Get Your Vote On!

From commercials to infomercials, advertising and marketing in this day and age has become a completely different game than in the past. Lately, between the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, many Americans have been overwhelmed with advertisements and promotions that are attempting to make their company stand out from the competition. Whether it was simply trying to convince you to buy their soft drink or attempting to convince you to buy your girlfriend’s engagement ring from their jewelry store, sometimes it seems a little too forced.

In response to this tension,  marketers are always looking for innovative new ways to involve consumers in the production, promotion and selection of the product itself. This method has been used effectively before and proved quite fruitful for certain companies. In 2007, Mountain Dew began their “DewMocracy” promotion where customers get the chance to vote on new flavors, graphics, colors and names. To this day, Mountain Dew continues to create opportunity for customer interaction in their promotions and advertisements.

Interactive promotional campaigns are ideally designed to benefit both the customer and the company. Lays potato chips are the most recent corporation to take this creative strategy and run with it. Lays has put together a multi-step process for establishing their newest flavor of chip. Originally, Lays invited consumers to submit their flavor ideas and let the public vote on these flavors on Facebook. At this point, the public has voted and Lays has narrowed the competition down to the top 3 public favorites. These flavors have actually been produced and are available for purchase for a limited time. While these flavors are available the voting will continue on Facebook and eventually one will be voted in and named the newest member of the Lays family.

Taking a step back and evaluating this marketing strategy utilized by Lays, Mountain Dew and many other large corporations, it is clear that it is effective not only as a result of the customer interaction, but in a handful of other ways. Obviously if voting and discussion is taking place on social media, this is driving a ton of Internet traffic to each of the respective websites. Also, the customer involvement builds a relationship with the consumers and gives them the feeling that they are a part of the company and making important decisions. Finally, specifically for Lays and other promotions that offer the product for a limited time, this strategy causes a boom in sales with everyone trying the new product.

Now that this promotion idea of customer involvement has been tried and proven many large companies are adopting these campaigns. Doritos, along with a few other companies, ran campaigns before the Super Bowl to have the consumers make and vote for which commercial would be shown during the big game. So despite the fact that we are still being consistently and constantly advertised to (and that’s not likely to change any time soon!) the benefits of running these promotions are clearly beyond the obvious boost in sales, this is relationship building at its finest!

Zach Abramo, Callie Fenlon, Lauren HabigAlexandra Huss, Michael Nunes, Daniel Schaefer, Dann Williams

8 thoughts on “Get Your Vote On!

  1. I love that marketers want to get the consumers involved! I think it’s a great way to promote their products. I know that I participated in the Lays flavor competition. I created different chip flavors when they were still doing that, and I’ve voted on flavors that sound good to me.

  2. Involving customers for “Choose the next ______” marketing strategy is seriously so smart. It gives the consumer the feeling of being included, of establishing connection, being heard, and having understanding and/or inside knowledge. Those are core concerns that every human craves. However, there is a fine line of using them to market more effectively and exploiting them.

  3. I suppose that I am one of the customers that proves their point: I like that companies are involving the consumer. That might be why the Oreo “Whisper Fight” commercial was my favorite of the Super Bowl commercials. I also noticed Oreo’s integration of social media; asking viewers to vote on Instagram. I thought this was an effective appeal to the “digital natives” of our generation.

  4. Talking about brands letting their customers get involved is definitely a new idea to work in a connection economy. Consumers love to know that they can have a say in what the next new product will be. It is always a great strategy on the companies part because it gets people to buy their items just by simply stating “vote which product you like best by buying it.” There might even be a bigger market out there for this kind of strategy. Soon the consumers might be completely working for companies for free, just to get their opinion heard; that is basically what we are doing now, isn’t it?

  5. I agree that it really is a smart strategy. It’s so easy now to form these connections with consumers through the use of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and it makes sense that companies are taking advantage of these outlets. A lot of people are already on these sites anyway, so it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get involved in these competitions and therefore expose them to the products and brand of the company. It seems so easy to get involved and contribute to these promotional contests, but also to the creation of something new. I think people also feel invested after they participate in these contests and want to continue buying that brand. Especially to test out the winners of the contests. I know for me, I did follow the Lay’s contest and now want to try the winning flavors because I know they were created and chosen by people like me.

  6. The concept of inviting consumers to help create advertisements is a new and innovative strategy being used by companies. It gives the customers a sense of importance that their needs and wants are being met, and that their voice is being heard. Sometimes I prefer the advertisements created by consumers more than the ads created by professionals. They are usually more comical and they directly speak to the target audience because consumers know what other consumers want to hear. It also creates less stress on advertising agencies to develop a new ad campaign. Just set up a competition and let other people submit ideas! One of the most popular and recent Super Bowl ad, the Doritos goat, has been one of the most talked about commercials for its unique and comical approach. Maybe this strategy was created by lazy companies out of ideas, but it sure is successful!

  7. While this is clearly an effective way to boost sales and customer satisfaction, I do think that this campaign in particular comes off a bit forced. Between using a Desperate Housewife as the eye candy for a bag of chicken and waffle flavored chips to incorporating the red carpet as the backdrop, the whole thing leaves me with a sort of skeptical feeling. After seeing this commercial, the first thing I wanted to know was if Eva Longoria actually eats chicken and waffle flavored chips.

  8. I like the idea of being able to have input in a product that I buy, but I also think it is not a great idea for marketing. It is the company’s responsibility to constantly improve their products and present new ideas to the customer. With marketing campaigns like this, the customer does get what they want, but the companies seem somewhat lazy. They should be making these decisions themselves.

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