Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

9 New Examples of Youtility and Incredibly Useful Marketing

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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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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“)

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!