Brands need to make full use of Social Media to communicate a Higher Purpose

(Estimated reading time = about 1 minute, + videos)

Having been in the marketing industry for a while, I remember Motorola’s “We Save Lives” campaign, where Motorola had, in essence, captured a feeling in a bottle for all who were working for the brand: that they were making more than just walky-talkies or cell-phones, they were saving human lives.

(YouTube 2’14” video)

In the video, Motorola’s scientists, technicians and line-workers are working hard, not for the company’s shareholders, but for something meaningful: saving firemen’s lives, making tools that prevent small problems from becoming human tragedies, a communications device so well made it never fails the policeman when he needs it most. This puts a spotlight on the brand’s technology and reliability on the highest grounds, using only words that speak to our humanity.

I was ready to resign from my job and apply to work for Motorola.

Unfortunately for Motorola, this was back in 2006. In those pre-internet viral videos days, Motorola did not have a good vector to deliver its story out to the consumers and so, the campaign stayed mostly as a good morale booster for Motorola employees.

Today, with all the tools available to every marketing professional to propagate a brand’s message, every brand, big or small, needs to find its Brand Higher Purpose, articulate it, and disseminate its story to consumers.

The playing field is now levelled. You no longer need multi-million Euro TV or print campaigns to get your message out. Any brand with a story that resonates emotionally with consumers will be heard by the masses.

To illustrate, a video is worth two thousand words. Below are links to two insurance companies’ campaigns, one that went viral and brought all sorts of emotions across the globe. The other one plays on the old-school message of “we offer discounts if you buy in bulk”.

I will let you guess which one is approaching 21 million views on YouTube and which one is approaching 3200 views.

1) Thai Life Insurance, campaign message: Believe in Good. (YouTube 3’05” video)

2) AXA, campaign message: Save up to € 200 for 3 new contracts. (YouTube 0’22” video)

Coming up next: The Process of Capturing and Articulating a Brand’s Higher Purpose.