grey white clouds

Marketing anecdotes and why the cloud is called the cloud

There are some pretty cool anecdotes about great marketing campaigns which started with an unintended statement or misunderstanding. Some of these anecdotes might not reflect the actual events or are twisted a bit to make the story cooler but isn’t that what anecdotes are all about? These are my favorite marketing anecdotes and let’s start why the cloud is called the cloud!

The cloud

The parties and setting of this anecdote vary depending on who will tell you this anecdote, but the most common version indicates that it all started at Big Blue. According to this anecdote, product and marketing executives discussed the marketing strategy for managed data center based services, and one proposal after the next was rejected. Too complicated, too vague, too this, too that. After many hours there simply wasn’t anything usable.

The product team explained again what they wanted to offer using a standard network diagram to show how customer owned infrastructure and services would migrate to the managed data centers, available to the customer through router, firewall, internet, encrypted connections, security, on and on. A lot of technical details and features. Someone in the marketing team asked “So what you want us to tell the customer is to move their infrastructure into the cloud?”, pointing a finger at the default symbol for the internet: a cloud. Silence was followed by nodding heads. The message was found!

Think different

The famous Apple slogan Think Different was created by an advertisement agency for Apple in the late ’90s. The anecdote about this campaign is that Steve Jobs kept rejected the suggestions and at a few different occasions told the agency “you have to think differently” while rejecting the next proposal. According to the anecdote, Craig Tanimoto said “that’s it, think different” and quickly got the attention of Steve and all others involved in developing the campaign. It is also said that “think differently” was rejected because “think different” is different.

Canada is already great

In response to the “Make America Great Again” campaign in 2016, there apparently was a discussion at Air Canada if they should respond to that and how. Anecdote says the CMO shrugged his shoulders and said “Canada is already great” and a great campaign was born! Not just for Air Canada, the slogan Canada is already great became a cult among Canadians.

It might have been entirely different in reality, it might have been exactly the way these anecdotes describes the events. True or not, these anecdotes shows clearly what the challenge is for great and lasting marketing campaigns. Every new tech product or service is loaded with features and before we are able to take a few deep breaths or get a fresh cup of coffee, there is a newer tech gizmo with even more features. Customers and consumers are overloaded with features and gadgets and gizmos, and after a while it feels like more of the same.

Great marketing campaigns step away from more-of-the-same and create an oasis of creativity or a message you like to repeat, like with the Air Canada campaign. Coincidence or thoroughly fabricated, here’s to all the marketing people out there who know how to reach out and get the message across!

Got any other great marketing anecdotes? Please share!