Sponsorship, integration and awesome marketing

I have been thinking a bit about sponsorship recently, I read an article the other day in the Standard which said that only something like 12% of football fans could name Carling as the League Cup sponsors, some similarly depressing figures were quoted for other brands involved in this kind of activity, this reminded me of a discussion I had on twitter over a year ago about how sponsorship was a broken model but no one was doing anything about it…

Depressing really as it is big business, millions of $ to secure the big deal and millions more in media and agency fees to support it all, the worst part being there is rarely a viable ROI model or clear KPI’s, it is all about “brand awareness” – a great catch all term in big brand marketing…

Then Joel showed me this:

Which is the best example of non-traditional sponsorship I have ever seen.

Sure this cost a hell of a lot of money, but sponsorship does, and this is sponsorship, Jay-Z is clearly being paid to endorse the bing products – sponsorship.

But instead of  a clever TVC and ATL execution featuring the famous rappers music and picture with some kind of “competition” online to meet him or get concert tickets (which is the typical fare for these kinds of deals) these guys really got to the nub of things: They engaged their target audience with something awesome and it’s awesome because it is the following:

  • Exclusive (you can’t get that content anywhere else)
  • Engaging (I would pay for that book so of course I am going to spend time finding it for free)
  • Disruptive (if I saw a part of Jay-Z’s life story emblazoned on a pool table or bus stop I would read it and then follow up online, because it is so disruptive it lures in it’s target reader
I also really love the way it thinks so differently about every day objects, from billboard and ATL to pool tables, table plates, clothing etc. – That is true creative engagement! 

And the results are great too: Huge uplift in Bing site visits, over a billion impressions and a hell of a lot of engagement. It also really sold the service, it was not some loose and contrived link to Bing, the Bing experience was core to the user experience and that is important, too often this type of thing has only a loose connection to the brand or product it is really trying to sell.

I have only 1 question: How many of those users who came to Bing for the Jay-Z stuff came back? – but then that is, in part at least, down to the quality of the Bing service.

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3 responses to “Sponsorship, integration and awesome marketing

  1. I saw recently that Bing was using Jay-Z’s photos on their front page, with links to (a) his photo series and (b) a competition to enter your own photos for front page display on Bing.
    I bought into this and liked the idea a lot, even though I personally hate rap hip hop music. But he used a Canon so I forgave him a bit……
    Now here’s the “but” – but I don’t like Bing. I have my second choice browser set with Bing Search as home page, and I use it then get the results I don’t want in a format thats cluttered and tricky to decipher, and almost every time I click on Google search.
    The takeaway? Sponsorship is only truly worth it for products that work. Hence I resonate your last point.

    • Yes i totally agree, the thing here is that this is an awesome marketing campaign to bring users to the site and to the services, but if the services suck then it is not worth doing!

  2. Pingback: 5 ways to combine your Facebook page with your ATL | Tom's Ideas

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