Heartless Marketing: The Last Drop of Lemmy
Sorry to say this, but I don’t find this marketing campaign as a tribute to Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. Sorry Valio, sorry Hasan & Partners. And all my friends working for both organizations. I think this is heartless marketing disguised as a tribute.
The original ad from the 90’s was introduced by the dairy nutrition council, a lobbyist organization for dairy products in Finland. The original ad features a hardcore alcoholic stating that he has never drunk any milk nor will do so. Just look at this :
Thus, the original ad suggest that if you do not drink milk you will get in a very bad health condition.
Now Valio, the leading dairy product company and it’s ad agency Hasan & Partners publish a “remake” of the ad, saying it is a tribute to Lemmy, “We raise our glasses to Lemmy”.
And then there is an entire “Valio tribute to Lemmy” web page for Lemmy.
Most of the content is “branded” with Valio milk. The tribute video on YouTube was released only yesterday. And suddenly this is all over the media, also internationally. Something that requires quite much planning and PR to make it happen. There are so few hits on the video that the media was not likely to find it through virality.
As the consumer of the original ad back in the 90s, I feel Lemmy is pictured as a warning example of someone who doesn’t drink their milk.
Marketing with Lemmy
As a marketing strategist, I can imagine what the Valio marketing has been thinking.
“Lemmy is dead. What a lucky event for us. He is dead and we can make this international viral thing with this fresh footage! Let’s do a quick agile thing and call it a tribute. A great emotional piece that is likely to create lot of coverage and plenty of brand recognition.”
And then, this campaign happened.
Thinking this from a marketing perspective, the situation is very interesting. You manage to get Lemmy for your ad, the shooting goes well and you get great footage.
Then, suddenly your superstar dies. What should we do? We’ve invested lot of money to an ad that (with a grin) suggests that you look bad if you don’t drink your milk. And now the star is dead.
Well, at least you shouldn’t explain that what your original idea was and then just publish the content online instead of running the ad on tv, added with a few lines saying “this is a tribute to Lemmy” and add suggestions about how healthy milk is.
If you do a tribute to someone like Lemmy, why not publish some real “making of” footage? Show what he was and how he behaved on and off the camera. He must have some potentially legendary one-liners, he must have made an impact to the set. Show who he was, and forget about the “milk branding” – it has nothing to do with Lemmy.
You probably had all the tools to make a great and worthy tribute to Lemmy Kilmister. Why didn’t you?