Originally posted on Only influencers blog.

I love my Toilet Paper

Years ago in a brand discussion with a CPG company, the challenge of the day was  “How do you build engagement with consumers?” and “How do you build a loyalty program from that?” The product was toilet paper!   You can imagine all the tongue in cheek jokes about the relationships you have with T-Paper.   And nothing shows love like Valentines Toilet Paper:


This is a very real question for brands to address and when seasonal events as emotional as Valentine’s day, you have to rethink what is the context for the relation.  Are we solely selling products to consumers or are we also trying to immerse our customers in our brand through this event?”

The best tips I can give you this holiday season is to spur your creativity with example of past programs that did more than offered shopping experiences.   Given it’s less than a month out, it’s still not too late to use your brand as the experience vs. selling products to augment the experience.  Not everyone has a power brand like Tiffany’s.

Here’s a few I like:

Promote the Moment – Loud and Proud:  AT&T in 2011 launched a very successful campaign “Shout From the Mountaintops”.  This promotion far exceeded expectations by enticing people to share their sentiments leveraging videos, but hidden under a vail of branding their service and smartphone.  A nice short immersive experience where the brand was part of the experience not a promotion within.


Twitter can show love too if you are creative. This promotion is a creative use of Twitter, whereby people are encouraged to Tweet a message to  #IGALongSongs and then local musicians will turn selected tweets into personalized songs which will be housed on Vine and Youtube and tweeted back to the user.  Can you guess what type of brand put this together?   A Grocery Store chain IGA.


Give Back..Nothing shows love like doing something outside yourself for a Cause and sharing that with your Valentine and who can resist Mac-n-Cheese and Ted Williams smooth voice. Kraft inspired a this #voiceoflove campaign and who wouldn’t want to have your tweet voiced over by this smooth talker?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mdl-xWUU48)  Fun, tied to an intrinsic cause, had a nice story behind Ted Williams and just a nice effort by Kraft.


While not tactics, I’d just challenge what you do and try to:

  • Do something different this year?  Promotion creates awareness, discount creates urgency, but are you aiding an experience or “the experience”.  Be the “container”
  • Men are ok to focus on.  We are the procrastinators and the loudest, its ok to shift from your women centric retail focus and change the game (timing, frequency), men are more tolerable of more email and contextual prompts to remember to do something thoughtful.  Sense of scarcity and urgency are how we react.
  • Give them a voice and outlets.   Connect the experience with social media .  You amplify a small moment and that’s BIG!   Imagine a Men Support Groups for Valentines Day designed to crowdsource ideas for ideas, content sharing.   “Guys banding together” .  I’m tired of searching for Great Gift Ideas , I’d rather be fed creative ideas.
  • Be utilitarian.  Help Solve a Problem?   Are you helping me do something unique with little effort? Helping me make a decision? Are you saving me time because I procrastinated?   Are you making me look better than I really am?

And if all else fails, rely on Pepsi and Snoop for advice

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