Why ‘tryvertising’ is catching on

By Kim Harrison,

Consultant, Author and Principal of www.cuttingedgepr.com

Experienced consumers switch off or even get angry about the commercials, ads, banners and pop ups foisted on them. ‘Tryvertising’ is an innovative way to reach them – a cross between advertising, product promotion and marketing communication. Tryvertising essentially takes product placement to the real world, integrating products into the daily life of consumers so they can make up their minds based on their actual experience with the products.

Product placement is a common technique to create more exposure for products by placing them within view or in use in film and television scenes or in plays. In a more general sense, product placement can comprise the giving away of samples in letterboxes, magazines and supermarkets. But there is no guarantee that these products are seen or tried out at the right time, in the right place and by the right target audience.

Tryvertising is more effective because it directly targets end users, in contrast to indirect, viral campaigns in which celebrities or influencers trial new products and then talk to others about them.

Tryvertising comprises activities that are a natural fit with consumers. And when the consumer actually tries the product, their experience is much stronger than just hearing about it or seeing someone else use it in the media. The examples below relate to well-known brands, but you could just as easily apply the concept to your own situation. The examples could help to stimulate your ideas on ways to team up with others to capitalize on tryvertising:

  • Car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Mini Cooper partner with luxury hotels to offer guests the use of a car with unlimited mileage during their stay; a full tank of petrol each morning and overnight valet parking. According to Ritz Carlton Hotels, dozens of guests have bought a new car based on these integrated test-drives.

  • Furniture deals are also popular with hotels. In Germany, 60 Etap budget hotels are furnished with anIKEA room and a public quiet space, also furnished by IKEA, for guests to visit and try out.

  • Nike's Runner Lounge in Vancouver can be used by runners preparing for the annual Vancouver half marathon to rendezvous for a run, get free massages, drinks and snacks and perhaps most significantly, test-drive Nike running shoes.

  • At this year's Sundance Film Festival, Starbucks sent employees along Main Street with brewing coffee kegs. Hewlett Packard had a photo bar at their Main Street lounge where cameras and printers were set up for visitors to be photographed against a selection of faux Sundance backgrounds. VW,Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac showcased their newest models by offering a free shuttle service for festival VIPs to the Sundance screenings and parties around town.

  • Last year, Senseo Coffee Machines installed coffee machines at a number of Dutch bus and tram stops, offering waiting passengers a cup of freshly brewed coffee. This is much more relevant to consumers than a billboard trying to show the aromas.

  • As part of a bid to reduce sexually transmitted diseases, 300 taxi drivers in Sussex, England handed out free Trojan condoms in discreet black envelopes to passengers who seemed likely. Due to the campaign's success, Trojan plans to roll out the campaign nationally. They're also considering targeting holiday-makers.

  • Gillette distributed their new Brush-Ups teeth wipes for several months to KLM Airlines passengers after their in-flight meals.

  • Sony this summer launched its new range of DVD handy-cams, teaming up with London Zoo for 11 days in June to offer consumers the chance to borrow DVD handy-cams for one hour, free of charge. After a two-minute demonstration, families were free to roam the zoo and record all their favorite family moments. Participants could keep their DVD with pre-recorded product and purchase details.

  • Kodak and Hyatt are encouraging vacationing family photographers to try out EasyShare, the world's first wi-fi consumer digital camera, at 13 US Hyatt properties in November. The promotion will continue to the end of the year to coincide with the holiday travel season.

  • For more than two years, Canon has been inviting anyone in the European Union to upload a digital picture to their website, pick a Canon printer they would like to try out, and fill in their address; a real photo print will then arrive in the mail the following day. Canon-owned online photo service Fotango processes and delivers. Due to ongoing success, the service has recently been expanded.

  • US appliance manufacturer Maytag is asking consumers to test products before buying. Try-out stores, owned by independent dealers, display Maytag merchandise in sample kitchens and laundry rooms. Potential buyers of washers and dryers can do a load of laundry, bake a sheet of cookies, or listen to a dishwasher in action to see whether it really is quiet. Maytag says the "try-before-you-buy" concept is working well and plans to extend the concept to 60 Maytag stores by year's end.

- via www.trendwatching.com

About the Author

Kim Harrison is a recognized authority in the public relations field. His website, www.cuttingedgepr.com, provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on public relations techniques and management.