Using Cartoons for Marketing
I have been reading the book Visual Marketing by David Langton and Anita Campbell, and came across the example of cartoons to market CaseCentral. CaseCentral markets eDiscovery software to law firms and corporations, and these "Case in Point" cartoons are meant to draw attention, entertain as well as demonstrate the company's knowledge of the field.
That is a smart use of visual marketing, and it reminded me of the Indian consumer goods company, Amul. Amul Butter cartoons appear on billboards and newspapers all over India. Each cartoon references some current event—an election, a new movie, a sleazy scandal—and the tagline is at once a pun on and a comment on the event that it references. They have been doing this for decades and these cartoons are immensely popular: you can browse through some here.
If you haven't guessed already, I am in awe of the Amul campaign. They combine contemporary relevance, story-telling and art to create a powerful message that evokes the brand and ties in the product, and they have done this consistently for over three decades. If that isn't brilliant, I don't know what is.
That level of inspired marketing is difficult for us ordinary mortals to come up with, but as you can see from these two examples, cartoons can work for products as varied as software and butter.
And if you can't come up with something creative yourself, you can always work with someone who can, and use a character that's already popular. MetLife has used Snoopy in its ads and messaging since 1985, partly to shake off the image of insurance companies as fuddy-duddy and make an emotional connection with its audience. As MetLife says on its website: