As 2014 draws to a close and 2015 rapidly approaches people are beginning to look at trends for the upcoming year. Below is an infographic from Bell Pottinger that predicts 15 digital trends for 2015. The infographic is marketing focused, but has some really interesting facts in it that will ultimately impact everyone whether you work in marketing and advertising or not. Things that jumped out at me were “Blog posts with visuals drive 180% more engagement on your site”, “NFC saw a 358% increase in use over the 2014 year”, and “Businesses with Blogs increased by 41% with the blog generating 67% more site traffic per month”.
In less than 30 days IKEA is opening here in the Kansas City area. The city has been trying to get an IKEA store for years, so the hype around the grand opening has been pretty hot. I’m a fan of IKEA but I won’t be going to the new store until the hype wears off a bit, and massive crowds settle down. That doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention to the clever IKEA marketing ideas that the company continues to roll out though. About a week ago IKEA launched a new campaign called “The IKEA Time Travel Experiments” as an online video series. The series features customers that get hypnotized and then interact with actors that represent the future.
The two videos below show the trailer, and episode 1 that launched on August 20th. In episode 1 a couple is taken 12 years into the future. The overall theme of the campaign is to try and create an engaging form of entertainment, that captures and holds the online audience, hopefully getting them to engage by clicking through to the IKEA site at the end. With over 200,000 views in a week, the campaign has the potential to go viral. What would be interesting to see is how many people go to an IKEA store in hopes of becoming a participant, or witnessing this live.
With the cost of large LCD TV’s steadily falling, it’s surprising that you don’t see more movie theaters taking advantage by using the displays for movie posters. The advantages are exponential. Content can be easily updated, tailored to a specific targeted demographic, run promotional information, present show times, or in the case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, create animated movie posters.
Unlike their printed counterpart, the “Motion Poster” makes for a pretty cool experience blending live action footage with animation and the overall marketing message. For the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film the Motion Poster is being used to introduce each of the main characters combined with a coming soon message. Each unit features sound and vertical video edited for the format and finishes out with a portrait of one of the turtle stars at the end.
The potential for this is huge. Beyond simple video displays, if the monitor was connected to the internet, and had touch screen capabilities, movie marketers would be able to develop dynamic content that would engage passersby on a whole new level. What if the Motion Poster featured game like interaction, or additional content beyond a simple trailer and still frame? What if the poster could interact with your smartphone via NFC, or QR code? What if the poster connected to a microsite that engaged the viewer and offered promotional items for the movie that could be redeemed at that theater? I have a feeling that this is just the beginning. That somewhere someone is already working on solutions to the questions I just asked.
As social media has become a marketing and branding powerhouse in the last decade, for many there is a general belief that if you build it, they will come. That social media is the marketing panacea that will make your brand a standout in the marketplace. The truth is, it’s far more difficult than you think, and there are rules of engagement with your target audience that will help build your social brand.
Below is a really solid SlideShare presentation on the key building blocks of a social brand. In it you’ll find great information from the guys at WeAreSocial, about how brands drive conversation, building digital communities, adding value to conversation, going mobile, and much more. There is a link on slide 3 to download the free eBook that accompanies this deck as well. Or if you just want to download the book and skip the deck you can get it here.
This ad campaign for KFC launched about a month ago and plays off of the current high school prom season. “Chicken Corsage”, a #HowDoYouKFC campaign features a YouTube video that encourages fans to visit the Chicken Corsage site, kfc.com/corsage, where they can make their special order through Nanz and Kraft Florists for $20. The gift giver can then take the corsage voucher to any KFC for their choice of Chicken Corsage that is guaranteed to make their date’s mouth water and eyes light up.
The video has a distinctive Wes Anderson quality to it from the quirky storyline, to character interaction and framing of the shots. The microsite is a simple single page with the video and a call to action. Currently the YouTube video alone has over 800,000 unique page views which fairly telling about how effective this campaign has been in attracting eyeballs to the KFC screens.
Sony has pulled out all the stops in their latest marketing effort. “Be Moved” is a fully integrated campaign, for Sony USA, features a deep dive website that is filled with rich dynamic media, cutting edge CSS tricks, and plenty of content. The visitor is encouraged to explore through vertical scrolling that reveals heavy CGI models of product that self assemble from exploded models, big budget video production, and engaging editorial. Each section has hooks to social media for specific product, and each video is featured on the Sony channel on YouTube helping to extend engagement and branch reach across channels. If you have the time take a look at the site and really dig around. It’s a great example of where interactive content is going.
There is a looming problem for companies and brands that use Facebook as an exclusive way to promote themselves. There are people like myself that absolutely loath the idea of having to use Facebook or any other social media as an entry vehicle to what ever they are promoting. In other words, I don’t want to spam the Facebook timeline with crap that other people might not be interested in. The other issue is there are people who don’t have, and won’t ever have a Facebook account. So why would a brand only offer the ability to engage with a high-profile promotion via a Facebook with no other alternatives? Case in point furniture store Room&Board’s new Look Book promotion and sweepstakes.
This afternoon I received an email asking if I’d like to enter a sweepstakes with a prize of $10,000. This is part of a campaign to promote the redesign of the new printed look book and catalog, plus the room&board website. The problem is you can only enter by going through Facebook. There is absolutely no other way to do it. The embedded link in the email takes you to Facebook, so does the link on the home page. I’m not sure how many people they are failing to connect with because of this, but I am going to assume quite a few. I can’t be the only person in the world that doesn’t want to use Facebook for everything.
In fine print at the bottom of the Facebook page there is this disclaimer; “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Room & Board and not to Facebook.” OK I get it, but I had to scroll to the bottom of the page to see this, and like most people I almost backed out of the promotion as soon as I saw it land on Facebook page. For me this is marketing fail. If Room&Board really wanted to promote the new site and Look Book, they really should have offered an alternate route for those people like myself that refuse to use Facebook for anything advertising related.
I know that Room&Board is simply using Facebook as the point to collect your information. The thing is, this just gives me a bad feeling overall. Even if Room&Board says I am only providing the information to them and not to Facebook. I might have a better feeling about participating if there was a non Facebook location that I could actually go to and engage with the brand.
Unfortunately this is a trend that continues to grow, and one that is going create a social divide between those of that won’t participate in Facebook hosted events/promotions, and those that will.