Can a Gum Wrapper Teach Us About Great Content Marketing?

In: Content Marketing

The hero? An ordinary gum wrapper.

How many times have you heard that storyline before? Not many, I’d guess.

I’m a sucker for a good story. Who isn’t, really? But then add a touching song to that story, and play it out in living color through video, and you’ve got the best case scenario for sparking emotion from their audience. And Wrigley’s Extra gum ad portraying Sara and Juan’s budding romance is the perfect example of nailing this trifecta right on the head.

gum wrapper content marketing

The Story

The actors in this story were amazing. They were real, genuine people, who connected with the audience on so many levels. American Idol singer Haley Reinhart’s sultry voice sings Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, with a beautifully filmed sequence of events as the couple’s love story evolves. Again, they nailed it.

But, back to my my initial point. The brilliance of this piece of content and the star of the show was a lowly gum wrapper.

Whereas just about every gum ad since the beginning of time uses the ‘first kiss’ or at least the ‘our-faces-are-really-close-good-thing-we-have-gum’ scenarios, Wrigley’s takes a chance on letting this item, which is typically just thrown away, shine.

gum wrapper content marketing

They’ve dared the audience to, yes, still grab a stick of Extra right before your first kiss, but to also think about chewing gum during just about any other life moment as well:

  • first interactions
  • a picnic in the park
  • arguments
  • airport departures
  • even long distance communication (basically the opposite of the gum ad status-quo)

The Proposal

I absolutely loved the simple gum wrapper drawings that chronicle the couple’s relationship, all framed and leading to the culmination in Juan’s proposal down on one knee.

gum wrapper content marketing

Chicago-based advertising agency Energy BBDO produced the video that has amassed 80 million plus views on Facebook. That certainly qualifies it as effective content marketing! And while we might not all become avid gum wrapper artists, we as marketers should always be thinking of how we can better tell a story.

The Conclusion

So whether it’s through video, drawing on emotion, or by focusing on a completely different aspect of your product you’ve never thought of before, these are the kinds of stories we should be telling in our content marketing. They’re what create memorable experiences for your audience, who is probably chewing a stick of Wrigley’s as we speak.

Enjoy the full video below!

Essential Guide to Creating Effective, Shareable Emails Worth Opening

In: Content Marketing

Your customer wants your email.

Yes, you read that right. While our inboxes are fuller than ever, email is still how consumers want to be contacted by brands. But the catch is, and don’t take this the wrong way, they probably don’t want the emails you’re currently sending.

You can spend a whole lot of time, and money, trying to crack the code of how to talk to your customer, and while there may be specifics for your audience, you can use data and best practices to cut down the trial and error process substantially.

As you’ll read below, nearly one third of emails are opened based on the subject line alone. You spend so much time on what goes in the email, and the landing page the email takes your reader to, but are you placing enough emphasis on coming up with an effective subject line? Because who cares what’s in the email if no one ever opens it.

Keep scrolling to learn to create better marketing emails, get them opened, and make them shareable.

Optimize at Every Turn

Quicksprout shares more about optimizing your marketing emails in their infographic below. 

quick sprout email infographic

Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Mobile, Apps, and More

Next, is GetApp’s Ultimate Email Newsletter Cheat Sheet. This may seem trivial, but are your emails showing up the way you want to on people’s mobile devices? Almost 70% are checking emails there.

And have you put any thought into your reply-to address? Putting some thought into these areas could be the difference between just an email open, and an email open with continued engagement.

get app email infographic

Wrapping Up

A great email campaign doesn’t have to be elusive. Start with a benchmark of data and metrics, then gradually start implementing these tips in your next email and keep an eye on what works best for you and your industry.

Why a Targeted, Creative Email Stands Out

In: Content Marketing

As a marketer my email inbox is stuffed to overflowing with not only uninvited messages that I put up with in the name of “creative stimulation” but also of really great informative marketing messages that I need to help my clients, but alas, I end up ignoring about 87% of them, many of which could be life altering, business game changing (overused term I know) ideas.

But every once in a while an email catches my eye and causes me to read. OK you have my attention! This is one of those rare emails. Good job Ann Handley at Marketing Profs!

Here are just a few reasons this email resonated:

  • The message is highly targeted to me and other marketing professionals
  • The message plays (very well) off my fear of becoming irrelevant!
  • Using the Don Draper character instantly creates a visual of a “traditional ad guy” (something I have run from my whole career and they must know that over there…)
  • Since they “must know somehow” (Gee, personas must work) that I don’t want to be a traditional ad guy, they use Don Draper in a negative light, refusing to attend something that will lead to “misguided attempts at innovation.”
  • Finally, receiving an email from a fictional character regardless of who it is arouses curiosity and a desire to at least give it a read.


Whether I can attend this year’s B2B Marketing Forum or not, you can bet they have my attention, and I visited the site and checked out the agenda. (Not surprisingly this year’s theme is “This is NOT Your Father’s B2B.)

Here is the email message:

A message from a real Mad Man about MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2012.

Why I’m not attending B2B Forum 2012.

Recently, there’s been much talk about the “future” of B2B marketing. And I’m disgusted.

For my entire career, I’ve been telling people what they should buy, what they should do, and how they should think. It’s brought me success. A lot of success. In fact, there are whole bookcases devoted to my success.

And now, some individuals are trying to change things. They think they’re making B2B marketing better, and more insightful, all under the guise of “progress.” But I know better. I know people want to be told what to do, and in the same manner they’ve been responding to for decades.

So as of today, I’m putting my foot down. I’m telling the world that I will not be attending MarketingProfs B2B Forum in October.

If you want to abandon tried-and-true practices that have brought me countless victories, then by all means, attend. If you want to leave your success up to misguided attempts at innovation—put your faith in junk tactics like social media, mobile, content creation and search—then please, register now. If you think knowing how to optimize your lead gen funnel will help you attract and retain customers, then book your flight to Boston today.

As for me, I don’t need a marketing conference to tell me about the future. After all, the “future” was invented by guys like me simply to sell products. I’m just fine in the present.


:: Donald F. Draper

:: Creative Director

:: Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce