The past few weeks I have shared a series of posts and thoughts on swag, surprise and social engagement. Today, we’re going to segue into full-on surprise. Valentines week seems like an appropriate time for this transition, as surprise and delight is all about creating a memorable love transaction between a brand and their fans.
Dr. Jonah Berger recently spoke at the F.I.R.E. Sessions, and left behind a few advance copies of his new book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. I read it cover to cover while held up at the airport (Thanks, Nemo!) this weekend. (Go pre-order your copy now! It’s awesome.)
Amongst the great thoughts in the book, Jonah shares some particularly interesting (and surprise-relevant) insights on the power of awe:
“Awe is the sense of wonder and amazement that occurs when someone is inspired by great knowledge, beauty, sublimity, or might. It’s the experience of confronting something greater than yourself. Awe expands ones frame of reference and drives self-transcendence. Awe is a complex motion and frequently involves a sense of surprise, unexpectedness or mystery.” (page 88) Awe also inspires sharing. For example, Jonah and his team determined that awe-inspiring articles were 30% more likely to make the “Most Emailed” list.
With that in mind…enjoy these seven examples of awesome (or maybe I should say awe-some) surprise and delight. Combined, these 7 videos have garnered over 12 million views. If the average person has 120 Facebook friends, that means these shares could have reached more than 1,440,000,000 people on Facebook alone. Behold the power of awe.
CASE STUDY 1: KLEENEX (52k views)
Scenario: Kleenex is a brand that people reach for (literally) when they’re feeling crappy.
Opportunity: Make people feel better by making them feel extra special.
CASE STUDY 2: BUDWEISER (4 million views)
Scenario: Budweiser is a non-pretentious beer for everyone.
Opportunity: Bring people together to celebrate the underdogs.
CASE STUDY 3: TACO BELL (134k views)
Scenario: Last year someone played an elaborate joke on the town of Bethel, Alaska (pop. 6,000) by starting a rumor that Taco Bell had plans to set up shop in their town. With the nearest TB more than four hours away, residents were crushed to learn the truth.
Opportunity: Turn a negative into a positive–and let them eat tacos!
CASE STUDY 4: TROPICANA (500k views)
Scenario: Tropicana orange juice is a well-known breakfast beverage. Sunshine and Tropicana go together like peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, Hall and Oates.
Opportunity: Bring a little sunshine to those who need it most–a group of residents in the Canadian arctic who haven’t seen sunlight in more than a month.
CASE STUDY 5: RADIO KLASSIK (5.9 million views)
Scenario: Classic music and radio are two things that don’t rank high on most people’s “must have” list this day in age. That’s a bad thing when you’re a classic radio station.
Opportunity: If the people won’t come to you, bring the music to the people.
CASE STUDY 6: FORD (50k views)
Scenario: Ford makes cars that everyone can enjoy on some level.
Opportunity: Nobody should be excluded from the joy that comes from stepping behind the wheel of a fast car. Could Ford create a remarkable driving experience for the visually impaired?
CASE STUDY 7: HONDA (1.5 million views)
Scenario: When Monsters Calling Home couldn’t afford studio time, the band was forced to make a music video in their Honda.
Opportunity: Inspired by their brand declaration “Honda Loves You Back,” the people at Honda challenged themselves to find a way to give a little love back to Monsters Calling Home.
Surprise and delight marketing is becoming progressively more common as consumer behavioural preferences have changed significantly over the last decade. As the title simply suggests, this style of marketing campaign focuses on surprising consumers to incite positive and happy feelings toward the brands essentially. Surprise and delight is ultimately a gift for a consumer.
The power of surprise and delight marketing
Surprise and delight marketing sounds like a ‘nice’ idea, but does it have any impact? It creates a somewhat personal feel to the brand. Further, it has the ability to bridge the gap between consumer to loyal customer. With the majority of marketing campaigns focused on the internet, there’s a lot of noise. Surprise and delight marketing cuts through all of this noise to ensure your brand is recognised and memorable.
The power of surprise and delight marketing is held within the power of the emotion. According to Emory University, humans really enjoy being surprised. This is what Dr P. Read Montague states on the matter:
‘The region [ in the brain ] lights up like a Christmas tree on the MRI when you receive an unexpected surprise…people are designed to crave the unexpected.’
If people crave the unexpected, then that’s exactly what marketing campaigns should do. Surprise and delight marketing has the ability to raise brand awareness and strengthen brand relations.
Great examples of surprise and delight marketing
Here are some of our favourite surprise marketing campaigns to inspire you.
Tropicana is the breakfast staple of orange juice. Its renowned for its ability to bring sunshine to the kitchen table with its Californian origin. Tropicana’s campaign ‘Brighter mornings for brighter days’ also used surprise and delight tactics. Tropicana trekked to the Canadian Arctic where they go days without sunlight to give them a ray of sunshine. Tropicana brought the sun to the arctic, brought juice to the everyone in Inuvik and ultimately smiles to all. Watch here how it all happened.
When you’ve got the sniffles and feeling under the weather, it feels wonderful if a friend surprises you with some tissues, medicine and anything else to make you feel better. Well, Kleenex removed the middle man. This unforgettable campaign from Kleenex combined the power of surprise with the power of social media. By searching through Facebook posts, Kleenex identified 50 people who were feeling ill as winter approached and sent them Kleenex ‘Feel Good’ kits. All recipients were extremely surprised and overwhelmed with this kits, that 100% of them took to social media to document this gift. Did Kleenex benefit from this? Certainly, with 650,000 impressions and 1,800 interactions, all from some boxes of tissues! Watch here how it all happened.
Surprise and delight campaigns create authentic emotional connections between brand and consumer. This has become a vital necessity as people are becoming sick of the corporate brands which they cannot relate to or have no personality. Further, its a style of campaign which can lend itself to a variety of different brands, proven by its appearance in music marketing for example, Beyoncé’s Lemonade.