Sampling Experiences

One of the topics of my previous post was sampling. While there could be a good number of campaigns out there that understandably do a go job at sampling ‘products’, how do you execute sampling of services and experiences? I wondered.

And then I discovered Hunger Delivery

There are campaigns for NGOs that have tried to tug at your heartstrings in order to make a point and evoke your empathy (and in some cases, sympathy). But what if you are made to actually experience the cause that an organization is fighting for? In other words what if you are inadvertently compelled to sample the experience? And what if the experience is ‘hunger’? The Food Bank Foundation tied up with 2 pizzerias in Paraguay and executed the following campaign.

It could require guts to execute something like this (in fact it could almost be impossible to be executed in a number of markets given the expected temperament and potential consumer backlash characteristic of these markets). The results shown in the above video notwithstanding, I am not sure if this campaign has actually offended or ended up alienating any of their consumers. But a noteworthy campaign by any standards! Hats off to the Pizzerias that have offered to be part of this campaign even if it was for one single day. (Agency: TBWA/Oniria)

Interestingly, I also learnt that there exists a near parallel for this campaign in Spain, albeit for a TV Show.

Alcatraz Delivery

Alcatraz is an American TV series; a thriller based on the namesake Alcatraz Prison, from where all the prisoners and guards had mysteriously disappeared in 1963. The execution apparently was to make people sample the prison experience without them having to leave their homes. See the case study video here.

Alcratz reportedly was a success on its opening, given the buzz it has managed to generate with this campaign. (Agency: Leo Burnett Iberia).

Again a gutsy attempt, but I have mixed feelings about this as it almost inflicts an unpleasant experience upon unsuspecting ‘viewers’ and doesn’t make up for it (as the Hunger Delivery example did). May be it succeeds at planting an intriguing thought in your mind, but I somehow get a feeling that it appears to have tried a little too hard at it.

What do you think?

Any other ‘sampling of experience’ examples that you know of?

Wash Your Bill + Space For Rent

Sampling and Coupons.

Let’s start with ‘sampling’ – the initiative through which marketers offer consumers an opportunity to try out their product/service for free or for a nominal charge, so that they get a first hand experience and thereby form an opinion about the offering. The philosophy? Trying IS believing. TrendWatching.com calls this TRYVERTISING. Everyone of us have at some point or other been offered free samples or a chance to try out something for free. But how many of those do we remember? How many of those experiences have left an impression on us and carved a niche for themselves in our mind?

As with all other marketing executions, the key challenge for sampling is to stand out as a memorable message delivered through a touch point that is innovative, relevant and remarkable (as in ‘Remarkable’ = Anything that is worth making a remark about). Though it sounds like an obvious statement to make, identifying and executing sampling through touch points that are relevant (to the target consumer) can become an uphill task as we descend down the ‘ladder of involvement’. In other words, while a bedroom furniture store’s idea of offering customers nap for free, may not sound like a ingenuous mattress sampling idea, I would think that it requires a good deal of ingenuity to think of innovative, distinct and relevant sampling avenues for low involvement product categories.

Take for example, the category of Dish Washing Sponges. How do you introduce them to a new demographic like the Youth? How do you deal with the challenge of being ‘innovative’ and ‘remarkable’ when you speak about something as boring/avoidable as Dish Washing to a segment of consumers who are as ‘challenging’ as the Youth? 3M’s Scotch Brite did it in Brazil. The Wash Your Bill Campaign. See the video for all details.

A fun way of reaching out to a new demographic, through touch points and instances that are remarkable  and innovative. It has all elements to be sticky. Surprises you, delights you, compels you to share the experience, and makes you speak about it. The following screen shot says it all about the potential of this.

A great example of sampling executed in a cool way!

Now let’s get to ‘coupons’.

How do you make coupons sound serious? Like serious money? By making it sound as a real business deal, so that the consumers have a ‘real’ stake in the equation. IKEA is known to be ‘Out of the Box’ when it comes to its marketing. Recently, in Australia it has come up with, what I think is a fantastic campaign called ‘Space for Rent’. Executed by 303Lowe, this campaign spans the entire 360 spectrum of touch points to reach out and target the consumers that are willing to ‘rent out some space for IKEA’.

Hang on..did I say consumers renting out space for IKEA and getting paid in return? Indeed. Watch the video here.

What I loved is the sheer genius of the solution. It smartly repurposes the whole question and turns it around into an almost irresistible offer. Kudos to the team behind it!

Another innovative ‘couponing’ example is the recent emart’s 3D QR code campaign to generate traffic during the non peak hours in Seoul. See the video here.

What I liked about this campaign is that it almost creates a sense of urgency, owing to the 60 mins time window of 12-1PM when the Sun just about helps you get a QR code out of those strategically placed installations. And thereby spurs you and entices you to take action.

Nice finds for the week.

And you thought ‘sampling’ and ‘coupons’ were dirty cheap words?