Once in a while there is a media event that nailed it and generated lots of coverage with a simple but smartly executed concept. Kimi Raikkonen’s book of haiku that was released last Friday at the Japanese Grand Prix is the perfect example of how giving something that started up a conversation is the way to go.
Mission Winnow is the latest initiative from a big tobacco company to put their name on the two Ferrari racing cars. Since they can’t talk about their company or their products, Mission Winnow needed a hook. Their hook was a haiku book featuring quotes and photos from one Ferrari driver. And it worked!
Here’s why this haiku book was a hit run.
First, it was on brand with Kimi Raikkonen. If you don’t follow Formula 1 auto racing, Raikkonen is a popular Finnish driver who is known as a man of few words and for its straightforward attitude. Raikkonen doesn’t enjoy the PR part that goes with his job. There are plenty of YouTube videos filled with his most famous monotone or blunt responses during interviews and from team radio communications. For many of his fans, he provides a breath of fresh air in a sport that feels more corporate than entertaining.
A book inspired by the art of three-line poems made of seventeen syllables could only be made for Kimi Raikkonen. The concept couldn’t have worked with any other driver. It’s a key element to remember when you work on a project like this. The book started conversations because people embraced the story. It worked because the haikus sounded like Raikkonen.
When you do an event, think about exclusivity. By printing a few copies made available only to some journalists they gave them a reason to share the news. Owning a book, or just seeing a copy, became special. It worked since many medias, other racing teams and fans on Twitter added their comments or created their own haikus.
They tried to hijack the National Poetry Day, a UK-wide celebration of poetry, which took place on the day of their media event. That part was unsuccessful.
Food for thought
Use your assets more strategically. Think about how you can leverage the assets that you already have. What can you do to repurpose your materials into something more entertaining, more useful, or more compelling for the press and their audience?
+ image credits: Twitter