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Movement Marketing

Posted on February 22, 2012 and read 3,167 times

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darren1 Movement MarketingDarren Richardson
Creative Director

There is a term being thrown around the advertising hallways that got me thinking about the fundamentals of marketing and what we should all be doing as part of the course when creating advertising for our clients.

The term ‘Movement Marketing’ was created by Strawberry Frog’s founder Scott Goodson. His book UpRising goes into great detail on the subject. I want to lightly touch on it to get you all thinking about the concept and the opportunities it may present.

What does Movement Marketing actually mean?
When ideating on a brand, an idea can stem from the product and its benefits while delivering against the overall brand promise. That idea also has the capacity to support the product via many different media channels.

Movement Marketing uses a different model. It builds brands by identifying ideas or concepts that are rooted in and are on the rise in culture rather than grounded primarily in the product. These ideas and concepts become the basis of multi-platform communications.

The ideas that are stirring in culture define the brand movement and opportunity. And the related communications must have emotional connection, stand for something or against something, and of course tie to the product that supports or enables the movement.

For example, Pampers, which was once a poor performing P&G brand, took great strides to revitalize its European business and worked to identify the core reason for its challenges: Pampers was purely focused on the product benefit of long lasting dryness. Well, moms had switched off to this and the limited message was no longer compelling.

Pampers then decided to talk directly to the mothers around the world about their concerns and how the brand was under-delivering in their eyes. From this came a redirection and new brand ideal: Pampers would not only keep babies dry, it would aid parents through all of their child’s physical, social and emotional development stages.  This new direction was a result of learning that mothers’ concerns far exceeded mere nappy rash. It aimed to support an array of needs spanning pregnancy, new baby, baby, toddler and preschooler stages and the many issues that affect baby and mom’s health and wellbeing throughout. An online portal was developed to share helpful information and enable parents to discuss common issues in their lives like preschooler discipline, turning a corporate site into a tremendous resource and support mechanism for parents: With Pampers’ new positioning and related tactics that tapped into more culturally relevant topics and parental needs, and with support and alignment across the corporation, Pampers has grown from $3.4 billion in sales in 1997 to $9 billion currently.

P&G recognized that brands that deeply understand the cultural issues surrounding their core consumers and that share their interests, ideals and fuel their passions were succeeding.  And as such, the Pampers business advances as it focuses on making parents’ lives easier and the developmental journey with their children more interesting and enjoyable – rather than talking to them about just dry diapers.

So, back to my thoughts on the fundamentals.

I personally don’t think we should have separation of cultural and product-centric marketing. Effective, resonant marketing combines both methodologies. B-Cycle is one such example:

B-cycle is a collaboration between players in three different industries – Humana, Trek Bicycle Corporation and CP+B – with one common goal: positive cultural change. B-cycle was devised to change the way we get around, which ultimately will change our communities.

At project inception, the American lifestyle was projected to cost the healthcare industry an additional $27 billion a year. Instead of creating a TV ad to solve the problem, something healthcare had been doing for years, Humana needed a new kind of ad. Something more like a solution than an ad. The resulting B-cycle is a next-generation bike-sharing program that was started in Denver in 2010 and now counts 12 different systems in cities across the US. B-Cycle members have logged more than 862,000 miles, burning more than 25 million calories to date.

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When I receive a brief from my planning peers, I don’t put it into a bucket of either product or cultural, or even media type based opportunities. I take the brief and create media neutral ideas that are steeped in product truths and that will shift (rather than merely mirror) culture to a brand’s advantage, therefore tapping into many of the core principles of Movement Marketing.

What do you do?





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