Marketing creativity: Can you achieve 900,000 views with a “free” video?

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tim hortons dark

I enjoyed this bit of advertising/marketing creativity from Tim Hortons, a Canadian fast-food coffee chain (with small and so far largely unsuccessful efforts to expand into the U.S.).

The company, facing increasing competition from places like McDonald’s and Starbucks, decided it needed to launch a stronger, darker coffee (the type, in fact, that I like).

How can you make something like this — essentially a commodity product, and not even the first in the market — into something interesting?

You’ll see when you watch this video, which has now attracted more than 900,000 views on YouTube — all “free”, though this ad had some rather unique and significant production costs.

Now I know that architectural, engineering and construction businesses aren’t mass-market consumer businesses, and few of us can afford the creative and production costs this advertisement requires. Yet I sometimes wonder if we could just think a little more creatively in our marketing; engaging with our clients and pulling them into the story (in a positive sort of way), more effectively.

You can certainly grab video testimonials with a hand-held camera or even a cellular phone (and, obviously, your clients’ consent). The production values might not be high, but their stories will reflect authenticity. If you can have some fun in the process, so much the better.

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