Successful Marketers are Creative
If you can't be the leader in your category, create a new category you can be the leader in.
Rule 2 in the The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
Every successful person you know has differentiated themselves from others in their field. They are unique in their niche.
I stumbled upon this advertisement for Forever 21, a woman's clothing store, a while ago and realized that marketing and marketers fit this same mold. Great marketing is an invention game. Old methodologies can work, but new ways of marketing to users can be more affective.
Forever 21 wanted to have an advertisement in Times Square, the heaviest advertisement spaces in the United States. But, how do you differentiate yourself from every other advertisement being shown in Times Square? By being different. If Forever 21's advertisement wasn't unique they would be lost in the ocean of advertisements.
To be different Forever 21 chose to have an interactive billboard. The billboard was so distracting that the New York Police Department asked them to change the angle of the camera because drivers were creating traffic jams due to frequent stopping to view the ad.
If you are in the physical space, anything interactive has a large chance of success. By visiting a science museum you will understand why interactive media is so effective. Humans love being able to control something, even if it is only the perception of control.
Interactive advertisements also reach outside your target demographic. I'm not a woman between the ages of 18-30. But, I am writing about the billboard.
Forever 21 accomplished to receive a bunch of media attention from the ad. From a branding perspective it had a lot of people taking pictures of it, talking about it, and writing about it.
Super Bowl ads, arguably the hardest marketing investment to demonstrate return is incredibly expensive. But, if done well, unique advertisements have staying power - People will continue talking about it decades later. Do you remember the Budweiser frogs?
However, this billboard wasn't funny, It was new. New is cool. Humans love new things. We constantly want to be entertained by fresh things.
Marketing does one thing: It informs. Every marketing play is a twist on delivering information to potential target users of a product or service.