A Lesson in Harnessing Empathy-Based Marketing

Recently a viral TikTok longboarding video by an Ocean Spray cranberry juice fan put Ocean Spray at the forefront of social media channels everywhere. Their response provided a brilliant example in empathy-based marketing.

On his way to work, Nathan Apodaca’s 15-year-old car broke down, prompting him to leave his car behind and film himself longboarding to the warehouse along to Fleetwood Mac while sipping on a bottle of Ocean Spray.

The video racked up millions of views, and rather than using the opportunity to simply recreate the video (although their CEO did pull off his own version), Ocean Spray harnessed the power of empathetic-marketing and went a step further in how they rode the wave of publicity they received.

Partnering with a local Nissan Dealer, they provided the star of the viral TikTok video with a new vehicle and a massive Ocean Spray supply. They took the time to understand this customer’s story and rewarded his optimistic and fun video by fulfilling a need. In doing so, they reached a new audience of potentially loyal customers who see the humour in the original video and subsequent videos and align with the brand’s values and appreciates their grand gesture.

“Forever a space in my fridge”, “I’m going to buy now”, “I just ordered a case of your juice”, are just a few of the thousands of comments Ocean Spray’s follow-up video has garnered with fans showing their support and gratitude for the uplifting marketing approach Ocean Spray has taken.

Today social media holds organisations accountable, and consumers require authenticity to become loyal customers. By pairing quality content with empathetic marketing, Ocean Spray has gone beyond profit-oriented business principles and tapped into understanding their customer while problem-solving through kindness and generosity.

When organisations let down their guards, are transparent in their practices, and establish an emotional connection with customers, the brand loyalty and audience they develop is a lot more valuable and genuine than through other marketing means.

Bottoms up to Ocean Spray!

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