A new billboard from a relatively unknown brand is a perfect example of using traditional media that ends up creating a social sensation because of the dialogue around a cultural issue. Whoa!
That's a whole lot of action for one little brand and one little billboard.
The billboard is from SnoreStop, and it features their new campaign #BeTogether. The premise is that by helping people to stop snoring, they are helping couples stay together. The tagline says it all, "Keeping You Together." From personal experience, I think that may actually be true!
This particular execution features a very diverse couple: an American soldier and a Muslim woman. Whoa!
Ok, this is not the first brand to use an extreme example to make a point. It's also not the first brand to take on a social issue. And it's also not the first brand to purposely do so in order to create buzz and sensation. And it's also not the first piece of marketing to get banned (NYC rejected it for Times Square ... it currently appears in LA and Chicago). Whoa!
Who would have thought that one outdoor billboard placement would draw this many eyeballs. This is the media marketing world we live in today.
Is it just being gratuitous? Is it sensation for sensation sake? Is it tacky and inappropriate? (these just some of the negative comments made on social media, not to mention all of the racial slurs)
My take? Applause, applause, applause.
I think it's perfectly fine for a brand to push boundaries, provided it's within the brand's character and positioning. I actually think the messaging makes sense -- the brand took a functional benefit of helping to stop snoring and turned it into an emotional benefit of helping couples get along. This is EXACTLY what I teach in my NYU classes, and have been living my entire marketing career.
Being a brand is about offering an emotional benefit. If you can portray it in a way that attracts attention, then that's good marketing. If you do it in a way that sparks dialogue, well then that should be your social media goal. And if you push the lines of pop culture, and you're willing to do it, then I say Bravo. But it has to all tie together, and in the case of SnoreStop, it certainly does.
Our world is a diverse one. I love seeing a brand embrace it.
What's your experience? Jim.
PS - you can watch the "behind the scenes" video of the production by clicking here.