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Tim Tam campaign highlights merits of personalised ads

Friday, 25 May 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Personalised advertisements can work for lesser-known brands such as start-ups, an expert says, but businesses need to ensure the campaigns focus on a philosophy rather than a product.


Jo Macdermott, founder and director of Next Marketing, says even if your brand isn’t well known, quirky campaigns such as personalised advertising can still be effective.


“Personalised advertising is really big at the moment... You can buy anything with your name on it. It really does resonate when people can relate to things [on a personal level],” she says.


Macdermott’s comments come on the back of a new campaign for Tim Tam, where the marketing effort is aimed at getting people to talk amongst themselves about the brand.


The “Truly, Madly Tim Tam” campaign uses a mix of social networking sites, online video, live marketing events, TV and print advertisements.


The campaign’s first TV advertisement went live this week, with footage of a Tim Tam “orchard” in Sydney, where more than 100,000 Tim Tam biscuits were hung from trees.


The idea for the orchard came from the Tim Tam’s Facebook page, where one fan said they wished Tim Tams grew on trees.


In addition to the TV advertisement, this stage of the campaign involves rewarding people who were quick to “Like” the orchard event online.


In the majority of cases, a version of the advertisement with people’s names in it will be posted on their Facebook wall.


Chris Brown of DDB Group – the principal advertising company for Tim Tam’s parent company Arnott’s – told BusinessDay the key to social creativity is material that is social and shareable.


Macdermott agrees the Tim Tam campaign is more focused on social engagement than the product itself.


“[It’s about] building more love and spreading the word. A brand like Tim Tam doesn’t need the awareness [of their product] as much as someone like a start-up does,” Macdermott says.


“Coke is another example. They launched personalised cans, which were huge. People were getting them as Christmas presents.”


Macdermott says if your audience is business-to-consumer then personalised advertising is definitely worthwhile.


“Another really good example is Harvey Norman. They have a campaign where they say, ‘Send us a pic of your baby or toddler’. They get hundreds of thousands of applications,” she says.


“It’s an easy way to build engagement – people can easily get involved.... Certainly for a small company, they would be able to do something like that and make it go viral.”


“Especially with social media – that’s where the free bits come in. Other people start doing your advertising and marketing for you.”


Macdermott says personalisation has “a lot to do with that”.


“For example, if you can deliver an email campaign that is very personalised and has a great message, that really ticks all the boxes,” she says.


“It needs to be relevant, interesting and something that can engage people to share with their friends and families.”