The relationship between consumer and marketer has been like hide and seek for the last 50 years. The consumer hides; the marketer seeks. The consumer watches her favorite show and the advertiser interrupts with a commercial. It was kind of fun for a while. But as the number of seekers grew and the hiders increased their skill, the relationship between marketer and consumer grew antagonistic. The game wasn’t fun anymore. Something had to give.
Enter branded entertainment, the long form commercial and digital “platforms.” These new media formats give marketers a new way to engage with consumers- a way to mend the broken relationship and get back to the unstated agreement that has been lost: “I accept that you need to market to me and I’m ok with that as long as you give me something of value.” What’s valuable to the consumer? Entertainment. Relevance. A useful service.
“Roller Babies”- A Long-Form Commercial for Evian
Drinking Evian makes you “live young.” That’s what the creative brief said and the creative team delivered something so entertaining that the spot has been sought out and viewed over 39 million times on YouTube. These other examples also connect with consumers powerfully.
Orbit Gum’s brand positioning is that is cleans up dirty situations- like a teacher dating a student. More than 300,000 people have watched this entertaining skit which is the sort of thing we’ve all enjoyed on Saturday Night Live, but is actually an ad for Orbit Gum.
Put a sensor in your Nike running shoe, connect the sensor to your iPod, or iPhone and then go for a run. After your run, data about your performance is sent to www.NikePlus.com where you can see it- time, distance, calories burned and more. It’s so much more than marketing- it’s a brand experience delivered on a digital platform.
What do all these examples have in common? They give something back to the consumer. “Prom Date” and “Roller Babies” are enormously entertaining. And Nike + provides a service. These smart marketers have changed the game- now consumers seek them. Imagine that.