Following social trends, or observing long-range values (marketing risks/hits).

Honey Made
The original Honey Maid advocacy video -- it has attracted about five million YouTube views so far
Honey Made
The original Honey Maid advocacy video — it has attracted about five million YouTube views so far

This “Honey Maid” graham cracker video, marketers presumably hope, will cause the intended audience to like and trust their product. I suppose they will succeed, if their markets are not among religious zealots who think that gay marriage represents a moral sin, or perhaps the Zimbabwean or Ugandan governments. This type of marketing might have been way over the edge of riskiness just a decade ago, but presumably the marketers can read the polls as well as the politicians, and so have joined the bandwagon.

I doubt many AEC marketers will or should rush to follow this example — preferring to tackle safer (and perhaps more industry-relevant) issues and causes such as Habitat for Humanity, childrens’ hospitals or cancer research. There can be exceptions. However, since many contractors, engineers and architects think the story to broadcast is: ?”We give great customer service” (without of course allowing the customers to describe exactly how the service is so great, in live testimonials), I doubt they will spend the money to build slick videos based on social media follow-up to announce they are tolerant and inclusive in their values.

Nor, I think, should they. The production values and costs here for a consumer products marketer may be insignificant compared to the cost of broadcast television advertisements, but we have a different audience. Maybe you might want to try something like this if you are a retail-focused contractor in a market where the majority of your clients care about the cause, you could try it, but I think a grainy and home-made video allowing a real client to tell their story of exceptional service would be much less expensive to produce, and much more effective.

P.S. ?The YouTube data indicates the original video attracted about five million viewers, while the follow-up version has netted (so far) about 2.5 million. ?These numbers surely justify the production costs and “cause risk”. But will this type of strategy really reach your market? I think not.

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