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Marketing lessons from F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Marketing is not just what we learn from our books. There are many sources in popular culture that can teach us marketing lessons.

One of the best examples of TV shows in which marketing was subtly done was the all-time-favourite F.R.I.E.N.D.S. There are many examples of subtle marketing that could be identified in the show. Even the characters were so unique that they marketed themselves on it. Let’s look at what some of their marketing strategies were.


1. Having a unique product and marketing it well!


Remember how Phoebe came up with her chartbuster song “Smelly cat, smelly cat”? Pheobe was not your mainstream artist. Her music and lyrics were so unique that it used to draw a lot of attention.

More importantly, she was proud of her music and marketed it whenever she got a chance – on birthdays, restaurant inaugurations and so on.


2. Understanding your customers and creating a product that satisfies their needs


Monica knew what her friends loved to eat. She always made turkey on Thanksgiving for Joey, cooked potato in 3 ways for Ross, Phoebe and Joey and made chocolates for all her neighbors.

She also made sure that customers were aware of her product by providing catering services at funerals and by getting her food reviewed by critics.


3. Keeping it simple

While all the other adults were constantly worried about their work and their personal lives, Joey Tribbiani was mostly only concerned about a sandwich or his bucket chicken. He was a simple man who did not really live life according to some rule book. As per him, life is pretty simple to live if you have good food and your friends around you.

He teaches an important lesson that it’s always better to keep things simple. The simpler your communication is, the better consumers will understand your product. A simple and clear message helps register the product in the minds of the consumer.


4. Being passionate about your business and staying updated about latest trends

Rachel never failed to impress us with her sense of style throughout the show. She was extremely passionate about her job and was a perfect example of how one identifies with a brand – be it at Bloomingdale’s or Ralph Lauren.

Her knowledge about the latest trends in the fashion industry was helpful when she helped Joey purchase a man’s bag for an audition and when helped Pheobe with shopping.


5. Using creativity and innovation in your marketing strategies

Chandler Bing is the epitome of creativity with his impromptu jokes that he cracks all the time. His sense of humour was his major USP and he made sure that he cracked great jokes in every situation possible. His knowledge of the world and the people around him helped in in cracking the best situational jokes.

He even brought in some innovation by making himself the subject of many of his jokes.


6. Proper planning and alignment of strategies with business objectives

Planning is a very important stage in any marketing strategy. There is no better person to teach us how to plan effectively other than Ross.

He diligently prepared for his speeches and his classes on dinosaurs. He was also highly organized and this went to the extent of putting labels even on his sandwiches.


Apart from the five, many other characters like Janice, Gunther and even Mr Heckles were so unique that we would remember them for a long time.


The beauty of marketing is that it can be used in the most unexpected places. And the concepts can be deployed in the most fun way that leaves a lasting impression on the viewers/ consumers.

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