Marketing So Absurd, It Becomes Memorable

Posted by John Park on Oct 27th, 2008
Oct 27


Because Halloween is just around the corner, there are some really creative advertisements on TV, Radio and the Internet.  I heard an interesting one on my drive home today.  The ad was promoting chicken stock.  You’re probably thinking “how do you make chicken stock interesting?”  Well, this particular advertiser’s suggestion was to give out chicken stock instead of candy this year for Halloween.  The whole premise was that candy is so “yesterday” and if you really wanted to be cool and be part of the “in-crowd”, you would give out cans of chicken stock to the kids as they enthusiastically say “trick or treat”.
As I was listening, I had a grin on my face because I had recognized their strategy.  Now, we all know what would happen if you actually did what they suggest.  You would be removing rotten egg and apple debris from your front door for at least a few days after Halloween.   The marketing angle is so absurd, it becomes memorable.  Of course, they don’t expect for you to actually follow through.  They just wanted you to get a good laugh because it is such a ridiculously absurd idea.  And, if they really get their wish, some people might even blog about it.  Can you imagine if you were given the task of advertising chicken stock?  Well, whoever thought of this angle was up to the challenge and hit it out of the ballpark.
Executing this marketing angle is not easy because humor and absurdity has to work well together.  But if you can hit the right note, the advertisement will become incredibly memorable and many people will become your unpaid ambassadors.  And because of this absurd radio ad, I will always know that this place has great chicken stock.
If you’ve read more than a few of my posts, you know that I like to point out marketing homeruns whenever I come across them.  The advertiser I am praising is Trader Joe’s, a specialty neighborhood grocery store with 250 locations nationwide.  KUDOS!

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