DMS Marketing Madness – Round 1: Toyota vs. Tide vs. KFC vs. Absolut

March 1, 2018 Kathy Bryan

It’s March… that means it’s time for March Madness, Hoops Madness and Marketing Madness. Yup, it’s a month of competition.

March Madness: A multi-week event in which 68 NCAA Division I basketball teams compete in six rounds of playoffs to determine the national champion. This year, Selection Sunday is on March 11 and the games begin two days later.

Can’t wait? Neither can we. That’s why we’re pumped, Hoops Madness starts next week…

BasketballHoops Madness: This year at LeadsCon, Digital Media Solutions, LLC (DMS) is taking the competition up a notch by powering Hoops Madness. At this premier Las Vegas conference, LeadsCon attendees have the chance to test their free throw skills. Every player is a guaranteed winner, with cash prizes going to high scorers. The winner of our final four contest will be handed $1000 on the spot.

Hoops Madness promises to be packed with excitement and competition, but we know not everyone can get to LeadsCon. That’s why we’re launching DMS Marketing Madness…

Marketing Madness: As Team DMS works to advance the world of customer acquisition and retention, we are challenging ourselves to help marketers elevate their performance. To help our readers reimagine the win, we regularly notice and remark on innovative marketing strategies within DMS Insights. Each week of March, we will highlight four innovative campaigns and ask you to vote for your favorite. The winner each week will move on to the DMS Marketing Madness Final Four, announced on March 30. The winner of the final four will be crowned DMS Marketing Madness Champion the following week.


Marketing Madness ― Round 1

Round 1 of DMS Marketing Madness is complete with Tide voted as the winning campaign. Click here to go to Round 2 of DMS Marketing Madness. Read below to learn about the Round 1 campaigns.

Toyota ― Proving Print Can Still Be Innovative

Toyota Camry Ad with New Car Smell

Appearing in the March issue of InStyle, Toyota teamed up with Saatchi & Saatchi and Structural Graphics to create an interactive, multi-dimensional insert. Opened with door handle sensor tabs (that are also heart rate monitors), the insert displays a Camry dashboard while featuring the reader’s heartbeat and a new car smell. You can see how it works here.


Tide ― Making You Question Every Ad You See

Winner of the Super Clio, for the best ad in Super Bowl LII, Tide has inserted their brand – along with David Harbour (famous for playing Jim Hopper in Stranger Things) – into scenes normally used to promote other product types. During the Super Bowl, Tide ran an extended-length launch commercial in the first quarter followed by a short commercial during each quarter of the game. Every spot seemed to be a classic Super Bowl ad before switching directions to feature the punch line: a bottle of Tide. But don’t assume this is all a joke. This campaign allowed Tide to highlight its cleaning power and its market dominance.

(This commercial is no longer available for viewing on YouTube.)

KFC ― Owning A Mistake KFC's FCK Apology Ad

When you run out of the top product you sell and the internet is mocking you, you have two choices:

  1. Lock the doors and hide
  2. Own it

KFC decided to own it with their apology letter, appearing as a full-page ad in two newspapers, after the majority of their UK-based stores were forced to close due to delivery issues that resulted in a lack of chicken. The ad, featuring an empty bucket with the letters FCK printed across it, garnered sympathy across their base and broader.


Absolut ― Showing It All Absolut bottle of vodka and glass

Promoting themselves as “the vodka with nothing to hide,” Absolut’s Swedish-based staff bared all in their most recent buzz-worthy campaign. Emphasizing their clean distillation process and sustainable philosophy, the Absolut video features nude employees in a variety of production-related settings. The short film is available for viewing at thedrinksbuisiness.com. (Note: Be prepared for full-frontal views.)


Round 1 Voting is Closed!

Round 1 of DMS Marketing Madness is complete with Tide voted as the winning campaign. Click here to vote in DMS Marketing Madness Final Four.

We’ll be featuring four innovative campaigns each week this month. On March 30, we’ll announce the contestants for our DMS Marketing Madness Final Four. A final vote will let us crown the DMS Marketing Madness Champion.


Are you ready to reimagine your win? Contact DMS today.

About the Author

Kathy Bryan

Kathy Bryan is the Chief Marketing Officer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS). In this role, Kathy is responsible for all aspects of marketing and communications for DMS, the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers.

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