The world of marketing can be an extremely diverse setting. Like Hollywood, you have everything from the quirky comedian to the polished professional. But regardless of how a marketing strategy is tackled it is important to define your approach.
Honing in on your distinct ecommerce marketing style is just as important as an actor signing on for the perfect role that will earn a Golden Globe.
For some, finding this perfect fit means going for what you know you’re good at and capitalizing on those strengths. For others it can mean stepping outside of the box to stir up curiosity. Either way, locking down a specific angle of attack will help you maintain consistency and leverage the most results from your efforts.
This year’s Golden Globe winners are a mixed batch of seasoned veterans, rookie all-stars and surprise selections. From Wolverine belting it to earn a Best Actor award to the easily predicted win for Daniel Day-Lewis, the way these actors climbed to the top tier of film recognition can be duplicated in a marketing strategy.
Discover which winner’s technique fulfills your marketing needs and release the potential profit awards that could be pouring into your business.
Do Something That’s Out There
For Quentin Tarantino, “out there” is all he does. This winning screenplay writer has unleashed twisted (and often uncomfortable) films on captive audiences for three decades. He prods political correctness, exploits sensitive topics, re-imagines history and sometimes does all three at once like in the case of his latest winner Django: Unchained.
He’s proven nonconformity can be a powerful tool even when it’s contentious, but there are distinct skill sets needed to get this strategy right.
The key to making it work, as Tarantino reaffirmed, is commitment to your crazy cause. Had Tarantino been a mediocre story-teller, and danced around the prickly boundaries that existed in Django, the movie may have been viewed as little more than a racially tactless flop.
3 Tarantino Techniques
- Everything is for a reason. Tarantino isn’t weird just for the sake of freaking people out. Odd is an art form to him. Every awkward transition, every line of painful dialogue and every head-scratching character has meaning.
- Don’t pull punches. With Django, you get the most raw and unattractive interpretation of our country’s most shameful past and Tarantino doesn’t waste a moment sugar coating that.
- Make no apologies. Even after heavy criticism and scoring the Golden Globe despite it, Tarantino wouldn’t conceit that he’d exploited anything or abused a racial slur once. In the wake of a win, he commits to the good and the bad.
The infamous writer and director displayed his notorious ability for forming unforgettable characters and a peculiar plot, but without his unwavering dedication to quirk the strange slavery-era flick may have been skipped during the awards season.
For marketers interested in spicing up their messaging, there is nothing wrong with taking a sharp left turn and stirring up some controversy. There needs to be strict attention to detail, however, and a firm understanding that this move may not be for everyone.
Dr. Pepper Ten’s abrasive and gender-taunting ads branding its product with a “men-only” label was certainly a testament to disregarding the norm. Unlike the popular method of casting a wide net over audiences, the soda company decided it banish half the population from purchasing.
According to MediaPost, this tactic worked, initially scoring above the average ad for similar products, but it was also a huge risk for the company. And headlines showed there were certainly some who disagreed with it:
Why Dr. Pepper 10 is Everything Wrong with Advertising
Dr Pepper Ten: Because Men Don’t Drink Diet Soda?
Dr. Pepper 10: Ten good Reasons to Never buy Dr. pepper Again
Being “out there” doesn’t necessarily mean amassing piles-full of new fans. It’s about taking risks and hoping some people – preferably your target sales audience – understands and accepts your edgy message. If you’re not prepared to field some questions (and possibly some backlash) think twice before trying to score by hitting one into left field.
Be Funny, That’s It
There is no denying that making someone smile or bust out laughing is incredibly successful in the marketing arena. It’s contagious, it’s shareable and it demonstrates a likeable trait in almost any setting. For Golden Globe hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, funny is a gold mine.
Though they didn’t walk away with a win, these ladies stole the show with clever banter and perfect timing. Both also have a long line of humorous work that speaks for itself.
The SNL alumni and first female hosting pair are the stars of hit shows, revered writers and both were in the running for best actress in a comedy television series.
Neither has delved much into anything other than comedy. Funny works for them. And funny can work really well for your business too.
3 Funny Factors
- Self-sacrifice is comedic gold. Poehler and Fey didn’t get where they are by always presenting themselves as prom queens. They make weird faces and put on strange outfits. Funny works for them because they never hesitate to forgo pride for a chuckle.
