Let’s face it. While we, as ordinary human beings, attempt to take on each day with the level of energy, grace, excitement and organization that textbooks and social media persuade us to adhere to, the reality is that most of us are delightfully normal and flawed despite our efforts to convince anyone otherwise—and that’s OK. And as normal and flawed human beings, we want to know that everyone else is going through the same day-to-day bullsh-t (oops). The truth is, we aren’t that great at embracing humility and sharing it with each other, so we love it when big brands do it for us.
It’s safe to say that a lot of consumers are the same, ordinary people that are begging advertisers to take down the front and bring authenticity to their promotional efforts. As a result, brands are channeling the imperfections that pair with our everyday lives and connecting with consumers on a personal level. In 2016, Organic Valley released a campaign fittingly titled Real Morning Report—using data from surveys about the morning routines of real women and creating a tongue-in-cheek response to advertisers that suggest women have flawless mornings.
Using a similar approach, Kraft Mac & Cheese recently launched a campaign that encourages moms to Swear Like a Mother—offering alternative swearing tips to moms just trying to keep their cool while enduring the tornadic chaos that can sometimes come with managing kids. The brand conducted a survey that revealed 74% of mothers have admitted to swearing in front of their children—leaving a swear-less 26% of mothers that the star of the commercial (mother, author and swearing expert, Melissa Mohr, Ph.D) deems as “full of s–t.” But what does Kraft Mac & Cheese have to do with swearing? While the campaign offers clever substitutes for swearing, the truth is, life doesn’t always go as planned. And when it doesn’t, there’s always Mac & Cheese to help smooth things over.
Why are campaigns like Real Morning Report and Swear Like a Mother so successful? Aside from the fact that both promotions are backed by research, it’s reassuring to see that brands like Organic Valley and Kraft recognize their consumers as delightfully regular people—because that’s what most of us are. These brands aren’t building idealistic personas that feel unattainable. It feels like they’re listening to us, and as a result, we begin to see a unique, one-on-one trust in these mega-brands. And as all brands, big and small, try to navigate relationships with their consumers, it’s important to rethink how they can truly connect on a personal level with their audience as marketing continues to become increasingly saturated. Our take away: how can agencies help brands embrace the true human experience with their marketing and use it to communicate across channels? How can we turn a brand into a good friend that just “gets you.”
Building a brand story that speaks directly to your consumers on a personal level is our bread and butter here at B&Y. Interested in amping up your brand’s message? Send us a note to get the conversation started!