Content Marketing, Youtility

9 New Examples of Youtility and Incredibly Useful Marketing

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Inspired by Youtility

Today’s smart marketers are all about helping their audience — not hyping their products. That’s what I mean when I use the term “Youtility” —  marketing so useful, people would pay for it.

Marketing should have so much intrinsic value, people WANT to be exposed to it. (tweet this)

I chronicled many examples of companies creating useful marketing in my book, Youtility. Since then, however, there have been dozens of new instances of companies making truly useful marketing. Here are 9 of my favorites: (note: I wrote a version of this post for the Marketo blog)

1. IKEA Moving Day

Each year in Montreal, some 225,000 residents changed apartments on July 1. IKEA gave away free moving boxes throughout the city, and increased sales by 24.7%. The boxes also had clever messages, such as “This box is also a curtain”.

ikea moving day

2. NIVEA Solar Charger Magazine Ad

Talk about something you’d pay for! Skincare brand Nivea placed solar paneled chargers in Brazilian magazines. Lucky beach-goers can charge their phone while they sunbathe.

nivea solar charger

3. Mercedes In-Car QR Codes

They are sometimes looked down upon, but QR codes can be incredible Youtilities. Here, Mercedes-Benz is including QR codes to help emergency first responders extract occupants safely in the event of a crash.

qr mercedes

4. Italian Restaurant Pronunciation Guide

Il Caffe di Napoli is an Italian restaurant in Dublin, Ireland that created a fantastic, simple video guide to pronouncing menu items. Of course, the video doubles as an ad for the cafe’s food. Genius!

To watch this video on YouTube, click here.

5. The Billboard That Makes Drinking Water

This is one of the most inspirational Youtilities ever — I get teary every time I watch this video. UTECH (a university in Lima, Peru, which is the second largest desert capital in the world) created a billboard that makes water “out of thin air”. The billboard captures air humidity and turns it into potable drinking water.

To watch this video on YouTube, click here.

6. Kleenex’s Achoo Predicts That Cold You Feel Coming On

Using search data and crowdsourcing, this awesome website from Kleenex predicts whether you’ll be getting sick, based on your zip code. You can view your risk over the next three weeks, read about symptoms, and (of course) calculate the number of tissue boxes you’ll need.

achoo kleenex app

7. AJAX Social Wipes

This terrific tool from AJAX puts a clever spin on their product. It helps you “clean” your Twitter account, finding and unfollowing spam and robots. Once Ajax Social Wipes has scrubbed your Twitter account, it display a “Possible Stains Detected” list of your potential spam followers.

ajax social wipes

8. WASH-FM Delivers the Ultimate Holiday TV Guide

I love this one for its simplicity. A Seattle radio station published on its website an incredibly comprehensive list of holiday-themed TV programming. Keep in mind, this is a radio station, not a TV station. This useful list was in no way promoting WASH-FM’s channel, but it did establish their value.

holiday tv guide

9. BBC Delivers Breaking News on Instagram

Talk about delivering useful content in the places where people are already aggregating! Unlike many traditional news sources, the BBC knows how to reach its audience in the modern age. In January of this year, the BBC launched an Instagram video news service, which displays 15-second short news clips. (Special contributor Jessica Gioglio writes a weekly “social media image of the week” column here at Convince & Convert, and put together a whole case study on this BBC initiative. Read it here. Also, Jess is co-author of the fantastic new book “The Power of Visual Storytelling“)

bbc news instagram

There you have it — a whole crop of new ideas for your consideration. Do any of these inspire you?

(note that almost all of these were sent to me on Twitter. Keep em coming! Just use hashtag #Youtility and I’ll find them. Thanks for your suggestions!)

Also Youtility is featured on the Marketo Sales and Marketing Book Club for the month of February. Thanks Marketo! 

Article Name
9 New Examples of Youtility and Incredibly Useful Marketing
Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for it. Here are 9 new examples of companies doing it right. Big companies and small companies. B2B companies and B2C companies.
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  1. says

    Indeed, the phenomenon you create a great marketing is not really easy to mess solely regulated dry theories. What you need to have is a little creativity and the creative madness in there, make a difference suit your target audience.

  2. Ali @ Pickevent says

    Great way to get people talking about your business. And that UTEC one, wow, why aren’t we putting those billboards everywhere?

  3. Amee Kent says

    Hi Jay – For a future post can you provide B2B examples of youtility? B2C youtility seems to be getting the most press. Thanks!

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing these examples of Youtility, Jay! I especially love BBC delivering breaking news on Instagram as it provides a Youtility, but leads users to their social channel and further fosters the relationship.

    I’m with Amee regarding sharing examples of B2B if you have them! I think appealing to the consumer is a bit easier, but a person on the receiving end for business purposes might be a bit more skeptical, especially on company time or when asking for a spend of company dollars.

  5. says

    Thanks, @Jasonbaer. As a result of learning about this concept of Youtility, I am working with my team to change our marketing strategy from marketing our online higher education programs overtly to providing resources to adults wanting to improve their careers.
    Any suggestions?

  6. Diana Lidstone - The Entrepren says

    Hi Jay — love your book Youtility! I see that most of your clients are ‘large’ corporations or companies with a product (except for your new book regarding accountants!!). What about those thousands of small ‘coaches’? How can we best apply this? Or perhaps you have written a blog about it? Love to hear your answer!

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