With various competitors in the marketplace with similar products or services, how do you differentiate yourself?
You’ve probably seen numerous Super Bowl ads with a clever script that makes you laugh, but sometimes you can’t remember what the product or brand was. Alternatively, you may have seen online commercials that market a brand clearly, but you can’t remember what their product does. Don’t fall into either of these traps, particularly when your finances are limited.
The key to sharing your product with the world is creating brand awareness that people remember, while clearly highlighting what differentiates you from your competitors.
I’d like to use an example of one of my favorite ad campaigns of all time from the body wash company - Old Spice. Old Spice ran an ad, created by the Wieden + Kennedy Portland agency, titled “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.”
Prior to creating this campaign, Old Spice learned through research that women made the majority of household body wash purchases, including the body wash that the men of the household use. After uncovering this statistic, the campaign writers learned an important piece of information – their target audience is female, even though their product is designed for men. By embracing this important detail of their audience, Old Spice was able to differentiate it’s product from other body wash brands by marketing non lady-scented body wash, but keep their target audience as the women of the household who will most likely be making the purchase for their men. (Check out the ad below)
By combining a clear product differentiator (non lady-scented body wash) and a memorable gimmick (challenging the audience to use her imagination to imagine her man using Old Spice, while combined with silly props, camera tricks and an ad script that becomes increasingly absurd) this campaign became an overnight phenomenon, reaching hundreds of millions of people to this day.
While we would all love our first campaigns to reach millions of people, it is probably not necessary. What is necessary is that you differentiate your product or service from your competitors and develop a script, visual gimmick or message that makes your ad memorable. Let your creativity run wild, experiment with imagery, colors, slogans, etc. But most importantly, remember your target audience and cater your message to them.
So let’s get started: what differentiates you from your competitors and how do you want people to remember you?