Historically marketing communications campaigns, at least creatively, have always been led by advertising agencies where typically the solution is a 30 second movie extolling the virtues of the brand. Even in this rapidly changing digital world, it is still often the case.
Given the size of the investment needed, relationships with the advertising agencies have always been the remit of the Marketing Director and their closest advisors are often representatives from the advertising agency and the media agency - after all advertising is regarded as a safe option. Big money invested in key media allows for brand measures to be established to help prove the point that advertising works.
The point is that there may often be a more effective way for certain brands. Many of the brand teams that we have spoken to over the past decade have recognised the category killing performance of Walkers and acknowledged the role that promotional marketing had to play but sadly to say few, if any, have been brave enough to try and emulate their model.
Back in the 90's when Walkers began this quest for national crisp dominance, there were still those that believed that value added promotions did little or nothing to enhance a brand’s value. Not only did research prove this not to be the case but it also went on to build the case that by advertising a promotion it actually offered brands enhanced benefits compared to advertising alone.
What Walkers recognised was that whether in a CTN or in a crowded grocery store with 30,000 plus brands all shouting for attention, an integrated approach to Promotional Marketing was the only way forward - create brand building promotions, make shoppers aware of your promotion before they head into store, make sure they can find them in-store, add value (and use price promotions carefully) and then use your learnings to build bigger and better promotions.
The formula has been created, now it just needs marketeers to recognise its brilliance - when delivered in the right way Promotional Marketing has amazing powers. However, in developing a brand awareness ad, then briefing four or more agencies to pitch for an on-pack promotion, these powers will remain forever hidden.