DMS Marketing Madness – Round 4: Honda vs. Hanes vs. Wendy’s vs. Kohl’s

March 22, 2018 Kathy Bryan

Every week of March, we are highlighting four innovative campaigns and asking you to vote for your favorite. The winner each week moves on to the DMS Marketing Madness Final Four, announced on March 30th. The winner of the final four will be crowned DMS Marketing Madness Champion the following week.

Three rounds of DMS Marketing Madness are behind us already, leaving us with just one more round before we fill in our final four. Let’s take a look at the results so far.

Previous DMS Marketing Madness Winners

Round 3 Winner ― Ikea

Ikea has skated into our heart with their new TV spot emphasizing “make room for life.” Viewers are immediately hooked as the stars of this commercial roll up their rug to begin skating and twirling through their home in socks. Ikea successfully touched emotional and logical notes with its audience, highlighting the lifestyle of its furniture along with its prices. Click here to read about the award-winning Ikea campaign and our other DMS Marketing Madness Round 3 contestants.

Round 2 Winner ― Lacoste

With their “Save Our Species” campaign, Lacoste replaced its iconic crocodile logo with embroideries of ten endangered species, creating awareness of the animals’ plights, raising conservation funds and garnering media buzz. Click here to read about the award-winning Lacoste campaign and our other DMS Marketing Madness Round 2 contestants.

Round 1 Winner ― Tide

Tide, the winner of the Super Clio for best ad in Super Bowl LII, took home the glory of winning the first round of DMS Marketing Madness for making you question every ad you see. Click here to read about the award-winning Tide campaign and our other DMS Marketing Madness Round 1 contestants.


Now, let’s dive into the campaign details for our final four DMS Marketing Madness contestants.

Marketing Madness ― Round 4

Honda ― Mixing Realities to Compete

Honda pitted IndyCar driver Graham Rahal against pro gamer Peter “theSLAPtrain” Jeakins in an augmented reality race dubbed “R vs. R.” Both raced in a 2018 Civic Type R on the Road Atlanta race track. The first installment was virtual, set within Forza Motorsport 7. TheSLAPtrain’s performance was then broadcast onto a mixed-reality windshield as Rahal raced in a real Type R and on an actual race track. Targeting gamers, racers, techies and general interest drivers, the R vs. R campaign represented the first time augmented reality merged real motorsport with racing simulation. According to Jessica Fini, the Social Marketing Manager for Honda and Acura, “The Honda Civic Type R is a race car disguised as a daily driver. It [the Type R] was inspired by Honda’s rich racing history, and many of those who purchase it will take it to the track. So the race track was the natural place to show off the Type R’s attributes.” R vs. R was promoted across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube on the Honda, Rahal and theSLAPtrain accounts.

Hanes ― Kicking Guys Out of Their Comfort Zone

“My guess is that there are guys who have upgraded their phones more often than their underwear,” said Tim Blankenbaker, Director of Marketing for Hanes Brands. “Since the pouch is the key point of differentiation [for the new Hanes Comfort Flex Fit men’s underwear],” explained Blankenbaker. “It became abundantly clear that we were going to have to use kangaroos.” The new Hanes campaign features kangaroos showing the “magic” of the pouch. This national TV campaign, running throughout the March Madness tournament, begins like a nature documentary. The narrator even has an Australian accent. But how does it end… with a kangaroo kick to where it counts.

Wendy’s ― Swaggin’ It Fresh

During the Super Bowl, Wendy’s ragged on McDonalds frozen beef. The campaign resonated with their audience, and Wendy’s extended it throughout March Madness by redesigning tournament brackets to offer only two choices: #TeamFresh and #TeamFrozen. Participants who download the Wendy’s app receive exclusive offers, including limited edition “fresh” swag created in partnership with sportswear designer Don C.

Kohl’s ― Droning Out the Competition

Hustling to distinguish itself as innovative, Kohl’s continues stepping outside the box (like with their Amazon and Aldi store within a store ventures). Recently, they filmed a 30 second spot using a drone to capture a firsthand perspective of the in-store experience. According to Greg Revelle, CMO of Kohl’s, producing the spot was both challenging and fun. “In terms of cinematography,” said Revelle, “it’s different than anything we’ve done. We’re trying to be original and different and innovative in how we do everything.


It’s Time to Vote!

Voting for DMS Marketing Madness Round 4 has closed with Honda as the winner. Click here to vote in DMS Marketing Madness Final Four.


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.

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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