The premise of it was simple and brilliant. Instead of spending their marketing budget on their own ads, they would build something akin to a sponsorship model where they would offer marketing dollars to their partners if those partners would feature Intel's brand and messaging in their own ads. Thus the "Intel Inside" program was born – which we all now recognize through the distinctive five note chime at the end of every laptop ad.
In the time since this launched, surprisingly few other brands have taken this strategy to heart. Recently, however, I saw an intriguing ad for a fast food chain, where alongside the photograph of the fictionally juicy burger, there was a small branded plug for Heinz ketchup. "Ketchup Inside," so to speak. Unless you happen to fit into the category of extreme ketchup lover, chances are you don't consider ketchup a food group to be eaten alone. Ketchup goes with food, and it goes perfectly with some foods. Who would eat fries or a burger without ketchup? Ketchup, like microchips, can be considered an ingredient brand.
Many of us tend to focus our marketing efforts solely on situations or messages where our brand is positioned as the hero. Sometimes the stronger marketing strategy may be to sell your product or service based on the things that it goes with. The legendary "Got Milk?" campaign realized this, and it led to some of their most popular ads like the guy with peanut butter stuck to his mouth or the one with the other kid with a face full of cookies and no milk. The core insight? Milk comes to life if you think about it with other foods.
Sometimes the best strategy you can have isn't to just promote what you're selling, but to focus on what your customers use it with instead.
Rohit is a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence group at Ogilvy, one of the largest agencies in the world. He is author of the best selling new marketing book Personality Not Included, a guide for small business on how to be more authentic, keep your customers and inspire your employees, which has been published globally in 8 languages.