Fast food brands seem to really understand the power of non-traditional marketing. I wrote several months back about the Burger King Facebook kill off friends’ campaign. Now Subway is making a non-traditional splash. They are part of a campaign to save the TV show “Chuck”. See the AdAge Online story.
The sandwich maker claims it all started with a TV blogger and product placement. Subway had product placement on an episode of “Chuck” along with a brand mention from the lead character. When the word went out that NBC was thinking of pulling the plug on the show, a blogger started a campaign. She asked her readers to buy Subway foot-long sandwiches and watch the season finale. She wanted the network to see the power of the viewers.
Subway claims they didn’t start this but has jumped on the bandwagon. I don’t believe that for a second. There are lots of product placements in that show and many other shows. Like any type of marketing, what can you do to rise above the clutter? Don’t get me wrong I love this campaign! Think about how much exposure Subway is getting for that initial product placement? The campaign even has a viral video showing Zack Levi (Chuck) taking 600 fans into a Subway in England.
Someone at NBC must really like “Chuck”. The promotional and PR events around this TV show have been very different from their other programming. Remember this past Super Bowl? We all used our 3-D glasses for a “Chuck” commercial and then saved them to watch the 3-D episode later that week.
All of this non-traditional marketing is very “out of the box” thinking. Think about how we can make this type of marketing work for us in the live event & entertainment business. We all understand how buzz works. We can tell if a show is going to take off by the buzz. Why not help create the buzz? Long before you go on sale with the show or event start the buzz campaign. Work with bloggers, fan clubs, and social network sites. It shouldn’t cost you any of the marketing budget and if it does, so what? This is all part of the marketing campaign.
As stated in the book Pyro Marketing by Greg Stielstra:
1) Gather the driest tinder
2) Touch it with a match
3) Fan the flames
4) Save the coals