Unordinary Thinking No.34 | Creating brand warmth with a zombie

Big names. Big events. Big Business.

Sponsorship agencies are always on the lookout for successful properties to associate with their clients. Events don’t come bigger than the Olympics where Visa’s prolific association generated a 49% (Interbrand) consumer connection between brand and event. But it’s not for the fainthearted or small budget holder at a quoted £61 million for a 4-year deal. If it proves a key contributor towards Visa’s increased competitive dominance of debit payment schemes across Europe, it will be qualified as a sound investment.

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If it’s not events, sponsorship agents can seek endorsement from famous faces instead. Most notably in this space the recent appointments of superstar Santander brand ambassadors Jensen Button, Jessica Ennis and Rory McIlory. These are not just a set of sporting mannequins draped in logos. The trio are being made to work for their fee with direct product promotions as well as brand endorsement.

And when not in ads, they can be found in Santander ISA statements. In my recent statement Santander has promised if Rory wins a PGA tour I will get an extra 0.1% interest on my savings. Not the reason I took the ISA out, but an engaging way to reward my loyalty all the same. Let’s hope 100% Rory success hopefully breeds 0.1% success for me.

With so many brands competing for our attention through these sponsorship properties has success become saturated? If so where would a brand manager look next to create brand attention?

The Gate (Edinburgh) gets grizzly.

So if all the big properties are taken up or require 8 figure sums to secure, how can you still achieve stand out? The answer is to be creative in your thinking and creative in your execution whilst still capturing the hearts and minds of your target audience.

With that in mind, how about sponsoring a disaster instead of a success? An unordinary thought, but one which is creating a storm for established marketing agency The Gate from Edinburgh.

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Here’s the idea… Deadinburgh: It is claimed Edinburgh will never be the same again, as The Enlightenment Café host Deadinburgh. Billed as “the only safe haven in Edinburgh to avoid an unknown pathogen virus ravaging Scotland’s capital”, guests of The Gate are invited to a unique evening of experiential entertainment where they will role play at being ‘one of the last uninfected citizens in the UK. Guests have hours to decide how to save mankind’. As the night unfolds The Gate’s guests will be ‘working with eminent scientists to learn how closely the fictional world of zombies resembles the real animal world in order to stop the virus.”

Blending the Gate’s creative talent and the Enlightenment Café’s dramatic approach to theatre has produced what promises to be a memorable experience. An event which The Gate hopes turns this particular disaster into another success for it’s business.

Should you be interested in attending the experience there are several public shows between 19th and 21st. Tickets are still available.

To stand out, be creative.

Are there other brands out there achieving stand-out from such an innovative creative experience? Or are The Gate in a league of their own by standing out from the crowd as well as reaffirming their creative class.

Inspired thinking from the team from Edinburgh. At Lexden we look forward to seeing how this brand activation initiative converts over the coming months.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

At Lexden we work with brands to attract and retain customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, build memorable customer experience strategies and create engaging value propositions.

Don’t forget to sign-up to our new Lexden newsletter Putting Customers First

For more information about how we can help your customer strategy please contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com , or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548. You can follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris

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