Three Marketing Campaigns You Weren’t Expecting

Written by Lucie Robathan on August 29, 2017

People love to be surprised. When our familiar contexts are re-arranged, or we are met by the unexpected, we are provoked into feeling something new and unanticipated.

We also love to be entertained – to let our minds be diverted – and stimulating someone’s emotions and feelings often leaves more of a mark than targeting their more rational, intellectual responses.

When it comes to marketing your organization, these two facts can provide the inspiration for novel and creative ways to broaden your reach and strengthen your impact.

The three campaigns below have all harnessed the power of entertainment, and our collective enjoyment in the face of the surprising, to raise the profile of their associations to a wider audience. These are brilliant examples of people finding innovative ways of spreading awareness about their organizations, their members, and the work they do.

Alphabet Creative

HPV Awareness Campaign for The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada

Alphabet Creative worked with the communications team at SOGC to produce this awareness campaign. They created a faux dating site, aimed at their target demographic: women aged 25-45. When somebody clicked through onto the dating site, they were met with a pop-up alert warning them about the risks of contracting HPV. Adding a touch of humor, and an element of shock, to their marketing strategy helped this message also become contagious, and spread beyond their community.

Oregon Dental Association

“Teach Me How to Brushy” music video

Oral hygiene isn’t many people’s favourite topic, and lectures on the theme can be met with sobriety, resentment, or even fear. Despite the seemingly serious character of their work, the Oregon Dental Association put out a video that was just the opposite. It worked: the video has had over 800,000 views, and picked up by various television, online, and print outlets. Brace yourself (get it?) for the mic drop at the end.

Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

“We’re Here for You” awareness campaign

The marketing and communications team at CSMLS, dedicated to highlighting the hidden work of their members who exist primarily behind the scenes in patient care, need precisely to spark the broader public’s awareness. This campaign was really about story-telling: without having to say anything, without having to provide any teaching materials, and without having to make a lesson explicit, the video tells a heartwarming story we can all access.

While our associations have specific and individual goals, challenges, and responsibilities, the language of creativity and entertainment can speak to a more general public. An effective creative marketing campaign can move beyond the particulars of your organization, and target people at a more fundamental level that we all share.