Even though I do marketing on a professional level, it is easy to let the best marketing slide by unnoticed. Really, the better the marketing, the easier it is to internalize it and not talk about it. Do you remember a few years ago when there were Kellogg’s commercials for Special K cereal that were men talking about being fat and needing to exercise more? It was a spoof on what many women talk about and obsess over. I think the marketing team thought it would be funny, but it hit too close to home and women were offended. It was bad marketing and was pulled almost immediately, the reaction was so strong. But some of our best marketing campaigns are either reveled in or they are internalized and accepted. Kellogg’s got the message, and their efforts, both online and elsewhere, are much more subtle these days.
Apple got the good marketing memo a long time ago. We’ve accepted their branding and their assurances that they are one of the best companies out there for music and computers. There are people who will use nothing but a Mac for their computer needs, and the iPod brand has taken off in spades. It seems like everything they touch in the electronics age is golden (though the fate of the iPad remains untested as of yet).
I hardly think about advertisements for this company. In fact, other than the catchy PC vs Mac commercials of a few years ago, I can’t recall any of their marketing that has jumped out at me. Nothing online or in print. It’s that seamless. However, with a brand name that is so strong and prominent, I do know that their marketing team is working hard to keep them on top, and I have to admire that work.
Now, what brought these thoughts to my attention? Well, I was reading an article by Mike Sachoff that talks about Apple’s newest contest. Turns out that Apple is holding a contest to celebrate the download of their 10 billionth song. Imagine: 10 billion songs sold.
Apple says: “Seven years later, we’re about to celebrate our biggest milestone for music, yet – 10 billion songs downloaded. Buy a song, and if it’s the 10 billionth download, you could win a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. It’s our way of saying thanks.”
The Apple marketing team should be proud. All of Apple should be proud of this milestone. 7 years for 10 billion songs sold. Never mind the number of iPods that were sold in the same time frame. Amazing. And their marketing has been subtle and effective.
Sometimes it is nice to just stand back and admire.