Creative ways to generate buzz

From the desk of Vice President of Client Services Lacey Taylor 

Confession: I’m not a traditional New Year’s Resolutions person. Goal-oriented? Yes. Ambitious? A resounding yes. However,  many people rush too quickly out of the much-needed holiday hibernation, both in their personal lives and in the marketing world.  

So fast, that by the time January ends, they’re exhausted, frustrated, and defeated from unachieved or abandoned goals. It’s not sustainable, and it’s best to ease into the new year.  Let the world and your agency business present opportunities before hitting the ground running.  

Plus, I don’t want to be like everyone else, and you shouldn’t either. Think about new ways to create buzz with your branding and marketing. Here are a few ways to start the year off with a spark. 

Start with a bold and purposeful mindset 

It’s easy to come up with a list of tried-and-true tactics from press releases to social media content. And while those still ring true for your integrated marketing plan, we challenge you to start with a “bold and purposeful” mindset. Here’s a list of a prompts to get you started:  

  • What is the boldest thing we can do?  
  • What can we do that on one else has done? 
  • What would be unexpected? 

It seems simple, but so many of us rush into tactics and logistics, skipping the most fun part – thinking bold! 

This past December, a giant Pop-Tart named “Strawberry” showed up at a college football bowl game. While most people won’t remember which teams played in the game, the world is still talking about the “first-ever edible mascot.” At the end of the game, it was happily lowered into a toaster,  ready for the players to eat after their win.  

Imagine being in the room when someone suggested creating a giant, edible Pop-Tart mascot during a football game. Surely, some thought it might be ridiculous, unbelievable or a waste of resources. When in fact, it turned out to be a creative way to generate buzz. While Pop-Tarts and football have been around for decades, it was a bold and purposeful move to generate buzz. I kid you not, I was in the grocery store the next week, and the Pop-Tart shelves were noticeably empty. 

Starting with a bold and purposeful mindset encourages ambitious thinking. It’s important to think big before diving right into marketing tactics. Brainstorm ways you could reach your target market, without defaulting to reasons why it wouldn’t work, like money or resources.  

At Resolute, our team thinks through all possible marketing tactics and creative opportunities. Does our client want to make a splash with bold creative, community partnership or a fun contest? Perhaps, there’s an opportunity for a longterm art installation or funny content posted across social media platforms. 

Reimagine a standard communications tactic 

Both the tech and restaurant industries are growing rapidly here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this point, agencies like Resolute can plan and execute traditional ribbon cuttings in our sleep. Why not do something different, something no one else has done? Instead of the standard ribbon and Shrek-sized scissors, consider a ceremonial action that aligns with your brand identity, services or mission.  

This year, instead of a traditional billboard, hire a local artist to create a branded mural on your building or  unused space. Local muralists can design artwork that creates buzz for your business, driving social media engagement and word of mouth advertising. Communities value public, accessible art like murals. This type of marketing campaign and brand messaging can become part of your city’s identity.  

Embrace your not-so loyal customers 

We can already hear you gasping, “why would we do that?!” Well, several of the national parks are embracing their low reviews, which have attracted new followers and generated buzz beyond their target audiences. These types of marketing efforts result in increased brand awareness and engagement. 

A few hilarious yet effective examples:  

Zion National Park created an Instagram reel with their park rangers reading 1-star reviews while walking through the park, generating over 16,000 likes compared to their average of 3,000 per post. 

New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Amber Share created a collectible book of artistic posters designed after bad park reviews. Her popular Instagram @subparparks is a great example of transforming bad reviews into artwork.

In addition to your digital team’s happiness about increased engagement, this approach allows a brand to be humorous and relatable. Creative messaging opportunities like these help to educate, inform and  quiet the naysayers. 

None of these creatively buzzy ideas are necessarily new to the marketing world. But all three have a common approach: think big, think bold and think differently.  

Notice I didn’t mention budget, team resource allocation or timeline once in that list. Both agencies and marketing teams are masters of logistics, details and execution. But, those details can be figured out later. First, start with a bold and purposeful mindset. Then,  think of unexpected ideas to marketing your product or service. Finally, from that momentum, create your plan.  

Many people make New Year’s resolutions to do less of something. Whether it’s cutting back on drinking or spending money, or restricting yourself with less sugar or takeout.  

Don’t get me wrong, I support health and wellness goals and whatever makes you feel happier! My point is, approach your new year and marketing goals differently. Don’t restrict your teams, clients, or your own talent from creating new ways to generate buzz.