Hot Marketing Tips

Guaranteed to be short, sweet and valuable, each Hot Marketing Tip will contain one morsel of practical marketing truth that you can apply immediately. Like all Marketing Accelerator™ products, you will find these insights create Velocity to Profit!

New Crocodile Dundee Movie Trailer Delivers Results

30% Increase in Australian Tourism Flights Since Super Bowl Spot

You still waiting on the new Crocodile Dundee movie starring Danny McBride and Aussie native Chris Hemsworth to hit a theater near you?

Keep waiting.

Last February’s Super Bowl commercial for the new sequel to the “Now…that’s a knife!” blockbuster of the 80’s was just that….a Super Bowl commercial…..for – wait for it – Australia’s tourism industry.

McBride – allegedly starring as Dundee’s son – told The Hollywood Reporter, the concept of another Croc sequel “seemed silly enough that it’s something that Hollywood would do, and in this day and age, to get people’s attention by doing a fake movie trailer for a fake franchise seemed like a great idea.”

The fake movie marketing campaign went viral early January with short trailers about Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home making it to theaters come summer. People magazine even ran an article interviewing the original Crocodile Dundee, actor Paul Hogan: “Crocodile Dundee is a film that has stood the test of time. It was a defining moment in my life and one of my proudest accomplishments. Throughout the past few years, I’ve been thinking about how to bring Dundee to a new generation. I’m excited to introduce the new Crocodile Dundee to the world and look forward to sharing more news about those involved very soon.”

With the campaign culminating to the Super Bowl commercial spot, in yet another trailer teasing the audience about what seemed like a wacky film with a wacky storyline, the son of Dundee says mid-trailer, “Wait, hold up – this isn’t a movie…it’s a tourism ad for Australia!”

The $36M marketing campaign was created in hopes of pushing US tourism to the land down under to new heights.

Guess What? It Worked!

According to Australia’s Sky News last month, there has been a 30 percent increase in flights from the US to the state of Queensland. Even more impressive, there has been a 40 percent surge in hotel bookings there by Americans.

More spoof ads are rumored to run for 2 years from commencement last winter and continue to star the likes of Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Russell Crowe, to name a few. You can view all of the pieces released so far on Australia’s YouTube channel.

Be Your Own Crocodile Dundee

You don’t need a $36M budget to leverage this strategy.  Do you have an existing asset laying around that you could have some fun with, attract attention and deliver a compelling message? Australia reached back to the 80’s and Crocodile Dundee.  If you have been in business for over 10 years, you have assets you aren’t leveraging. Do you have an old ad or product that’s been gathering dust on the shelf that you can breathe life into? Going “retro” can be a fun, attention-getting tactic. It could even be a photo of your leadership when they were younger. Have some fun with it!

No excuses – I’ve been in business since 2001 but reached back to 1987 for this example.

Trying to make sense of your marketing effort?

Read my new book The Marketing Accelerator – You Can’t Lead What You Don’t Understand.  In it, you’ll learn the 7 questions you must answer to stop wasting marketing money on fads, trends and shiny objects. Check out my new book!

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P&G Wins Super Bowl LII with Last Second Score

Late Changes to Marketing Campaigns Can Make or Break Them

The back story has come to light from one of the world’s largest advertisers on its commercial campaign in last February’s Super Bowl – forcing last-minute changes to prevent what could have been a major fail!

Proctor & Gamble’s Super Bowl “It’s a Tide Ad” campaign was shot featuring a Tide pod in multiple scenes of the commercial storyline – awesome branding to be sure, except that for weeks before the campaign was to roll on big game night the “Tide Pod Challenge” took over social media. And not in a good way. For those who missed it, this challenge spread quickly and simply dared teens to eat a Tide pod that is meant for washing clothes. Granted, they look like tasty candy but they are far from it.

Memes circulated of daring to engage the “Tide Pod challenge,” or poking fun at those who did; others just ran with it as a joke.

These incidents were creating negative news coverage and put the brand into imminent peril.

How did Proctor & Gamble and its agency Saatchi & Saatchi react and regroup in a way that would not draw more attention to the trending and disturbing “Tide Pod Challenge” but still promote the brand during the Big Game?

First, they created a video in January with Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots and Dunkin’ Donuts spokesperson, saying, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” when asked the question, “Hey Gronk, is eating Tide Pods ever a good idea?”

