Posted March 16, 2012 7:00 am by with 1 comment

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Thomas Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. I can’t help you with the second part, but I can help you with the first.

Every Friday, I’ll present to you a variety of new online, mobile, and social media marketing campaigns. It’s my hope that you’ll be inspired by the works of others because face it, even though inspiration is only 1%, it can be much harder to come by than the other 99.

Guinness Attempts to Break a World’s Record

Holidays are always a good time for a promo and no holiday could be better for Guinness Beer than St. Patrick’s Day. But simply asking folks to party responsibly on the Friendliest Day of the Year isn’t enough, so Guinness has added a second gimmick. They’re inviting folks to help them make it into the Guinness Book of Worlds Records for “The Largest St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.”

That’s right. Guinness is going for the Guinness.

They’re hosting the campaign on their own website and they have an app running on Facebook where you can make your pledge to party. They also teamed up with a group of bloggers who promoted the event and the accompanying sweepstakes on their own blogs. Those bloggers each had a different code to enter into the sweeps box, so it sounds like they might be giving perks to the sites who send the most people.

A fun time is sure to be had by all.

Toyota: Welcome to the Game of Life

Toyota has a new TV and YouTube-based campaign that ties the Prius in with the Hasbro board game Life. The TV spots are cute and colorful to the point where they look like Old Navy ads. The YouTube channel has a colorful, clickable graphic that leads to informative videos featuring Bill Nye and Danica McKellar.

At the moment, there is no tie-in to social media outside of the links being shared on Facebook and YouTube. That seems like a waste.

The upside of the ad campaign is that it’s eye-catching, it makes car buying sound fun (which most of us wouldn’t agree with) and it has the nostalgia factor.

The downside is that it trivializes the car buying process. The ad exec told AdAge that they came up with the idea because their target audience approaches life as a game. Then she added, “not fun and frivolous, but purposeful.”

Their audience didn’t get it. Most of the comments on Facebook and the YouTube pages are negative. They use words and phrases such as dumbing down, horrific, and worst commercial ever.

So let’s call this one the anti-inspiration.

Cadbury UK Chocolate Google+ Page

Cadbury UK hit 500,000 Google+ followers last week. To celebrate, they created a Google+ page out of chocolate live on Google Hangout. They even included the audience by using one of their post suggestions to finish the page.

Afterward, the video of the Hangout was placed on YouTube and photos of the creation were added to the Google+ page.

What Cadbury did here was create some excitement and media buzz around a relatively small concept. People love to watch the creation process, that’s why there are so many cake and designing shows on TV.

This idea is easily adaptable for artists, cake decorators, chefs, crafters and DIYers.

Inspiration Alley Takeaway tips

Holiday promotions always catch the eye and they’re extra special if you can tie them into a larger event.

Nostalgia draws people in, but be careful not to make light of your products or make fun of your customers.

Demonstrations are cool. Upload webcam footage to YouTube, schedule a Google Hangout or plan a Skype conference with selected buyers. If they can see it being made, they’re more likely to buy it.

That’s it for this week. I hope you were inspired.

  • Great post especially those last tips.