Not too long ago, I shot out a quick post about the worst campaign ever.
Which tonight has me thinking – what’s the best campaign ever? There’s a lot of bad marketing out there. But once in a while you come across something truly wonderful.
In my mind, the greatest marketing campaign of recent history was from Crumpler – the home-grown Aussie brand of messenger bags has taken on the world in recent years.
Crumpler’s “Beer for Bags” campaign, was a stroke of genius. In a nutshell: For a limited time you could go to Crumpler stores, hand over a case of beer, and you’d get one of their messenger bags. No cash involved. Just pass over a slab of Coopers Pale Ale and a Crumpler bag was yours. The campaign started here in Melbourne but is now running in the US as well.
Two reasons why I think this campaign is so damn good:
- It’s a true Word of Mouth campaign. Of course you’re going to tell your mates about something like this.
- It doesn’t feel, look or smell like marketing. The return on investment (ROI) isn’t obvious. Did they make money on this? Who knows. Were they trying to? Probably not. This one is just about having a little fun.
Too often, marketing campaigns are so blatant. They look like an attempt to get more revenue. But that’s not the key to having truly loyal customers. Today’s most successful brands – the ones with with real brand fanatics, aren’t continually devising ways to make money from them.
If you haven’t come across Crumpler, their entire strategy is, well, an anti-strategy. It’s hard to believe that a company like this even use the word strategy. I’m sure they don’t. Instead, they just do cool stuff, including:
- Their website
- Their flagship store on Smith St, Collingwood (where you can customise your own bags)
- The product names (for example, “The moderate embarrasment”, “The breakfast buffet” and “The salary sacrifice”).
Now I’m a Freitag man myself, but as a marketer I drool over such clever, fun marketing.
I once told an old school-friend, Bianca, who worked for Crumpler at the time, that the brand was in danger of becoming ubiqutous, which would ultimately lead to it’s demise. How wrong I was. The brand continues to grow, and Bianca is now Crumpler’s US marketing director. I should have known better.