Fall is well on its way, and many smart brands are using the changing of the seasons as a way to market their products. Tall boots, chunky scarves, and pumpkin spice lattes, anyone? Today, fellow Pivoteer Sarah and I take a look at what subconscious forces draw consumers to seasonal marketing, and who does it best.
MM: There’s just something about the seasons that make us want to buy specific products or participate in specific activities. Each new season represents a new beginning that we have to be prepared for, whether it’s through what we wear, the food we eat or the shows we watch. It’s a feeling of anticipating a shared experience, and having certain things helps make us feel a part of it.
SG: Yeah, we were talking about this in the context of the legendary Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s really not that good, let’s be honest, but for so many consumers, it functions as the harbinger of autumn. That’s what people get excited about—the season that the drink represents, not just the drink itself.
MM: That’s true! We often do these things without thinking about them. It’s like a ritual. I may not be a huge sports fanatic, but every fall I seem to find myself watching football with friends while enjoying a beer (or two), snacking on buffalo chicken dip, and cheering on Purdue or the Colts.
SG: Like the BudLight commercials that are running right now—sports fans engage in all kinds of rituals, and BudLight wants to be one of them. Rituals aren’t necessarily “logical steps” that we take; we put on our lucky socks because, one time, we were wearing them, and our team won. Similarly, a powerful brand relationship is built by a simple handful of positive experiences and associations. Eventually, we don’t even remember why we gravitate toward a certain product. The marketing brains over there are running a very smart play.
MM: Another campaign that emphasizes on the rituals of the season is the ALDO fall campaign. Right now, they’re channeling a “first day of the new fall semester” vibe and bringing an optimistic, youthful feel to their fall campaign. Motion and hand-sketched graphics give you a sense of the energetic rush you might feel while wearing your new boots and handbag to class on a brisk, fall day.
SG: Seasonal marketing definitely has a powerful hold on consumers’ purchases and subconscious. Everyone wants something new to look forward to, and seasons always afford that opportunity. Fall, especially, is a season for homecomings and comfort, which are irresistible to just about everyone. Now excuse me while I go jump on some crunchy leaves!
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