Written by: Jason Hovet, Anita Lišková, Klára Smolová, Petr Vykoukal
Creative marketing that makes a difference is worth its weight in gold. The Prague Tribune found a few marketing concepts that stood out in 2003, due to original ideas and innovative approaches.
AT THE END OF LAST YEAR TNS Factum conducted its regular research on the topic, “The Czech Public’s Attitude Towards Advertising”, which confirmed the long-term trend towards oversaturation. So although some people try to avoid advertising, between 30% and 40% of the populace acknowledge that they buy certain items because of advertising. So what constitutes good marketing, that which elicits responses? The same research indicates that people mainly appreciate truth (49.9% of respondents) and trustworthiness (42.3%), but there is also rising demand for humor (38.4%) and originality (22.8%).
To come up with an idea that will stand out, catch attention, strengthen brand awareness and increase sales, is the dream of every marketing specialist. We ignored the industry’s annual awards for the best advertisements, instead trying to find for ourselves a few original marketing campaigns that caught the public’s attention last year. The criteria were simple: the whole concept must stand out due to its overall innovative approach to the given customer’s product or services, and its success had to be clearly measurable, in terms of sales or increased numbers of clients, for example.
Our selection was purely subjective, and we leave it to our readers to decide if the strategies on the following pages are truly exceptional. Will you find Česká spořitelna’s Student+ payment card, and the bank’s comprehensive marketing concept as remarkable as we did? Perhaps you will be more impressed by Renault’s innovative promotion, which tied environmentally-conscious consumerism to discounts on their new models. Then there’s Staropramen’s “good guy” approach, which served to strengthen brand awareness and loyalty. In the end, it should become clear that in the competitive world of marketing, creativity often makes all the difference
If you received coupons for discounts in the McDonald’s fast-food chain between 3 February and 9 March of last year, you became a part of the “coupon full of advantages” campaign. Preparations for this Czech-made campaign took nearly eight months of cooperation with the DDB Praha advertising agency, and cost millions of crowns. The aim was to heighten brand awareness and gain entirely new customers at McDonald’s restaurants, thus increasing sales.
The company decided to launch a massive campaign that would reach a large portion of the Czech populace, so it was not focused on a specific group of franchise customers. “We didn’t have any clear-cut target customer in this particular campaign, that’s the difference compared to the other ones,” says McDonald’s marketing director, Pavel Pavlíček. “All sorts of people patronize our restaurants, so we tried to take maximum advantage of the campaign’s potential,” he adds. The booklets, each with ten coupons valid for limited periods, offered discounts worth a total of CZK 268 for certain combinations of products and were distributed to all households in towns with McDonald’s restaurants. In all, 1.7 million coupon books were printed. The campaign was supplemented by another, over the internet, in which visitors could get another six coupons. “We think our coupon campaign was a success – sales and brand awareness were both up. But I’d rather not disclose any specific figures,” Pavlíček adds.
Buy a car, save a tree
As environmental talk heats up, Renault has started planting trees – literally – hoping to grow customers at the same time.
Renault Czech Republic introduced an ecologically-friendly Green Heart (Zelené srdce) campaign last summer as part of its new “développement durable” program, aimed at helping the environment and showing foreign firms can positively contribute to a host country. The deal was simple: a customer brings in an old car; Renault buys it; the customer buys a new Renault; Renault recycles the old car and plants a tree.
Betting with the right cards
Almost two years ago, Česká spořitelna decided to develop a new product that would be attractive enough to allow the bank to keep its dominant share of the student accounts market. The bank’s strategy relied on a precisely targeted advertising campaign, strong brand partners, and a payment card with an unusual design.
The basic novelty of Česká spořitelna’s student plan, which was launched in April 2003, is the Visa Electron Student+ payment card, in linkage with a discount program under which business partners offer students paying with the card discounts ranging from 3.5% to 20%. “We select our partners, which include Ticketpro, Hudy sport, Palace Cinemas, and Olympus, on an exclusive basis within a given category,” says Marie Hešnaurová, the director of Česká spořitelna’s sales department. “It’s important for them to fit the selected target group. The brands must have sufficiently extensive sales networks, and they must enjoy a certain image among young people,” she adds. The promotional campaign included direct mailings, telemarketing, and print advertisements. It was conducted directly in schools and in media with an educational focus.
Entertainment for “good guys”
“Chlapark (Guys’ Park) is the logical continuation of the successful Beer Training Camps that were held in 2001 and 2002,” says Petr Ungerman, junior brand manager for Pivovary Staropramen. The event provided a complement to the firm’s summer advertising campaigns.
The Beer Training Camps (BTC) were inspired by a common theme of the company’s television advertising – a world of good guys and good beer. The creator of the concept for both the original BTCs and Chlapark is the Joe PR agency, whose creative team includes personalities from the now-defunct Limonádový Joe radio station and actors from the theater Sklep. The organizing agency even formed a band called “Guys from the Park” and, in cooperation with Staropramen released a single promoting the project. Ungerman has a simple explanation for why this “road show” concept was chosen to support the marketing campaign: “We want to offer a personal experience with the Staropramen brand.”