- It’s funny because it’s true. There’s Adult Swim-style funny that gets a laugh because it’s eccentric. Then there’s classic funny that gets roaring laughs because it’s hilariously honest. Like this jab that Fey took:
“Anne Hathaway, you gave a stunning performance in Les Miserables. I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.”
- Choose your jokes carefully. Poehler and Fey are extremely tasteful in their comedy. They find the funny without being hurtful. They don’t have to do that, but it’s much easier for them to continue to grow their audience when they avoid insulting or belittling people.
In your humorous marketing scheme, try to expose the goofy side of your product or your customers’ pain points while avoiding stepping over a comedic line on sensitive subjects.
Take the DollarShaveClub.com video from last year for example. The marketers behind this found a way to make an otherwise boring product – razors – hilarious. Much like how Poehler makes a government job at the Parks and Recreation department seem like the best place on earth to work.
You don’t have to run a three-ring circus or a comedy club to find humor. You don’t even have to keep it clean all the time(as the videos F-bomb bleep implies). You just have to find a combination of true and goofy without crossing into offensive and thoughtless, like this Tweet did:
Not everyone was born with the blessing of poignant comedic timing, but if you’re going to take a stab at being humorous, be conscientious about your jokes’ meaning.
Class Counts for Something
Anne Hathaway entered the scene awkward as a nerdy goofball in The Princess Diaries, but as she’s grown into her career she has become sophisticated and refined.
She is becoming a classic.
Her abilities and her role choses are leaning towards timeless and it’s clear from her role in Les Miserables that she’s taking this acting thing pretty seriously.
For her, and possibly for your business, it works to just commit to an elegant, clean style.
3 Classy Moves
- Smart is attractive. Unlike many actresses her age, Hathaway does her best to present herself as an educated, poised woman. In interviews she speaks with the complexity of a scholar twice her age and people love that about her.
- Recover gracefully from slip-ups. During the debut of the classic musical, the young actress experienced an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. Though the “slip” was less than glamorous, she held her head high and moved on quickly.
- Keep it clean. Hardly a day goes by without seeing a starlet splashed across tabloids for some crazy club catastrophe, but that starlet is never Hathaway. She prefers to lay low on the party scene and maintain her professional respectable profile.
Not every brand works with comedy and a lot of brands can’t afford the risk of a failed attempt to do something different. But that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with class being your marketing style.
Burt’s Bees, for example, is a renowned name in lip balms these days, but they came from humble beginnings selling their homemade products at craft fairs. And even with all of today’s technology and opportunity, they still feel as simplistic and natural as their humble beginnings would imply.
The language used in their advertisements, on their social media accounts and in the pages of their website just oozes class and simplicity.
There isn’t anything exaggerated or overworked. Burt’s Bees is just a classic, reliable product that people trust to deliver quality.
Like with comedy and unconventionality, marketers can go wrong with classy if they push too hard. Brad Pitt’s commercial for Chanel demonstrates how easy it is to take yourself a little too seriously.
There is nothing wrong with wanting your company and your brand to be represented by clean and graceful marketing, just avoid the common pitfall of getting too pretentious.
Regardless of Style
There are a lot of methods to choose from when it comes to marketing style. Barak Kassar, founding partner of Rassak Experience, explains that marketing styles can fall on a large spectrum.
“Ecommerce marketing styles can be anywhere from Gangnam Style to Geek Style,” says Kassar. “Gangnam would be focusing on fun, catchy, brand-oriented advertising […] Geek would be starting from a philosophy that brand is irrelevant and it’s all about what combination of elements (colors, words, photos) gets the most sales.”
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you fall on this wide range. Every marketer is entitled to their own directional ideas. But whether you’re the class clown or the classic sophisticate, every marketer must remember that your target audience – customers and consumers – are top priority.
You may think you’re being hilarious, but if the crowd you’re trying to attract isn’t laughing, move in another direction. And while fresh and simple can sound chic, if your viewers are bored, class is useless.
At the Golden Globes there are more losers than winners. Though all of the “Best Actors” are brilliant, only one could win. When you’re choosing or perfecting your style, remember that even a method done well can struggle. The key is to focus in on what your angle will be and shape it as best as you can to meet your audiences needs. And whether it takes off or falls flat, know that there is always room for improving and perfecting the style.