I love Mad Men. The 60’s with all its amazing fashion and brewing social revolution. An agency on the cusp of the mass marketing revolution and the dawn of television advertising. What is not to love! I imagine myself a sassier version of Peggy Olsen. As a young college student dreaming of a life in marketing my view was primarily the B2C world I had been exposed to as a consumer and many of the classic ads now portrayed on Mad Men.
Fast forward five decades for Peggy and 15 years for me and the 2010 marketing world is much different that the life either of us imagined for ourselves. There is no doubt that new media has changed both B2C and B2B marketing. At a recent industry event I had a chance to see a showcase of ways B2B companies are using YouTube and viral campaigns to produce relatively low cost but highly effective campaigns. I was inspired by the creativity of these marketers pioneering their new frontier the same way I am by the Mad Men of the 60’s. Here are a couple that I think represent how B2B companies are being innovative in the viral video space.
Low Budget and Humorous
I think one of my favorite B2B viral campaigns is An Engineering Mind. This clever and highly viral campaign features Todd, a programmer for National Instruments, in a series of clever rants designed to relate to his fellow engineering geeks and to separate them from the product marketers they claim to loath. Ironic since the very campaign is very effective marketing. On Todd’s about page he touts:
If you are an engineer, I would love to hear what’s on your mind. If you’re not an engineer, then none of this will make any sense, so go back to YouTube and look up “funny animals” or something. I’m sure you’ll understand that.
Perhaps Todd didn’t factor in someone like me with a degree in both engineering (computer science) and marketing. Because to me it is pure genius on both levels. With Todd’s webisode An Engineers Guide to Dating getting over 20,000 YouTube views there is no doubt that National Instruments is increasing their name awareness and likely getting a substantial ROI.
Professionally Produced with Souvenir T-shirt
Roche Applied Science took a more deliberate approach in their campaign to bring information about their products to the B2B masses through video by creating a Spinal Tap inspired Metal band and spreading the message through their Cell Death Tour 2009. Complete with a web form that if filled out could score you a free concert t-shirt you could be the envy of your fellow lab geeks in no time.
Do you know of any other great B2B campaigns using YouTube or video spoofs to reach their target audience? Savvy would love to shine the light on other innovative marketers who are pioneering in this space.
About the Author: Heather has spent the past 15 years advocating for the customer perspective in her approach to software development and product marketing. Her penchant for collaboration is what drew her to the Savvy B2B team. Read more of Heather's posts here or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.