BMF Conference: How to stand out and create OMG marketing moments

Published:  22 June, 2015

Marketer and author Geoff Ramm entertained delegates with an inspirational speech on how to create memorable customer service and ‘OMG’ marketing moments that help you stand out from the competition.

He began by explaining that he’d been interested in marketing from a young age, and that for him, the best marketing campaigns are the ones that do something different from every other brand. The Cadbury’s Milk Tray Man adverts ran from 1967 to 2000, for example, creating a James Bond-esque character that was different from any other chocolate company’s advertising at the time.

“You have to create OMG moments that will stop your customers in their tracks, whether they see it on television, on billboards or in YouTube videos,” he said. “OMG moments – observational marketing greats – will make people remember you, so if your campaigns aren’t being as successful as you’d hoped, then that means you’ve not found your OMG moment.”

Mr Ramm asked delegates if they saw opportunities to make their businesses stand out from the crowd, adding that often people are so focused, they don’t see the opportunities to do something a little different that are at the edge of their awareness.

One way to create OMG moments, he said, was to latch on to the momentum that has been created by other brands, even if those brands have no direct link to your own business.

He went on to give some examples of other brands who have done exactly that. Sainsbury’s, for example, which, when Fifty Shades of Grey was at the height of its popularity, put the book onto a merchandising stand alongside packs of batteries. A picture of that stand went viral, raising awareness and providing the supermarket with a great marketing opportunity.

B&Q, meanwhile, sent out a memo to its customers warning them to expect a rise in demand for certain products after the Fifty Shades of Gray film was released. This memo was leaked, and the story was covered in The Telegraph, MTV, the Guardian and many other news outlets. The company later admitted that the memo itself was a fake, but by then it didn’t matter – the business had received a huge amount of publicity, for a negligible cost.

“You have to see these opportunities for what they are,” said Mr Ramm. “Go direct to your customers, but go to them with something completely different that’ll be remembered. Otherwise you’ll just look the same as everyone else.”

Mr Ramm then told delegates the story of a small start up company offering ironing services. The owner had asked him for marketing advice after a 1,000 leaflet drop in her local area had failed to generate a single customer. Mr Ramm suggested posting through people’s letterboxes a crumpled piece of paper containing her contact details, with a slogan suggesting that her ironing service could help people ensure that their clothes don’t end up looking as crumpled as the piece of paper.

Although initially very sceptical, the owner took his advice and after dropping 100 leaflets, found eight new customers – an 8% success rate when the national average response rate for leaflets drops is just 0.5%.

Mr Ramm then told delegates the story of what he described as “the greatest piece of marketing of all time”, though it stemmed from another company’s PR disaster.

On Christmas Day 2011, a woman was asked to leave a branch of McDonalds in South Africa because she had taken her dog into the store. Despite explaining that she was blind and her dog was a guide dog, the staff refused to listen and she made to leave. Again, the story went viral and McDonalds had to deal with the resulting bad press.

Rival fast food chain Wimpy used the incident to inspire its own OMG moment, by creating a Braille menu for all its restaurants, to enable visually impaired customers to order from their own menu. It then took this marketing moment further by creating 15 burger buns, with sesame seeds on the top that spelled out, in Braille, on the bun itself, what was inside the burger. Fifteen burgers were then made using those buns, before being delivered to three institutions for the blind around South Africa.

According to the commercial that Wimpy created for its ‘Braille burgers’, social media then helped spread the reactions of those 15 people to over 800,000 other blind and visually impaired people.

“Create a marketing wall of what stands out from the crowd for you,” said Mr Ramm. “Find examples of other people’s advertising that worked as an OMG moment for you, and use that to inspire you when you create your next marketing campaign. Do something different and you will be remembered.”



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