Campaign Trail is our look at some of the best and worst new creative efforts from the marketing world. View past columns in the archives here.
In this week's picks, Marketing Dive's editors examine the NFL's attempt to reel in generations of loyal lifetime fans, Del Taco's social giveaway around French fry-scented soap and an Alibaba-powered "shoppertainment" experience in Asia:
NFL celebrates centennial with 'Tickets for 100 Years'
The rundown: As part of its centennial celebration, the NFL launched "Tickets for 100 Years," a contest that offers just that: a pair of season tickets to the winning fan's team of choice for the next century.
"The NFL was built on multi-generational fandom that bonds people together," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. "Giving someone a century's worth of NFL season tickets may be the single greatest sports prize ever offered to a fan."
In that multigenerational spirit, the grand prize winner will be able to pass down the tickets through their family. As part of the campaign, the NFL is running a promo video online and on broadcast.
To enter, fans must follow @NFL on Instagram or Twitter, share a picture or video that shows why they are their team's biggest fan and share it on one of the platforms by tagging the NFL's handle and including the hashtag #NFL100contest. The contest runs through April 7. Three finalist will be flown to Nashville, and the winner will be announced during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25.
The results: The NFL's social media contest follows a raft of similar efforts that have given away significant prizes, like JetBlue's year of free travel and Vitaminwater trading $100,000 for a fan to go a year without a smartphone, but with a significant prize for football fans: season tickets that can span generations.
The campaign could help to strengthen the league's connection with current or lapsed fans that have been frustrated by NFL controversies surrounding concussions and kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality. Viewership — and ad revenue — looked to be rebounding last season, but the Super Bowl dipped to reach 33.5 million U.S. households — down 15% from 2018.
The NFL 100 campaign kicked off, appropriately, with an ad during this year's Super Bowl. The two-minute spot featured more than 40 current and former players, announcers and officials breaking into a brawl over a golden football. It was created by agency 72andSunny Los Angeles and "Friday Night Lights" director Peter Berg.
Del Taco freshens up quirky merch with French fry-scented soap
The rundown: From KFC's fried chicken-scented firelog to Taco Bell's clothing line crossover with Forever 21, it seems as though every fast-food chain is developing wacky merchandise. Now, Mexican-inspired Del Taco is hopping on the trend with a French fry-scented soap packaged in what looks like the company's new Fresh Faves Box menu offering that comes with crinkle cut fries.
Stamped with the Del Taco logo, the packaging for the five-ounce Eau de French Fry soap says it's "brought to you by the hardest-working hands in fast food."
The campaign to promote the new lineup of meal boxes includes a social media component from agency Camp + King. Del Taco shared news of the soap giveaway on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Fans could win a free bar of the soap by posting an Instagram photo of their love for Del Taco, tagging the brand's social media handle and including the hashtag #FrySoap.
This isn't the California-based chain's first foray into quirky merch tie-ins. In December, it served up burrito-themed wrapping paper for the holidays to promote the Epic Triple Meat Burrito.
The results: Like other fast-food chains' branded merchandise giveaways, Del Taco's effort was somewhat short lived, as it sold out of the limited-edition soap within two days, the company announced on Instagram.
Product tie-ins like the French fry soap tend to do relatively well for fast-food brands, as the funky items typically drum up significant press coverage and social media engagement. By requiring fans to share their love for a brand on social platforms, campaigns like Del Taco's strategically encourage user-generated content that can extend the campaign's reach to a bigger audience.
As in the case of the fry-scented soap, these products are often sold direct-to-consumer from the brand, giving the company a chance to learn more about their fans by gathering data and communicating directly with them in the future.
While a creative tactic to drum up excitement around a brand and engage ad-fatigued consumers, this strategy has been played out by a growing number of restaurants, CPG brands and other categories over the past two years, somewhat diluting the efforts.
Lazada debuts 'shoppertainment' app experience with Dua Lipa
The rundown: Lazada, the Southeast Asian e-commerce platform, is attempting to meld online shopping and entertainment into a unique "shoppertainment" experience celebrating its 7th anniversary, according to a news release.
On March 26, the company will host a concert in Jakarta, Indonesia, featuring a performance by musical artist Dua Lipa, along with appearances by actress Agnez Mo, entertainment duo Nadine Lustre and Sam Concepcion, and Dong Nhi, a former host on "The Voice Vietnam," among other guests.
For fans unable to attend what Lazada bills as a "Super Party" in-person, the brand will stream the event live via its mobile app in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The e-commerce platform is supported by Alibaba's technology and infrastructure, which will help to deliver the experience at scale, Lazada Group CMO Mary Zhou said in a statement.
"We want to go beyond shopping and offer our consumers and fans, through our in-app live streaming capabilities, moments to cherish and remember," Zhou said.
The results: Lazada's idea to link up livestreamed entertainment and e-commerce is a natural way to follow the second-screening habits some mobile-minded consumers already participate in, where they're busy checking their phones and other devices while watching video content.
The brand might be able to capture new customers by partnering with a high-profile star like Dua Lipa. The artist has steadily risen in popularity internationally through viral hits like "New Rules" — which has more than 1.7 billion views on YouTube — and has recently snagged industry accolades at the Grammys and Brit Awards.
However, hosting such an event carries some serious technical risks Lazada and partners like Alibaba will need to consider in the lead-up to March 26. Livestreams have a bad habit of crashing when they receive high traffic volume, resulting in frustrated viewers and potentially damaging the brand. Same goes for online shopping: Retailers are consistently burned around major sales windows like Black Friday when their platforms can't handle the spike in activity — just ask J. Crew.
Still, Lazada is attempting to extend the opportunity past the concert itself. The following day, it will run a one-day sale and debut a new selection of products, which could help to encourage repeat shoppers.