Marketing has always been a huge focus at Scotty's Brewhouse. From the ads at your tables to the TV's in the bathrooms, there are marketing pieces everywhere within the 4 walls of the restaurant. On the digital front, Scotty’s markets on all sorts of social networks and sends e-blasts, weekly, to their database of over 40,000 members. When it came time to promote and advertise for the 2012 Olympics, however, the marketing department faced a huge obstacle. Unless you had paid large amounts of money to acquire the rights, you couldn't mention the words 2012 Olympic Games.
"Normally, when we create our marketing pieces, we just need to worry about the design and if the ads have all the info our guests need to know," said Rachel Redwine Nelson , Chief Branding Officer. "With the Olympics this year, however, we encountered an unusual obstacle; we weren’t able to use any obvious words that would let our guests know what we were promoting."
With all Scotty's locations having 50 -75 TVs that are constantly tuned to sporting events, the Olympics were something that guests would be sure to want to watch and so some advertising needed to be done to promote the event.
"In a world where we are constantly getting bombarded with marketing messages," said Scott Wise, President and CEO of a Pots & Pans Production, “it was a unique way to break through all the clutter with a fun message. And, at the end of the day, our entire goal was to stay 'top of mind' when our guest was considering a location to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies."
Marketing has taken on a new life of its own in the new social world we live in. This can be seen in Super Bowl ads that ask viewers to Tweet to be a part of the ad or scan QR codes to pick an ending to a storied ad or even crowdsourcing to generate ideas like the Old Spice commercial that started as a viral, online sensation only.
Our world may collectively have Attention Deficit Disorder. Fast food is no longer fast enough. And, how long do you stand in front of your microwave at home, aggravated that it is going to take another full 30 seconds to finish heating that piece of pizza? Well, that same theory applies to marketing and the name of advertising game is, "what can I do in the few short seconds that I have your attention, to keep your attention and market our idea, promotion or event to you and not lose you in less than 140 twitterless seconds?"
Matt Gutierrez, Scotty's in-house graphic designer, came up with an idea after surfing the web the night before and seeing someone misspell one of the words in an Olympic ad.
"I thought, what if we just misspelled everything, but did it in an strategic fashion?," said Gutierrez, describing the ad. "The mind is conditioned to see words a certain way and, even if they are slightly misspelled, they are still very simple to read."
With this idea in place, Gutierrez was able to create an ad without using any of the trademarked words, but still get the advertising message across. Here is a copy of the ad that was used.
"He showed it to me and I loved it!," continued Wise. "It was one of the most creative ads we have done and I knew it would catch people's attention. However, I never anticipated the response we received."
Wise is referring to the flood of emails and tweets that came in after the ad was posted. Some of the comments were complementing the idea of the ad, but a large number of them were people pointing out that there were spelling errors.
"It was pretty funny," laughed Redwine Nelson. "We continued to receive email after email, with comments such as 'You should have run spell check' or 'Better hire a proofreader.’ We went back and responded, individually, to each comment and, politely, asked those who commented to read the entire ad and all the proverbial fine print.”
More comments came in the following day, when the marketing team emailed the ad out to their 40,000 plus e-club members.
"This really goes to show you how important the subject line of an email is," said Wise. "We purposely misspelled it in the subject line as well and so many people sent a first message saying we had goofed, but then followed it up with one a little later saying they were embarrassed because now they had read the entire ad. The whole thing was a lot of fun and I think help draw attention to our coverage of the Olympics."
The ad also got some national attention when the sports website, uni-watch.com, mentioned and displayed the ad.
“Penultimately, a bit of good ol’ American humor: Seems like Scotty’s Brewhouse in Indianapolis didn’t win their bidding war to secure advertiser rights at the Games. So, and to avoid any potential legal troubles, they have come up with a logo that is sure to evade the Olympic Branding Police. Awesome!”– uni-watch.com – 7/26/12
Scotty's will continue to show all the events throughout the Olympics on the restaurant TVs and hope many fans will come out and cheer the USA on to more medals. Closing ceromonies wil air Sunday at 4pm.
Below is a sampling of some of the messages that were received after the ad was posted. We’ve left off the names to protect the innocent. We would also love to hear from you. What’s your favorite ad that is out right now or your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time. Leave a comment below and we will be 3 random people to win a $10 gift card.
Comments from Tweets and Emails:
- Wow...how ridiculous you can't spell LONDON.
- Check your spelling! London Olympics Good grief!
- London is spelled wrong! not LODNON
- Typo in the subject line!! (London is misspelled)
- You have NOTHING spelled correctly in this subject line!
- It's London, and not Lodnon.
- Wow who typed the subject???
- Ya misspelled London!
- Is this a joke?
- Unbelievable: “Spell Check”
- Is London meant to be spelled wrong?
- Never mind. I just now saw the other typos too. I'm guessing you must have meant to make that many mistakes
- I am sure I am not the first correct you, but let me be one of many......
- You did mean London, right?!
- Nice spelling job on that subject line.
- What the heck is an "Oimplycs"?
- oh an intentiola tpyo!
- Love your Olympics marketing workaround in your latest email! Genius!
- Lodnon' is brilliant by the way.