How effective could your marketing message be if you managed to relate it to an observation like those on Seinfeld? There was a perfect example I saw on television last week for an unlikely brand. The ad featured a guy in a red, white and blue sweatsuit sniffing various objects happily. It starts with obscure things like carpets and curtains – and eventually you get the sense that he’s on a cruise ship when he looks over the side and sniffs the uniform of the Captain. At the very end, he utters just one line – “mmmm … new ship smell.” And you see the logo of Carnival Cruise Lines.
How many other cruise lines could have run the same ad? Probably any one. Most of them have some new ships. But this ad delivers a powerful message based on a truth that we all intuitively know (that new car smell we knew once). The brand message: we have ships so new they still smell new. And if you’re going cruising, of course you want a new ship.
You can see the full ad below. After you watch it, think about what central truth your customers all know that you could focus your marketing on. Sometimes you might find your best marketing idea inspired by a show about nothing.
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.