August 10, 2009

Inside the story

you-choose-the-endingDigital media is allowing us to find new ways to engage with an audience. Through interactive storytelling people are being drawn into marketing campaigns in a truly powerful way. This recent example for the Metropolitan Police uses a special YouTube channel with a multi-path story that is determined by the choices made by the viewer. You immediately see the consequences of carrying a knife.

The other thing that is taken very seriously in the UK is the consumption of crisps. A new campaign for Doritos and their mystery new flavour also uses storytelling but draws you into a fictional world. The excellent DigitalBuzz blog reported that “The ID3 Advergame allows players to go undercover to help unlock the truth behind a mysterious case of mistaken identity in a ‘choose your own adventure’ style game. Each episode contains a mixture of fully interactive 3D levels, sound recognition, interactive scenes, and film content”.

Taking things one step further – and recognising the popularity of social media – it’s uniquely integrated with Facebook Connect, so the advergame pulls content directly from the player’s Facebook profile and then dynamically inserts it into the film footage. Where most applications with Facebook Connect technology use it simply to populate a profile, iD3 uses it to personalise the entire game and extend it directly into Facebook.

Doritos iD3 like being inside your own BBC drama series and gives the brand a great platform to engage with the audience over a period of time. You can take a look here but you won’t get far without the unique pack codes (sorry, can’t help). These forms of branded entertainment are helping to connect people with campaigns in a way that will hopefully change their behaviour. Whether it is to stop carrying weapons or to eat more crisps… digital is providing new tools to help marketers meet their goals.

But let’s not forget storytelling in its simplest form. It doesn’t have to be interactive to be clever as this new, long-form online video for Johnny Walker proves. A great script, amazingly acted (check out that timing) and beautifully shot just can’t be beat.