Adding Surprise to Your Marketing

Marketing Surprise

The other day I posted a blog about making your marketing message evoke emotion in the audience. I’m going to focus on another great tactic for evoking emotion; surprise.
Today’s marketing landscape is extremely crowded. And competition is not slowing down. To get the attention you want, you need to have more than just a clever idea. You want a message that is impossible to ignore. Like a surprise!
I like this tactic because it goes perfectly with guerrilla marketing. It doesn’t take a lot of money, just time, energy and imagination. A surprise marketing tactic can range from a captivating commercial, to a simple “something extra” that surprises your customer. Surprise can make quite an impact, which is exactly what you want. Here are some examples:

  • An advertising agency kept representatives of British Rail waiting for over an hour in a dingy waiting room. As the reps were about to leave in disgust, the ad people stormed in and said, “You’ve just experienced what British Rail customers experience every day.” The agency won the contract, and the stunt was described as “one of the biggest pitch gambles.”
  • People get their cars valeted at a hotel, and when they leave they are greeted by a nice little surprise, like chocolate or candy, sitting on their dashboard.
  • Crates of eggs bearing a particular airlines logo on a baggage carousel to demonstrate how carefully the airline handles luggage.

None of these surprise tactics cost very much, but they have major impact.

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