3 Instances Of Lateral Thinking Boosting Brand Notoriety

The modern marketplace is awash with different tactics and campaigns with varying levels of success. For every Ice Bucket Challenge, there’s a failed branding attempt without a whisker of attention. It’s difficult to have a direct formula for the digital age, it’s not an exact science as many would have you believe, especially with marketing and its variants.

The most noble way forward appears to be simply observing and noticing the way in which some trends and tactics work where others do not, what are the crucial aspects that bring forward a truly remarkable and effective marketing campaign in the modern world?

We were curious as well, so we decided to have a peek at some of the more successful examples of lateral thinking being a catalyst for great success in the marketing landscape and try to discern a few tactics that seem to have been active in their success.

1. Red Bull & The Pursuit Of Extremity

Red bull is now synonymous with extreme measures, with pushing boundaries and making sure that life was meant to be experienced fast.

It’s life dialled to 11!

It’s breaking the laws of nature!

…it’s a fizzy energy drink.

How did they manage to garner such a reputation with such a simple concept you may wonder. They put their brand on the line and went bold, instead of following typical marketing tactics of yesteryear, they managed to snag a hold of their primary themes, extreme, energy and pushing boundaries. They began sponsoring the most extreme sports they could find, oftentimes partnering up with a reputable camera company to capture the experience. Not too long ago you could see on every website, on every newspaper and every news report, the tale of Felix Baumgartner, the man who broke the sound barrier and performed one of the most extreme free dives in human history.

It was a tale of human endurance.

It was a supersonic record breaker.

…It was sponsored by the fizzy energy drink.

By simply thinking outside of the box, Red Bull was able to achieve some fantastically effective publicity as well as solidify their brand as being a part of something extraordinary.

2. Coca Cola & The Sharing Dynamic

Speaking of fizzy drinks, Coca Cola didn’t need the publicity, but they wanted to remain relevant and part of the everyday lives of their customers. They saw an opportunity to change very little and gain everything. The ‘Share a bottle with…’ campaign was a marketing goldmine and a golden lesson for modern marketers. They gave individuals a sense of purpose within the framework of the company, by using common names and plastering them on the bottles, they invited people to advertise for them, keeping the red bottle in the eyes of as many people as possible. Not a simple commercial, but an integration into their everyday lives.

Of course it’s hard to determine the success rate of the campaign in dollars and cents, but seeing as the campaign still continues and has become it’s own social media sensation, it’s hard to consider sharing a coke with someone without the thought of the fizzy brown drink.

3. ALS & The Promotion Of Charitable Involvement

It’s not all about pushing boundaries in branding concepts or selling individuality, there are companies and organisations that have focused purely on messaging and awareness for less industrious reasons. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral sensation not too long ago, considering the disease isn’t a new discovery, the prevalence of people’s awareness after the simple challenge campaign was staggering. The ALS Association received over 100 million dollars in the run of the viral challenge.

By utilising a relatively easy brief and challenge, the trend was able to be translated easily across multiple platforms to such a degree that the message of the concept was never lost in complex and misunderstood signals. Nominate 3 friends, donate money, get ice water dumped on you. Simple, concise and trending.

Of course, having some celebrities joining in on the craze that was unique and out of the box was certainly a contributor to its viral success, but nevertheless, the concept was certainly laterally based, and used modern channels to create a wildfire of brand awareness and action with very little input needed.

What Can We Learn?

Again, it’s not an exact science, but one thing remains abundantly clear, none of these campaigns would be possible if the traditional rules of marketing were applied. There needs to be a degree of risk for reward, and creativity needs to certainly be on the forefront for any meaningful message to be translated in the sea of competitors all trying the same trick.

We won’t figure this out in a simple article, but we can get the creative juices flowing at the very least.