April 17, 2015

Let’s get physical

We live in a digital world but we still go out and about or do other things than just sit glued to our screens. Yet we can’t help but be drawn to anything technological even when we are switched off. Here are a few examples of brands using digital in the physical world to engage with people as they go about their daily lives.

Netshoes, the biggest sporting goods store in the world with the smallest popup store

To promote its new mobile app, Netshoes, the largest e-commerce of sporting goods in the world, launched its first physical store. Opened at Oscar Freire, the main shopping street of São Paulo, the Netshoes Pop-Up Store made available over 40,000 products in a space slightly larger than a mini tablet, placed between two other stores. It was a great way to promote their online shopping app for mobile devices.

Ford Explorer’s Interactive Print Ads

Not the first time we’ve seen this technique but still a nice way to drive brand engagement and tell a compelling product story by combining print with mobile. With three separate print ads, people were encouraged to place their phone on the ad once they scanned the QR code. They then saw an interactive video demo of the SUV’s new features: Park Assist, Power Fold and Adaptive Cruise Control, in a way that looked like the print ad was coming to life.

Walkers Crisps put Gary Lineker inside a Twitter Vending Machine

As part of the Do Us A Flavour campaign, where the public was asked to come up with new varieties of crisps (sorry, it’s not chips, this is happening in England), Walkers Crisps put soccer legend Gary Lineker inside a Twitter-activated vending machine. Watch to see how people reacted as he surprised them with free packs of the 6 Do Us A Flavour finalists.

April 9, 2015

The Power of E

Storytelling, it has been the buzzword for the past couple of years. Apparently we don’t produce campaigns any more. We tell stories. Our agency is full of storytellers now. If they lose their jobs they can always head down to the local library and read books out loud in the children’s corner. Personally, I feel that brand storytelling falls short. We need consumers to be part of the story and not just be observers. We need the power of E to help brands connect with their audience. We need people to EXPERIENCE brands, ENGAGE with them and be ENABLED.

It starts by understanding our audience, their behaviors, aspirations and triggers. With the internet, people are highly informed and opinionated. They influence others and are influenced themselves. With the data at our disposal now, we can gain some real insights into the people we want to connect with. We have to get creative about how we use these insights, not just to create campaigns but how we bring people along a path to a point where they buy and then advocate a product or service. As Jean Lin (CEO of Isobar) puts it, we have to “choreograph every step in the customer journey”. The Fiat Live Store from Isobar Brazil is a great example of experience, engagement and enabling people to take the next step towards purchase. It won a 2014 Cannes Innovation Gold Lion.

Brands need to provide experiences that are authentic and relevant. Every step from awareness to purchase and beyond is an experience that can be positive or negative. Technology has transformed how we communicate with each other and it has become the same with consumers and brands. Luckily we are at a point where technological maturity is allowing us to fulfill the ambitions that we had a few years ago but seemed impossible. We are seeing a convergence of physical and digital worlds. Online to offline and the reverse. As things to continue to advance we will see new exciting ways for brands to provide new experiences, ways to engage and increase enablement. Domino’s has been exploring new ways to make ordering a pizza more easily and seamlessly. As reported on the Verge website, “We live in an age of convenience, but it’s highly possible no company takes that more seriously than Domino’s. In addition to being able to order a pizza via voice commands, on your Android Wear or Pebble smartwatch, and even through Ford SYNC, you can now use your TV to get a pie delivered directly to you. Domino’s will now let you order a pizza from your Samsung Smart TV, a true revelation in the pizza-ordering ecosystem.

Samsung_SmartTVAgencies have to constantly question their relevance to clients. With some clients taking matters into their own hands an agency has to provide something the client can’t find on his own. Unilever is looking beyond the traditional network of agencies for the next big . The Unilever Foundry enables “innovative startups that are ready to scale up to partner with Unilever and its 400 brands in over 190 countries. The playing field is open. It’s up to agencies to push themselves beyond traditional ways of reaching customers”.

3c0e8d71_original

Forsman and Bodenfors are known for doing things first and their recent campaign for Åhléns, Sweden’s largest chain of department stores, is a great example. As reported by Contagious, they “wanted to raise awareness about its wide range of sustainable products, from kitchen wares to decorative furnishings. Working with Forsman & Bodenfors, Stockholm, the retailer kitted out an entire apartment with its Bra val (‘Good choice’) sustainable collection and then put the Stockholm flat up for rent on Airbnb. In November 2014, guests could book a night’s stay and try out the sustainable products”. You can watch the case video here. A future Cannes winner no doubt.

From the first step to the last mile, we need to think more about brand experiences, engaging with people and enabling them by constantly innovating how we think and execute work for clients. It’s much bigger and smaller than purely thinking about campaigns. It’s every way the brand speaks, acts and reacts.