March’s juiciest marketing tidbits, served up fresh with a side of hotcakes - SizzleForce, Inc.

March’s juiciest marketing tidbits, served up fresh with a side of hotcakes

Welcome to the Marketing Minute, a carefully curated rundown of our favorite things sizzle-worthy in marketing news. 

In this edition: 

  • Clueless Marketing? As If!
  • Ok, but who are these FOR?
  • TikTok is the new The Washington Post
  • From “Blink-and-You’ll-Miss-It” to “Can’t-Miss-This”

Clueless Marketing? As If!

If you’re new to the SizzleForce Marketing Minute, we love a good marketing campaign, especially when you sprinkle a bit of nostalgia in. 

Rakuten’s Super Bowl commercial with Alicia Silverstone and Elisa Donovan reprising their roles as frenemies Cher and Amber in Clueless was, hands-down, one of the most memorable ad campaigns of the night.

Why? It’s all in the details.

Rakuten teamed up with designer Christian Siriano to recreate Cher’s iconic yellow plaid outfit. Other notable ensembles featured 2023 versions that still paid homage to the original designs.

The commercial also featured memorable scenes from the film, including Cher demonstrating her disastrous driving skills. And they also included an updated version of the scene where a window display catches Cher’s eye as she’s walking past. Although, in this version, rather than an outfit, it’s eye cream with Cher cheekily saying, “not that I need it.”

Of course, we can’t forget about Cher’s incredible revolving closet. It too makes an appearance in the commercial. 

Plus, we could totally believe Cher would utilize Rakuten on her shopping trips, and the actress who played her, Alicia Silverstone, agrees in a comment published on Rakuten’s blog.

“I think most of us would agree that Cher is one of film history’s most iconic shoppers, so when Rakuten approached me to reprise the role for their Super Bowl spot, I thought it was a great idea,” said Silverstone. “Cher was always figuring out how to get what she wanted in the most clever ways, so I think Rakuten would really appeal to her – getting cash back for doing her favorite activity.”

Our Takeaway: If you can make a meaningful connection with your brand and an iconic character or film, it can be a home run, especially if it’s done right. If you are referencing a major piece of pop culture, make sure you are paying attention to the details, and don’t be afraid to make subtle updates that pay homage to your reference, yet are still relevant to your target audience.

Musical Commercials- Who Asked For These?

There are a lot of ways to incorporate music into your advertising. Jingles are a great way to get brand names into people’s heads. Then there’s incorporating a popular or famous song into your commercial. And then…there are musicals.

Don’t get us wrong, we’ve got several people on the team who love musicals! But with not one but THREE musical commercials playing ad-nauseum recently, we’re starting to change our tune on musicals.

Let’s start with the always funny and cute Melissa McCarthy’s appearance in this commercial.

The shortened cuts of this number are high-energy and repetitive. After the 9th time of hearing this commercial, some of our members thought they may never google hotel pricing or airfare again. The worst part? Despite having seen this commercial 30 times, we couldn’t remember that it was for Not a successful strategy.

This isn’t the only example of this new trend either. As great as John Cena’s dance moves are, remembering that this commercial was advertising Experian and what the dance moves had to do with Experian proved impossible. This commercial played at least 3 times a day in the home of the person on our team who brought it to our attention.

Finally, we have one last example of a musical commercial that isn’t going away. But funnily enough, we remembered what this one was advertising. T-Mobile’s ad featuring John Travolta plays the nostalgia card we’ve spoken so much about in the past. Maybe that’s why (despite our mixed feelings about seeing Zach Braff, John Travolta and Donald Faison girating next to a white picket fence), this one actually made an impact.

Our Takeaway: Music is a powerful tool. It can inspire feelings of nostalgia and happiness, but it can also cause your potential customers to groan and desperately cry “skip it, skip it!” as the commercial begins to play.  If you’re creating original video content to bring attention to your brand, be very careful about not alienating your audience and ensuring that the message remains clear. Producing a fully-fledged musical number that just annoys your audience and doesn’t tell them anything about your product is not the way.

TikTok Is The New The Washington Post

Ahhh, there is nothing like waking up to your morning coffee and opening up your newspaper to read the headlines…

Unless you are a Gen Z-er. It seems that this generation (that has wantonly forged ahead with tossing out their skinny jeans, side parts, and junk food in exchange for mom jeans, middle parts, and plant-based products) has tossed aside the traditional news even beyond that of the mass migration to online news sites. Where do they go to get their news? TikTok. 

That’s right. Not Twitter,not Instagram, not Facebook. TIKTOK. 

This shift in news consumption behavior among Gen Z-ers is not surprising, considering that TikTok is a social media platform that is known for its short-form video content. In fact, many TikTok users have started creating and sharing informative videos about current events and news stories. The videos are often presented in a creative and engaging way that appeals to younger audiences.

Our Takeaway: This shift towards TikTok as a news source among Gen Z-ers highlights the importance of adapting to changing consumer behavior and finding new ways to reach younger audiences. 

However, it’s worth noting that simply jumping on the latest trend or platform isn’t enough – brands must be thoughtful in their approach and consider how their messaging will be received. This means taking the time to understand the unique qualities and expectations of the audience, and crafting content that truly resonates with them. By doing so, businesses can stay relevant and continue to engage with consumers in meaningful ways.

Fluffy Pancakes Ahead

Sometimes the best marketing is the simple marketing–as this little gem that our CEO, Stephanie Nivinskus, discovered on a recent walk through a residential neighborhood.

The sign beckoned her like the call of a siren, promising that at the end of the walk something truly delightful awaited her: fluffy pancakes. Although she hadn’t been thinking about pancakes before seeing the sign, suddenly the idea sounded incredibly appealing.

Our Takeaway: While billboards and other large-scale advertising methods certainly have their place, there is something to be said for the effectiveness of more subtle, targeted marketing.

For businesses that rely on foot traffic, like cafes or shops, these types of signs can be an incredibly valuable tool. By placing them strategically in areas where people are likely to pass by, you can increase your visibility and draw in potential customers who might not have otherwise noticed you.

In addition to being cost-effective, small signs like these have the added benefit of being highly targeted. They are likely to be seen primarily by people who live or work in the surrounding area, making them an ideal way to reach out to your local community and build a loyal customer base.

SMS Marketing Done Right (And Also Very, Very Wrong)

These days it seems like there’s a dating app for just about everyone – from ChristianMingle and JDate for singles who want to find someone with similar spiritual beliefs, to MouseMingle (for Disney lovers) and Veggly (for vegans and vegetarians)… and literally everything in between.

One of our team members learned about a new dating app recently when she got a text that she’s confident was not meant for her.

We’re still not sure how the people at The Right Stuff got her number, much less why they think she’s a conservative single man, but we did all get a good laugh out of it!

Our Takeaway: Segment, segment, segment. If you are not ensuring that every marketing message you send is actually relevant to the person receiving that message, you are leaving money on the table. And bad segmenting aside, we do think The Right Stuff got one thing right – the CTA at the end of the text is one of the best we’ve seen in a while!

Have these marketing campaigns inspired you to ramp up your own marketing game? If you need help figuring out where to start or where to put your energy when it comes to marketing, this free quiz can help. 

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