In 1984, Wendy’s achieved a remarkable feat. In a very short period of time, the whole U.S. knew Clara Peller and was repeating her line, “Where’s the beef?” Wendy’s wanted to tell us that their hamburgers were larger than anyone else’s and they did it beautifully. It was repeated untold times at work, at school, everywhere.
People connected around the conversation Wendy’s started.
But Wendy’s achieved their goal in a very different time. In 1984, we weren’t yet Internet connected. A few, select voices could start the conversation. We’re reminded when we watch 60′s-based Mad Men and their struggles to find the perfect tag line.
Today, people are connected and the conversation is already underway. What used to work wonderfully is now shouting from across a busy street to attract a group that’s in a circle, talking about what matters to them. Will they even hear you? Will they stop talking and come to listen?
Relevance comes from finding the conversations taking place, listening in, and joining when you have something interesting to add. Oreo is doing it beautifully. You can continue to try the shouting technique, but you may find it lonely (and a big waste of resources).
For another look, see Ian Gotts article, Social media changes everything, including the Marketing Department.