It’s quite hard to ignore the election today, even if you are just reading a blog post. Earlier today everybody greeted to each other with one simple question “Did you vote?”, even if they were greeting to me, who couldn’t vote at all. At first I would simply reply that I’m an evil communist. Later I realized that this would only bring an awkward end to a conversation. People would unnaturally smile and then turn away.
After giving it a second thought, I should have handled those conversations with election-related marketing cases. There is so much to talk about.
For instance, the jet-blue campaign introduced by the professor the other day was a remarkable one. In fact, quite a number of brands took the advantage of presidential events, like debate, voting and lectures. Most common practices are like 7-11’s election coffee poll campaign, in which they provided two kinds of coffee cups. Each stands for a candidate. They also launched series of viral videos, Facebook background pictures, and free coffee samples.
Similar ideas have also been adopted by “Bliss”: a spa and beauty brand; “Tortilla’s”, a California chain restaurants brand; and “Boston Market”, which is also a restaurant brand who launched a “left wing vs. right wing” bowl poll.
The most brilliant part of this idea is that customers can take sides by simply purchasing their products or services. And according to the sales records, we can get a clue of which candidate is leading. This year, the 7-11 coffee poll almost foretold the final result of the election, whereas Toritilla’s result was quite biased. Maybe between the Obama chicken teriyaki bowl and the Romney Mexican Mitt-Loaf Bowl, some customers simply decide based on their flavor preferences rather than political inclinations. Fortunately whether the results are accurate or not does not affect the fact that these brands will catch eye balls during the election.
It’s difficult to trace back who came up with this idea first. However it can be identified that since 1984 Busken Bakery, located in Cincinnati, has been making presidential cookies. And they proudly claimed that their result matches the votes count within 2%.
There are also other ways to connect brands to this election: “Cheetos” conducted an online poll about the “big cheese” via social media. “Pizza Hut” promised lifetime free pizzas to those who could raise a question about pizza during the debates. And there are some basic apply of homonym, like Tostito’s “One Party” campaign.
Generally speaking, it seems every brand doesn’t want to give up this national event; otherwise it’s going to be another four years. Some brands, like jet blue, came up with something innovative and eye-catching, while others, like Tostito, simply stepped into previous footprints.