Applying marketing to social issues always raises eyebrows and gets people talking – yet another advantage of striking chords that are still capable of surprising the customer/citizen. Here are two examples that recently made headlines in Europe:
- The Danish travel agency Spies is selling city holidays with a campaign called “Do it for Denmark”. Market research has shown that Denmark’s birthrate is very low and falling, and that Danes have 46% more sex while on holiday. The resulting advertising campaign appeals to patriotism by encouraging Danes to take a libido-boosting getaway. The special offer: Couples who can prove that they conceived during the trip receive a three-year supply of baby essentials. The result: “Do it for Denmark” now has more than a million Google hits and the campaign’s YouTube video has been viewed more than 7 million times. Likes and dislikes: Some blogs are sensibly debating why the Danish protagonist of the video is not wearing a wedding ring.
- Six recent political science graduates from Pompeu Fabra University have created a website called Sexy Europe that aims to “get new generations interested in Europe’s promising political future”. The founders believe that information about Europe is lacking in the media. They went to fill this gap specific values tailored to young people: a particular communication code, an “EU for Dummies” section, and opinion pieces.
How should we measure the success of these marketing campaigns? Pregnancies? Votes? YouTube views? The percentage of Danes conceived abroad already stands at 10%, and early forecasts indicate that only 28% of young Spaniards will vote in the upcoming European election. Perhaps we shouldn’t call this social marketing, but rather private companies capturing attention, awareness and differentiation using social values.