Not everybody’s marketing budget can stretch to the likes of One Direction, Pharell Williams, Sir Elton John and Paloma Faith, but the BBC’s latest star-studded video cover of the Beach Boys’ classic, God Only Knows, shows at least one thing: you can create stand out marketing initiatives without sinking huge swathes of budget into expensive, paid advertising.
Not that we are anti-advertising. We’re not and, of course, that galaxy of stars wouldn’t come cheap. But we do get frustrated when we hear from so many companies that they place advertising as a matter of course, without being able to measure its effectiveness or without considering whether and how that element of budget could be more effectively spent.
The BBC’s latest video shows on the grand scale how adopting an integrated rather than a siloed approach to marketing can have the greatest impact. Not only does the video act as a piece of marketing collateral in its own right, it reinforces positive perceptions about the creative and musical output of the corporation and, most importantly, it makes you smile. It invites you to share it with friends and transcends the clunky approach of simply shoehorning in key messages, features or benefits into a dull, dry press release.
Of course, the BBC has the benefit of being able to broadcast the video across its various channels but they have created content that will continue to have a lifespan across mainstream social platforms. They also have created a campaign which offers an opportunity to utilise multiple marketing channels to reach their target audience: social media, digital marketing, media relations and, yes, advertising if they weren’t the BBC. If they wanted to, they could add in experiential, face to face and other marketing channels too to extend the reach of this one, initial piece of activity.
PR as a discipline has long suffered an inferiority complex, having had a chip on its shoulder that is somehow a second-class alternative to advertising. But adopting a marketing-led approach to PR that embraces and integrates other disciplines into one cohesive marketing campaign puts that idea to the sword. Using PR alongside digital, data and social platforms can deliver highly targeted, creative and contemporary campaigns that focus on enhancing bottom line performance irrespective of whether your budget would buy you One Direction or not.