News & Views

Opinion / Location, location, location


Want to get your brand noticed? Then identify a place it’s not going to be slugging it out with the competition. A handful of brands have captured our attention over the past few months by finding truly original locations and using them as a springboard for a smart idea. By venturing onto virgin turf, these brands demonstrate smart, lateral thinking. They own their ground. They capture headlines. And they’re just that bit more likely to stick in people’s minds.

One that really stands out is Hyundai in Slovakia. Working with Creo/Young & Rubicam, Hyundai built hospital trolleys designed to ferry around newborn babies. Given that brand new arrivals were frequently being wheeled around in supermarket trolleys because of cuts to hospital funding in Slovakia, Hyundai stepped in and did the gallant thing. Now new Slovakian parents can be sure their babies are safe, while Hyundai, which has slapped its ‘H’ logo on the front of each trolley, dubbed the HYUNDAI ix1, benefits from the positive PR around this generous gesture. The family-centric automotive company estimates that the ROI has been 85 times the initial investment. The big win for Hyundai here is that no other car brands are likely to be found on your average Slovakian maternity ward. And when are people most likely to consider getting a bigger, more family-sized car? Exactly.

You’d think that maternity wards would be relatively brand-free, but in fact, just this week we saw another campaign targeting new parents. PepsiCo-owned energy drink brand SoBe Adrenaline Rush in El Salvador, best known for supporting athletes who undertake extreme sports, instead decided to target a whole new audience who are in desperate need of an energy boost: new fathers.

The brand created The Adrenaline Rush Turbo Kit, a manly looking toolbox to give new dads a much-needed injection of energy to combat their constant exhaustion. Developed with Colonia Escalon-based Apex BBDO, the toolkit contained cans of Adrenaline Rush and baby care items such as bottles, wipes, diapers and cotton wool buds. The brand partnered with private maternity wards so that kits were delivered to first-time fathers before they had left the hospital with their newborn. Launching on 17 June, Father’s Day, the agency reported that the Turbo Kit generated a 350% ROI and claimed that 98% of the comments on social media were positive. Given that it’s pretty rare for freebies doled out on maternity wards to include men in any way, this well-packaged promotion clearly cut through. What’s more, by loading up a toolbox with baby products, Adrenaline Rush becomes part of the rituals of childcare for new fathers, positioning the energy drink as just as essential a tool in those early days of sleep deprivation as wipes and bottles.

SoBe works because of the items that it’s packaged alongside, as well as the incredibly blokey looking DIY tool kit that transports the drinks. Is there a way you could use packaging cleverly to gain market share? One of the Contagious team’s favourite campaigns this year did this with aplomb. Transavia, the low-cost French airline, reframed tickets for its flights as an affordable impulse purchase by selling them as snack packaging in supermarkets and vending machines. So a €35 ($38) packet of crisps doubles as a ticket to Barcelona and a €40 ($43) bag of gummi bears gives you a flight to Lisbon. This provided people with a new place to buy where there were absolutely no competitors. Compare that to a price comparison site where it’s a bun fight of low cost airlines all jostling for your attention.

So where could your brand go? Could you partner a brand outside your sector to get yourself noticed? Could you take the Hyundai route and identify a need in society where you could inject some expertise and generate some brand love? Or could you prompt an impulse purchase that might just nudge people into doing something they wouldn’t have otherwise done? That’s pretty powerful territory for a brand to occupy. Whatever you do, make sure you boldly go where no brand has gone before.