Happy Q4th bro.
HubSpot owning the narrative
When Taylor Swift made an appearance at an NFL game alongside Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, his jersey sales skyrocketed by 400%.
See marketing is easy. You just need a TSwift cameo and watch the numbers go up.
While no brand can quite replicate the magic touch of Taylor Swift, it underscores a point: Aligning with what's already top-of-mind is a timeless ad strategy to elevate brand awareness.
Starbucks perfected the concept, owning headlines every fall with their unrelenting pumpkin spice deluge.
HubSpot is trying to spin some magic of its own with a fourth-quarter brand campaign that seeks to own the term “Q4.”
Owning The Ordinary
Props to whoever first came up with the concept at HubSpot (or at their agency).
“We need a Q4 brand campaign, any ideas?”
“How about just… Q4?”
It’s the type of idea that most of us would not be brave enough to say out loud because it sounds too obvious. From what I've glimpsed in their early campaign spot and social integrations, it’s a defining move for HubSpot. It’s successful because they’re speaking the language of their customer. They’re not just talking about the importance of Q4 to salespeople, they’re nerding out on the term. Making inside jokes. Exaggerating like we all do when talking shop with people who speak our language.
(My favorite part of the main brand spot is this art gallery scene.)
And honestly just trying to own the term Q4 is audacious. Like Louboutin trademarking red-soled shoes.
To take a generic calendar item and turn it into a rallying cry is a masterstroke.
Remember HubSpot’s no stranger to owning a phrase. They invented “inbound marketing” as a concept when they were founded. Their annual conference is still called INBOUND.
The Sportsball Play
The strategy of the campaign builds off another key insight. Studies show that salespeople are more likely to be into sports than most of us. So a big part of this campaign is above-the-fold spots going wide to connect with salespeople where they’re spending significant time: watching sports, maybe even that Travis Kelce game.
The US campaign is HubSpot’s first NFL Sunday Ticket buy (via YouTube). The Winning Q4 campaign also includes linear TV buys, paid social, a Lyft Rewards partnership, a DraftKings integration to own Q4 during Monday Night Football, and TikTok second-screen ad takeovers.
Expect to see all of HubSpot’s marketing and social geared towards Sales messaging for the quarter.
The big idea
Successful brand campaigns don’t always need sparkles and unicorns and a celebrity cameo to land big.
Knowing your customer — speaking their language — and remembering to have fun, goes a long way.
Behind the humor and fun, there's an emotional resonance that HubSpot taps into. Q4 isn’t just a time of the year; for salespeople, it's a state of mind. An ethos. It’s a brand strategy HubSpot can repeat and reinforce every year.
Disclosure: HubSpot is a Social Fresh client.