Zippo Aims for Youth Market With Old Spice-Like Ads

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App, Social media by Vaughn Highfield

They say imitation is a form of flattery, but Zippo has managed to miss the point entirely

The YouTube youth is a hard market to corner. This is the same market that made video game personality PewDiePie (pronounced like ‘cutie-pie’) the biggest YouTube star in the world – dwarfing the efforts of every other singer, actor, or personality in the world. It’s also the place where viewers tend to share things quickly, before quickly losing interest.

However, it’s also the platform that made Old Spice the brand it is today. It’s also helped many other brands like Skittles or Coke grow even bigger. So, it’s only natural that lighter manufacturer, Zippo, wants a slice of this younger demographic.

Wishing to tap into the 18 to 25 year-old demographic, Zippo is launching it’s first digital marketing campaign on April 3rd. The ad series taps into internet user’s distraught at the thought of losing their Zippo lighter. While I’d have never guessed this was actually a thing, it appears that many fans are posting up accounts of their lost lighters on social networks.

The answer to this problem? Banding together and sharing your grief. Making use of the hashtag ‘#sharethepain’ and, Zippo aims to get fans talking and an online community building. It plans to do this through the rough and tough “Jax ‘No Pain’ McFlame” who, as I’m sure you can guess, feels no pain besides the loss of his Zippo lighter.

The advert riffs off the idea of the absurd Terry Crews Old Spice ads, but seemingly lacks the same absurd flair – probably because they don’t quite have the same charisma.

Still, the most heartfelt lighter loss will be shared on an outdoor advert over the next few weeks. Viewers can also speak to Jax directly online, telling him what they’ve lost while he gives out automated responses. Naturally, if you mention a lost Zippo lighter, he’ll feel sorry for you. Otherwise it’s tough-cookies.

The Sharethepain campaign will be localised into seven different languages too, making the Zippo love a global attraction.

“This is the first time we’ve created a specific marketing programme for the digital space,” said Zippo global marketing director David Warfel. “Most of what we’ve done in the past has been about responding to fans globally on various topics.

“We found that when people were talking about their lost Zippo lighters on social sites that there was an element of real loss. It wasn’t like they’d just lost their car keys; there was a real sense of personal attachment to their Zippo lighters behind many cases. We’ve tried to turn that insight into something we hope people think is fresh and funny so that we can then drive high brand awareness from the younger audience.”