Picture of surprised baby.

Surprise! There Are No Surprises Left in Marketing.

Super Disappointing

With the Super Bowl just a few days away there has been a constant barrage of headlines calling my attention to this year’s ads and I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for the bygone days before the internet. The days when you had to wait to watch the year’s biggest and best ads during the Super Bowl. A time when you couldn’t watch this year’s ads days or even weeks before the actual game.

In an effort to garner attention for their expensive ads marketers are putting ads online  earlier and earlier and I’m left with the question, where’s the fun in that? Or even the logic.  Of course, it is entertaining watching the two teams slug it out on the field but the years when it’s a blow out it’s been the ads that have kept consumer interest. Plus, the point of spending all those marketing dollars is to create conversation about who had the best, worst, or funniest ad. Even having a bad ad can be good. Nowadays we all watch them online ahead of time and like most things you skim over while surfing the web you probably forget about them.

I guess I’ll wait for the DVD…

It’s not just the Super Bowl. We see this trend with movies as well. Take for instance last year’s Batman v Superman.  If you watched the trailers for the movie you knew who rhw ‘suprise’ characters  would be, you could easily figure out that Batman and Superman eventually team up, and they even gave away the final fight… don’t believe me? Watch the trailer here. The movie received mixed reviews but I have to wonder, if they hadn’t given away all the surprises would audiences have been a little more pleased?

Surprise. Product Surprises Delight Consumers!

Consumers like to be surprised. They like to receive something they didn’t know they were getting – like gifts from Santa. When you surprise the consumer with something they didn’t know they were getting they feel like they’re getting something extra. This principle applies not just to entertainment but also to products.  Did you ever buy a product and figure out that it had a feature you didn’t know you were getting?  I bet you told everyone about that feature!

Companies like Apple and Tesla have figured this game out. There’s a reason they consistently show up at the top of Consumer Satisfaction surveys and I’d wager surprises within their products have something to do with it. Tesla has created the first car that gives you surprise over the air upgrades and features to your car. Surprise the consumer and you’ll delight them, build loyalty, and create a lifetime repeat buyer. And just so I’m practicing what I preach… here’s a surprise cute kitten for you.

Cute kitten makes a surprise appearance in this post.