NeverWet – Best 2013 Example of Marketing that’s Invisible

(NOTE: This is not a post about viral or social marketing. Or, even content marketing. It’s a post about the messaging and focus of marketing. It’s about what marketing should be, but rarely is. The platform and channels are not what makes the following work. It’s the understanding of how customers make decisions that does.)

AdFreak calls this Rust-Oleum NeverWet product demo on YouTube, “the Most Bafflingly Awesome New-Product Demo of 2013 So Far.” I call it a great example of a principle discussed a few months ago in an issue of Hammock’s Idea Email, titled, “Marketing at it’s very best wants to be invisible.” (Sidenote: NeverWet is a separate company from Rust-Oleum, but the product is called, “Rust-Oleum NeverWet.” This particular demo seems to be from the NeverWet folks, as the Rust-Oleum marketing is the opposite of invisible, as I’ll mention in a minute.)

Marketing that’s invisible doesn’t mean marketing that is a product placement, an advertorial, or any kind of marketing that feels so self-conscious that it needs to use the adjective “native” to describe itself.

It means, as I mentioned recently in a post about Don Norman, that the marketing is not focused on the product itself, it’s focused on what the product will help the customer accomplish.

In the Idea Email, we used the early advertising of the iPad as an example of marketing that is invisible: the focus of iPad consumer marketing, until the introduction of the Retina screen, was always on what a person can do with an iPad, not on the specifications or even the aesthetics of the device.

NeverWet is proving that you can do the same thing as Apple did with the iPad on a budget less than what you spend shooting your child’s soccer game. (Compare it the Home Depot NeverWet demo that is better produced, but not as impactful. Or, even more instructive, compare it to the corporate Rust-Oleum YouTube video that has all the beauty shots of the product, but 1/10th of the views of the “invisible” marketing.)

Here, let me make this more clear: Ever time on the video, the NeverWet employees demo something cool you can do with NeverWet, it is like when iPad ads showed you what you could do with different apps on an iPad.

Or, as the subject of the current Idea Email, Peter Drucker, said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Marketing isn’t hard if you spend your time creating products that help customers do something they want to do. All you have to do then, is show them what they can accomplish if they use it.

On the other hand, marketing is a bear if you spend your time talking about how great you and your company are and how lucky customers are that you exist. (Like, for example, NeverWet does on its website when it says on its about page that, “NeverWet, LLC is a company dedicated to idenifying, inventing and commercializing nanotechologies in order to solve critical problems.” They should spray some NeverWet on that copy.)