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    The Experience of Nightlife Exchange Project

    On November 27 last year, Smirnoff set out to show how people from different cultures party, through its Nightlife Exchange Project. 14 countries were engaged in the swap project, and Smirnoff Facebook fans from all over the world contributed with their ideas on the specifics of their country’s nightlife. Together they created a great buzz and a memorable cross-cultural brand experience.

    The Nightlife Exchange Project kicked off with one week of TV advertising, calling on consumers around the world to visit a Smirnoff Facebook page and engage themselves in the project, by submitting their ideas about the best party night out in their country.

    14 countries; Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela, UK and United States, took part in the project. Each country was given a special curator who helped out in sorting and selecting the absolutely best party ideas among the most highly-rated Facebook submissions. Submissions could be anything across fashion, food, music and more. A blogger outreach programme was also launched, and Smirnoff tapped into mobiles with its own channel Smirnoff.mob. MTV, Smirnoff’s global tie-up partner, delivered on-air and online coverage of each stage of the project.

    There was a great buzz both before the party swap, as well as after. You don’t have to search the web for long to find comments such as “Definitely looking for the next party if there will be a second nightlife exchange!” and “Looking forward to the next and even bigger Smirnoff Event.”

    As Benjamin Hill, youth writer for MTV Sticky, puts it, “There is something priceless in what Smirnoff did in the sense that they didn’t just create events, they created an experience.” We can’t agree more. By creating an experience, Smirnoff has successfully tapped into the hearts of their consumers. The Nightlife Exchange Project was however not solely about experiences, but emotions, engagement and exclusivity as well.

    Many consumers probably wonder if Smirnoff is going to make a new party swap this year.


    Pepsi will take the Refresh Project global in 2011

    Pepsi’s Refresh Project has generated tens of millions of votes and countless tweets and Facebook posts in 2010. Next year, PepsiCo will take it global.


    It is not the first time we mention Pepsi’s Refresh Project. Quite recently we brought it up in relation to the four Es marketing model, consisting of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

    In short: this year Pepsi shunned their US advertising budget for Super-Bowl (of over $20 Million) and decided to put it into social media and the Refresh Project instead. The project has generated tens of million of votes and a countless number of tweets and Facebook posts, and the Pepsi brand itself has reached more than 2.7 million fans on Facebook (a growth of more than one million within in less than two months and still counting).

    This fall, marketing director for Pepsi, Ana Maria Irazabal, expressed that “the Refresh Project is helping sales by linking charity in customers’ minds with their feelings about the brand”, and she also expressed that Pepsi will expand the Refresh Project globally in 2011 (The Huffington Post).

    The Refresh Project embraces the four Es marketing model and represents a shift away from traditional marketing to marketing with a higher purpose.


    The philosophy of the Four Es – Conclusion

    We have been digging a bit deeper into the marketing model of the four Es, and also explored three marketing campaigns which embrace the four Es. But where does all of this lead us?

    First of all, it’s important to state that the four Ps still have many years left. For some companies, the four Ps still do the job. But for most they have to be complemented with the four Es. This marketing model is a recipe for branding. The right mix of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity depends on the business of your brand, the type of products or services you are providing and where your company is in its brand lifecycle. To establish a position in the mind (and hearts) of your customers, you have to find your own unique mix of the four Es.


    However, brands are increasingly important for people in the expression of their identities and self-fulfilment. Therefore, brand building in the 21st Century also requires that brands ask themselves the question of their legacy.


    The millennial decade has also been about defining brand truth, and this has raised the question as to whether brands stand for something more than solely profit. Today customers are demanding new standards from companies. In order to succeed today, companies may not only need to embrace the four Es. Companies need to be ‘good’ and stand for something more than ‘more’. There might be a need for a fifth E on the stage as well - ethics.

    Now we would like to hear your thoughts on the four Es. Have you seen any more campaigns or marketing strategies than the ones highlighted, where emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity have been put into practice? Is there something we have left out, or something you would like us to elaborate on?


    Pepsi, Dove and Intel - Case summary (4Es)

    Pepsi, Dove and Intel, highlighted in the three previous posts, all embrace the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity in their marketing strategies. But, of course, approach the model in different ways.

    Pepsi - Dove - Intel

    While Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty is more emotional in its approach, Pepsi’s Refresh Project has an engaging point of departure. Intel’s Creators Project is approaching the four Es first and foremost by offering the audience experiences through exhibitions and videos. But in general, the three very different but all very successful brands bring emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity in to play in their overall communication and marketing strategies. They are all doing ‘good’ as well, with regards to the campaigns highlighted.


    Case in point C: Pepsi, Refresh Project (4Es)

    Could a soft drink really engage people and make the world a better place? Pepsi thinks so, if you take a look at one of the brand’s latest marketing initiatives, Pepsi Refresh Project. In 2010, Pepsi shunned their advertising budget for Super-Bowl (of over $20 Million) and decided to put it into social media and the Refresh Project. But, how does this project work?

