May Strategies We're Watching

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  • by Courtney PeGan Stevens

My aim is to highlight interesting, empathy-driven choices that I see brands and companies making each month. While I don’t have any insider knowledge of these strategies, I have been around the business block and seen enough to make educated guesses on how these strategies are addressing real human needs.

From empathic email marketing to a viral advertising campaign I can’t stop raving about, I am featuring uniquely empathic marketing strategies that caught my attention this month. 


The Strategy: Allowing Users to Opt Out of Father’s Day Marketing Emails

The Player: PunkPost

Why I’m Watching:  Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are beautiful holidays for some, and they are painful reminders for others. The first Father’s Day after my dad died, my inbox was a minefield of businesses reminding me of his absence with phrases like “don’t forget Dad this year” peppering their brand communications. I understood it was not their fault or intention to hurt me or make me feel sad while checking my email, but I still started to resent the most aggressive brands. I may have even unsubscribed from a few.

All of this is why I was very impressed to receive an email from the Personalized Greeting Card company, PunkPost, allowing me to opt out of Father’s Day marketing completely this year. 

It felt like being seen for the first time since I lost my dad. As a consumer, they made it feel so effortless to “opt out.” From a business standpoint, I see an elegant and empathic strategy to simply ASK your consumers if you can help make a hard season better by allowing them to temporarily get a “pass” from your marketing emails that will be focused on Father’s day. PunkPost made it seem so obvious, that now I wonder why everyone doesn’t offer the same.


The Strategy: Applying Human Insight to Create Humorous and Viral Advertising

The Player: Extra Gum

Why I’m Watching:  Let’s end this blog post on a high note with this beautiful piece of advertising from Extra Gum that elicits laughter and a sense of, “IT ME!”  

After a year of decreased sales and demand, Extra Gum is saying that they are not giving up on us and are here for our joyous return to socializing and free-wheeling affection. 

I admit, I have watched this 2+ minute ad at least 5 times now AND texted it to my family and best friend AND laughed until I nearly cried each time because there is some new joke I catch with every watch. I can relate to so many of the vignettes in this ad that I don’t even care any more that Celine Dion is stuck in my head. I’ve often heard that comedy is just really good insight - and this ad is the perfect application of human insight and comedic relief. And strategically, rewatching & resharing this ad has embedded into my psyche that gum needs to be on my next shopping list!



What do you think of these strategies and how do you see them playing out?  Let’s keep the conversation going!  Follow us on LinkedIn or email me directly: courtney@seekcompany.com.