If you haven’t seen them, take a minute to watch these two ads for Domino’s and Hyundai, respectively:
What do they have in common? Instead of advertising a product, both commercials instead sell the customer’s reaction to the product. This is not a new tactic; companies have always tried to tell us that our peer group chooses their product — “choosy moms choose JIF,” “the bestselling car in America,” etc. The difference now is that we can see the people making these claims, enabling easier identification with their choices.
But back to the commercials themselves. Hyundai’s new “Uncensored” campaign is all about putting hidden cameras in cars and recording customers’ reactions. Domino’s “Raising the Bar” campaign is more open, featuring customer comments publicly displayed on a billboard in Times Square. While both campaigns take the same “customer first” approach, Domino’s strategy is better for a number of reasons:
1.) It’s interactive. Good advertising breaks down the barrier between company and consumer, and their campaign does just that. in the sense that anyone with an Internet connection and a Domino’s franchise nearby. The interaction portion of Hyundai’s campaign was over when they shot the commercials, and I’m honestly skeptical that I’m not seeing paid actors.
2.) Domino’s gets customer feedback through its ad campaign. Hyundai may well have collected customer feedback during filming, but as a consumer, you can’t add your two cents.
3.) Domino’s can make you famous, if only for a few seconds, by displaying your name in Times Square. People do this on Twitter — one way to make people like you is to make them famous within your circle, usually by retweet. Domino’s campaign is executing this same technique on a bigger scale, and rewards participation (and your feedback) with your name in lights.
4.) The Domino’s commercial is honest about feedback. They show a review that says “Jose, my pepperoni pizza was fantastic!” but they also admit that they’ve “got some 1’s and 2’s, which is not so awesome.” Hyundai only shows glowing reviews, which doesn’t make me believe what they’re saying.
These companies are feeling the impact of social media. Both deserve plaudits being present on YouTube (Hyundai and Domino’s), especially Domino’s which had to put out a YouTube fire in 2009 when an employee was videotaped doing disgusting things in what the employees claimed was a prank. Instead of fearing the inherent risks of going social, Domino’s got back on the horse and is doing a great job engaging with customers.
Both companies see themselves as groundbreaking, as evidenced by their campaign names — “Uncensored” and “Raising the Bar.” While these companies are ahead of the times, the reality is that they are only doing what every successful company needs to do. Companies with bad products can’t hide anymore — in the past, if you didn’t like a product, you’d maybe tell two or three friends. Now, if you don’t like a product, you can potentially tell thousands. Smart companies recognize this and want to hear what you have to say, because they are truly interested in improving themselves. They’ll internalize your comments and improve wherever they can. Now, more than ever, if your product isn’t good, you’ve got to make it better or you won’t make it.
I recently wrote about three companies I feel are using Twitter well, but what other ad campaigns do you like?