Where now for the marketers, the big brands and the Mega Global Marketing companies?
It’s been 20 years since the first main web browser was released, Mosaic back in 1993. We’ve seen many advances in internet tech – the benefits being speed, mobility, and overall access to the internet. We’ve seen the flood of user created content, and seen endless cases where companies have incorrectly patronised their users only to suffer a vicious backlash online.
We consistently follow the latest memes and trends, watching and waiting for ‘hooks’ relevant to our client brands that can be used to leverage awareness and throw up another Facebook wall with a likeable competition because it’s now a standard ‘thing’. We track and follow tweets, guarding brands as if they were our own children while they wait for our carefully planned and automatically timed tweets to go out on schedule to create the illusion that we’re current. From this we generate endless metrics, site data – google stats and track every single mention of a brand. ‘Hey we had focus group’ I hear you say – ‘it’s what they wanted’. A focus group generally doesn’t count if it’s friends related to the brand or agency itself. It’s a big wide world out there and the consumers found their voice a long time ago, now you’re just pissing them of.
Don’t worry technology can find a way – Microsofts new xboxone is all about providing you that extra insight into passive consumer consumption – providing extra details on exactly what tv shows the audience is doing, and letting you leverage that – (Google/Apple/Microsoft, BT vision and SKY TV) Each vendor has got its answer to your needs to know exactly what users are doing at any given time. – oh and just wait for google glass or the latest iwrist device and flexible phone to come along so you can target your users with brands when they’re watching Breaking Bad, shopping in the local supermarket, or trying to have downtime when playing games – interrupting their game with an ad does not count as gameification.
So, to drastically generalise (for the sake of this post) we have two approaches from agencies – one treating consumers like generic sheep who’ll simply respond to campaigns if you hit them hard enough – the other actively engaging consumers with exactly what they want using a broad range of media and discipline to get the message right on target.
Choosing examples is easy – for passive interaction simply pick any Facebook giveaway or poster page, or fake tweet, no.. a like on a Facebook page doesn’t count as a successful campaign. The number of followers you have for your brand is NOT a representation of how wonderful your PR team is.
Great examples are different, they engage people across the whole social web, they’re the conversations around the water cooler, the marketing companies wishing ‘they did something better’ and the agencies using those campaigns as examples as to why they want to do exactly the same for your brand. They’re talked about for years, and rolled out during every consumer awareness session. They’re the brands who break new ground, who are brave enough to try something different even if they fall flat on their face. Often it’s with brands that are old hat – who cares if they fail, they can afford a calculated risk and move on.
website, youtube, Facebook, twitter, instagram, memes, reddit, one of the best campaigns in the past 3 years. in 2010 NFL linebacker Isaiah Mustafa was seen by millions standing in a bathroom half naked answering questions responses posted to twitter and publishing the responses directly to youtube. “i’m on a horse” will be forever associated with old spice guy.
Oreo – gay pride cookie 2012
The Oreo gay pride cookie campaign hit the net in 2012 instantly polarising opinion and catching worldwide commentary and opinion across the social media sites, Facebook and twitter.
A simple idea which ran and ran, stirring up controversy, and above all worldwide attention for what was a somewhat under the radar American cookie. 23,000 comments on Facebook in tyne first 24 hours, which a huge running commentary on reddit/atheism – their brand is truly global.
The difference here is clear – both campaigns are actively engaging their consumers in their products, they understand exactly how consumers want to interact with their brand and are providing an outlet to make that happen. Whether it’s through courting controversy, or using humour that appeals directly to their target market. It’s interesting to note that as yet neither have been able to repeat the success of the above campaigns – they may well be one-hit wonders but these campaigns have elevated both these brands to legendary status.