How Redbull took London's streets by storm.
Hey there 👋 - Abhi here!
Happy Thursday to the 2,536 marketers reading this newsletter.
In today's edition, we will break down the Mere-Exposure Effect with an example from Redbull and how you can leverage the same tactics in your work.
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The Mere-Exposure Effect
Discovered in 1993, the mere exposure effect was a marketing breakthrough.
It meant that more exposure to a brand's name, or work, positively influences consumers' perceptions.
Is the key to increased consumer preference familiarity with your product?
Sounds too good to be true!
Enter the mere exposure effect...
Now, all we got to do is get our brand out there, and we'll sell like hot cakes.
While I wish that were true, it's not that easy...
You still got to show up in a way that helps you stand out, and Redbull nailed it. So, let's not waste time and learn a trick or two from the best in the business.
The Redbull Example
Regardless, today, Redbull is the world's highest-ranked energy drink company in terms of brand value and revenue.
How did they make it happen? Well, it all started on the streets of London...
Over a couple of months, the team placed empty Redbull cans in:
night clubs all across the city
But why? To create an illusion of popularity and leverage the mere exposure effect - hoping more eyes on the cans led to more sales.
And it did! The plan worked like a charm.
Sales skyrocketed, and Redbull became London's go-to preference for energy drinks.
Why exactly did it work? Three dead-simple reasons:
Bandwagon effect - empty Redbulls scattered across London created the perception that everyone was having it. And it's only human nature to jump on that bandwagon.
92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations over any other type of advertising. And this was as organic as an inorganic campaign can get.
Perceptual fluency - humans are more comfortable with what's familiar. And they find it easier to interpret things the second time around.
Today, we see several industry leaders leverage the mere-exposure effect:
→ Apple with this iTunes ad.
Coldplay's famous pop song in the background increased attention, emotion, and memory by 20%.
→ Morning Brew with its referral program.
With more than 4 million subscribers, this business newsletter has attained 30% of its readers from its merch-based referral program. It's a great way to get your users to share your work - I can't name the number of times my friends have asked me about that sticker on my laptop!
But that's enough about these mainstream brands. What about you?
3 Tactics For You
1. Leverage the stereotypes
Whether it's a popular song or a preferred format - based on today's piece - we know that people crave what's familiar.
So stick to it:
add a mainstream pop song in the background
leverage color psychology (a beginner's guide)
Warning: You'll notice a certain downtick in the graph at the top. It shows that too much familiarity is not good, so don't forget to experiment now and then.
2. Associate with what's familiar
For instance, Coca-Cola associates its brand with special and familiar family moments in this popular advertisement.
This is a great way to leverage the mere exposure effect if you can't do it directly with your brand. Pair your product with a familiar aspect of your customers' lives - families, pets, or sports.
3. Engineer social proof
That's exactly what Redbull did, costing them a whopping $0.
For you, this could mean a lot of things:
Share as many freebies as you can with relevant influencers
Brand everything - add a subtle, intriguing logo to all your work that'll leave others asking about it
Or you could go the Redbull route and spam the streets with your product - but please don't litter!
What you missed last week: 1 word worth 10% of your sales
That's all for this Thursday. 1 marketing breakdown & 3 tactics to get you started.
If you're not finding it valuable, please consider unsubscribing - no hard feelings!
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See you again next week,
Abhishek "Redbull gave me wings" Shah.
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