Friday, May 22, 2009

The Real Winner Of American Idol (Wasn't This Guy)

Hint: it was an advertiser, yet they paid nothing for the exposure. They had one of the most well-produced spots in the 2-hour spectacle, and paid zero for production. And while Kiss was busy lighting the stage on fire, and the losers were busy taking their last gasps of the spotlight, the real winner was busy saving the world.

The real winner of American Idol this year was Toms Shoes.

You remember the spot. A hip shoe company using AT&T service as they go on a mission to give new shoes to kids in need. I don’t know about you, but my take-away wasn’t “I love AT&T.” It was “I love Toms Shoes.”

We’ve seen this structure for a spot before. One friend/colleague of mine calls it “Reflected Light.” By putting the spotlight on one of their corporate customers, they look good. Or so the theory goes. (See the SAP campaign, or Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield.) Did it work for AT&T? I think it worked a lot harder for Toms Shoes.

I love what Toms Shoes is doing as a company, and I bet a lot of other people do too. (For every pair you buy, they give a new pair to charity.) And I would buy some, but, well, the shoes are so … ugly. I am in line to buy based on belief and shared values. Just waiting for a product I actually want.

See that? A company that does good gets customers who want to buy. And they might get other companies to pay for their TV spots.

Toms Shoes site is HERE.

What else can doing good can get a brand? How about an A-list director? (Story, HERE.) I'm reading: The Real Winner Of American Idol (Wasn't This Guy)Tweet this!

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