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Saturday, February 18, 2012

10 Lessons in Brilliant Marketing BY JENNIFER WANG | January 25, 2012 |


During the height of her popularity, Paris Hilton once fired this retort at critics: "It will work. I am a marketing genius." Sadly, those of us who aren't as blessed must face the fact that creating a campaign that captures millions of eyeballs and produces millions in sales is about as likely as Hilton's big Hollywood comeback.
Still, each year there are marketing initiatives that hit on that winning combination of great idea, perfect timing and flawless execution. From viral campaigns to, well, virus campaigns, we've picked 10 marketing marvels of 2011, pulling out a few lessons to help you create brilliance. You're welcome--now the rest is up to you.
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1. The Contagion Bacteria Billboard

1. The Contagion Bacteria Billboard
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Warner Bros. Canada, Curb Media and ad agency Lowe Roche took their promotion ofContagion, Steven Soderbergh's film about a mysterious airborne virus, to new heights of literalness. They hired a group of microbiologists and immunologists to inoculate a billboard with penicillin, mold and pigmented bacteria that grew (thanks to light and temperature controls) to spell out the name of the movie, and set it up in an abandoned storefront window in Toronto. Some passers-by were squicked, but the campaign got a ton of press, won media awards and served as inspiration to industry peers like John Laramie, the CEO of New York City-based Adstruc, a startup with a tech platform for outdoor advertising. "Pretty cool," he says. "It was probably one of those crazy ideas somebody just came up with, but planned and executed perfectly."
Lesson: Go guerrilla.
Things can go viral if you break the mold, so to speak, of a traditional campaign. Ryan Lum, creator of the blog Creative Guerilla Marketing, says the virus billboard is a great example of guerilla marketing done right. "It makes people on the street who see it wonder, and raises questions about what it's trying to promote," he says.

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