Creating a fictitious character to enhance your brand, carry your message and provide your audience with something or someone they can relate to is an exciting and creative way to get your message across. But what happens when we lose sight of how people view our brand or company?
This was exactly what happened to First National Bank (FNB). How does a company change their positive marketing approach from “How can we help you?” to “Don’t be a Steve” or “does [Beep] Bank offer you all of this?” Oftentimes these campaigns will do more harm than good in the long-term.
Talking down other businesses to boost your own has never been the best way to market your products or brand.
Here is how the Steve adverts backfired.
An Example of a Working Marketing Campaign
Nedbank analysed what FNB (their competitor) did, made a list of all the negatives, and created their own “Eugene” campaign avoiding all the negative traps other competitors fell into.
The Eugene campaign is funny, quirky and positive, and shows that the brand cares and strives to help their clients manage their money better through the Nedbank’s innovations. It is unlikely that viewers won’t relate to Eugene.
What made the Eugene’s campaign a success?
- He connects with us on a personal level that we can relate to – we all want to buy things we can’t really afford;
- He is always positive, not pointing fingers at [Beep] Bank;
- He asks questions we want the answers to – who doesn’t want help being more “Savvy” with their money?
- He doesn’t give away prizes or phones etc., his concern is banking; and
- Eugene (Nedbank) does not avoid addressing the tough challenges or pretend they don’t exist. “He” acknowledges them; however, the message delivered from this campaign is optimistic and it resonates the spirit of a “New South Africa”.
You can view one of the adverts here.
So, how do we apply this to social media campaigns?
- Personalise your messages: This is a great way to get people to interact.
- Don’t step on people’s toes: Remember when you personalise something, people will listen and respond. Be aware of common social media traps, especially if you are trying to be funny. There really are quite a few ‘Steve’ campaigns out there.
- Be positive. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t like radios; people can respond on social media platforms. You don’t want to attract negative people to your website.
- Keep true to your brand. Your audience chose your brand for a reason; stay true to your identity.
- Be different. To stand out in the crowd, you need to do something different; Eugene and Steve did this and managed to capture the attention of South Africans.
- Keep your environment in mind. South Africa has been going through some tough times with Eskom struggling to keep the lights on, “recession” being the buzz word in South African Economy and, on top of all that, political issues. How do we address these issues?
- Post with great care and understanding.
- If you are not sure, get a second and even third opinion.
- If your idea is funny, ask why. You need to keep our diverse country and their views in mind.
- Be a part of the solution. Just laughing and pointing fingers won’t help. The business you represent is a part of this country.
- Don’t be a “fake”. Luring people with prizes and gadgets, etc. will not buy trust. Long-term trust is earned.
To ensure that your social media campaigns meet the Eugene standard, contact us, a reputable social media marketing agency in South Africa today!