Bad can be good: Walt Barron shares innovative solutions to tough client problems in Warc webinar - McKinney

Bad can be good: Walt Barron shares innovative solutions to tough client problems in Warc webinar

January 15, 2015

Yesterday morning, Head of Account Planning Walt Barron presented our work for Mizuno Running during a Warc webinar, “How to ‘Win’ with Social Media.” It’s a story of a brand with a great product, a pile of challenges, and a willingness to take the unusual risks McKinney suggested. The resulting ongoing 2012 campaign, “The Mezamashii Run Project,” won a 2013 Creative Media Award, five Effie Awards and a 2014 Warc Prize for Social Strategy. It’s a story we’ve told many times. And it’s a story with three pieces of advice that any marketer can put into practice in the New Year.

Lean into problems by embracing challenges. Mizunos aren’t the most comfortable shoes to try on in the store. So, even if marketing did its job and drove people to specialty running stores to try on a pair, we may actually turn runners off. But runners who love Mizunos know that they are great running shoes. Run a mile in them, and you understand why they’re for running – not for trying on in the store. So, our first solution was to take shoe trial out of the store.

Stand behind your client’s great products. For Mizuno Running, this was twofold. First, we chose to believe in the client’s product. Even after a failed launch of what had been a popular model of running shoe shortly before we began working with the brand, we didn’t apologize or even talk about it in the new campaign. We just put our faith in the new model. Second, runners were still talking about the last shoe. The positive side of that was recognizing that runners TALK — we just needed to give them something new to talk about.

Create your campaigns on consumers’ terms. With 1% share of voice in the category, we knew Mizuno couldn’t win with ads, so we had to do something new, not say something new. Also, we didn’t require “The Mezamashii Run Project” members to jump through hoops to participate in the doing. We gave them the product for free, with no strings attached, and then let them give away even more products to other runners with, again, no strings attached. This is what created such positive word of mouth in the running community. We got them talking on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs by making the doing as easy as possible.
Do you have a good story to tell about a social media “win”? The Warc Prize for Social Strategy 2015 is free to enter, and it offers a $10,000 prize fund. The prize is open to brands and agencies in any discipline, but the entry deadline is January 23, 2015.