How Harmon Brothers began a $ 100,000 marketing campaign for the Poop to Gold contest winner
For those who have never gone through the creative process of creating an ad, Harmon Brothers happily pulled the curtain back, and so did the winner of a competition that created a free video campaign.
Back in May, the Utah-based agency announced a competition to give away a free sprint video advertising campaign worth $ 100,000. The aim of the giveaway was to stimulate businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign has been dubbed the "Poop to Gold" contest, a reference to Harmon Brothers' acclaimed work with olfactory-themed companies such as Poo-Pourri and Squatty Potty.
Ultimately, the winner was GoTreads, the manufacturer of foldable tire traction mats that can be used to remove stuck vehicles from mud, snow, sand or dirt.
GoTreads was invented in 1975 and had a decent market share, including with the military and its heavy-duty vehicles. However, the company relied heavily on trade shows and conferences which all but wiped out Covid-19. So there was definitely a need for a different advertising medium.
Also, the winner had to have a clear solution to the problem – if you get stuck, inserting GoTreads under your tires will get you stuck. The winner also had to keep pace with demand if the campaign was a success, an issue previous clients had after receiving treatment from Harmon Brothers.
Behind the scenes
With this campaign, Harmon Brothers shares its secret with creating award-winning Internet advertisements. It documents the process of working with GoTreads in a three-part documentary that contains interviews and clips behind the scenes.
Getting people involved in the process isn't new to Harmon Brothers, as the agency has educated people about their formulas and strategies through its Harmon Brothers University program. “We've had our entire playbook open to the public for years to be able to do the things we do. And it's really cool to see which companies can successfully apply this, ”Daniel Harmon, Harmon Brothers chief creative officer, told Adweek.
What is new is the behind-the-scenes approach that shows the team's authentic approach to this campaign. It even contained a visible yawn when zoomed in. The first two videos in the series show the process while the third is the actual social video.
Harmon Brothers marketed GoTreads to see which messages resonated the most with consumers. In particular, it was the universality of how it can work with vehicles of any size, from motorcycles to tanks. Another reason was durability.
“I think we tested 30 messages in cascading order [of strength] and we literally just had our scripts written for us. And once this script is done, those images are very easily left behind, ”said James Dayton, Creative Director at Harmon Brothers.
For production, the team knew they needed to legitimately show that vehicles were stuck and loosening, so venturing into the rodeo grounds near the Harmon Brothers office in various cars and trucks. While they'd all passed the deep sand test, the team knew they needed a little over 50,000 pounds.
"Unfortunately this is not the best time to get a tank during Covid. Thankfully we were able to find an amazing local who owned their own private fire truck," said Dayton. "The GoTreads did exactly what they advertised. And we could see that the market voted for them to want to see this tough battle test. "