Hanging onto someone’s coat tails isn’t normally considered a positive trait. But what if there was a way to flip this on its head in a positive way? Turns out, there is. And it makes for incredibly effective advertising.
People are bombarded with stimuli. Digital content, streaming services and celebrity “tea” are all vying for their attention. There are fewer and fewer reasons for them to give your campaign the time of day. But you still need to advertise, right?
This is where the coat tails come in.
You don’t latch onto another brand; you capitalise on a trend that your target market is interested in and strategically place your product in that environment. People do a double take when they see something unexpected in a familiar environment.
The trick is to do it intelligently so that consumers don’t mind you crashing the party.
A great example is when Unicef capitalised on the Instagram trend of food photos. They created Instagram profiles for children living in food scarce countries, they interacted with people who were posting food photos via these profiles, and, when the foodie clicked through to the profiles, Unicef used them as a platform to appeal for donations to feed the hungry.
What made this work was that there was a smart connection between the brand and the trend. People were posting food. Kids needed food. Unicef brought the two together.
Geniusly simple. Undeniably effective.
This is why, when a brief lands on our desk, one of the first things we ask ourselves is, “Is there a conversation we can join to make people sit up and take notice?” We go to Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. We look at the psychology of how people are interacting with each other and with the world around them.
Because, where there are trends, there’s an opportunity to do truly creative work.