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Ethical Marketing & Obligatory Super Bowl Post


WebAs it always does, the Super Bowl commercials created a buzz across social media platforms and marketing blogs alike.

The few that really stood out? The Dodge Ram “Farmer” ad and the Budweiser “Clydesdales” ad. (Disclaimer: I am not just saying those two because I happen to drive a Dodge and own a horse. I promise.)

These ads paid tribute to their customers, told important stories. A writer friend of mine posted her thoughts on the Dodge commercial and why it was so effective and I couldn’t have said it better if I tried and tried again:

That commercial brought tears to my eyes for the simple beauty of Paul Harvey’s writing and the evocative photos. By the end of the commercial, I was dying to know which company put together the commercial! Anyone else? When I saw that subtle reference to the brand at the very end, I got the warm fuzzies for Dodge Ram, and I’ve never driven a pick-up truck in my life (suburban California girl – sorry, folks.)

What did Dodge NOT do?
1) They didn’t say “BUY OUR TRUCKS!” “Super-low prices! Today only!” “Our trucks are better than the other guys’ trucks!”
2) They didn’t pound us over the head with 50 tweets a day telling us all about their wonderful trucks. Nope – one single excellent commercial.

What did Dodge do right?
1) Quality – beautiful writing and photography.
2) They showed gratitude for their customers. They gave a moving tribute to the core of their customer base – farmers.
3) Subtlety
4) Class
5) Respect for the viewer – the purpose was to provide someone of value to benefit all who saw it.
6) Word of mouth – by doing something positive and beautiful, they gained a whole lot of chatter. We’re talking about it here, aren’t we?

While we’re selling books {or no matter what you’re selling – NM}, not trucks, and we can’t afford Super Bowl commercials, there are valuable lessons on marketing for all of us.

This, my friends, is what ethical marketing can look like.

Sarah Sundin

Remember that marketing is not one size fits all. Dig deep to understand the heart of your customer and the history and purpose of your company. That will resonate with people. That will take your marketing to the next level.