Unlimited territory


At the beginning, it may have sound like a joke told at a wrong moment. A marketing stroke similar to the Mikado’s viral campaign (cf. Question of DNA, weekly note, 1st February). Although it wasn’t the case, the idea was not less disruptive. After make-up products proposed by Ladurée (delicatessen), here comes Carlsberg (beer) with its beauty line for men that includes a shampoo, a conditioner and a body lotion. The innovation is designed by Urtegaarden, a Dutch company specialized in cosmetics and, of course, fashioned with beer… otherwise where would be the brand consistency?

Suddenly, here comes the beer invested of all the conceivable cosmetics virtues: vitamin B, proteins, hydration, silicon, brilliance… without forgetting the unmistakable ‘grand-ma trick’ to wash hair and bring a touch of credibility or feed the storytellers. The product range of ‘Carlsberg Laboratories’ – named ‘Beer Beauty’ – is sold on the brand’s website and shops, so as during the events that will be organized to promote its innovation.

The transition from the world of beer to the one of beauty was not easy to imagine 5 years ago. Now, it is much easier. The will to find the most unexpected partnerships has become the marketing hobby of numerous brands today. They have the necessity to make themselves conspicuous in a world not necessarily less competitive than yesterday, but where they do need to speak louder to be noticed. Also, today’s consumers expect much more than the products and services that Brands are proposing ‘naturally’.

Originally, consumption was linked to a social class, then to a lifestyle. Henceforth, consumption is considered leisure, between culture and entertainment. To learn something and be astonished have become the two major requirements of contemporary consumers, defying suddenly the Maslow Pyramid…

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All brands are trying to build-up unexpected partnerships today. To be noticed in an highly competitive environment where a ‘simple’ presence in the media is not enough anymore. But also to assert their modernity. A modernity that sometimes is getting closer to a surrealist world where washing machines would be associated with umbrellas… How to surprise consumers in their behavior that have been becoming, through years, similar kids’ visiting Disneyland… relentlessly expecting ‘more and more’, ‘better and better’?

Not a long time ago, in some Carrefour City shops and cinemas of Europe, the low cost airlines Transavia was selling cereal bars, candies pouches, crisps bags, and some containing a code to upload on their website to confirm and receive the actual ticket. “So cheap … that you can buy flights like snacks!” was the headline of this daring promotional campaign.

In New York, for the opening of the Whitney Museum, Max Mara asked the architect Renzo Piano to create a limited edition of 250 bags inspired by the building façade.

More mainstream (eventually…), in the mythical Parc de Princes Football Stadium, during a major game in last April, the French car-maker Citröen hanged 15 models of its DS5 series 30-meter above the ground. Held by hydraulic actuators, it offered an impregnable extraordinary view to the audience.

Surrealist? We warned you! Proof to exist, a brand must today be ‘talked about’ leveraging the most unexpected ways…

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