Big risk marketing: You lose 100% of the races you don’t enter

Big risk marketing: You lose 100% of the races you don’t enter

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Bigger marketing risks deliver bigger brand rewards

With big risks often comes the biggest rewards. Business, at it’s core, is a series of calculated risks designed to receive even bigger rewards. Marketing is the embodiment of this risk to reward arrangement. Marketing and advertising are founded upon the mercurially shifting sands of customer wants and needs. Brands can play it safe and try to achieve small rewards with the least risk. But the best brands strike a balanced approach with s foundation of stable, tried and true marketing programs spiced up with a few targeted marketing leaps of faith.

Nothing in business or marketing is guaranteed except:
“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
If you want your brand or company to win big you have to make big leaps. The best advice is not to focus on the height of the cliff, the terror of the drop or the process of the leap. Instead, put your focus on sticking the landing.
Below are two traditional companies that took unconventional, risky leaps of marketing faith. Leaps that may have scared them, but re-focused them on sticking the perfect landing.

Hydroxycut Wins The Indy 500

In early 2013, Iovate’s brand, Hydroxycut, took a big leap of faith and sponsored an up and coming, veteran Indy 500 KV Racing team driver, Tony Kanaan, who earned a championship in 2004. This was their first sponsorship anywhere near this level and it was a relative last minute decision as well. It was a highly risky marketing and business move with a low chance of paying out. The potential rewards were huge if the team performed extremely well or won, but obviously in every indy 500 race there are 32 losers and only one winner.

Iovate’s big gamble hit the marketing jackpot. The Hydroxycut sponsored car #11 won the Indy 500 race. The success of the company’s marketing move is rare and astounding, winning the Indy 500 in their first participation as a sponsor. Millions of impressions and the ability to enhance their brand story are the results of sponsoring a winning team. It is what every sponsor dreams of when they get involved with a race team. While it’s true that KV Racing and Tony Kanaan won the race, in marketing the sponsors win as much as the teams they sponsor.
Today, Iovate’s Indy sponsorship bet continues to deliver as 2014 looks to an even better year for them. Their new driver Sebastien Bourdais is a four-time series champion, and is tied for the eighth-most wins in American open-wheel series history. Fans love the new look and the new driver. He is a veteran with his share of wins and yet still feels like a new racer since joining his new team.
Bourdais’ early 2014 practice times and qualifiers are strong. He was among the quickest cars at early IndyCar testing, and he won the 24 Hours at Daytona in January. With stability and a good ride at last, he hopes to compete for a championship again. Bourdais said: “I think it’s pretty much to the credit at KVSH. I could not put a strong enough point on saying that this group can win, that’s for sure.”
Iovate’s Hydroxycut is the big winner of the Indy 500®. They won their first sponsored Indy 500 race, an iconic race with millions of viewers. And with the addition of veteran champion Bourdais their chances of winning the Indy 500 a second time are looking bright. More importantly, they can capitalize on their success and integrate it in their marketing, branding and promotions all year long.






AT&T Wins New York City

AT&T became the main sponsor of the fantastically famous Tribeca Film Festival in 2013. They quickly ramped up their marketing risks in an effort to achieve bigger rewards. Actor Robert De Niro founded the festival with Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2002 after the attacks on the World Trade Center, with the stated mission of helping Lower Manhattan recover economically and culturally. The festival has become a cultural tour de force in NYC and worldwide.

AT&T had been offering free Wi-Fi in New York City parks since 2011 but with the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival they promoted an idea designed to encourage people to put down their smartphones: Free movies for all.
As the presenting sponsor of the festival, AT&T came up with a brilliant campaign to widen the appeal of the indie films by introducing a program called “Film For All” that aims to introduce the festival and it’s films to more New Yorkers. Along with showing a film in many parks all summer leading up to the event, AT&T also paid for thousands to see a film free on the final Friday of the festival.
AT T  FilmForAll at the Tribeca Film Festival   YouTube.png
The results were nearly magical. The program was well promoted and resonated with New Yorkers and film lovers everywhere. The company received massive support, appreciation and recognition from the media, filmmakers and the public. They took a bet on a risky promotion and won big.




Need more great examples? Here are 13 other big brands venturing into unconventional marketing campaigns. Companies like Virgin America, IKEA, and AT&T, and brands like Old Spice and Hydroxycut are betting big and winning big in marketing.
After all, a little success goes a long way. A lot of success goes all the way to the finish line.


Andy Newbom is a Technorati contributing writer covering Social Business and Marketing Strategy. Having founded and helped build several successful businesses over the last 20 years his passion in life has been creating award winning, best in class products and solving complex business problems using strategic marketing, social media and brand building. Follow him at | Twitter | LinkedIn |