[Authored by Jonathan Hutzel, MBA Candidate] A trend in marketing plans is leaning toward more unconventional angles on marketing new products. Take Jack Links Jerky for instance. The Messin’ with Sasquatch” spots are some great commercials in my opinion. Those commercials have some really funny stuff, but these commercials have never even tempted me to go buy Jack Link’s Jerky. Honestly, outside of the fact that there is a tag line at the end, I’d be hard pressed to find a product endorsement in the ad at all.
Beyond the actual lack of a firm product pitch, is there any correlation with what they are trying to actually market? Not really. And I’m okay with that, but I don’t know if the executives of Jack Link’s are okay with that. Do you think they are concerned more with my entertainment or selling more products?
Maybe I’m missing their point. Even as a “non-jerky-eater” I know what Jack Link’s sells, and I remember the commercials really well. Maybe they realize that it’s not something that they can hard sell to someone who doesn’t like it or want it. Is jerky an impulse item? And is the company’s main strategy to get brand recognition out there? It looks like they aren’t actually touting product or price superiority; at best it’s a side issue (or more likely not an issue at all). Seems like an interesting strategy.
Jack Links is by no means alone in this approach. The Geico Caveman is another example of this strategy in action. Regardless, I feel like I need to reiterate that I love these types of commercials. These spots and the ones I look forward to seeing and can remember the best, and I could even talk and joke with others about. The entertainment value of these spots gives them the ability to turn consumers into brand promoters.
If I were to create a new marketing campaign for any product, my first impulse would be to find a way to directly link my product to a consumer need and directly address those needs with benefits. Maybe I wouldn’t make it in the jerky business. The thing that gets me with these ads is the lack of some of the “textbook marketing concepts” we learn about. There is no traditional need met, nor a product advantage, just entertainment. Regardless, it certainly does create a brand, but is it a “hollow” brand? Does simple saturation do the trick? A great commercial won’t convince everybody to buy in for sure, but does it convince anybody? Hard to tell. I for one hope so. I want to see this type of marketing continue (but, not going to the point where I’m eating jerky and changing insurance companies…)
Jonathan Hutzel, MBA Candidate