Secondly, Proctor & Gamble ended up replacing Tide Pods in every single vignette where the pods were shown with bottles of Tide liquid detergent. A scramble, but a brilliant move to support the brand instead of potentially diminishing it.

Lessons for Business Owners

As a business owner, there will be times when you are faced with deciding about last minute adjustments to your marketing efforts. When you are in the final 5% of completing a project, ask yourself this question:

Is the reason for this change critical to success?

Is moving ahead with the current status going to create a failure?

If you answered YES to those questions, then make the change. If you answered NO or DON’T KNOW, then save your changes for the next marketing effort. I’m a believer that the last 5% of the marketing development can kill a project by constant changes and moving deadlines. Only make changes in that last 5% if it is project critical. In this instance, P&G chose wisely.

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Head-to-Head Competition

Should you play Offense or Defense?

In the 2018 Super Bowl, there were four auto manufacturers competing directly against each other. Fiat Chrysler advertised Ram and Jeep; Toyota ran spots for its namesake brand as well as Lexus; Hyundai continued its “Better Drives Us” theme; and, Kia paid a big price to advertise for the ninth year in a row.

Have you ever faced direct, head-to-head competition like that?

Real Life Competition

My wife and I have enjoyed many dinners at Macaroni Grill which was located right next to the Chili’s Mexican Grill. We were saddened recently to see that Macaroni’s closed but were excited to see what new restaurant would take its place.

We came to find out that it will be Habanero’s Mexican Grill.

Hmmm. Two “Mexican grill” restaurants right next to each other. And, as you can see by the Chili’s restaurant in the background, I mean right next to each other.

How would you deal with a head to head competitor…whether it is right next door, advertising in the same media channel or simply providing the same service?

To answer that question for Habanero’s and Chili’s,  I spoke with restaurant marketing specialist Matt Plapp. He shared a few thoughts regarding offensive and defensive tactics.

Habanero’s – beef up its offense by:

  • Growing a database as quickly as possible. “Get the customers’ info so you can continue to drive them back into your restaurant.” Matt explained that placing an ad or coupon in a mailer does not capture information that is useful for bringing those customers back in for a repeat dining experience.
  • Getting involved in the community. Matt suggests claiming a presence at high school football games, at community events, and at church events shows that this new business cares about the local residents.
  • Getting a digital marketing program in place as soon as possible. The goal is to “create a monthly marketing plan to reach out to (customers)…and drive them into the restaurant, in a predictable manner, with trackable offerings,” as stated in Matt’s new book, Don’t 86 Your Restaurant Sales. 

Chili’s – some of thedefense” may be a little different than you might imagine:

  • Matt suggested that Chili’s – a nationally known, familiar brand – should not even acknowledge that Habanero’s opened up next door.
  • Like any restaurant – either a newbie or a “big name” – top notch food and service should remain Chili’s priority.
  • Protect and continue to grow its database – for the same reasons Habanero’s needs to quickly grow its new database: bringing customers back for repeat business. Systems that collect information that’s placed in a digital marketing program is key.
  • While not usually a priority for large corporations that spend more on national advertising, Matt maintains that getting involved in the community helps attract the attention and loyalty of the locals.

Matt Plapp’s book Don’t 86 Your Restaurant Sales is available at or by connecting with Matt on Facebook via Messenger.

But Drew, I’m Not In the Restaurant Business!

There are always lessons to be learn that are applicable from one industry to another.

For example:

If You Are New to a Competitive Market:

  • Requires an offensive mindset
  • Drive customers to a FIRST time experience
  • Deliver an exceptional FIRST time experience
  • Collect customer information to drive the SECOND time experience

If You Are Established and a New Competitor Enters the Market:

  • Requires a defensive mindset – 20% of your customer likely create 80% of revenue – Your top 20% are who you want to protect first.
  • In most scenarios, do not acknowledge the competitor to your customer as that simply creates more publicity and that is what they want.
  • Deliver an EXCEPTIONAL experience – competition makes you stronger.

Competition is part of what makes America great.

Habanero’s have been working on remodeling the Macaroni’s restaurant for months.  That’s a major investment.  They must have seen a significant opportunity if they are willing to set up shop right next door to Chilis.  I’ll keep you posted…and maybe take my wife on a date there in the near future.  We’ll test to see who delivers an exceptional experience.


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Nike+Kaepernick: Suicidal or Brilliant?

