Most everyone understands financial annuities. The Webster Dictionary defines an annuity as “an amount payable yearly or at other regular intervals.”
I think one of the most undervalued and underrated assets in marketing is the MARKETING ANNUITY. These are the campaigns that last for a long time and become part of the fabric of our culture. Here are a few examples of marketing annuities:
- ESPN College Football GAME DAY Built by The Home Depot.
- For 13 years, The Home Depot has been the title sponsor of the popular college football Saturday morning preview show on ESPN. Home Depot enjoys both on-air (TV, radio, digital, social) and on-site branding (signage, set construction, orange branded hard hats, hospitality and VIP seating).
- Recent surveys have shown Home Depot to be the #1 sponsor in all of college football as recognized and selected by college football fans. In fact, ALL Home Depot does is this show entitlement along with the entitlement of the SEC on CBS games broadcasts.
- The Coca-Cola Holiday POLAR BEARS
- Annually, the Coca-Cola Company will include advertising, POS and promotions using their popular Polar Bears. Each year, people look to see how Coke will utilize the bears in their holiday marketing campaign.
- BMW “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
- In spite of a variety of agency turnovers and creative changes, BMW has kept the same brand tagline since it was created by Ammirati & Puris back in 1974.
- The tagline speaks to the performance of the car and the fun of driving the car.
- The Hallmark Hall of Fame
- Hallmark Cards of Kansas City annually produces 4-6 made-for-TV movies, brought to you with limited commercial interruptions, just before key holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day), when a significant number of greeting cards are purchased. These family friendly feel good movies have won numerous Emmys and other awards over the years.
These marketing annuities continue to build real value each and every year.
So, why don’t more companies create and keep these types of annuity programs? One word… EGO. It’s so hard for the next marketing, brand or advertising leader to accept that the work of the previous person was meaningful. Instead of building upon the previous equities of a campaign, sponsorship or promotion, the new person decides they have to do something entirely different in order to be noticed.
Now, I’m all in favor of “if it’s not broken, then break it” philosophy, but not at the expense of eliminating annuities that continue to bring value to the brand and its customers and consumers. I suggest we look to “improve upon” rather than eliminate these annuities.
In fact, we all should be looking to create new marketing annuities that will last for years for our clients and our brands. So, check your ego at the door and let’s get to work.