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10 March 2013

Do teasers set your brand up for failure?

Recently a few NZ brands have been spending large on teaser advertising. Designed to create suspense, intrigue and of course hype - the teaser is a difficult and risky move. With social media making "buzz" a bigger part of product launches, brands hope to generate extra momentum by making their teaser a talking point. 

One of the biggest teaser campaigns we've seen in NZ was BNZ's Good with Money campaign. The advertiser was kept anonymous for a month before the bank was revealed. Almost everyone had an opinion on who was behind the billboards and TV ads. From an earned media point of view it was a success, it even inspired a Twitter troll and spawned multiple news articles. After the reveal BNZ's chief marketing officer Craig Herbison said  
"...it wasn't undertaken to tease anything about the bank. It was about starting a conversation." 
So with that in mind BNZ views the teaser campaign as a success.   

What's harder to gauge is what happened after the reveal. Were consumers pleasantly surprised or disappointed that a bank was behind the campaign? Has BNZ been able to live up to expectations and continue money conversations now that the advertising hype has faded? And the big question - would the money invested in the teasers been better spent on branded advertising? 

While the entertainment and technology industries use teasers successfully on the whole teaser campaigns can set a brand up for failure. The question has to be asked - is it really worth the wait? 
A teaser campaign requires a substantial investment in promoting the unknown. The theory being that the mystery and excitement created attracts a greater level of interest in your news. This is the approach Domino's NZ is taking - with their CEO fronting a national TV campaign to hype up tomorrow's announcement of a "game changer"... 

Teasing your fantastic new product's arrival is one thing but claiming you are revealing a "game changer" is a bold statement. It can't just be a game changer in the eyes of Domino's management or Domino's staff, it has to mean a game changer to the NZ public.

You can pretty safely rule out 'world peace' and 'a cure for cancer' as Domino's "game changer" and a wise bet is it's pizza related. So given these assumptions, will Domino's announcement really constitute a "game changer" for anyone outside their own company? And if you over promise and under deliver, have you done more damage than good in the end? Are you setting your brand up to disappoint your toughest critics - the public?

Twitter already seems a little skeptical of Domino's Game Changer... 

Given that the hashtag #gamechanger also includes tweets about the news that a child was cured of HIV, it's use by Dominos seems a little silly. 

While my expectations of Dominos' #gamechanger are low, I am interested to see whether consumers feel excited or disappointed when all is revealed. Consumers are pretty savvy and if they feel like Domino's is making a big deal over nothing it may just back fire. 

What do you think? Should brand's create teasers or are they just marketing gimmicks? 

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