The world over people are glued to their TV screens, taking in the excitement of FIFA. It’s pure delight, sheer happiness to see a goal being scored on football’s biggest stage. A goal brings with it instant fame, victory and of course celebrations for players and fans. However, what’s different is that for the first time in the history of FIFA, will someone be awarded for showing their passion.
This month (June) Coca-Cola revealed its plans to recognize the most entertaining “goal celebration” with its “Coca- Cola Celebration Award”. Coca-Cola believes that “Players are sure to release their African rhythm and create some iconic move that will rival the legendary celebrations…” After all what is FIFA without the jig, the jiggle, the jumps, the triumphs. You enjoy the way the players celebrate after each goal as much as the game. Now Coca-Cola has it all archived at www.fifa.com/celebrations, and it’s giving awards for the jiggle that gets the highest votes from viewers.
In fact it was Roger Milla of Cameroon who in a spontaneous release of emotions celebrated his goal with his iconic corner flag dance; and forever changed the world of “football goal celebrations”. With FIFA happening in Africa, Coca- Cola thought of this unique advertising strategy. Its final aim is to increase the company’s service from 1.8 billion servings per day to 3.2 billion by 2020. This seems to be an interesting way of blending the game, the feel of Africa and happiness all into one! So it instituted this award for the player who celebrates his goal in the most unique manner.
OPEN HAPPINESS – A GREAT STRATEGY
An interesting viral campaign caught my attention – it was called “The fun theory” campaign. The bottom line of all the video clips was – making things fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour. It was a series of experiments named “the fun theory” which was conducted and captured on a hidden camera to find out if the world could be made a better place by introducing the element of fun. One of the most popular ones (more than 1 million views on YouTube) shows how turning a set of subway stairs into a large piano (each step was painted as a key of a piano) encouraged people to use the stairs and not the escalator. Every time you walked, a stair played a musical rote. You could see the people playing on the steps and actually enjoying it. Another experiment had a trash can which made a sound, as if it was a 50 ft. deep well, when you threw garbage into it. This particular trash bin collected more garbage than earlier - simply because everyone enjoyed the experience. Each viral ended with one line, “The funtheory.com. An initiative of Volkswagen”
Not surprising then, that this year at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the most prestigious award, that of ‘Advertiser of the Year’ – which is given to advertisers who have made a place for themselves when it comes to encouraging creativity and inspiring innovative marketing campaigns – went to Volkswagen. From its first win at Cannes Lion in 1961 to the current one for its ‘viral ad’, Volkswagen has showcased creativity at its best. Again, it’s not surprising that its intelligent positioning and brand building strategy will help it fulfill its aim of becoming the leading car manufacturer in the world.
When it comes to brand building, the one theme that seems to be working best is that of “fun”, be it drinks (Coca- Cola) or driving (Volkswagen) all seem to be adopting this theme.
PAPA DON’T PREACH – SMILE
The economy is sour, the people want to stretch the value of their money to the maximum, and the last thing they want is to hear someone preach! If you have to, then make it fun, the way Volkswagen did. Coca-Cola too, along with the goal celebration is pushing the idea of “RAIN”, (Replenish Africa Initiative) to help get water for schools. It has pledged $30 million to provide Africa with clean water. The focus however remains on “celebrations” in all its campaigns.
The trick is to bring a smile on the face of the consumer if you want to do well. But if you are serious about getting rich, you need to bring that “smile” in everything you do. Absolutely everything. Be it your advertising, your marketing or even your vision statement, everything should have a large dose of fun mixed in it.
Three top CEOs were asked one question: “What does your brand stand for?” Here is how they answered. Richard Branson was asked “What does Virgin Stand for?” He gave a one word answer, “Fun”!
Richard Tait, the founder of Cranium, was asked what Cranium stood for. He answered it stood for “delight”, for “shining moments”.
Toney Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, answered “Happiness”. There are two things that were common to all their answers. First their brands were all described without referring to the product. Virgin was not great music, or a great airline, Cranium, was not a board game, Zappos was not about shoes and clothes. The brands symbolised a “feeling”. The second was, all of them had an element of “fun” and “masti” in their description.
When brands are build on “Vision Statements” that have a strong dose of fun embedded in them, they grow faster and stronger. A brand is an experience, and that experience is best when it fun. Every time a consumer comes in contact with your brand, be it through actual purchase, or via a viral, or by visiting your store, he should feel the vibes of fun and excitement. It’s most addictive and he is bound to come back.
From the topmost CEO to the junior most sales person, if everyone puts “fun” into their work, efficiency is bound to increase.
A great CEO is one who makes a vision that excites people. A great salesman is one who has the confidence to be himself, because when you are yourself, and not pretending to be someone else, people like you, and when you relax and have fun, you sell better. A great telecaller is one whose voice reflects a smile. You may not see him, but can sense the smile and excitement in the voice. A great advertising campaign is one which goes beyond selling a product, rather it sells an experience. Remember what Howard Schultz tells about Starbucks, “It’s not just coffee”. Similarly, what you sell is not a product, clothes, books, cars, whatever. You sell a “feeling” and let that feeling be “fun”.
Find ways to bring fun & joy in your work, give unexpected delights to your customers and you are bound to beat your competitors hollow. All you require is creativity and not big budgets.
As Volkswagen says “Fun can change behaviour for better”, it can even change your fortunes. Think fun, have fun, if you want to get seriously rich.