Good Marketing is about being DIFFerent

Conventional wisdom is the best way to be average. Nonprofit marketers should strive for more.

Did you check out Commercial Fest 2021 (er, I mean the Super Bowl)? I did, and the commercials, as usual, were my favorite part. I loved the ones that made me laugh, or tugged at my heart.

There were two commercials that everyone is still talking about. I’ve read articles on them, watched them blow up on Twitter, and (of course) looked them up myself to rewatch them. These commercials have one thing in common, they were incredibly unconventional!

The 5-Second Reddit Commercial

This commercial was five seconds and has been discussed, written about, and well emailed about, more than any other commercial I know of. Not only that, it was a 5-second commercial that was all text! How crazy is that? I wish I could have been in the pitch meeting for that one, “we are going to spend all of our marketing budget on a 5-second commercial, that is all text, and no one will have time to read!” (Looks into the crowd of blank stares)…

The Oatly Superbowl Commerical (it’s terrible and brilliant)

If you just watched that video, I’m sorry. But, you get my point. This commercial is so bad that it has gotten an insane amount of attention. It’s so bad, that now, days later, the jingle is still stuck in my head.

So what’s my point?

These commercials were both so unconventional, so out of the box, so nuts, that they were brilliant and gained a ton of attention and fans. I’m writing about them, aren’t I? You are reading about them (hopefully) aren’t you? You get my point.

Nonprofit marketers need to be different as well. Conventional wisdom is the best way to be average. Being average isn’t the goal of marketing. The goal is to stand out. So, let’s shake things up, take a risk, try something new.

Maybe try a new type of social media post, if you never do video, try that. If you never go live, try that. If you focus all your time on LinkedIn, what would happen if you spent a week trying out Instagram Reels? If you never do paid ads, try them, starting with a small budget.

The wonderful thing about digital marketing is that we can try new things, iterate on what we learn, and grow our efforts with little to no investment. So, let’s shake things up, and see what shakes out!


Great Reading for Nonprofit Leaders


Other Interesting Reading

Here are a few other articles that I found interesting this week.


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