5 Tips Advertisers Could Learn From This Good Samaritan & Roxy the Labrador
You see a dog running around loose in your neighborhood. You:
A) Stop and try to wrangle him.
B) Pretend you don’t see the dog (hey, you’re in a rush).
C) Roll down the window and applaud those who are trying to wrangle him.
We’ve all probably done at least A or B at one point or another. It’s not easy to commit to helping a lost dog, as your day is shot if you plan on spending the time to find the owner. The man in this story, Jason Gasparik of Charlotte, North Carolina, took an approach that went above and beyond to say the least. He stopped to help the lost dog, got in the mix with others trying to do the same thing, coaxed the pooch into his car, posted the dog’s photo on his own social media accounts as well as the Facebook pages of several rescue agencies, and looked up his microchip. Whew. This was already a valiant effort but he went a step further, and came up with a completely integrated marketing campaign, which is not something you see all that often in this day of taking the path of least resistance.
“Saturday morning I was sitting there with her thinking what else could I do?” Gasparik told People. “So like a total dork I made my sign and went to stand out on the sidewalk with her.”
Dork or not, his strategy worked. The dog’s owner, Ed, had a recent back injury that limited his mobility. He had been driving around for days in the area in which he lost his faithful chocolate Labrador Retriever, Roxy, when he stumbled upon a woman who held the key. Not only had she seen the social media postings regarding Roxy, but she knew that Gasparik was also standing on the street corner. She arranged the reunion and the rest, as they say, is history. Marketers would be wise to sit up and take note, as the marketing tips from this tale are strong:
1. Don’t Take a “Social Media or Nothing” Approach
Social media is easily the most effective way to reach your audience these days. As with everything, though, you need to tailor your marketing efforts to previous results. This guy gave it a full day using social media but likely realized that his target demographic was perhaps not of the generation that uses it. Hence, he took his marketing efforts offline and saw results.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Old School
In this day and age of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI), it can be extremely refreshing for your customers to, gasp, actually get a phone call. Even better, set up an in-person meeting. You can even send a token of your appreciation afterwards. Although execs used to do these things because they didn’t have the technology to do otherwise, these old school tactics can go a long way in earning the respect of your clients. We’re not telling you to become a Luddite, per se, but a combination of technology with a more personal approach can make a difference.
3. Use an integrated approach
The multi-pronged approach Gasparik used showed his dedication to reaching his goal. He enlisted the help of Facebook, other social media outlets, and signage. He didn’t twirl his sign like you see on some street corners but, as he says in the article, he was on social media while standing on the corner. Until your metrics tell you what’s working and what’s not, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit.
4. Aim For an Emotional Response
Gasparik could have very easily left the dog at home, bringing a photo or even just a description of the dog to the street corner. Instead, he brought the adorable lab with him, upping the emotional investment of those that passed him by. As you have likely heard, readers are more likely to forward stories that have touched them on an emotional level.
As this Forbes article notes of research done by the Journal of Psychological Science, “Unsurprisingly, our emotional responses to content can play a massive role in whether or not we choose to share that content with others. But it isn’t exactly a straightforward relationship.” The article goes on to note that “the study found that some types of negative emotions, such as sadness, actually decreased an article’s propensity to be shared.” In the end, they surmised that material that evokes strong emotions and positivity are likely to be forwarded.
Getting back to Gasparik, the tone he set by bringing Roxy to the street corner on that fateful day not only had a direct effect on whether people paid attention to him, but it also meant that those that drove by him likely forwarded the videos they took due to curiosity and amusement.
5. Think Outside the Box
With the advent of digital technology in television, much of traditional advertising had to evolve or die. TV-watchers suddenly held the ability to fast forward right through commercials, so advertisers had to think outside the box by changing the length of ads, enlisting product placement, and other techniques. That’s exactly what Gasparik did in this situation as well. He could have simply used the NextDoor app and crossed his fingers like others typically do when they come across a lost dog. Instead, Gasparik took the road less traveled and, of course, that made all the difference.
Remember—the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result. Mix up your approach like Gasparik did in his subtly heroic act and reap the rewards.
By: Marnie Brodersen