2020’s Creative Campaigns #15 – Delete Your Competition

It’s been a while since I wrote a ‘creative campaigns’ blog, and trust me I have tonnes to catch up on. I had to bring it back though, with one of most brilliantly unapologetic stunts that I’ve seen not just this year, but ever.

One way to beat your competitors? Force your customers to completely disassociate from them.

If it sounds like the perfect solution to a highly competitive industry, then that’s because it is. Unfortunately for most, this kind if move is near impossible to pull off. And even if you do have a way to steal consumers from your competition, you’d have to be bloody bold to do so.

Make Way For The Little Guys

One of the best things about having a small business, is that your company can afford to take more risks. Being widely known isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, because it means that everything you do is subject to harsh scrutiny.

I don’t just like to champion the big brands on this blog, if I see a small business doing something spectacular, then you can bet I’m going to talk about it too.

FoodHub, a national food delivery service, recently made headlines for a brave and brilliant billboard campaign. Creating a website aptly named ‘just-delete‘, they asked customers to remove all other competitors from their phones, in order to get a £10 voucher. This was offered to the first 1000 individuals to do so, so not including ad creative and billboard costs, this is a typical mid-sized marketing stunt that would have set the brand back around £10,000.

Seems a small price to pay, though, to steal at least 1000 customers away from your biggest competitors. Not to mention, all the press coverage accumulated.

They even put some influencer marketing budget behind the idea.

Do Cheeky Communications Work?

The talk-ability of this campaign is impressive, it’s just the right level of cheeky without being distasteful. It’s bold, brass and promotes the business in a nutshell. All the while competing against some of the industry’s biggest players, and putting FoodHub on the map., I’d never heard of this business until recently, I do now. And that just sums up the power of these kinds of PR stunts – it’s all about visibility in business.

This campaign is not the first of its kind. It reminds me of the time that Burger King offered customers a free Whopper, if they drove to their nearest McDonalds restaurant, and then drove away. In fact, this brand has long been at the throat of its biggest competitor, and whilst McDonalds will always trump them with a bigger reputation, when you think of Burger King you do have to appreciate the fun and brazen brand image that they’ve worked to build.

I can imagine FoodHub have taken inspiration from them at some point, and ultimately, it’s done them well.

I’m always a big advocate for being daring with your marketing, the biggest rewards are from taking the biggest risks – and ultimately, if you want to stand of you’re going to need to take the steps to do that. Not every brand will be as bold and brash as the likes of FoodHub and Burger King, but the actions they take, clearly work well for them.

Just before we went into lockdown, I wrote about a cinema advertisement I’d seen by City to Sea and I asked the question: does it pay to get naughty with your comms? Ultimately, the answer is yes, so long as your message is on brand, you can really generate attention by being a little ‘out there’ and by not sticking to the status quo. On the other hand, however, you do need to keep your marketing on brand, and effing and jeffing and tearing down competitors simply won’t work for every business.

The Proof’s In The Pudding

As with any campaign, you can’t judge success on one merit alone. But for all intents and purposes, I thought I’d take a quick look at FoodHub’s brand interest in the most simple way I know how: Google searches.

If their ‘just delete’ campaign was a success, then surely searches for the brand will not just have increased, but sustained? I’ll let the graphs answer that question.

Searches for ‘FoodHub’ over the past few years

Though not the most classy, I have to say that this quirky and shameless attitude can, and clearly does, work. It ticks all the boxes for media coverage, and it also pulls the consumers straight from your competitors grasp. Who said you need tact when it comes to marketing?

I’m sure if most businesses could delete their competition, they would.

Let me know your thoughts, as always, in the comments below or on Twitter.

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