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“Quirky Holiday” SEM Strategy for Brand Awareness

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5 Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

How Brands Can Generate Big Awareness During Odd Holidays

Last week, as the world celebrated another Talk Like a Pirate Day, I thought of a slick SEM trick: Buy quirky holiday names for the sole purpose of brand awareness. Quirky holiday inventory has temporary demand spikes and low-competitive rates. This might be good opportunities to align your brand with fun, off-beat culture news and catch new visitors during idle leisure time browsing the net.

What Is a White Sale Strategy?
Retail stores sell specific merchandise at a deep discount for a short period of time.
White Sale Examples
Think K-Mart’s Blue Light Special and the Foley’s Red Apple Sale. John Deere pushes residential sales during their annual Deere Season campaign.
Woot.com (@woot) applies a reverse model online; there is always a deep discount sale, but the product changes. World Market explored a similar Adobe Air widget channel.

Retailers have long used White Sale strategies to dump excessive inventory and to gain a temporary competitive advantage. The Quirky Holiday SEM strategy is slightly different than a White Sale. Rather than promote a branded self-made sales event, Quirky Holiday SEM leverages universal interest and PR surrounding unusual events to generate brand awareness. The strategy lends itself to retail, but could be used for any type of brand promotion.

Awareness and low cost can justify the ROI of a Quirky Holiday SEM media plan. Traffic is not targeted, so click-throughs are a bonus, especially since keyword inventory would be relatively inexpensive.

Ideas for Quirky Holiday SEM Campaigns

Here are just a few of the strange, funny and odd holidays where corporate brands, campaigns and associations could apply this strategy.

  • Bifocals At The Monitor Liberation Day
    December 1 Lenscrafters, eye doctors & Lasik surgeons, ergonomic companies, nonprofits for the prevention of eyestrain, monitor fatigue, eyesight health education & disease prevention, elder care.
  • Bathtub Party Day
    December 5 Kohler, Whirlpool re-modelers (bathfitter.com already has a placement), plumbing companies, design centers, home builders, destination spas.
  • National Inane Answering Message Day
    January 30 Manufacturers like Panasonic, Sony, Nokia, Samsung & Motorola, online retailers, VoIP carries Skype and Vonage, cable carriers, cell phone service providers, mobile marketing.

  • First Day of Autumn 2008
    September 22 SEO companies are already leveraging Google’s holiday and event logos for fresh non targeted traffic. What a clever ploy to generate a little buzz and new unique visits against an odd keyword. So far, these are simple organic SEO results, but SEM could easily apply.

    Hat tip to @PatrikAltoff who managed to attract hundreds of “autumn 08” visitors to Blogstorm on Sep 22, 2008.

  • Any Quirky Holiday
    Hallmark could actually target traffic with Quirky Holiday SEM, assuming they had matching merchandise. A smaller print card company or e-card service could generate a significant portion of its revenue on this SEM traffic.

What Quirky Holiday SEM Strategies can you imagine? Share them below!

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About Me

I am an executive-level interactive producer specializing in social media, online community management and buzz marketing for national accounts. I provide agency support & client service across multiple industries. I love integrated campaign strategy, working with creative teams, kicking-off projects and driving them through launch.

I am currently working at Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

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Left Brain
SEO, media strategy, web analytics, web application architecture, server architecture, e-commerce platforms, data modeling
  Right Brain
SEM, creative strategy, social media, community management, WOM / buzz marketing, online memes, online brand stewardship

Contact Shannon

Shannon Swenson
Austin, Texas
512-472-3090 x1

hello [at] shannonswenson [dot] com