I recently downloaded an audiobook on iTunes titled “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Not only is the message fascinating, but the narrator reminds me of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” character from those Dos Equis commercials.
By introducing various case studies, the authors explain how “sticky” ideas and concepts are the key to learning and retaining new information. For example, they discuss the famous public service announcement “Loose Lips Sink Ships” that was developed by The Ad Council during World War II. (For us Disney fans, the authors also incorporated two separate Disney-related case studies!)
I recently saw a prime example of a “sticky” idea (pun intended) when my daughter came home from her class at The Little Gym last week. When she came into my home office, she was excited to show me a sheet of stickers that she got from her instructor that day.
At first glance, I noticed that the stickers had characters from the “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” show on the Disney Junior channel. Upon closer inspection, I saw that they were promoting the special episode where Peter Pan was to return to Never Land on February 13th. The sheet came with sixteen stickers themed to the “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” show, plus one sticker with the Disney Junior logo.
Personally, I think this was a brilliant marketing campaign by Disney. My daughter came home from class and immediately wanted to show me the stickers so we could color and play with them. I saw the mention of Peter Pan returning to Never Land and I was sure to set my DVR to record the episode.
I would argue that the authors of “Made to Stick” would also applaud Disney on this marketing campaign. They turned what could have been a boring flyer into something tangible and interactive that kids could play with.
When I get flyers, I typically toss them in the trash. If I got a flyer like this, I would be remiss to throw it in the trash because my daughter loves to play with stickers!
Think Outside the Box of Flyers
What can we learn from Disney’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” ad campaign? How can we use that lesson in our own careers? Here are a few examples that random business could implement that share the spirit of Disney’s sticker sheets:
1) Wine Shop: Give out wine journals imprinted with your logo and contact information. That’s way cooler than a catalog dropped in each customer’s shopping bag.
2) Martial Arts Studio: Get a large stamp made with your logo and contact information to imprint on full-size karate boards. That’s way cooler than a business card.
3) Landscaping Company: Give out seed packets imprinted with your logo and contact information. That’s way cooler than a flyer.
4) Contractor: Give out two-sided screwdrivers (with a phillips blade on one end and a regular blade one the other) imprinted with your logo and contact information. That’s way cooler than an ad in the phone book.
5) Gym: Give every member a nice duffle bag with your logo and contact information stitched into the bag. That’s way cooler than an ad you run in the paper on New Year’s Day.
6) Music Store: Give out cleaning cloths imprinted with your logo and contact information. That’s way cooler than going to the community bulletin board at your local grocery store and tacking a sheet of paper with tear-off strips on the bottom.
7) Accountants (Serving Small Businesses and Individuals): Give your clients a nice folder or document case imprinted with your logo and contact information. That’s way cooler than a ballpoint pen.
Disney hit it out of the park (I’m referring to a ball park, not a theme park!) with their “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” sticker promotion. Think of creative ways to reach out to your client base with interactive and useful giveaways that are congruent with your business.
(P.S. – The Peter Pan episode that was promoted on those stickers set a new record for total viewers of the “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” show. Could it be from the “sticky” ideas they used to advertise that episode?)