The answer lies with this question:

Is this decision an OPPORTUNISTIC PR EFFORT or is it a reflection of a NIKE CORE VALUE?

Nike has a history of modest engagement on social issues including encouraging female participation in sports in the 90’s and more recently launching a sports hajib for female Muslim athletes. The step of engaging Kaepernick wades into an existing national controversy instead of poking at the edges of a social issue. I believe that may be a first for Nike.


If Nike leadership approved this campaign simply on the basis of opportunism, then it was a very high risk venture. Part of the risk comes from the variability on how this plays out with the customer base and in the media. Stock dropped immediately. Social media was outraged. Broadcast media coverage was neutral to positive. Time will tell.


Understanding your company’s core values is critically important for decisions like this.

One of the best definitions I’ve seen for a core value is this:

A CORE VALUE is something that you are WILLING to be PUNISHED over.

Core values are core. They don’t change. They are directional.

Core values set the mark on what is in bounds and what’s out of bounds.

The punishment of Nike was immediate.

Leadership had to have known that they would get that kind of response at least initially.

Leadership Lesson For Your Company

  • Are any of your core values specific enough that they actually reflect a stand for something?
  • Are you willing to be punished for one of your core values?
  • How can being more specific in defining your core values SEPARATE you from your COMPETITION?
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Death Wish Coffee Goes Galactic

Small or Big Decisions – Which have the most impact?

Most of you know that every year I study Super Bowl commercials – for one thing, it’s fun. But most importantly, there are always significant lessons to be learned for business owners. What worked? What failed? How can business owners leverage lessons from the Super Bowl (commercials)?

Here is one lesson from a past Super Bowl commercial that defies gravity….literally. Perhaps you remember in 2016, a unique Super Bowl commercial by the then-unheard-of Death Wish Coffee that made a big impression? Read my take on it from 2016

You see, Death Wish Coffee was just a local roaster with big plans…but they certainly never had plans to go into outer space. After its blast off to coffee stardom, guess where Death Wish Coffee is now? Yep, the International Space Station.

How did a small coffee company launch into this type of success? The then-four-year-old business with a small cult following entered the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Big Game contest and shot past the other 15,000 entrants to win a Super Bowl commercial.

A Small Decision

I am sure that when someone at Death Wish said hey let’s enter this contest, that it was a “Yeah, sure, go ahead and try it” kind of decision and not a “the future of our company will be dependent on us winning this contest” decision. But, the video entries were voted on by the public and a multi-million dollar commercial spot – free for Death Wish Coffee – introduced the powerful brew to 167 million people – in a pretty fantastic 30-second spot.

Before the Super Bowl commercial, resting count of visitors on Death Wish’s website was 500.  After the commercial aired, that number soared to 147,000 with the vast majority connecting via mobile devices creating a 400% spike in sales over the next several days.

Big Impact

Death Wish Coffee’s crazy ride continues! They counted down to lift off in June, when the “world’s strongest coffee” made its journey in the Dragon capsule aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station. So the world’s strongest coffee is now the strongest coffee in the…universe? Why, yes…yes, it is!

Death Wish worked alongside NASA Food Labs to create a freeze-dried blend of the super caffeinated goodness, and NASA special packaged it for the astronauts aboard the Space Station.

Wow – talk about a cosmic success story!

Lessons for Business Owners

Looking back on the business decisions you’ve made, which ones have the greatest impact…the BIG ones or the myriad of little ones?

In my experience, it is the little decisions that were critical to setting up the big decisions. The decision to “go to an optional meeting” where a valuable new contact is made…the decision to “stay focused on your ONE thing” and get it done…the decision to “be flexible and see what doors are opened” through this or that marketing strategy…the decision to “see what the market responds to” and embrace it even though it may not be what we planned.

Be open minded and be flexible. Someone at Death Wish Coffee certainly was in 2016 when the decision was made to enter Intuit Quickbooks’ contest. What may have been a lark decision at first for Death Wish set them up for their now-big decisions and has Death Wish truly shooting for the stars.

Apply for the Marketing Accelerator Round Table

There’s a hard deadline fast approaching to apply to be a member of my newest Round Table group for marketing leaders. This Round Table teaches marketing decision-makers how to stop overspending, to avoid repeating past mistakes, and to stop second guessing yourself.


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Where can YOU get some PR?

To marketers, PR means Public Relations.
For non-marketers, PR means Puerto Rico.

