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Cheap way to test your next ad campaign, inspired by Nike

(MARKETING NEWS) You can spend an arm and a leg throwing money into the ad budget, or you can take a page from Nike and save yourself.

A toe in the water

Nike recently added to their active wear selection with their highly anticipated plus sized sports bras. Unlike their typical ads though, the popular fitness brand used plus sized women as their models. The kicker: you won’t find any of the plus sized models, tips, or traces of the campaign anywhere on their website for now. That’s because the billion dollar brand only posted the new concept to their Instagram account.

The two photos of Paloma Elsesser and Claire Fountain were posted on the Nikeforwomen page along with useful fitness tips and bra advice for women of all shapes. The idea proved to be a good one, as they received over 130,000 likes and hundreds of comments from people raving over the brand’s push for body equality.

What’s even better though is how Nike introduced an entire body-equality concept without investing in a flashy ad production that costs tons of money and time; teaching brand owners a valuable lesson.

Social media is cheaper marketing research

Before social media, marketing campaigns were a trial-and-error type of deal: see what the people like and go forward, or see what they don’t like and cut it. Yes, of course there are plenty of tests that go into an idea before launch, but it’s nearly impossible to get a 100% accurate predictor for how consumers will react.

Now, however, social media can be leveraged similar to marketing research to test how a product or campaign will be received.

Take, for example, a Bloomingdale’s holiday ad for Rebecca Minkoff merchandise. A man is pictured staring at a woman who is looking in the opposite direction and includes the caption, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.” What Bloomingdale thought was a good idea, actually outraged customers, as they complained the slogan encouraged date rape.

Had Bloomingdale tweeted the slogan or posted it on Instagram, first, they could have easily spared themselves the time, money, and energy that goes into a complete advertisement placement.

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We’ve all been Bloomingdale once before

Anyone with an imagination has been in Bloomingdale’s position before: having a good idea with no one else sharing the vision. As you see, this can result in customer outrage and a huge loss of funds that small business owner’s simply cannot afford.

Instead, it’s best to do as Nike did: Before you go launching a full-fledged campaign for an idea you THINK is great use social media for the great marketing insight, post a picture, a quick tweet, or Facebook post about your concept and gauge the responses.


Written By

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.

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