How social can help in the era of #TVEverywhere

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How people are watching and engaging with broadcast TV content is changing dramatically in the USA. Surprise, surprise, It’s no longer linear. It’s no longer scheduled. It’s no longer exclusively in front of a TV screen. “TV Everywhere” is becoming mainstream. It’s the latest buzzword for viewing broadcast shows from channels you subscribe to on your satellite network or devices. TV apps like HBO Go, Watch ESPN, CNBC, and cable companies offering their own branded apps like Comcast’s Xfinity TV Go. 1 in 5 American households are watching TV Everywhere content and it’s growing significantly faster than other online video sources like YouTube, Hulu or Daily Motion according to Adobe’s Digital Index.

Closer to home, the Australian TV networks and telco’s no doubt have picked up on this new revenue stream as Foxtel Go is our best example of this model, but how are they driving engagement around their content?

Several American TV networks are re-imagining the second screen experience and experimenting with new ways for people to participate with social elements when the person is already on their phone/tablet. Here are 5 recent innovative American examples:

1. High quality, bold, branded content:
To promote the second season of the Showtime series “Masters of Sex”, the network hired filmmaker Tatia Pilieva (“The Kiss” creator whose video for clothing line Wren earned 86m views) to create a video clip on YouTube titled “Undress Me,”. Seeding innovative teasers on YouTube is proving to be an effective strategy to generate interest in ‘tune-into’ events.

2. Tease Exclusive bonus content and Insider Info in real time:

As an official sponsor of Pretty Little Liars, Audi Snapchatted exclusive bonus content from the ABC Family program and the show’s stars in real time. SnapChat and Instagram are Millennial mediums of choice and need to be considered in delivering ‘first to view’ content.

3. Experiment with social platform features to build plot suspense

Hulu is the first brand to test sponsored posts on Whisper, an app that lets users post anonymous messages about their deepest secrets, biggest regrets, and strangest desires. For their new series Deadbeat, about a New York resident who helps ghosts take care of their nasty unfinished business they’re posting prompts, i.e.:. “Describe the worst fight you’ve ever gotten into with a rival” to pique interest in the show. A great example of matching a show’s narrative with a social platform’s unique context.

4. Contextually relevant media partnerships:

To promote the release of its new series “Satisfaction,” a show that deals with modern marriages, USA Network teamed up with Vice Media and HowAboutWe – a dating site – to start a cultural dialogue around the subjects of today’s relationships with the thought–provoking question: #AreYouSatisfied? among the very people who might be pondering this question and thus be interested in the show.

5. Use characters to “meet” new fans:

To plug Season 4, The Walking Dead, a Zombie show in New Zealand, TVNZ deployed female models to engage with over 500 guys on Tinder, and as their ‘relationships’ deepened, photos and responses slowly deteriorated, leaving little more than incoherent zombies who rattled off the launch date. Mindy Kaling (star of Fox’s The Mindy Project) also surprises viewers on Tinder, a clever way to attract potential new viewers with matching interests.

If TV Everywhere trend continues it’s global growth, brands like Foxtel Go should be experimenting with innovative social ideas to drive engagement and advocacy around their shows.

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The death of marketing? Not likely: Becoming a #participationbrand

A little thought piece I wrote for Adnews here on my views on what it takes to be a great participation brand in todays social economy. See below:

There are a lot of marketers on both client and agency side talking about the death of branding, marketing and strategy. Kevin Roberts most notably leading the charge.  Plenty of conversation has been generated promoting the ‘don’t think, just do it’ approach at Cannes and Spikes Asia this year. This kind of thinking led to the vast microsite graveyard and I don’t buy it.

We still need good brand strategy and big thinking.  We just need to change the rules by which brands are imagined and behave.

The most loved and effective brands are an intrinsic part of culture – stimulating interest, involvement and advocacy without constant media support. We call them participation brands. Unfortunately in Australia, 80% of brands create disposable interactions, let’s call them passive brands.

Participation brands put participation at the heart of the brand experience – not as an add-on. They involve customers, stakeholders and fans through immersive and interactive initiatives allowing people to join in, connect, converse, co-create and advocate. They create a gravitational pull enabling them to outsell without having to necessarily outspend their competition.

Rather than being closed, static systems defined by generic words on a brand onion, they’re open, dynamic, evolving and collaborative systems embedded into the operational DNA of the organisation.

