advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A urinal is now following me on Twitter.

This is a follow-up to my recent post on Falcon Waterfree. You know, PeeGreen, the urinal people. After it ran they started following me, leading to an email from VP of Marketing Randall Goble who thanked me for my comments. Which, after I went back and reread, might have come off as a bit harsh.

Although not directed at them per se, rather, the larger category of people on Twitter who blast product info and little else. Still, I could see where he should’ve been more annoyed than he was for me calling them out.

It’s the kind of thing too where brands hesitate doing anything online because bloggers are always watching and pointing out the little things. Not always, but, point taken. People in advertising and marketing tend to notice executional details more than consumers might, but, they also watch for things that really stand out too. Just do something interesting and the rest will take care of itself.

What I referenced back to him was George Parker’s favorite Blentec Will It Blend series everyone knows, and how a seemingly bland product like a blender took on a new life for the category simply by blending anything.

It’s also the kind of thing that a brand without a large marketing budget can do. This addresses a common complaint found here in the comments of the beach tampon stunt post, where one brand felt they can’t compete with a guerilla stunt simply because they don’t have the money.

Not that I suggest a Will It Flush series, because, well it’s been done, but Falcon’s on their way with the tone of their Twitter updates. (Maybe a How Much Can It Hold?) The thing that makes Blendtec work though is that it appeals to a wide audience. People like seeing cool stuff like blenders destroying iPhones.

But it’s not just them, you can take any product and find a way to connect with consumers simply by doing something interesting with it, something other than what it may have been intended for. For example, you own Acme Vice company. Vice = boring, right? So you put stuff in a vice and see how much pressure it takes to crush things. And so on...

The other thing here is that Falcon was aware enough of what was being said to reach out. It’s one of the other components to all of this stuff: Finding out who’s talking about you. What good is publishing a content stream if you aren’t monitoring both directions in and out of your brand?

Now I can say I follow a urinal on Twitter.