Geeks have been identified as one of the biggest spenders globally. They’ve got plenty of disposable income, are incredibly brand loyal when hooked, and as creatures of the Internet, are excellent mouthpieces for your products if you hit all the right notes.
This has led companies to devise new strategies for engaging with a geek audience – strategies that we define as pop-culture marketing.
Such creative campaigns can run the gamut (we’re no strangers to such strategies ourselves), using imaginative ways to spread key marketing messages like animation, comics, cosplay, geeky displays and even memes.
Of course, such ideas aren’t something any advertising suit can come up with.
Case in point being Gumtree’s campaign depicting Cosplay Flyer Distributors that gave the local cosplay community a good laugh with its treatment and botched aesthetics. Also, a casual search on Gumtree will reveal that Cosplay Flyer Distributor is a job that pays abysmally (only $6 to $12 an hour). That’s nowhere near the market rate for costumed appearances (which is typically $30 or more per hour) that cosplayers are generally familiar with.
Of course, that’s not to say that companies can’t come up with great ideas and great campaigns.
In fact, we were tipped-off about one from Japan just last month called Hikkoshi More.
Hikkoshi More is a site for information on moving services, targeted at young professionals and new families (moving from town to town for school or work is fairly common in Japan). It includes tips for first-timers, articles about how to cope with and smooth over the process of moving to a new town, and even sections on feng shui and interior decor.
Helping to present this information in convenient, bite-sized bits is the page mascot Kuronishiki, a black cat, and his master Momoa (an aspiring artist). Their adventures are serialized in a series of Cat Diary strips, which serve as anecdotes for handy advice such as techniques for packing, lifting bulky items, and even making new cat friends in an unfamiliar place.
It’s impressive to see how a change in stylistics and treatment can turn an otherwise dry and boring topic like moving into something informative, without losing its essence.
While this campaign has found success in Japan because manga is so intrinsic to the country’s culture, the use of such techniques to sell a service or key marketing message might not be that much of a stretch for international brands either.
We’ll be examining more such examples in the weeks to come, so do check back with us.
Check out the Hikkoshi More site for yourself at http://more-hikkoshi.com.
If you have a lead on a site or campaign that’s a great example of pop-culture marketing, be sure to write us at info[at]neotokyoproject.com to let us know! We’ll be happy to take a look at it, and if it is a great fit for this column, we’d be happy to write about it!