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Marketing Win/Marketing Fail: Augmented reality and Johnny Canuck

In our continuing blog exploring the good and bad of the marketing world, we look at a particularly interesting and effective use of technology; meanwhile we also see if any lessons can be learned from a sports team’s public relations snafu.

Marketing Win: Treasury Wine Estates

Augmented reality (AR) has been around for a few years now and truth be told it never really took off in the way some people anticipated. Who can forget how caught up everyone was in Pokemon GO mania a couple years ago only for the craze to disappear faster than you can say Pikachu?

AR might be due for a renaissance, however, and winemaker Treasury Wine Estates appears to have noticed the tech’s lost marketing potential. It launched a new range of wines featuring augmented reality labels that pay tribute to feminist pioneers.

The labels, which were created for the Women’s Equality Day on August 26, come to life like something out of Harry Potter when consumers use a special app on their phones. Talking heads of women such as journalist Nellie Bly, jazz singer Josephine Baker and Latin artist Celia Cruz, are allowed to narrate their stories.

This campaign represents a wonderful coming together of marketing, technology and, importantly, a message. Here’s to more companies following Treasury’s lead.

Marketing Fail: The Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks found themselves in a bit of a marketing catch-22 this week.

A picture of a lacrosse team’s jersey depicting a logo that appeared to be heavily inspired by the Canuck’s Johnny Canuck character was posted on social media. It was commissioned by the father of one of the members of a boys’, three-person lacrosse team.

Possibly based out of a desire to clear up any confusion online, the Vancouver Canucks asked the lacrosse team to turn over the jerseys so they could be destroyed.

This was a tricky situation for the Canucks from a public relations perspective. Of course, the Canucks have to protect their copyright, but by coming down too hard on the lacrosse players, they were in danger of damaging their brand.

If the dispute were to become a legal issue, the Canucks could have been perceived as alienating their fanbase by coming across as the corporate Goliath to the lacrosse team’s David. After all, the jerseys could be seen as just a bit of fan appreciation. Imagine if Disney sued everyone who wrote fan fiction based on its intellectual property. Half the internet would shut down.

It’s perhaps a little harsh to be giving the Canucks our Marketing Fail tag this week. To be fair to its PR team, they did a pretty good job by granting the company a one-time consent so the players could wear the jerseys for a tournament and then offering them official jerseys in exchange for the fan-made ones.

advertising, brands, marketing, marketing win/marketing fail