While doing a little web browsing today I came across a cause marketing campaign developed by VW back in 2009. It was based off of the Green initiative that majority of the world is now participating in. Volkswagen wanted to prove that marketing a brand doesn’t mean always promoting its products and performance; it can be standing for a cause and living a life that is a reflection of the cause. They also proved that a costly TV commercial is not always the best way to leave an impression. I have to give it to Volkswagen; we all know it’s harder to live “GREEN” than it is to talk about it. So what they do? Volkswagens marketing team transformed a stairway in a Sweden train station into an interactive keyboard beside an escalator in hopes more people would take the stairs. Volkswagen believes that the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better is by making it fun to do. They called it ‘The Fun Theory’ needless to say it worked and 66% more people chose to take the stair over the escalator! So how do this relate to emerging media? Well it’s not real until is on the web! Volkswagen posted their Fun Theory’s on YouTube and they took off, in 4 day this one effort got 1.4 million views. At the end of the video a VW log came onto the screen making the brand placement low-key but impressionable. Even thought the videos did not show VW cars driving down the road it pushed the VW logo all around the web for tens of thousands of people to pass around. These efforts show that the company is up to date and in the know of how to leverage social media to their advantage. Also, paring their brand with a cause produces a positive association with the brand. Volkswagen hit a homerun in using emerging media to get their fresh marketing efforts out the world. I have provided a few of the videos let me know what you think!
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is finding that being on top worldwide is not an easy task. However, it is a goal he is striving to reach. In a recent interview with Ad Age during the 57th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Zuckerberg discussed how he needs to crack a major market in Asia to reach his goal of 1 billion global users. Presently, the site holds 1 million users on average per nation with Russia in the lead, doubling their sign-ups about every six months.
He admits that Facebook will not be reaching their goal in the next year but he is optimistic that Facebook will continue to be the social networking leader. Zuckerberg also stated how competitors like Twitter and other social-media outlets put pressure on Facebook to keep improving. He also noted that privacy is the biggest issue with the site presently.
Zuckerberg briefly addressed the public concerns in the interview. “It’s a really important dialogue … people have very legitimate questions.” He said, the biggest problem was that Facebook basically bombarded and confused users with too many privacy-control options. “Facebook changed their setting all at once, which was the short fall in our attempts”, he pointed out to Ad Age. By going back and simplifying the controls Facebook hopes they have shown its users they are listening and taking their concerns to heart.
In two years Barack Obama’s campaign provided the best example of what a successful media effort looks like. Advertising Age recently named him Marketer of the Year, outperforming brands such as Apple and Nike. Because of his well produced marketing efforts he was one of the greatest funded Presidential candidates in U.S. History.
“It was the end of the era of television presidency that started with JFK, and the beginning of the internet presidency.” – Mitch Wagner, Information Week
A few months shy of two years of service, he continues to define what it is to be an internet president. His viral and traditional media efforts did not stop after his campaign days were over as they have continued to date. All of the major topics he stands for are on the web available for all to see (in allotted time amounts) and at this point in his presidency, he has made more public speeches than any other president ever.
Obama strives to stay present in the minds of the American people and the world. He has an active Facebook and twitter account featuring daily updates, news links, and 2.6 million friends. During his campaign Obama used social media as a blue print for the most successful aspect of his emerging media strategy. MYBarackObama.com was his main platform for reaching the public in a viral medium. By fall, his campaign had over 1 million users has signed up on Obama’s network, providing proof of his impressive self-marketing efforts.
It must be noted that he is not the only one making profit or leaving an impression due to his efforts. Others have made a name for themselves using topics from Obama’s presidency to create blogs, websites and television shows. Altogether his presidency has created a noteworthy buzz!
As I watch my Facebook mini-feed update the latest public opinions and news, I see my screen filled with World Cup commentary. The World Cup Fever has spread from country to country and from one social media platform to another. This enormous amount of wired talk has even broken records, for instance it has set the new tweet record on twitter.
Thursday June 24th during the Japan vs. Denmark match, 3,282 Tweets flew across the stream every second, beating the previous record by almost 200.
