Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Engagement and the advertiser

Billboards, magazines, social media, radio, television, trains, airports, buses, trams, and the internet ... we see advertising constantly but how many of us actually say yes to an advert?

Traditional advertising is unmistakably effective, it raises awareness, is cost effective and products are sold, but increasingly, advertisers are also turning to innovation to engage with their audience.

Lynx invested in augmented reality technology to help the launch of their latest fragrance with the tagline ‘Angels will fall’ during its ‘Angel Ambush’ campaign. Fronted by Kelly Brook as a fallen angel, commuters walking across a spot at London’s Victoria Station suddenly found themselves at the centre of the advert. Participants watching themselves on the screen soon found themselves in the presence of an angel as it fell to earth. The angel then appeared to interact with the participant moving in response to human actions. A subsequent YouTube clip was viewed more than 750,000 times and has resulted in huge popularity for the new scent.

This kind of advertisement ensures that a customer feels involved in a product and leads to excitement about the product and brand, creating a brand relationship.

Online, innovation can be harder but the key here is relevancy. Place an ad where you know your target audience will be. Contextual advertising ensures that your ad is relevant to the user. This technique recommends products to users based on the page or product they are currently viewing. Amazon utilises this technique and recommends products based on previous purchase behaviours - A ‘you bought this so you may like this’ approach.

Facebook has gone further and allows users to tailor the adverts they see at the side of their pages. Click on the cross at the top-right hand corner of the advert and you are immediately asked why you have chosen to delete this ad – was it offensive? Repetitive? Uninteresting ? This all leads to a better understanding of the types of ads you are interested in.

Clearly technology will be at the heart of innovation in this industry but for those without a massive budget, researching your target audience is key in engaging them successfully.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Happy Twitterversary

Social media has revolutionised the way that people communicate with one other, so a meeting between a company in Beiijing and one in London no longer has to involve the use of planes. A laptop, computer or mobile phone is all that is needed to meet ‘face to face’. With Uniquethinking celebrating its two year Twitter anniversary, we have decided to take a look at just how far social media has come.

Businesses, organisations, charities and institutions have become prolific users of social media sites such as Flickr, Facebook and Twitter over the years. A strong example is the British royal family. 2010 saw a Facebook page for ‘The British Monarchy’ created and, during the royal wedding, it was used to great effect. With an estimated 2 billion people tuning in to watch Kate and Will wed, the page was quick to post twitpics, upload links to the royal Youtube channel with wedding footage and even posted a link to Flickr where the official royal wedding photographs were being hosted. This was a great way of engaging their fans and, with the whole world watching, probably resulted in an increase in fans for the page.

This level of engagement by businesses and organisations has led to great innovation in how the sites are used. For example, NASA manages around 100 Twitter accounts and astronauts regularly tweet about their daily routines from space. To further engage fans NASA also arranges ‘tweet-ups’ allowing Twitter fans to visit a NASA location and meet with astronauts, leaders and programme managers, which has been an extremely popular move. The National Trust has followed in a similar vein by giving control of a live working farm to 10,000 people via social media in a bid to connect people with food production on farms.

The everyday user has also seen a change in the way that sites can be used. Increasingly news stories are not being broken by journalists but by the average Twitter user. The raid which resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden was unwittingly reported via Twitter by computer programmer Sohaib Athar who, as the raid was taking place, tweeted:

“A huge window-shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope it’s not the start of something nasty.”

This was later followed up by:

“Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it”

Social media has even evolved to ensure that the older generations are not left out. Grandparents now have their own social networking site in the form of forum-based Gransnet, giving them a place to discuss life as grandparents.

Clearly social media has become a force to be reckoned with and as more people begin to see the potential of this as a business and social tool, innovation will continue.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Oasis gets fruity

Oasis has once again cemented its reputation as a fun and humorous brand with the launch of its brand new spring advertising campaign and steamy strap line.

The series of adverts sees an Oasis bottle getting fruity with a popular lunch time snack in a series of situations with the strap line “Oasis it’ll go with anything”. From an office ‘romance’ with a scotch egg, to a sauna scene where the entrance of Oasis causes spuds to open their jackets, the series of adverts carry on from previous marketing campaigns such as “Fruity drinks and lunchtime dreams” and “Oasis for people who don’t like water” to give the brand personality in a saturated market.

Accompanying the adverts will be taglines such as “Shake that butty” which will feature on all bottle caps and, for the more internet based consumer, Youtube will also have behind the scenes footage and outtakes available.

Oasis has clearly researched its target market and addressed its key marketing messages, its suitability to all types of food and its fruity content. All that remains to be said is:

“Wham, bam thank you ham”

Going down

With less of a punch is KFC’s recent change in strap line from the 50 year old ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ to the less inspiring ‘So Good’ in an attempt to rebrand and project a more healthy image. However, it may have left a bland taste with some consumers and left some questioning the move away from its southern roots. Will the Colonel get a make-over and emerge as a Pilates instructor from LA?