Everybody loves a good laugh and event marketers are tapping into that to offer consumers fun experiences as they promote their brands. The laughs are flowing in a variety of different product categories and include companies such as Nissan Canada which last November got football fans laughing with game show antics at the Grey Cup Festival. And Nestlé Purina’s Pet Comedy Challenge this month had consumers roaring at comedy clubs and improvs in four cities. And TBS felt comedy provided a natural tie-in to promote the second season premiere of its hit series “10 Items Or Less.” Here’s an inside look at how these three brands gained favor with consumers by tickling their funny bone.
Boys Will Be Boys
Nissan Canada’s Rogue Revealed game shows targeted early 30-something football fans who revealed their most “roguish” moments as they competed for prizes during the Grey Cup Festival’s Tailgate Party. “We wanted to offer Grey Cup party-goers a launch program that matched the characteristics of this car (the Nissan Rogue) a fun aggressive engaging performance-oriented vehicle ” says Danny Burns national marketing manager at Nissan. “It was up to them to be able to say what they wanted. Because it was live we didn’t know what to expect but people had fun they were laughing and really enjoyed the entertainment” (Agency: Kubik Toronto).
A total of 12 shows plus one rehearsal took place over a four-day period with judging provided by professional comedians and Canadian Football League players.
A tuxedo-clad game show host encouraged people to get as close to the line as possible—one guy for example revealed that as a teen he dated three girls at one time—without going too far as a band provided sound effects. And an on-site editing suite also kept the final product in check. All told the game shows reached an estimated audience of 48 000.
Stupid Pet Tricks
Nestle Purina’s Pet Comedy Challenge which kicked off at the end of February and runs through May promises to be less roguish and more family-friendly.
Comedians unleashed their pet-inspired routines at comedy clubs in Dallas Denver Los Angeles and Philadelphia as they vied for their spot in the finals which take place in St. Louis in May. Judges at each club will select two winners based on originality and pet-themed humor. Third- and fourth-prize winners in each city will have their routines posted at purina.com and petcentric.com where visitors will vote to send two more comedians to the finals for a total of 10. The grand prize winner will receive $10 000 and a year’s supply of Purina pet food as well as some great visibility at their comedy clubs. Purina will post videos on YouTube and possibly create a one-hour TV special based on the competition (Agency: Kicking Cow Promotions St. Louis).
“Since the comedy challenge is from Purina you know it’s about family and pets so you can’t go wrong there ” said Jim Allen manager of experiential marketing at Purina. “It is a clean program that is very entertaining that is for everyone who owns a pet has owned a pet or knows someone who owns a pet which is just about everybody.”
TBS turned on the humor in January at kick-off parties for “10 Items Or Less ” a loosely scripted workplace comedy for young adults about employees at a small independent grocery store. The parties held in local grocery stores in Chicago; Columbus OH; Dallas and Los Angeles featured improv actors and talent from the show food and drink games and prizes as well as screenings of the second season premiere episode. Local radio stations and online sites promoted the events (Agency: GEM Group New York).
“The program has an irreverent take on corporate grocery culture but centers on the characters of the show who are all improv actors ” says Tricia Melton senior vp-marketing at TBS. “We wanted to embrace the setting in a fun way and bring in a younger audience. The fact that the show is based on improv was a natural fit. It called out to bring local improv actors and the talent into the scene and have fun with it. It’s about looking for those natural connections and relevance both to the show and to the consumer and making those two things connect.”