs to be effective when marketing online: the ability to go beyond just selling us shit and really engage potential customers and forming a connection. They didn’t take the typical “be as weird as possible and appeal to internet culture” route that many a marketing schemes have taken in the past. They didn’t go the controversial-gorilla-marketing-piss-peope-off-and-hope-it-goes-viral route, either. They posed an incredibly interesting question, and asked famous people and the world what the answer is.
Take a quick look at the #howdoesheshave hashtag on twitter and you’ll see hundreds of theories and responses from people all around the globe. Such a simple yet effective concept like this one are what I feel make the most memorable and engaging ad campaigns. What’s more, it also doubles its effectiveness by combining and promoting two very different things in a way that mutually benefits both Gillette and the “Man of Steel” release and just makes a whole lot of sense, don’tcha know.
That Man of Steel howdoesheshave thing is silly. Everybody knows he reflects his own heat-vision, duh — Evan Ray (@RaygularGuy) May 29, 2013
Take note, internet marketing people. Simplicity, cross promotion, actively engaging consumers, encouraging discussion, shareability and a little star power — these are the kind of ideas that ya’ll need more of to really get your messages out there and make the most of this ever-changing landscape and to get your products noticed in the sea of distractions that is the interwebs.
What do you guys think? Does my incredibly un-knowledgeable marketing analysis jargon hold any merit? Is this article just a dribble of nonsensical BS? What are some campaigns you’ve seen in the past that managed to grab your attention and made you click to find out more? Let me know, and let’s talk about in the comments.