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There is a massive generation growing up today who have a radar that the rest of us don’t have. They have very sensitive bullsh*t radar. They can spot a phony a mile away.
This is the first generation experiencing a new relationship with brands… a direct connection and an expectation of honesty. While the generations before grew up on mass media advertising, today’s youth doesn’t believe that hype. They demand that their brands communicate with them honestly, even in mass media.
So how do you get into the heads of the incredibly large and lucrative generation that is coming-of-age? Lady Gaga has one answer.
Her epic 9 minute music video for “Telephone” features no fewer than nine product placements. Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, Miracle Whip, Heartbeats headphones, Wonder bread, Polaroid, PlentyOfFish.com, HP laptops, and Chevrolet all appear in the music video, each integrated into the content.
The director says it wasn’t part of the creative vision, but rather a neccesary step to finance the expensive project.
Does it work?
The dating website http://www.plentyoffish.com/ reports a 15% increase in visits. And they did this once before, integrating into a Flo Rida video.
Miracle Whip seems pleased as well. Their brand manager told X17online.com that they have been reaching out to 18-35 year old consumers for the first time, and find that integrating into projects like this engage young consumers in ways traditional advertising doesn’t.
Does Lady Gaga actually use all of the products placed in her video? Well, Virgin Mobile did sponsor her recent tour, and the headphones and laptop displayed in the video reflect her long standing relationship with Monster. She’s previously incorporated the HP laptop and Monster Heartbeat headphones into her “Bad Romance” video.
You don’t have to be part of a multi-million dollar celebrity endorsement to integrate your product into the lives and hearts of today’s young consumers. You just need to remember some key things about how to build brands with them.
1. Speak honestly. Don’t hype things up. Be real. Use words and phrases that real people use. Skip the BS.
2. Engage in active discussion. Monitor what is being said about your brand on-line via message boards and forums, and reach out to those who hate you and those who love you. Take part in the discussion.
3. Contribute to causes they support. What matters to your young customers? Find out, and become a real and honest part of the causes that matter to them.
4. Know where they are. Are they at extreme sports events? Concerts? Clubs? Coffee shops? Find out where they are, and market to them on their turf.
5. Give something away, and it doesn’t need to be your product that you give away. Start a blog that gives advice relevant to your consumers. If you have a juice bar, your blog or newsletter might give away free workout tips or healthy advice. If you have a bike store, your blog might be about great places nearby to take your bike off road.
Here’s Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video, featuring Beyonce… and nine products you love.