    Each month Pepsi gives a grant of 1,3 Million USD to businesses, people and non-profits having a positive impact on their community. Anyone can submit their ideas and promote people in their network, then visitors on the Pepsi Refresh site get to vote for their favourite projects. At the end of each month, finalists are selected to receive granted money in categories such as art & culture, health and education. The maximum 1000 submissions per day were entered in less than one day when the project first began. And the results, apart from an intense media coverage, is more than 1 600 000 fans on Facebook (still counting) and thousands of project submissions every month.

    With the Refresh Project, Pepsi has succeeded in creating strong customer engagement across the US, by connecting emotionally to people. Through this project, Pepsi has also linked the brand to experiences of value; all ‘refresh projects’ have a good impact on society. The result of the campaign is that people associate the company with doing ‘good’. Besides this, the campaign also shows a bit of Pepsi’s brand personality, differentiating them from competitors. In this way Pepsi possesses an exclusive position in the minds of many.


    Case in point B: Intel, Creators Project (4Es)

    The American technology company Intel is one of the top ten best-known brands in the world, positioned in the same league as Coca-Cola, Disney and McDonald’s. But what is it that makes Intel, a company providing consumers with computer processors and chips housed deep inside their computers, this successful?

    Except for being known for its five-note sound logotype, we’d say its strategic marketing campaigns. Most recently, Intel combined creativity, bright young minds and technique to provide its audience with valuable brand experiences, connecting emotionally with the global youth. Earlier this year, Intel launched a new network, the Creators Project, together with media agency Vice. The Creators Project is a multi-year, multidiscipline, and multi-country campaign exposing new artists and facilitating the production and dissemination of new work with these artists and their collaborators in a world where artists can struggle to get by. Intel’s audience can watch 45 videos submitted by creatives from across the globe. They are also able to experience the brand live, through a series of exhibitions and performances in different urban centres rolled out around the world. Attendees can engage in all-day cultural extravaganzas featuring some of the world’s leading artists in music, art, film, design and architecture. The project is set to last for several years.

    Intel is a brand already owning an exclusive position in the consciousness of many. But with the Creators Project, Intel positions itself also amongst the younger generation, not traditionally targeted by the brand - a generation of creative whiz kids and artists who use technology as their creative tools.


    Case in point A: Dove, Campaign for Real Beauty (4Es)

    A brand that makes a good example of, first and foremost, connecting emotionally to its customers is Dove, with its ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, adopted by Unilever back in 2004.

    Before 2004 Dove had only communicated product benefits, just as the majority of personal care brands. With the Campaign for Real Beauty, Unilever and Dove took on an emotional stand instead, aiming to convey a more democratic vision of attractiveness. Dove wanted women to feel beautiful every day by widening the stereotypical views of beauty.

    Dove’s commitment to this mission started with using women of various ages, shapes and sizes, not super-thin models, in their commercials. The brand was doing so to provoke discussion and debate about today’s typecast beauty images. Employing various communication vehicles including advertising, a web site, billboards, events, a Self-Esteem Fund and more – the campaign invites women to experience the brand and join the discussion about beauty, and share their views with others all around the world.

    Dove has successfully taken a stand with the Campaign for Real Beauty, engaging their target audience by giving back something of value - the value of good self-esteem. At the same time, the brand has enabled customers to engage with both the brand and the customer’s social networks, spreading the word about Dove to others.

    Dove Campaign

    With regard to personal care brands, the Campaign for Real Beauty has been one of the most recognised ones during the last couple of years. With a movement of close to 200 000 fans of the brand online, Dove has successfully created an admired brand, which is now perceived as differentiated from its competitors, and has positioned itself as a preferable choice for many consumers, owning an exclusive position in their minds. The result of the Campaign for Real Beauty is a significant increase in sales of Dove’s whole product range.


    Exclusivity – Being truly unique (4Es)

    A Nielsen study suggests that the majority of customers only recall two of the countless advertising messages we are exposed to daily. No wonder. By the age of 65, the average consumer will have seen more than 2 Million TV commercials (that equals eight hours advertising a day, seven days a week, six years in a row). Thus, an authentic and consistent brand identity is crucial for brands striving to stand out and reach through the media clutter.


    To differentiate from competitors, brands need to create and care for their identities, also referred to as brand personalities. However, a brand can’t just tell their audience what it is and stands for, and make that the common truth. A brand personality is the outcome of what customers experience from the brand. Just as with human personalities, brand personalities are affected by everything that is associated with the brand. This makes it more important than ever for a brand to act the way it wants to be perceived. Only an authentic and consistent brand personality will make a sustainable point of differentiation, and stand out as genuine and unique, being the natural brand of choice. It’s about ‘owning’ an exclusive position in the consciousness of the customers.

    Above you find one of McDonald’s many ‘i’m lovin’ it‘ commercials. The campaign was launched in Germany in 2003, under the title ‘ich liebe es‘, then spread globally. A consistent use of the slogan, the golden arches, as well as a uniform interior and menu, has successfully made many instinctively think of McDonald’s as the preferable hamburger brand.

    In previous posts you can read about the philosophy of the four Es, emotions, experiences and engagement. In the posts to follow, we will provide you with case studies of brands working successfully with the four Es, as well as a rundown of the marketing model.