Marketing McGyverism

we're working on a campaign right now for Oxfam America (feel free to do your holiday shopping here). and i think the campaign serves as a nice example of how we marketing folk have all become like McGyver.

as you no doubt remember, McGyver was a TV show starring Richard Dean Anderson, who was kind of a poor man's David Hasselhoff, pre-drunk cheeseburger eating video. it was about a very resourceful special agent who, using only a swiss army knife and some duct tape, could derail an evil plot to destroy the world.

while we marketing folk might not be trying to save the world (if we are, no one told me...), we are required to be resourceful and use every asset we have at our disposal. which brings us to Oxfam.

the new campaign promotes their Unwrapped program - basically, you're able to "buy" friends and family members things like a goat. your friend gets a card, and the goat goes to someone who could really use a goat. technically, the campaign is a print and out of home assignment. but the brand has other assets too: appearances from celebrity ambassadors such as Scarlett Johansson and Minnie Driver; a robust existing social media network; some strong PR capabilities; and a healthy database of people who've previously donated.

the idea that brought all these components together is simple: let's treat gifts from Oxfam as this season's "it gift" like it's the latest line from Harrods or Barneys or other places where i never shop. and let's give it a semi-pretentious fashion name: The Oxfam Collection.

the idea created striking print ads, courtesy of director/photographer Nic D'Amico. and of course, every fashion line has a fashion designer behind it, so we created a fashion designer known as The Hidalgo, played by Chris Wylde. having a character behind The Collection created social media content for Oxfam's existing channels (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which featured "behind the scenes" footage of The Collection print shoot). and a fashion line is a subject Oxfam's celebrity ambassadors could naturally comment on. so their efforts are working in tandem with the campaign overall, not as a separate PR effort. the idea also took advantage of the healthy online debate about fashion. to connect with Oxfam's audience and fuel that conversation further, we created a "blogarazzi" - a seeding program of fashion-oriented blogs, each of whom gave away a goat to their respective audiences, and each of whom received exclusive content to feature on their blogs.

a pretty simple idea that does a nice job of pulling together and maximizing every asset the brand and audience has - all without the benefit of duct tape. McGyver would no doubt be proud.

1 comment:

Jake said...

"I feel like person who creates things. Like a carpenter or a child." That made me laugh. Nice work.