Promo Activity Beats Academy Awards
The entertainment "night of nights" is over for another year with the usual disappointments and promotions which are par for the course for those who follow the dream of working in the entertainment business. While the hype leading up to the Academy Awards generally outplays the entertainment value of the event itself this year the major focus of day after media attention has been Ellen Degeneres' "selfie" taken on a Samsung galaxy mobile phone.
While the executives at Samsung are no doubt enjoying their promotional triumph, particularly as Apple was a major official sponsor of the event, looking at the big picture the real winner was the promotional forces which have successfully leveraged handing out a couple of mobile phones into an international marketing success story.
Consider the billions of dollars spent in the production, distribution and marketing of feature films worldwide and the additional moneys poured into promoting films to academy members in the hope of boosting return on investment with award approval. Add to this the international marketing effort behind the awards ceremony itself an you have what would appear to be an irresistible force.
Yet this focus of power by those in the world who are used to holding our attention and have control of the levers which allow this to happen came to nothing when compared with a happy snap taken in a moment by one of the stars of the evening.
Across the world media in the last couple of days there has been little else shown than Ellen's "selfie" accompanied by lengthy discussions of the Samsung product and multiple mentions of the product itself.
Somebody at Samsung took a chance. Somebody at Samsung opened the future to enlarged possibilities and as a result there was a return on investment many thousands of times the multiple one would expect from traditional brand advertising. Not only that, it was a rare black eye for Apple, the most recognised brand in the world and the most valuable.
When thinking about how to promote your company think about the potential returns not simply the possible negatives. It may have been a possibility that Ellen took a lousy photo with the phone and nothing could be used. It may have been that she ended up making fun of the product. All of these details were likely dealt with and anticipated but the possibility of something not happening to plan was a distinct possibility.
This is the beauty of promotional products marketing. The opportunity to enjoy a return on investment far in excess of the investment. And the only way to do it is to trust your instincts and roll the dice.