As recently reported in Advertising Age, Heineken USA’s sales fell nearly 11% in 2009. At the same time, Dos Equis, selling at a similar price point, had sales increases of about 20%. What’s different between the two brands?
For one, Heineken has had virtually television advertising for a long time (or if it has, it’s been completely unmemorable). On the other hand, since 2007 Dos Equis has been been consistently running one of the best advertising campaigns around, its “Most Interesting Man” campaign.
Yes, Dos Equis has expanded also its marketing to include billboards, print ads, a redesigned web site, and social media pages. (The Dos Equis Facebook fan page has a couple of hundred thousand fans; visitors to its http://dosequis.com web site stay an average of 7-1/2 minutes.) But how many people initially became aware of or interested in the “Most Interesting Man ni the World” from sources other then Television? Some, probably not most.
The lessons? First, television advertising still works, and works well. But as has always been the case, content is king. If the ad is ineffective, no amount of air time will make up for it, but if the ad is effective, television remains an incredible medium. Next, integrating social media naturally around an ad campaign can increase its effectiveness. That doesn’t mean just creating any old social media presence, and it doesn’t mean running a social media campaign independently of the rest of the marketing campaign. It means integrating everything together so that they are synergistic with each other.