Marketing Gimmicks

Cathy's Tuesday TipUsing brand or marketing gimmicks are a “make or break” scenario. Some brands do well, go viral, and create a whole new persona for themselves. Other brands make themselves look silly and simply crash and burn. Using the Royal Wedding as an example, many companies chose to use this union to promote their brand. Some worked well and some failed terribly. Velveeta and Pez stood out with winning gimmicks. Velveeta aired a video that was clearly making fun of themselves and the wedding with the tagline, “Being a princess is not all it’s cracked up to be, so why settle for being a princess when you can eat like a queen?” Pez auctioned off Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Pez dispensers with proceeds donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

On the other hand there were a few failures. Dunkin’ Donuts created a love inspired heart shaped jelly filled donut with a drizzle. The originality was simply not there. This is the same donut that they offer every Valentine’s Day…no one cared. Chili’s chose to go off the charts creatively. They decided to create burger, rib and margarita inspired fascinators and cufflinks. Again, no one cared. When thinking of concocting a gimmick, keep in mind – you win some, you lose some. Hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy

What Marketing Gimmicks Do


You must grab the attention of your market. Taglines, humorous images, and videos are common ways to generate traffic. The gimmick must attract your targeted market and also ensure your brand is still taken seriously.


It can be a smart move, on occasion, to add a level of entertainment to your marketing strategy. Most businesses are afraid to be entertaining – just make sure it is relevant. Periodically, adding a funny comment or something exciting to elevate the client’s experience will resonate with your targeted audience.

Consider Your Market

If you are marketing toward, for example, financial clients or high-end businesses, a marketing or brand gimmick strategy may not be the right choice. If you are focusing more on small businesses with more laid back clientele then this may work. People are bored and will respond to being entertained, be it through humor, shock, or excitement.

How Long Will This Define You

Is this a one-time campaign, will you build upon this, or will this become you? These are all fine but you must set limits on your own expectations. If you go into this knowing it has a limited lifespan then you aren’t obligated to maintain its relevance. If this is the new you, you must constantly keep it fresh and appeal to your market which can sometimes be a challenge. If you start a new campaign to test the waters and if you receive a positive response then you can always build upon that and keep it fresh and then let it evolve with time. We all love to see what’s new in terms of a fresh take on an old brand. Just keep in mind that consumers love to be entertained. You could receive positive results if your strategies are executed properly and your creative is on point. Just take it slow and wait for the response. If it works and it drives more business, win! If it flops or it doesn’t meet your expectations take a break and try again when the time is right.

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