November 19, 2013
If ever there were a perfect example of corporate Goliath it would have to be Salesforce, the huger than huge Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company based in San Francisco. Founded by the polarizing Marc Benioff, Salesforce has almost as many haters as users. It’s basically the CRM standard but it’s a standard more and more people are perhaps growing weary of using.
Therefore, our client SugarCRM wanted to poke Goliath in its substantial ego as well as grab some of its growing legion of frustrated users. With it’s promise of “CRM you can relate to” SugarCRM and gyro created a mischievous scheme to unleash at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce this week at the Moscone Center, downtown San Francisco.
The central component to our tactic, entitled “Getaway from Dreamforce” was to get people in and around Dreamforce to take “Selfies” of themselves wearing branded SugarCRM tee-shirts then upload the pictures with hash tag(s) #DF13 and/or #SugarSelfie. A random winner could receive a “Dream Getaway” to Hawaii or the cash equivalent.
Getting people to blaspheme Marc Benioff’s grandiose celebration is what makes this program so damn fun. Sneaking into his party to do it is just the right amount of nasty.
Allow me to elaborate. Every “Selfie” is a representation of the individual. Literally of course. But also conceptually. In the context of Salesforce and Dreamforce the individual gets lost in Goliath’s dominating presence. Therefore, the surreptitious Selfie can be viewed as an affirmation for every “David” hiding in the shadows. The snap shot is like a slingshot!
Think about it. Selfies are the individual’s way to assert him -or herself. Like them or not, they are ubiquitous in global popular culture. Using these tiny ego blasts against a polarizing figure like Benioff and his self styled juggernaut of a company is just too perfect.
In some ways we are fighting fire with fire: many small egos versus one of the biggest egos in the land. Kismet. Our campaign is about asserting the individual over that of a company.
In addition to stimulating this rogue infiltration of Dreamforce, SugarCRM is also infiltrating smart phones in the immediate area with banners via geo-fencing as well as providing a slew of pithy messages on the tops of some of the very taxis bringing people to and from the Moscone Center.
Dreamforce and Salesforce are not going to be taken down by a bunch of Selfies but with these antics there is a heck of a chance that it will be impeded… at least philosophically. What Sugar CRM gains in recognition and new customers make it all worthwhile.
Ever since helping give rise to the “Curiously Strong Mints” campaign for Altoids, I’ve been a huge fan of outdoor advertising. Especially posters, propaganda and signs. Yet, maybe the awe for it goes back even further than Altoids…
Case in point a small excerpt from my keynote presentation to the Outdoor Marketing Association of Canada (OMAC), which I gave earlier today:
…I grew up in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Nice now, but when I was a kid the area was rife with gang violence, in particular a turf war between the Latin Eagles and the Latin Kings. Their flamboyant signs permeated my neighborhood, haunting the alleyways, literally threatening me from around every corner. Marking their territory, if you will pardon the expression…
Crude as it sounds brands exert power marking their territory. We are here, they say. And we mean business. You cannot resist us! Granted, brands don’t jump you in the alley and take your bus money (not yet, anyway) but that doesn’t make my crude metaphor any less accurate. Signs and symbols have always been used to convey messages. For good. Evil. And everything in between. And OOH has done so for a longer stretch of time than all the other media combined.