18 August 17

Ideas for communications campaigns can come from anywhere, but unearthing those ideas can often take a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. So what if I told you that your next big award-winning, product-selling, awareness-shifting campaign might be right under your nose?

At Cannes this year some of the work that impressed us the most was work that reacted to or built-upon something that has already happened in the ‘outside world.’

Take Spotify’s ‘Presidents of Playlists’ campaign. At a farewell event, Obama joked with the Swedish ambassador that he was “still waiting for my job from Spotify, ‘cause I know you love my playlists.”  Three days later, Spotify posted a job on their careers page that outlined a job tailored to the skills and experience of the outgoing US President. The listing attracted a global conversation and media coverage including stories on the BBC, GQ and TIME magazine. Not bad for a simple idea, actioned quickly and executed with good humour.

Reacting quickly and in good humour were also traits found in a cracking campaign by snack food brand Cheetos. After social listening revealed consumers were taking to social media to post picture of Cheetos that looked like objects or famous people, the brand saw an opportunity. It decided to tap into the trend and leverage it for marketing by creating the ‘Cheetos Museum’ – an online site that housed all the quirky look-a-like Cheetos people were discovering. The incentive to post was a $50,000 prize and (of course) global fame. The campaign was a huge success. Over 100,000 consumers submitted images, web traffic increased over 500% and the brand experienced its biggest ever week of sales.

Two impactful campaigns and two simple ideas based on a reaction to conversations already being had about the brands in a public forum. There’s a Hemingway lesson in there for us all: “before you act, listen”.