MEDIA ARTS MONDAYS:
Goodbye 360 degrees. Hello 365 days.
There’s no such thing as a captive audience. Gone are the days of neat and discrete moments in time where advertisers talked to target audiences. Today’s is a culture in constant motion. And the dizzying array of platforms, constant connectivity and ever-increasing speed of information has left the ad industry out of sync with its audience. People don’t live in quarterly campaigns, nor do they distinguish communication channels. They expect faster and constant communication with their brands across more media platforms and conversations. Every month, week, day, on the hour. It’s now about how fast brands can move, how relevant they can be and what they can offer in the here and now. There is a always need for “slow” and carefully crafted brand strategies and stories. But, with culture in constant motion there is also a need for marketers to be quick and nimble, so they can find opportunities where their brands can tap into cultural conversations that are part of people’s lives.
Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Digital Officer for TBWA\Worldwide, challenges marketers to “advertise at the speed of culture”— making the case for designing constant communications at the intersections of product, culture, news and events. It’s a fleet of micro-initiatives as ongoing communication programs with your audience in response to culture 365 days a year. It’s about being opportunistic and leveraging key moments with brand relevance. It’s about owning the current conversation to generate faster and more frequent communication points. It’s a new form of CRM using a mix of planned, anticipative and reactive micro initiatives.
Planned initiatives are created around identified cultural moments relevant to your brand. By asking “Who do you think is refreshing music?” Pepsi leveraged the cultural conversation around this year’s Coachella Music Fest with their RefreshMusic Twitter feed featuring Thievery Corporation’s Rob Myers as
a guest tweeter. By putting a unique spin on the concert for music lovers, Pepsi is not only letting tweeters experience the festival in new ways, but is also bringing the brand idea “refresh everything” to life.
Anticipated is scenario based planning that requires marketers to be smart enough to see the cultural conversation and be ready to act upon it. Visa’s seemingly “real-time” ad, celebrating Michael Phelps’s Olympic record eight gold medals, proved the brand recognized the Game’s most talked about story. The TV spot had footage of Phelps’s previous wins literally moments after his record-breaking performance, helping Visa go beyond being a sponsor and become a part of the conversation surrounding the Games.
Reactive is being nimble enough to surprise and delight your audience by your brand tapping into the zeitgeist. In President Obama’s acceptance speech he declared the family’s intention of getting a dog. The next day, Pedigree began crafting a response. A day later an ad in USA Today urged the President to adopt: “We’d love to help you fulfill your first campaign promise.” Pedigree’s quick actions helped place them in the cultural conversation regarding the President’s pet decision.