Looking for the latest and greatest example of a buzz marketing campaign? Look no further than Droid’s “iDon’t” campaign:
If you watch the ad, one thing is conspicuous by its absence: the product. Droid is the new phone by Motorola for Verizon Wireless. Running the newest version of Google’s Android operating system, Droid promises an improved Web browser, free turn-by-turn navigation, a gorgeous screen, a slide-out keyboard and a super-fast processor.
Is any of that even mentioned in this, the first round of advertising for the product? No. In fact, all this ad aims to do is to differentiate it from the wildly popular iPhone. In other words, the lone objective for this campaign is to create “buzz” — buzz that something is coming, and that it’ll be game-changing.
Naturally, the modern-day water cooler, social media, is awash with this buzz. And that’s the whole idea. Buzz marketing has been around for a long time, but it’s taken on a whole new life since the advent of social media. In the, er…”olden” days, a buzz campaign was conceived to generate buzz in the traditional gathering places in which people congregated to chat, such as the office, cocktail parties, the local tavern, family gatherings. Today, people have those conversations online, in real time, and for all the world to witness and join in. This new communications paradigm is what makes buzz marketing so effective these days…and so measurable. This is key. If the goal is to generate buzz, now you can track your results with hard numbers, measuring reach, participation, authority…even sentiment. None of that was possible for the buzz campaigns of yesteryear.
It’s evident that Droid’s buzz campaign is working. People are talking, people are anticipating, and people (both individuals and the media) are taking notice, asking questions, and beginning to further the discussion by talking about…you know…the actual product. That’s a win for Verizon, Google and Motorola.
The real proof will be in the retail pudding, however. Will the product sell? Will it actually deliver against the hype? Will Droid actually make a dent in iPhone’s considerable market share? Time will tell. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a product hyped as the next big thing — Palm Pre, Blackberry Storm and others have come before it…all with varying degrees of success. Still, none have been unable to unseat the champion of the modern smart phone — yet.
I have no dog in that fight. But I’m a sucker for the campaigns and the creativity that go into a product launch such as this. The product will have to stand on its own, but as a case study in marketing, Droid (for now, at least) can claim mission accomplished. They haven’t won yet — Apple is still winning even in the category of buzz (see viral video viewership statistics from last week) — but they have at least gotten people talking. For the rest of the story, we’ll have to watch the holiday sales battle between Apple, Google, Palm and Blackberry…and leave them to their own devices, as it were.