Used properly, nothing’s more profitable than free stuff.
The 1 Ton Coupon campaign is hardly the first to recognise the potentially high returns of flashily giving away a few goodies, but it puts a wonderfully creative spin on the tried and trusted strategy with what may (until this campaign gets out internationally, at least) be the world’s heaviest redeemable coupon, which any Amarok driver, once they got it onto their truck, could exchange for a free tow bar.
There’s an awareness of the target audience here that has to be given due credit. A vehicle’s carrying capacity holds a unique degree of relevance to tow truck drivers, and the campaign taps into this with an admirable directness. Sure, playing to the masculine culture of tow truck driving may seem obvious, and probably a little stereotypical, but the 1 Ton Coupon campaign serves to demonstrate the capabilities of the Amarok in a manner that allows customers to feel they are sharing in the company’s accomplishments. There’s little denying it – the average tow truck driver feels a fair bit more connection to their vehicle than the average suburban mom does to her minivan; playing on that gives the campaign a particular potency.
Still, one has to wonder about its long-term effects. There’s simply no getting around it – campaigns that are so heavily based in the real world, creative as they usually are, are risky. For the most part, they need to be experienced first-hand to have their full impact; sure, word of mouth is nice – and a good campaign will be talked about a lot – but it just doesn’t have the same impact. A more traditional ad campaign is more boring, sure, and less creative, and perhaps less memorable, but its impact is more widespread and more even.
It’s an immensely creative campaign, and it speaks to the needs and personalities of its target audience; but like most such campaigns so heavily rooted in competitions and real-world spectacles, there’s a gimmicky overtone to it that’s simply unavoidable. Solid as it is, it simply can’t stand on its own; and it’ll need the backing of more traditional advertising if it’s to have lasting, widespread impact.
Reviewed by Simon Hyslop, a copywriting student at Red & Yellow School.
CAPTION: O&M executive creative director, Chris Gotz, said “this incredibly literal execution was a great way to demonstrate the sheer power of the Amarok and to get plenty of social media buzz going. It was also fun to create what we think is some kind of world record in the process”.
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