B2B companies using TV advertising – Is B2B going into mass media?

Traditionally, B2B marketing and TV advertising are two phrases scarcely seen together, but the recent approach ServiceNow has taken to promote its digital workflow platform has made some of us question whether B2B mass media evolution is on the horizon.  

The adverts in question are a breath of fresh air, using Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to add a nostalgic touch whilst conveying the benefits of digital workflows in any business field. Employing ad agency ‘BBDO,’ ServiceNow seems to be looking to revolutionise the world of B2B marketing. The main piece shows Dominic Marsh as Wonka (filling the iconic shoes of Gene Wilder), stressed after a nightmare about supply issues to candy stores. His business partner ‘Maxine,’ then explains how, with workflows, you can proactively ensure that customers are kept supplied and happy. The advert is complimented by a series of 15 second shorts which show Wonka-world examples of how workflows can help. The campaign has become a hit online, having amassed 18,000 YouTube views in just under two months, but what might it tell us about B2B advertising? 

Common methods of B2B marketing tend to include online PPC (pay-per-click), email marketing and link building. These have been trusted methods of driving traffic for a long time, but innovative ideas seem to be repeatedly helping businesses to stand out, given the success they evidently come with. Another excellent example of such marketing genius are the QuickBooks payroll adverts, which show miniature people dealing with a business’ entire needs, as a metaphor showing how it can all be managed from a mobile phone ‘in the back pocket of every successful business owner.’ Will the success of these light-hearted adverts and creative concepts pave the way for more B2B organisations to consider TV advertising?  

BBDO creative directors, Kate Catalinac and Corinne Goode, spoke to reel360.com about how challenging it was to sell the concept of workflows using video advertising. They referred to the project as ‘breakthrough B2B work,’ commenting “a B2B campaign filled with magic and wonder doesn’t have to be the stuff of pure imagination”.  

If your business is struggling to find new leads, and needs to gain more exposure, it might be wise to take a leaf out of ServiceNow’s book. Whilst an entire video ad campaign is not always the most effective option, simply looking for ways to differ from the norm and inject a bit of fun and creativity could be a great way for your organisation to stand out from the rest.  

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