Friday, 19 February 2010

Hula Hoops harness charity & brand attributes to create brand experience event

I like Hula Hoops.  I don't actually eat them very often but I do have a nostalgic soft spot for the brand, and I  really like some of the promotional work I've seen over the last year. The results from the Golden Hoop Awards consumer generated video competition they ran are well worth a watch, and nicely presented to emulate real film award events.

This morning I tripped over this video ad on YouTube encouraging people to sign up to take part in a one off event - a Hula Hoopathon in aid of charity Comic Relief's counterpart Sport Relief .

 Watching the ad / clicked me through to their YouTube Channel, which was nice- not dragging me out of the environment I had chosen to be in (presumably with a purpose) when I tripped over their ad.

As a promotion it's got lots of the ingredients of good thinking - charity is always a strong angle, as most people like to contribute to good causes, and the warm fuzzy glow of having done something nice will be reflected back on the Hula Hoops brand.  And then some, because on top of which,  Hula Hoops are donation matching / contributing too.  Nice synergy between Hula Hoops snack product form and Hula Hooping (I will loosely call that sport), particularly as it's also promoting exercise which is a great re-inforcer of the "you can eat these things that aren't so good for you but be aware of the importance of a balanced diet and exercise" message.

Brand experience, participation in a real event = opportunities for others to talk about your brand expanding the reach further and in an influential fashion.

Packaging pushes both the broader "take part" message but also gives detail of how to text and donate (smart use of mobile as many crisps are consumed as a snack on the go, when you might not have online access).

I'd have given them almost full marks if they had not built the whole website in flash and had been buying the paid search term Sport Relief as well as just Hula Hoops. Maybe next time!  
Hula Hoops are nowhere in the first page search results against Sport Relief

But they are buying their own search terms at least.....

Most brands still don't get the benefit of thinking beyond the brand term. It's what I call Brand Manager Silo Syndrome. The supposed experts on the consumer often seen to forget to think about how a consumer would search in relation to something and therefore miss out on relevant opportunities to get their message out there.

Don't be guilty!  Think outside the marketing box.

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