One my favorite shows on TV is Extreme Home Makeover on ABC. If you’re not familiar with the show, let me give you a quick rundown of what it’s all about. Basically, Extreme Home Makeover provides a new house for a deserving family every week. Most of the families have some sort of desperate need like a family member with health concerns, a house that’s falling apart and/or serious financial issues. And most of the families have some sort of community involvement and/or charitable activity that they are heavily involved in.
In a one hour show, the cast and crew meets the family, gets a tour of their house, gets the family packed up and sent on vacation, destroys their house, and builds them a brand-new and fully decked-out "home" from the ground up. The demolition phase is a big deal, particularly the way they demolish some of the houses with heavy equipment or explosives or whatever other creative means they can come up with. So what does all that have to do with internet marketing? Well, one of the things Extreme Home Makeover does brilliantly is something that Mark Joyner is famous for talking about. In fact, he may have coined the phrase. What phrase? Integration Marketing. And what does that mean? Essentially, it means subtly and/or indirectly including some image or mention of a product, while not necessarily calling attention to it directly.
In the case of Extreme Home Makeover, they use Integration Marketing by showing the multiple different brands of building materials, equipment and companies that donate their services or products in the construction of each week’s house. If you’ve ever seen the show, by the end of it you’ve seen probably 50 different brands or names or logos of the companies that represent the products and services that went into building the house. From the motor coach used to transport the cast to the manufacturer of the roofing materials, it seems that every single contributor to each house gets some sort of brief exposure.
But the great thing about it is that you don’t feel like you’re being marketed to. You don’t feel like you’re looking at an advertisement. Instead, you actually start to feel a little bit of loyalty towards these companies. After all, they’re donating their products or services and making some family’s dreams come true, so they’re putting themselves in the position of "the good guys". And as far as marketing goes, it would be hard to get more smart than that. One of the largest sponsors of the show has been Sears. On many shows they donate all of the appliances for the entire house and quite often much of the furniture and other household sundries.
I can imagine how many thousands of dollars worth of products they’ve given to these families over the years of airing the show. And during that time, I’ve developed a great respect for Sears. Now it looks like CVS Pharmacy is taking over the position of the major sponsor. And I imagine their revenues are going to increase the same way that Sears’ did, when the viewer loyalty towards this company begins to increase as a result of their generosity. Some may argue that it’s a huge tax deduction for these companies, and that may be true. But nevertheless, this public display of generosity will undoubtedly affect their bottom line in a positive way for a long time to come.
If you haven’t watched the show, I encourage you to. Not only is it very touching, it is an excellent example of how to use positive emotions to advertise effectively - even subconsciously. And while you’re at it, why not practice noticing all the different ways Integration Marketing is used in the various forms of advertising you’re exposed to every day. And why not try to apply some of those techniques to your own marketing? It’s about as low pressure as advertising gets, yet the results are amazing. Not only will your customers appreciate it, but so will your pocketbook.