The Magic of Marketing Mileage

Let’s talk about marketing mileage.

Imagine you are standing at a race track, running shoes on with the toe pressed against the white chalk line, eyes raised to the horizon, knees bent and soles grinding against the ground ready to launch.

You run.

As you cross the finish line you stop, lean your hands on your knees, elbows out, gasping for breath.  You check your time. Best yet.

Now you stand at the chalk line again. You want to do better. And there is the best version of yourself staring back at you, taunting you, daring you to try. You are racing against your best self, and you need to be better.

This is Nikes latest marketing achievement, and it’s a beauty.

Nikes “Unlimited Stadium” in Manila, Singapore is a perfect meeting of technology and marketing to create a consumer experience that will be talked about for years to come. Every other brand’s attempt at an interactive experience will go down in history as a copycat.

Nike have created a running track where continuous LED screens create an avatar that encourages runners to race against their digital self. It takes up an entire city block in central Manila.

I estimate this campaign will get 15 years of marketing mileage in educational institutes all over the world. When I was at university a couple of years ago we will still studying Nike and Adidas campaigns from 1998 and 2003. But what Nike got right this time, was the combination of technology and a brilliant marketing idea.

It also has massive impact in the centre of a world renowned major city. It has already travelled the world digitally. It has gained millions of dollars of free advertising dollars as newspapers, magazines, blogs and social media help it travel to major cities globally.

Even better still – it speaks to the core of bettering oneself. Just do it.

Such is the power of a great idea.

A good idea can out grow your marketing expenditure. Nike will have thousands of students, for years, studying this campaign. Everyone that walks past the “Nike” Block in Manila will remember it, even when it is long gone. Records will be broken there.

When a brand, a great idea and a brilliant campaign come together – you get marketing mileage. Much more bang for buck. Further reach at reduced cost.

Today technology can be used to enhance a great idea. In the case of the running track it was a great visual achievement. But this wasn’t the only technological achievement – Technology helped this campaign travel the world in a matter of days.

Such is the power of a great idea.

This was a bold move from Nike and the upfront expense would be enough to make anyone’s eyes water. But I estimate their return would be 10fold.

When a brand understands what drives their target market – who they are and what they stand for, they are able to connect in a way that is almost spiritual… “This is what I believe….” It isn’t an exchange of money from a product. It’s an exchange of value for the feeling of being understood. Finding the right fit.

Speaking to the “me” in an entire population.

What do your customers believe? And how are you speaking to the “me” in them?

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