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Inspired by: Apple and the Cookie Monster

Editor’s Note: This post is a part of our Amazing Moments of B2B Marketing Inspiration series. Join us each week for new stories of marketing success.

Time for another memorable marketing moment to inspire our campaign creation. Today we’re taking a look at last year’s Apple campaign that featured the famously-blue “Sesame Street” character Cookie Monster. The video ad was created to highlight their voice-activated system Siri, and showed the two teaming up to bake some cookies. It was brilliantly done, and an instant viral success. So why was the campaign so successful? And how can you apply their methods to your own campaigns?

Bonus fact: YouTube is one of the only social media channels that Apple actively uses.

Connect with Your Audience

People love Sesame Street, and Cookie Monster is one of the iconic show’s most iconic characters. The lovable blue puppet connected with viewers on an emotional level, and reminded them of their childhood. It appealed to a large audience, from families, to tech-loving smartphone users, to people who love cookies (who doesn’t?!)- and everyone in-between. Apple likely invested in expensive licensing fees for the use of the character. Did it pay off? Well, the video has been viewed more than 11.5 million times, and shared more than 500k times across social media channels.

Bonus fact: 60% of those shares happened via Facebook.

Use Analytics to Discover and Highlight Audience Favorites

How can you find relevant ideas to connect with for your audience? Use social media tools like Facebook Audience Insights and Twitter’s reporting to find out who your audience is on social media, and what they’re interested in. Then you can identify some ways to connect with those users on an emotional level with your products or brand. You can even try regional segmentation, playing off of a local legend, or a one-of-a-kind item your area is known for (think Wisconsin and cheese, or traffic for those of us here in Pardot’s Atlanta office). On a broader scale, you can play off of current seasonal or pop culture trends. Here’s an example of a video from Black & Veatch, an engineering, construction, and consulting company, that takes advantage of Construction Safety Week, and has a distinctly “MythBusters” feel.

Show off Your Product’s Best Features & Demonstrate Ease of Use

The Apple video demonstrates how easy it is to use Siri in everyday situations, and how it could recognize even slightly funny voices. They also showed off how Siri makes it easier to operate the iPhone hands-free. Another video campaign experiencing currently viral success? Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos, which show how to make fun and unusual meals and dishes. They take the sometimes complicated task of cooking, and condense it down to a video that’s only about a minute long. Wow, that souffle suddenly looks super easy! (spoiler alert: it’s not). The average video gets more than 25 million views.

Consider how can you use video to show how your product or tool is easy to use. How can you make it more fun, and create fun ways that show how your product is the best solution to the problems your target audience are facing?

Repurpose Your Success

Apple followed up their first Cookie Monster ad with an even better “Behind the Scenes” video. That video was a hilarious spoof that extended the reach of the ad campaign by giving fans more of a good thing. In many ways, the follow-up video was funnier and more accessible than the first, and it didn’t even need an objective. The follow-up video has more than 3 million views, 50k shares, and 98% of those shares were on Facebook. Again, the key here was fun, and showing the product in use in fun ways. How can you leverage more fun in your video campaigns?

In two 30 second commercials Apple demonstrated their product and highlighted the intuitiveness of its features without involving any tech-heavy jargon. The success of the campaign shows how important it is to connect with your audience on an emotional level, and you don’t have to be Apple to have a similarly powerful effect on your audience, just keep these things in mind: Use the data that’s available to you to craft the right message at the right time. Think about how you can show off your products and services, and look to demonstrate how they solve problems or pain points relevant to your buyers. Lastly, think of unusual ways to present your product in fun, engaging content. Think outside the box to create content that inspires and drives leads.