Last night’s Celebrity Apprentice involved two interesting marketing tasks. One was to create a mobile display for Ikanka Trump’s shoe line at Nordstrom. The other was to create a viral video for a coffee company that is launching their new single serving packages.

Here is my marketing take on each task and what you should do if considering one of these marketing vehicles.

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A Mobile Display Unit

A mobile display unit involves taking something that resembles a food truck, embellishing the exterior with your branding, park it in a heavy traffic area, and then find a way to lure people inside it to see a display of your products and/or services. The teams tried tactics like setting up a cafe outside the truck and luring people in with free coffee, using visual displays to show more shoes, creating cute names for certain types of shoes – all good ideas, but here is what works when using a mobile display:

  • People can only browse, not buy, so encourage them to use their phone and take photos of items they like
  • Alternatively, print off small photos of the individual products with their item number and price on the back
  • Give a coupon for 15% or Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) for customers to redeem at store or online (only if they come inside the unit)
  • Have a strolling street violinist to attract customers’ attention and lead them into the display unit
  • Have signage or some sort of visual (if allowed) on top of the truck so people can see from far away

A Viral Promotional Video

The teams were asked to make a video that would go viral, were encouraged to use GoPro cameras, and promote a single serving coffee product. Not really a fit. GoPro is about capturing action, and there is not much action in making coffee. One team made sort of a flash mob video, while the other relied on a more provocative approach. I don’t think either worked. If you want a video to go viral, here are some tips:

  • Videos that are funny, clever, relatable or provoke emotions work
  • Cute pets and cute kids in videos are always popular
  • Parodies, if done well, get shared
  • Incredible action shots are always fun to watch (this is where a GoPro comes in)
  • Showing the product being used in an unusual way (like the Blendtec viral video showing their blenders can chop up anything, even iPhones)

I probably would have shot a video with a GoPro on the head of various types of people (so you see it from their perspective) as they make a single serving cup of coffee at different hours of the day, whether it is the exhausted mother, the student cramming for exams or the executive relaxing after a long day of work OR dress someone up in a single serving costume, attach a GoPro to their head, jump off an NYC office tower and land beside the coffee truck on the street. Not sure if it would go viral, but we’re talking coffee here.

The Celebrity Apprentice wraps up in a few weeks, but I’ll be back later this week with a hot new small business trend. 

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