Ever since we were kids, summer is a mental burst of energy that fills us with the thought that anything can happen over the course of a few stress-free months. It meant no school; it meant hanging out with our friends in swimsuits, and it meant trips where anything was possible. It meant sleepovers that lasted a week, midnight refrigerator raids, bonfires, concerts, driving around town until 5 a.m., first kisses, cannonballs at the lake, camping under the stars, and so many other magical things. This time of year fills people with excitement and the promise of making great memories — and this feeling is not lost on companies who want to sell us stuff.
Corporations use summer to make these sales. Let’s be honest. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it is a big-time tool to sell, sell, sell. And it works.
Summertime has an unmistakable feel to it that moves people, and companies know and understand this. Summer represents youth, freedom, and hope: three of the most important things that marketers can grab onto to tap into consumers’ desires. Summer makes consumers feel nostalgic. Marketers do not mess around when it comes to harnessing that feeling in order to make you want whatever they’re selling. Check out these ads for H&M, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Nintendo 3DS, Starbucks, and Jeep, to name just a few.
See what they did there? Beaches. Bright drinks. Bright colors. Happy girls in swimsuits. Youth. Fun. Freedom. Possibility. SUMMER. No matter how old you are, where you come from, or your gender, summer is a concept that we all just want to reach out and grab.
One of the greatest advertisements of all time for capturing this feeling extremely well is this Levi’s campaign from several years back. It elegantly reflects the wild abandon and unleashing that we feel at the beginning of summer. This ad from Coke hitches its wagon to the “anything is possible” feeling, promoting their name-on-a-bottle campaign.
The general idea is that, no matter how folks are spending their summer—whether it’s outside camping, on an exotic getaway, experiencing extreme sports, partying, spending time with family, or simply relaxing — as marketers, we want to show them that our product will make whatever they’re doing better, more convenient, and more fun. You’re not selling the product, You’re selling the experience.
- Coca Cola will make your beach time more refreshing.
- A PacSun backpack will make your camping trip easier.
- Ray-Ban sunglasses will make you look more sophisticated on your trip to Cancun.
- Xbox will ensure you have a game-filled, action-packed summer vacation.
- McDonald’s will feed you throughout those summertime road trips.
- HBO will give you plenty to watch over the long summer nights.
Around summertime, marketers get creative. We have to—there’s lots of competition when it comes to seasonal advertising, and summer is probably the biggest draw. Everyone wants to look good, everyone wants to have fun and enjoy great food and tasty drinks, and everyone wants to hop in their car and go somewhere.
Whether companies decide to go with adventure, something funny, something alluring, or something that looks like it will be refreshing in the heat, most advertisements that focus on summertime can’t really fail. It’s not too hard to pull consumers into the world of balmy nights and fun-soaked days.
At Marqana, we’re on top of the latest trending tech and marketing topics. Be sure to follow the Marqana blog to keep an eye on what we’re talking about. And if you need help with your online ad creation or blog management, whether you’re advertising in summer or want to publish posts like this one, Marqana has got you covered.
A version of this article was published as The Trick to Summer Marketing Campaigns by Heather Honeycutt on June 15th, 2016.