As a marketer, I've always been a fan of simple, straight forward messaging. I have been pitched ideas from agencies that have run the gamut from flat out brilliance to so cryptic that I couldn't figure out what the product was. Whether it is my inherent pragmatism, or perhaps a small layer of risk aversion, I like smart marketing campaigns that drive home the message. It's the KISS mentality (Keep It Simple Stupid!).
At the end of the day, the goal of marketing is to drive sales. Awareness, brand recognition...yes, all good, but if you don't sell additional widgets, you haven't done your job.
Here's a great example of a convergent Southwest Airlines marketing campaign from Razorfish that delivered all of the goods: strong messaging, quirky and clever humour and (gasp!) measurable sales. It was an extension of a television campaign that ran first - the online campaign was designed to further educate travellers around Southwest's key differentiator in the market place: No Extra Fees.
In the first month of the micro site, Southwest booked over $2 million in sales. On the micro site. Directly attributed to the online marketing campaign. Not too shabby.
Here's what I love about this campaign:
1) Clear, simple messaging: Simple, clean design with lots of white space in all elements, including the micro site. Big font driving home the key message.
2) Great branding: Logos are visible but not overwhelming. Colours repurposed on the site to drive brand home
3) The online campaign doesn't exactly mimic the television creative: This is often a downfall of marketers who try to repurpose the TV creative and force fit it into the digital world. Razorfish nailed this by bringing the fun and humour across platforms, but gave the online a distinct look and feel.
It's not to say that more clever, obtuse marketing doesn't work. It certainly does, and has been proven time and time again. I'm just saying that sometimes smart marketing and advertising is powerful. Razorfish was awarded an IAC award for this campaign - well deserved.