The Opportunity of “Un-Marketing” by Ariel Pfeffer


The term “un-marketing” is a new concept that among so many new trends has a good chance to impose itself. The basic principle of this concept is “stop marketing and start getting involved”. The best thing about marketing does not usually start with a marketing idea. Extraordinary things come from a deeper place and arise when we concentrate on the things that are important. 

Three very recent actions clearly show us what this is about:

Surprise Instead of Advertise

Every time an artist launches a new CD, a battery of actions has to be made to inform the world about the new item: DJs are paid to play some tracks in the radio; there are interviews, public appearances, etc.

However, Beyonce did something incredible for her most recent CD: practically nothing! She simply announced the launching with a simple video in social networks, and nothing more! No sensational marketing campaign and no notifications. Just a surprise… and it became the biggest selling album in iTunes!

The lesson we have to learn here is that people like to talk about surprises more than press releases or advertisements.

Make the Difference and Not a “Promo”

When movie maker Casey Neistat received the mission of filming an inspiring trailer for the new movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” he asked to use the entire budget for the victims of the tsunami in the Philippines. 20th Century Fox said yes and the video in YouTube showing the delivery of aid received millions of views and a much greater impact than if he had produced a regular trailer to be exhibited at cinemas.

The lesson we learn here is that a meaningful cause stands out much more than a traditional action within an ocean of normal things.

Here is the video:

Get Real Fans and Not Only Hardly Followers

When Burger King in Norway sensed that a lot of its 38.000 fans in Facebook only wanted gifts or discounts, they did something drastic: they offered their fans a free Big Mac in exchange to being eliminated from their Facebook page forever. Giving a product from the competition to get rid of fans in a social network can seem a very bad idea, but here is the beauty of this initiative: they eliminated people that got them out of focus to the fans that really mattered: the loyal and committed clients. Now the brand can build deeper relationships with the people that they really want.

The lesson we learn here is that in a world where most companies only want a larger number of fans even if they are fake or without any commitment, it is notable watching Burger King using the social networks to become more authentic.

We will surely see many of these examples in the next times. But the good news is that being something so new like a marketing tool to create impact, any company, even yours, can be the great lead role of a new action of which everybody will be talking. Will we be lead roles or spectators?