Simplicity is in. With all the clutter of confusing marketing campaigns these days, Philips offered clarity by stepping back and coincidently, taking a massive stride forward. It’s new “low-tech augmented reality mugs” that recently debuted in Taiwan may not have necessarily improved sales figures for Philips’ trimmers, but the buzz is still echoing around hair salons and barber shops.
Philips, a Dutch multinational electronics company, launched its campaign with the goal of introducing the idea of facial hair to a virtually hairless male population. Despite the fact that anything from scruff to full beards is all the rage in the West and the Taiwanese take many of their fashion cues from Hollywood celebrities, facial hair has yet to grow there.
With a clean-cut male demographic, Philips turned to its proprietary “AR technology”, in hopes of inspiring an alternative to the status quo. Taking a mug and applying some basic 2D facial hair patterns to its surface before filling it with tea, Philips achieved the ultimate model in low-tech marketing devices.
Paired with a cleverly crafted haircut bib that served as an introduction to the patron’s new look, the “mustache mugs” were welcomed with surprise and wonder. With the use of a smart phone’s camera and the popularity of social networking apps, pictures of reinvented facial features soon danced across news feeds and earned the attention of countless blogs.
Philips low-tech AR campaign proved that expensive developments in high-tech marketing are not necessarily guaranteed to garner the kind of reception worthy of the price tag. It’s often the case that basic concepts fuelled by consumers’ initiative to further market the product via social media is not only cost efficient but highly effective.
These kinds of campaigns cleverly introduce an idea and then let the consumer take the reins without he or she even realizing they are advertising on behalf of the brand.
It’s obviously no coincidence that Philips’ slogan is “sense and simplicity”.
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