This article is written by Rachel Sprung, HubSpot’s Brand & Buzz Coordinator. HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing software which helps businesses attract prospects and convert them into leads and customers.
Have you heard the rumors? In case you haven’t, let’s get you up to speed. The world will end December 21. At least that’s the rumor. So what are you going to do? Buy canned food at the store? Board up your house? Prepare for an invasion of zombies?
No one really knows what to do to prepare for an apocalypse. But there are many companies who are using this legend to their advantage and creating creative marketing campaigns in preparation for the end of the world.
Here’s what a few brands are doing.
#1. Agility Recovery
Agility Recovery is in the business of disaster recovery. They help companies prepare for disasters by creating a plan and ultimately help them execute on the plan.
Agility Recovery has a landing page (http://www2.agilityrecovery.com/end-of-the-world/mayan) promoting their campaign. First, they have a countdown to the apocalypse, and then they encourage you to become a member so they can help you with disasters including power, computer system outages, office space, and communications. They also have some fun and entertaining parts to their campaign including voting for the most likely doomsday scenario (who doesn’t love funny videos?), warning your colleagues on Twitter, and practicing your survival skills such as karate.
Agility Recovery was intelligent and strategic about their decision to do this marketing campaign. The upcoming apocalypse is the perfect opportunity to share the story of what their company does simply because they are in the disaster recovery business.
Furthermore, the infographic and landing page provides information about their company in a clear manner while also adding humor.
#2. T.G.I. Friday’s
What should a restaurant do when the world is ending? Have a party of course! T.G.I. Friday’s is hosting a “Last Friday” celebration in Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Tampa, and Los Angeles. Included in the party will be photo booths, a dance floor, and of course, Friday’s signature food.
This is their video:
When rumors start to fly about the “end of the world,” people tend to want to have a party. We saw it with the Rapture, and I’m sure we will see it again with the Mayan Apocalypse. Friday’s is taking the perfect opportunity to position their business as a venue for events while also showing off their signature dishes that they are famous for. Marketers, take a lesson from Friday’s who is putting a positive spin on this event.
#3. Toyo Tires
Toyo Tires is located in Cypress, California and produces different types of high-quality tires. In prepararation for the Mayan apocalypse and to promote their motto of creating long lasting products, they have come up with a tagline for the contest, “We believe in longevity.” To increase the number of Facebook fans, they have a contest where all you have to do is like the page, and you could win a Jeep or even a trip to Yucatan.
This is a perfect opportunity for Toyo Tires to accomplish two goals: First, they are increasing their Facebook fans. Second, they are promoting that their tires last a long time (something every car owners wants to hear).
#4. Stone Brewing Company
Typically beer companies make their beer to last as long as it can. Stone Brewing Company did the opposite when they decided to create a beer with the apocalypse in mind and therefore an expiration date of December 22, 2012, right after the Mayan apocalypse. Along with the logistics around brewing and delivering a beer that would be fresh (even if it was for a short amount of time), they created an extensive social media campaign.
On their landing page (http://www.stonebrewing.com/enjoyby/), they give you the opportunity to vote for the IPA to be sent to your city. They also allow you to vote by Twitter, Facebook, or even email. Finally the hashtag #EnjoyBy can be used on all social media platforms including Instagram to promote the beer and share that you are trying it out. Winning cities will have the opportunity to have the beer which will be taken off the shelves on December 22.
#5. Keating Hotel
The hotels near the Mayan ruins are definitely benefiting from the (supposed) upcoming apocalypse. But other hotels around the country are creating packages to encourage people to relax and take a vacation before the world ends (*wink*). The Keating Hotel in San Diego has created the “End of the World” package as a way to enjoy your last moments before the world ends.
The Keating Hotel has created an awesome package to enjoy the moments before the apocalypse. From having a comfortable room, to exercising, to preparing to fight off zombies, to enjoying your last supper; they have your vacation completely planned.
JELL-O decided to take part in the apocalypse marketing madness by creating a playful ad about sacrificing JELL-O to appease the Mayan Gods in order to avert the apocalypse.
This is their video:
The video is supposed to emulate JELL-O’s tagline, “Fun things up.” After the commercial’s launch, it was written up in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/business/media/jell-o-ads-aim-at-mayan-calendars-end-tongue-in-cheek.html) highlighting the humor in the advertising. In addition, they tease another commercial for the campaign to be released December 22 as long as the world doesn’t end. Adding an element of surprise and intrigue to your campaigns is a great tactic to keep people asking for more.
NASA is taking a different approach to the Mayan apocalypse and using it as a chance to market science over “irrationality.” NASA has published scientific data stating that it is impossible for the world to end on Friday. One point they make is that the planet Nibiru, who according to the rumor is a large object heading to Earth to destroy it, does not exist and is therefore not anywhere close to Earth. They are even publishing videos on YouTube of them discussing the fictional claims.
This is their video:
Don’t underestimate the opportunity to market knowledge and not product or services. NASA is taking an opportunity to inform people that they produce scientific data throughout the year and are a valuable resource of information. As the world posts information about the end of the world, NASA is being looked at as the thought leader who is disputing these rumors and spreading the truth.