A recent campaign by Porter Novelli for the HP ePrint printer took a daring (and risky) approach to branded content creation by letting the Upright Citizens Brigade – via crowsourced suggestions – bring to life the benefit of the product’s new technology. A branded entertainment campaign featured the comedy troupe in a live improv event – the first ever streamed to YouTube – served as a product demonstration, crowdsourcing live suggestions via social media and e-mail. The point? To demonstrate and bring to life the notion and benefit of printing from anywhere.
By inviting a broad audience to influence the demonstration, the comedy troupe’s improvisational sketches served as a ‘hook’ to educate on the how the product works and what the value of printing from anywhere actually means – stimulating trial, curiosity (and eventually purchase) of the new product.
With the return of The Man Your Man Can Smell Like – and this unscripted branded entertainment play from HP – crowdsourcing still bears signs of having interesting permeations in branding and marketing during 2011. It may not be right for every application (i.e., jury’s still out on crowscourcing’s role in product innovation and development), but it could still provide a humorous, compelling invitation for consumers in less traditional brand communications (and advertising).