Marketing with Moxy​

Long after the Great Recession ended, brands continued to woo consumers with safe, reassuring, and often nostalgic messages. However, with a revived economy, intensifying competition from new and nimble brands, and the marvels of the digital revolution, brands are now taking on bolder approaches to connecting with today’s fickle and novelty-seeking consumers. Smart brands are more apt than ever to take a provocative stand, seed the cultural conversation, and challenge norms of engagement. In a marketplace where consumers can easily cut off the stream of advertising, we expect brands to become even more inventive, provocative, and vocal (oh hello, Alexa) this year as they seek consumers’ taxed attention and fragmented loyalty. ​

Manifestations

MGM Resorts’ Universal Love campaign exemplifies brands’ willingness to take both a courageous and brilliant approach to social inclusivity. The brand invited major music artists to record covers of traditional romantic songs, switching up the genders so that men would be singing about men, women about women, or all pronouns would simply become a nonbinary “they.” The resulting collection of songs (streaming and on vinyl) is a modern soundtrack for LGBTQ couples.​

To get the word out about delivery via DoorDash, Burger King recently offered customers a Dogpper dog bone for a limited time only, joining a bevy of other clever and buzzy marketing plays in the QSR channel this year. How about a Popeye’s emotional-support chicken for your next flight out of Philly?​

Although polarizing, OKCupid’s 2018 DTF campaign took a subversive as well as joyfully inclusive approach to redefining that typically blunt, NSFW dating app acronym. Though D.C.’s Metro system rejected some of the ads, they did so citing their ban of politically biased ads rather than due to its potentially naughty interpretation.​

MGM Resorts’ Universal Love campaign exemplifies brands’ willingness to take both a courageous and brilliant approach to social inclusivity. The brand invited major music artists to record covers of traditional romantic songs, switching up the genders so that men would be singing about men, women about women, or all pronouns would simply become a nonbinary “they.” The resulting collection of songs (streaming and on vinyl) is a modern soundtrack for LGBTQ couples.​

To get the word out about delivery via DoorDash, Burger King recently offered customers a Dogpper dog bone for a limited time only, joining a bevy of other clever and buzzy marketing plays in the QSR channel this year. How about a Popeye’s emotional-support chicken for your next flight out of Philly?​

Although polarizing, OKCupid’s 2018 DTF campaign took a subversive as well as joyfully inclusive approach to redefining that typically blunt, NSFW dating app acronym. Though D.C.’s Metro system rejected some of the ads, they did so citing their ban of politically biased ads rather than due to its potentially naughty interpretation.​

implications

With consumers using brands to broadcast their unique identities and voice their values, how can your brand join the cultural conversation and entice consumers to opt in? It’s not just about garnering social media buzz, although that’s admirable, but also about ensuring that your brand reflects the zeitgeist with a focus on positive and empowering change.​