Look at this poster that is made for a digital media conference hosted by Mendix. The poster exclusively talks about the possibility of going in to network with your fellow professional or an entrepreneur without the need for a pompous suit or blazer.
In a world where events are synonymous with black suits and firm handshakes with large gatherings around a panel stage, this seems to be a bold move. But in reality, on the ground, this seems to be working well if not perfectly.
Mendix is one among a thousand events around the world that would have the coronavirus impact its business model to the core but that did not deter it. Not only them, but hundreds and thousands of businesses around the world are pivoting towards making some of their brilliant ad campaigns.
For example, look at this ad by Nike.
Looking at all of these brands, it really begs us to ask questions like.
- How is creativity brewed up into the marketing mix?
- How do some brands end up creating some of the best and brilliant advertisements while I struggle to write a simple Facebook ad?
To know this, we need to back up a little. Back to the year 2005 to be exact. The year that Disney launched Club Penguin. It was a first of its kind (too early for its time) virtual clubhouse where you can host parties or join virtual parties, make new friends, and much more. But all of this was for, kids, of course (because of Disney.)
When the Penguin Clubhouse shut down in March 2017, they had no idea that their model would be a world savior of networking and eventing. Not everything innovative needs to be used for what it was initially made for.
For example, a treadmill was first invented as a torture device. Prisoners who were being tortured were made to walk endlessly but not move an inch space. But come the 21st century, we pay to walk on these torture devices.
We could pull out examples all day but the crux of the message is that creativity can be manufactured. Intentionally or unintentionally.
The Penguin clubhouse was for kids. COVID parties of Zoom have turned something for kids into a reality.
Weaponizing your weakness:
But does the creative endeavor of businesses end there? Not one bit. While the product alone is not marketing. A good copywriter could sell sand to an Arab sheik lost in the desert.
The COVID crisis may have managed to push everything virtual but people might treat the virtual experience, not as an equivalent to the real one.
Corporates miss shaking greasy hands and standing in sweaty lines to listen to people talk on loud and annoying microphones on barely visible stages. Suiting up for a virtual meeting is not the same.
But how do you defeat an enemy that you cannot see? Through the course of the last 6 months, the Mendix copy team must have struck gold in observing the corporate zoom culture around the world.
People got too comfortable with their homes and they decided to dress up parts only visible to the camera. Coupled with the out of the world camera background features (of skype and Microsoft teams), this turned to be a green screen.
But what if you tell the kid that it is ok to eat the chocolate and still not hurt his teeth? Mendix’s copywriters and organizers understood that the entire point of an event is to network and for this, you need not wear Armani suits of armour.
Mendix’s decision to go digital coupled with eliminating the need to wear no shoes and no shirt to get to know new people. It has successfully turned the suit and boot torture into a treadmill of wonders.
Similarly, Nike knows that its business is all when people are out and about. But its strategic ad mover play is not to get sales but to place its brand as a player who believes in the best of all. This way, they get to keep their loyal customers, well, loyal