Better Together: Digital and Traditional Marketing Working in Harmony

It’s no longer a question of digital versus traditional marketing, now the challenge is cultivating strategies where the two can work in unison. When a brand is able to effectively convey a consistent message across traditional and nontraditional channels it’s a beautiful thing.  The goal is to make these messages come across seamlessly and with ease, but behind the scenes these campaigns require a lot of planning and can be tough to pull off. Traditional marketing has the ability to create a feeling for the consumer. TV commercials and ads in magazines send outbound messages that can evoke a huge range of emotions for our audience, but only for an instant. Digital marketing tactics give us the ability to leverage those emotions and encourage ongoing participation between the brand and its audience.

Another reason to combine digital and traditional marketing is to extend your brand’s reach. The goal is to exhaust all possible outreach stemming from one idea. As millennials continue to become more and more engaged online, and older generations are starting to follow suit, digital marketing becomes more of a question of how rather than if.

A few big-rig brands that have demystified this powerful combo and effectively sent a strong message across multiple channels. Here are some of our favorites!

Share a Coke by Coca-Cola

I’m sure by now we’ve all been exposed to Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign. When one of the most iconic brands of all time radically changes its product packaging to a variety of different names and terms of endearment, it makes us stop and say- What’s that all about?

For those who aren't quite as familiar, Coca-Cola combined a traditional and digital approach to humanize their brand and connect with consumers. The traditional side of this campaign consisted of a major product packaging transformation and other print ads broadcasting the tagline “ Share a Coke with…”. The digital side focused on engaging their online audience who shared virtual Cokes with custom digital labels via Facebook and Twitter .

Coca-Cola’s soft drink sales have risen 2% in the US after the launch of this campaign, a spike that this company hasn’t seen in over a decade (The Independent). When consumers see their name connected to a brand like Coca-Cola, it makes them feel pretty special. Personalizing a global brand can seem next to impossible, but Coca-Cola has really nailed it with this campaign.

Do Us a Flavor by Lays

The Lays Do Us a Flavor campaign came back in 2014 and was bigger than ever! The idea behind this campaign was for consumers to come up with creative new chip flavours which were voted on by consumers. The winning chip was promised to be produced and sold on shelves.

The Do Us a Flavor campaign has been running around the world since 2006 but was reinvented when the campaign came to North America. While in the past many of the submissions were sent by mail, Lays wanted to make some changes to attract millennials to the campaign by focusing on attracting online traffic. This campaign lined up well with their target audience of highly-social millennials who are always wanting to create new content, share their ideas and be recognized for them. Facebook and Twitter were the perfect channels to accomplish this goal (Digital Strategy Consulting).

While the campaign’s hub was online, traditional media vehicles supported outreach and brought added attention to the campaign. Radio, TV and print were all used for this campaign in conjunction with the campaign website and social media channels.

This campaign wasn’t only a success because of the buzz it created around the Lays brand, it also increased trials and, in turn, sales for the company.

Our food. Your questions. by McDonald’s

Digital marketing gives brands the opportunity to be more transparent with consumers and McDonald’s has definitely taken advantage of that with their Our food. Your questions. campaign that started in 2013. For a fast food chain that has struggled with its reputation for the past few decades and is under constant scrutiny for its unhealthy meal options, it was time to take action.

McDonald’s took an approach that aimed to rebuild consumers’ trust by embracing a new stance on complete public transparency. Digital and traditional media channels were used to take consumers’ online questions about McDonalds’ food and answer them publicly. Consumers asked questions online about the food and McDonalds answered; loudly. The online submissions were not only answered, they were broadcasted on digital and traditional channels around the world using TV and print. McDonalds received over 20,000 question in the first year of their campaign and was promoted through 500 national and international media outlets (Canadian Marketing Association). McDonalds took this risky campaign idea and spread it across multiple channels very effectively with consistent brand messaging.  

Everything from rumors about the infamous chicken nugget pink slime to questions about the photo editing of McDonalds’ food in their ads were all addressed. Consumers didn’t hold back on this one and McDonald’s took the heat with flare.

Using traditional and nontraditional marketing tactics together can be tricky, but the results can be remarkable when done the right way. It’s always awesome to see examples where marketers use the right tools for the job in a seemingly effortless way. With marketing channels constantly evolving, we love seeing new, innovative ideas come to life.

Creative Agency

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