Many companies are noticing the passion and excitement in the social media medium during the games and are becoming a part of it. During the earlier round of the World Cup, Coca Cola used twitter to promote trends. Coca Cola’s Global Interactive Marketing Vice President Carol Kruse shared his excitement:
“The amount of impressions in such a short period of time around our whole World Cup campaign, to me it was a phenomenal time. It made this emotional connection at the time, it was great!”
Brian Solis, points out in his blog that in the first 24 hours, Coca-Cola’s Promoted Trend earned 86 million impressions and an engagement rate of 6% compared to approximately 0.02% of people who click on regular online advertisements.
Budweiser and the New York Times also took advantage of the public’s World Cup buzz.
As the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, Budweiser took their approach to the next level. The company has utilized all emerging media mediums available, interacting with fans on a daily basis. They have created the website BudUnited.com which uses YouTube to air an original reality series. The channel already has already earned over 3.5 million views with an average engagement time of 11 minutes. And, it’s only going to continue to grow as the World Cup intensifies.
It is nothing new for brands to follow their audience to new mediums and adapt to their targets interest as they change over time. To maintain relevance in the consumer’s eyes, brands must become a part of the likes and dislike of their audience. Using the World Cup as a platform has shown positive results in relation to consumer response and interaction continuing to build brand/ consumer relationships.
While taking some time to read a few blogs, I came across an interesting study from Retrevo.com. It was about social media addiction. I had to laugh because I say all the time how I am addicted to the computer, checking e-mail, school, Facebook ECT… So to come across a study saying that this addiction is real was funny! The study asked 1,000 social media users questions such as when, where, and how much time they spend on sites and services like Facebook and Twitter. Half of the participants check their SMS when they wake up and right before they go to bed. 56% of social media users need to check Facebook at least once a day and an amazing 12% say they need to check it every couple of hours. These results show that lacking a presence on these sites could hurt your business. As a marketing professional I feel you must be where the people are and it is obvious that Facebook and sites like it, are the place to be. A brand must have interaction with their patron or they will become irrelevant. More and more brand are producing interactive campaigns for their consumers. Being loyal to a brand no longer means only buying their products it is about following their twitter feed, being a FAN of their Facebook page, and reading the company blog. This social media addiction is an addiction to interaction, marketer have an opportunity to really get connected.
Honda came out with the Advergame called Honda Fit it was created to introduce the fuel efficient 2010 Honda Fit. The gamer has to deliver the super bolt before Fit City is taken over. While playing the game, gamers are informed of the fuel efficiency, good handling and the safety system comprised of six air bags. The game has good design, quality sound and is easy to use. Getting the chance to “drive” the car is an enticing way to drive sales. With U.S. sales of video-game hardware and software rising 43% to hit $9.4 billion last year its not a surprise that Honda wanted to jump on board. Advergames are a new medium that are just beginning to be tapped into. As CEO of YaYa LLC Keith Ferrazzi said “Games are not just entertainment anymore.”
In 2002 Honda decided to offer a reward to visitors who register by entering them in a contest to win a 2002 Honda CR-V. Their first attempt at Advergaming was a success. In the end, nearly 80% of registered users played the game — for an average of four and a half minutes. Based on registration data, Honda says that it was able to project buying trends and bolster internal market research. Visitor could not turn down their sleek graphics and 3-D replays!
The Honda Advergame was not only an entertainment advertising medium but also a marketing research tool in disguise. By asking and receiving the visitor’s age, name, location, occupation and hobbies, Honda received a large amount of information from a market they may have never touched.
The one Honda has successfully used twice was placed on the company website to attract web visitors and entice them to stay for longer periods of time. This is called a product placement or in-game advertising. Keeping the visitors in place longer gives companies more time to repeat their message and when a viewer is receiving more impressions they are more likely to become a consumer.
Advergaming can be a controversial topic; some critics think it is advertising at the extreme, flirting with the line of enticing to influencing. These opinions are formed from games like the American Army. This advergame was created to increase recruitment; some think this may be setting an unrealistic expectation of war in the reality.
Taking the good and the bad into consideration, when the Advergaming medium is used right, it can be a huge success for the world of advertising and for companies who have products to sell just as Honda did.