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Vacation from the Ordinary: “Outside the Box” Marketing by Big Brands

Break Away from Tired Routines

Summer is here at last, and summer vacation provides a much-needed opportunity to break from tired routines and step outside your comfort zone.

From time to time, it’s not a bad idea to take this approach when it comes to marketing, too – as demonstrated by these major brands that have made waves with their use of unorthodox, “outside the box” marketing tactics:

Coca-Cola “De-Brands” and Goes Viral
With the “Share a Coke” campaign, first rolled out in the U.S. market in 2014, the soft drink behemoth swapped the brand word-mark on its bottle labels for an assortment of popular first names. The unorthodox move generated a huge amount of buzz on social media – over a half-million photos were shared in the summer of 2014 using the #shareacoke hashtag, and the campaign gained Coca-Cola 25 million new Facebook followers!

Insurance Companies Leverage Comedy
For decades, insurance commercials had a serious, “just the facts” approach. But when Geico rolled out a series of humor-driven ads featuring a now-iconic gecko mascot in 1999, the move paid off huge – and set a new industry standard. Today, industry giants race to outdo one another with ads centered on wacky scenarios and zany characters, trying to boost their name recognition and ensure their brand is first on consumers’ minds.

REI Sits Out Black Friday
Since 2015, outdoor-focused retailer REI has taken the unconventional step of shutting its doors and giving its employees a paid day off on Black Friday. To close all stores – and even suspend the processing of online orders – on one of the year’s biggest shopping days is a risky decision for any retailer. But it was a publicity-generating move that created positive word-of-mouth surrounding the brand, particularly among the growing subset of consumers who have grown weary of holiday season consumerism.

IHOP’s Rebranding Stunt
This spring, restaurant chain IHOP made a splash with a much-hyped name change that earned the brand more than its fair share of mockery on social media. At a glance, a brand being uniformly roasted on social media by its competition may seem like a marketing disaster, but the “IHOb” rebrand (said to be temporary) still resulted in a huge boost to brand visibility, with trolling competitors – and rubbernecking media outlets – doing much of the heavy lifting.

Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. But brash, unconventional marketing stunts always make a big impression. Looking for ways to step outside your comfort zone and take a “vacation from the ordinary” with your marketing? Let’s put our heads together – Contact us at Rosie’s Creative today.

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