In April, I got some great PR as a guest on American Dreamers Talk Radio on 55KRC & iHeartRadio. As usual, we talked about one of my favorite topics…Super Bowl commercials. But at the end of the podcast, I share the story that I tell every budding entrepreneur who is trying to decide whether to go in business for themselves or not.

It is the story of “The Corral.”  You can listen to the podcast here. It starts at 39:50.

American Dreamers Talk Radio is a talk radio show dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed. Every week they meet with interesting guests who have a story to tell. Their trials and tribulations can help anyone struggling to start or run a business.

American Dreamers Talk Radio is always on the lookout to interview interesting business people – you can reach out to them via their “Be A Guest” form.

If you take time to do a little bit of research, opportunities abound for savvy business owners looking for a little PR – seek occasions where you can speak or sit on a panel or lead a breakout session. Chambers, conferences and trade shows are a good place to start. Look for chances to be interviewed like I was!

Good news!

The Marketing Accelerator Round Table is accepting applications now for the upcoming session that begins in September!  I lead this exclusively marketing-focused Round Table that meets just six times over the next year. These are power packed sessions with a group of other marketing leaders.  There are many benefits to the Marketing Accelerator Round Table:

  • Stop second-guessing yourself
  • Preview a campaign before rolling it out to your own company’s leadership
  • Learn from other’s failed marketing attempts

If joining a marketing-focused round table intrigues you, then invest two minutes in yourself to get the details and value of this experience…Check it out!

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A Remarkable Thing Happened At That Chamber Luncheon

Do You Glow?

I was the first one in the room.

As the members started to trickle into the venue, many friendly faces came forward to tell me that they were looking forward to my presentation about Super Bowl commercials. Hot Marketing Tips subscribers know that I write annually on this content because there are many valuable lessons to learn from them. While I love speaking to groups of decision makers, I don’t get to do it as often as I would like.

Then something remarkable happened. One of those friendly faces said, “I look forward to this speech every year.”

A slip of the tongue, I thought. Maybe a bit of exaggeration. But it wasn’t five minutes later, a second friendly face said the same thing…“I look forward to this speech every year.”

Drew Dinkelacker with Michelle Moody, Publisher of West Chester – Liberty Lifestyle

Here’s the remarkable part. I haven’t spoken at this chamber luncheon on Super Bowl commercials in four years. I shared this experience with Michelle Moody, publisher of West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle, and she said it was “the glow.”

As Michelle and I spoke, we defined “the glow” as the ripple effect caused by all of your promotional connections in the marketplace. That ripple effect gave me a more frequent presence in people’s mind than reality.

Here is the actual timeline of reality:

  • Every year, since 2012, I’ve written about Super Bowl commercials via Hot Marketing Tips
  • Spoke in February 2014 at this chamber about Super Bowl commercials
  • Spoke again in February 2016 about the Power of 80-20, where we had a magical shoe moment that those in attendance won’t forget
  • Spoke in February 2018 about Super Bowl commercials… four years since the last Super Bowl speech

These intentional activities plus the hubbub that surrounds Super Bowl commercials all helped to form a glow around this year’s speech.

Here are the lessons for business owners and marketers…

  • Use multiple channels to deliver your message (email, blog and speaking) – the glow is greater than the sum of its parts!
  • Public speaking is a powerful and memory-making opportunity if you can do it well.

I shared a special moment at that speech in February, by announcing the launch of Marketing Accelerator University – an online, on-demand platform that teaches the principles that I’ve used with my private clients for years. At the chamber event, we also enrolled our first student!

Marketing Accelerator University launches March 15 with its debut course “Building Your Marketing Flywheel.” There is a very generous pre-launch promotion happening for everyone who enrolls before March 14. Check it out.

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Super Bowl 52 Commercial Review – Friday Edition

Drew’s Favorite Spot from Super Bowl 52

Hot Marketing Tips reviews Super Bowl commercials for new strategies, excellent examples of tactics and absolute failures so that business owners, decision makers and marketers can learn about what’s working now.

People ask me all the time, “Drew, which one was your favorite Super Bowl spot?” I’m always hesitant to say because “favorite spot” is very different from most strategic spot or most effective spot or the spot with the best CTA (read Monday’s Edition if you don’t know what CTA is).

But because you asked, I will tell you. My heads and tails winner for Drew’s Personal Favorite Spot is the Toyota “One Team” commercial.

It’s not because I think it’s the best strategy.  It’s not, but it is a good one.

