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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Surfing in Marketing - Mac OS X Mavericks Operating System

Surf Marketing.  Anyone that surfs know how "cool" of an experience it is.  Lately, I have been noticing that companies are using surfing's "cool" factor in advertising to appeal to the larger population, hoping that some cool will rub off on their products.  Here are three recent examples.

Mac OS X Mavericks Operating System: Mac's new operating system for its computers is named after Mavericks, the epic surf spot 2 miles off the shore north of Half Moon Bay, California.  Apple's ads and marketing for the OS feature a picture of a huge wave in the background, which looks a little too clean and green to be Mavericks, a notoriously dark and grey wave.  I even read one article about the new Mac OS describing Mavericks as a "nice" place that is a "surf beach."  When I think of Mavericks I think of huge waves, rocks and multiple wave hold-downs, not a nice surf beach...

Mazda3 Commercial: the first time I saw this commercial below I couldn't figure out what it was for - why was a commercial featuring Laird Hamilton tow-in surfing?  Laird's surfing lasts for a good portion of the commercial and a Mazda isn't featured or mentioned until over half way through.  Mazda's marketing team really took a chance that people would be drawn to surfing, pay attention, and stick around long enough to notice the Mazda.  To their credit, I do not change the channel when Laird's surfing comes on.

BMW X1 Commercial:  this commercial lasts only 23 seconds and the majority of that shows two guys driving their X1 with a surfboard roof rack loaded up with surfboards on the way to the beach to go surfing, with shots of the beach mixed in.  The kicker to the commercial is that a kayak flies off of the roof of the in front of them (always use a kayak rack!) and the car is able to brake before hitting the kayak - what a special car...  Again, like the Mazda 3 commercial, this commercial's focus is mostly on the surfing, something think is "cool" and are more willing to take notice.  While you're focused on surfing, marketers are hoping you're paying attention long enough to realize the true message behind the ad.

Really I find it great that these ads want to use surfing as their hook.  I'd much rather watch Laird tow-in surfing or see shots of a beach than other less-creative and more annoying commercials.