Business, WORLD

Trending topics + creative means = Great advertising

Organizations often try to cash in trending topics so every now and then, they use creative means to promote products and initiatives.

Creative means are also used to make people aware of important issues. For instance, Delhi Police used the trending ‘Timed Out’ controversy that happened in the ongoing Cricket World Cup to make people aware of the importance of wearing helmets while riding motorbikes. Sri Lankan cricketer Angelo Mathews was the first player in the history of the game to be timed out for being late to come to the pitch and bat for his faulty helmet. Delhi Police made a point with their tweet – helmet is important!

In 1993, Pepsi was sponsoring Michael Jackson’s world tour, and the pop star cancelled a concert in Bangkok due to dehydration caused by the heat of the city. Coca-Cola decided to take a dig at its competitor and published a half-page advertisement in two of Thailand’s leading English-language dailies with the headline “Dehydrated? … There’s always Coke”. Pepsi took a sweet revenge in 1996 when India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were hosting the cricket world cup. Cricket is the most popular game in South Asia so both Coca-Cola and Pepsi wanted to cash in by being the official sponsor. Coca-Cola won the initial battle and got the title of official sponsor.  Pepsi’s creative team completely turned the tables, when the world cup began, with an out of the box campaign with a slogan – ‘Nothing Official About It’. The Pepsi advertisements showed cricketers and even officials choosing Pepsi over Coke.

Burger King similarly took a dig at its rival McDonald’s by advertising ‘Never Trust a Clown’ in the horror film IT, based on Stephen King’s novel. In other campaigns, Burger King suggested ‘Come as a clown, eat as a king’ and ‘Why work for a clown when you can work for the king?’

In 2015, an Fiat employee ambushed Volkswagen in a clever way, which created a huge heartburn for Volkswagen. This happened in Sweden. One morning, the employee spotted a Google Street View vehicle driving by. He quickly jumped into a Fiat 500 and followed the vehicle for about 45 minutes until it reached Volkswagen’s headquarters. Before the Google Street View vehicle couch get near the Volkswagen HQ entrance, the Fiat employee quickly parked the car right in front of the entrance and then waited until the street vehicle took the photo of the entrance. That Fiat Picture remained in google street View for about a year. 

In one of the most famous battles, in 2006, BMW congratulated Audi for winning the ‘South African Car of the Year 2006’ after BMW 3 Series had won the World Car of the Year award. The greeting included the comment ‘from the Winner of the World Car of the Year 2006’. Audi came back quickly with a billboard that congratulated BMW for their award. Audi finished the message by commenting ‘…from the Winner of Six Consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours Races 2000-2006’. Subaru joined the battle and congratulated both BMW and Audi for winning the ‘beauty contest’. Subaru was winner of the International Engine of the Year. Bentley entered the battlefield, it had no quotes, no congratulations for the other other car manufacturers; the ad just showed the finger. 

Trending topics + creative means = Great advertising

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