It’s not because I think it is well executed…actually, it is well executed.

This is my favorite because:

  • It’s about unity. I believe that we have much more in common than what divides us.
  • It’s about faith. Spiritual matters are important. I like it when businesses respect that.
  • It’s about football. Been a rough year for the NFL but I still like it and the game didn’t disappoint.

Enjoy watching the extended version of this spot and consider that for all of our differences, we have lots more in common.

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Super Bowl 52 Commercial Review – Thursday Edition

Ram Truck Serves Up a Cream Horn

Hot Marketing Tips reviews Super Bowl commercials for new strategies, excellent examples of tactics and absolute failures so that business owners, decision makers and marketers can learn about what’s working now.

The cream horn is a delightful looking pastry that always catches my eye, but after biting into it, often leaves me disappointed. My expectation is for something rich and filling but it delivers an experience that is very airy and light-weight.

Each year, I give out a Cream Horn Award to the Super Bowl commercial that starts out great, but then lets me down in the end. This year’s award goes to Ram for the “Serve” spot.

Recorded 50 years ago, to the exact day of Super Bowl 52, we hear Rev. Martin Luther King give a rousing speech about the greatness of those who serve. The video shows professionals and everyday folks serving the people around them. The spot builds toward creating a national American conscience to serve each other, a truly awesome and worthy goal. And then comes the Ram truck through the fog with the message “Built To Serve.”

The product reveal should be an uplifting scene to the viewer, not a letdown. But when you have built the expectation with such a deep and important subject, and then use it to blatantly sell trucks…well, that’s disappointing.

To be fair, I have seen Ram execute this concept very effectively with the 2013 “God Made A Farmer” Super Bowl spot which I rated very highly. I wasn’t disappointed at the end when the tagline stated, “To the farmer in all of us.”

The 2013 spot ends with the focus on the farmer (the prospect). The 2018 spot ends with the focus on the truck (the product).

Lessons for Marketers

Know when to talk about the prospect and not the product.

What’s Next: Drew’s Favorite Spot

The annual review of Super Bowl Commercial insights from Drew Dinkelacker and is a five-part series that will be released the week following the big game. Check back daily.

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Super Bowl 52 Commercial Review – Wednesday Edition

The Big Disconnect – How Avocados and T-Rex’s Failed

Hot Marketing Tips reviews Super Bowl commercials for new strategies, excellent examples of tactics and absolute failures so that business owners, decision makers and marketers can learn about what’s working now.

Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom spot is creepy scary from the outset. But that isn’t what bothered me about the spot.

Instead, it was the Big Disconnect. What do I mean by disconnect? Think of two extension cords that are plugged into each other and they get pulled apart. Disconnected. No flow from one to the other.

The last image of the Fallen Kingdom spot gives a strong call to action stating, “TRY THE ????? EFFECT ON FACEBOOK.”

How are you supposed to translate that dinosaur icon into text for a Facebook search?  First I tried Trex. Then I search on T-Rex and found a site called T-Rex Effect! But that wasn’t the site about the movie.

Then I search on Jurassic World and found three Facebook options under that category. Eventually, I found the correct Facebook page.

Lesson For Marketers

Don’t make your prospect jump through unnecessary hoops EVER!

  • Give clear directions
  • Limit your assumptions on what you think the prospect understands

Big Disconnect #2

Let me say it now…I love avocados and I enjoyed the Avocados from Mexico spot. But it also had a big disconnect. The point of the spot can be quoted from the script…”avocados taste great on lots of things,” not just tortilla chips. They only make a one-second visual reference to “lots of things” that avocados could taste great on. As an avocado-lover, I am always looking for new ways to use this luscious fruit. I am the target market.

The spot ends with the “Avocados From Mexico” jingle and this visual for just two seconds.

As a casual viewer, I would not have picked up on the text at the bottom of the graphic. It is only because I closely review these commercials that I saw #GuacWorld. Being the avocado-lover, I was curious and discovered that is an extensive site built for avocado-lovers like me filled “lots of things” like recipes, new ideas, how avocados are grown and fun social media engagement.

Lesson For Marketers

When you have your prospect’s attention, be clear about their next steps. Don’t bury it.

What’s Next: Ram Truck Serves Up a Cream Horn

The annual review of Super Bowl Commercial insights from Drew Dinkelacker and is a five-part series that will be released the week following the big game. Check back daily.

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