Monday, 27 February 2017

Comping beneath the radar

What if I told you there was another way to win? A competition with no other entrants and no closing date. No terms, no conditions, and, erm, no guaranteed prizes either. Would you stick around to hear more? (You don’t have to answer that … but I will check my analytics!)

OK, so here’s the disclosure: it’s not technically comping. But when it works out, it most definitely feels like winning.

So what is this Hot New Thing? I call it karmic comping, but if anyone has a better name then I’m open to suggestions.

Why karmic? Because goodwill generates goodwill. (Disclosure 2: I originally put “good vibes” but didn’t want to turn off my non-hippy readers.)

Let me be clear - this isn’t for everyone. If you’re going to be cynical about it, you may as well leave the room now, because without genuine brand affection, this absolutely will not work.

Shrugging off that cloak of cynicism can be hard - I get that. After all, being a grown-up can often seem like one long grind. If this sounds all too familiar, you might want to take a step back and let your children do the talking, as it’s a well-known fact that the mouths of babes are ripe with spontaneous (and if you’re lucky, ill-informed) sincerity.

Case in point: My eldest lad’s most prized possession is (at the time of writing) a Pilot Frixion pen. He loves that pen. No toy comes close. So I thought I’d make a video about him and his pen.
And then I sent it to Pilot.
They loved it. They shared it. And they sent my delighted son another four of their fancy Frixion pens.

So what’s the lesson here? Brands love to share user-generated content because it’s genuine, grassroots love. It shows how their product makes a difference to real people. In turn, people connect with it, because it’s completely shorn of corporatism.

In other words, if you love a brand then let them know. And if you can let them know in a way that tickles their chestnuts, who knows … maybe they’ll love you back. That’s karma.

Have you ever tweeted unsolicited love to a brand? How did it go?!


  1. Super video! My son loves those pens too. All his school friends had them so we've had to start buying them for him now. I still can't get my head round how they work - in my day we had to use those clear felt pens to erase ink which really stank. It's always nice when a brand says thanks like this.

    1. I'm pretty sure they work by magic - not like those stinky pens... Didn't they work on colour-changing ink too? Now there's something the youth of today are missing out on!