Being a participation brand means operating at the speed of culture, not the speed of research.  Being in a constant state of beta mode and letting each and every person leave a bit of their DNA on an idea.

A word of caution though.  Participation branding isn’t just doing ‘more digital and social’.  Genuine participation brands think content, context, experience and conversations not just how many screens you can get on.

Participation branding doesn’t mean trying to get everyone to get deeply involved at all times. That’s unrealistic. Understanding different motivations for participating and sharing ideas is critical. Being useful, driving belonging, promoting achievement, enhancing one’s status, rewarding and recognising my contribution.

So how do you start behaving like a participation brand? Where do you start? Asking these six basic questions is a great starting point:

1. What’s our PASSIONATE PURPOSE that makes the world better?

2. What are we doing to PROTOTYPE new business models, new initiatives, and new ways of consumer interaction?

3. What games are we asking people to PLAY with us and the community?

4. How can we help people PROPAGATE their story whether they’re advocates, adorers or the passive massive?

5. What’s our 365 day PRESENCE PLAN mapping when, where, why and how people want to participate with us? How can we be ‘Always on’?

6. How are we PIVOTING to ensure we stay ahead of culture and relevant to our communities’ needs and interests?

So who’s doing it well?  Of course the titans and icons of Nike, Adidas, Coke, Apple, Johnnie Walker, Heineken, Google, Red Bull, Mini and Lego all have participation baked in.

What about Australia?

Recent campaigns like Google ‘Build with Chrome’,  ‘Share a Coke and a song’, ‘The Perfect Lager Project’ for Arvo beer, ‘BYO Cup Day’ for 7 Eleven,  ‘Mobile’ Medic’ for the Australian Defence Force and our Christchurch ‘Discovery Stream’ and Adidas NEO ‘Find my Gold Shoes’ Bieber collaboration  – all initiatives with participation baked into the DNA of the idea. All with amazing results.

So, no I don’t think we’re living through the death of marketing, but rather an amazingly exciting time for brands. It’s time for planners to leave our ivory towers, dump Google as our primary source of insight, banish our brand onions and get involved with the real world.  It’s time for strategy to participate.

Smart gets #urbanyouth with #FourTwo skateboarder content

A piece of content I wish I’d created. Great piece of youth marketing by Smart, for their FourTwo. Awesome inspiring use of skateboarders Kilian Martin and Alfredo Urbon to get urban Gen Y’ers to desire their wheels. Simple message, powerfully delivered & totally shareable. Goes to show you don’t need to bombard with features to engage. Thanks to my old colleague @aj_lockhart for the shout.

Christchurch Reimagined campaign – ‘Bob Thinks Big’ #chch

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Really proud to see the launch of our Christchurch Reimagined campaign to get Australians travelling back to Christchurch, NZ, post Earthquake

Check out the 3 episodes of Mayor Bob Parker making a shout out to his Aussie cousins.

 

Nice to see Channel 7 news in Australia pick up the story as well.

This is supported by our ‘Discovery Stream’, click here to check it out.  In a bid to get them back to the city, Christchurch needed to replace the images of devastation, with images of the beautiful, ever-evolving city that it now is. The Discovery Stream provides Christchurch with an ongoing digital platform that crowd-sources and broadcasts the city’s tourism experience in real-time. Using #ChCh tagged uploads from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it provides potential tourists with a window into the city.

 

Sprite ‘true self expression’ campaign #spritetrueselves

Really liking this new global Sprite campaign from my old agency BBH NY – originated by Jordan Kraemer a great copywriter i had the pleasure of working with. Taps into a universal truth about global truth, the need for ‘true self expression’ and feeling comfortable in their own skin within the tribe –  THis campaign brings this thought to life, Sprite being the catalyst for this behaviour. They’ve created awesome street art in Prague  technique by camouflage artist Liu Bolin. Nice work Sprite, will definitely cross borders.

Adidas 2012 Olympics anthem for British youth #takethestage

Awesome anthem for British youth in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympics by Adidas. Captures the spirit of British youth perfectly and the Adidas values of authenticity and  energy. I have to disclose that although my agency Iris Worldwide didn’t do this work, Adidas are a client I work on, so I am a little biased 🙂 Well done Adidas and Sid Lee.

5 ways to #Outsell the competition #Outsellers

At Iris Worldwide, we recently put together a global study on the latest retail innovation. Word to my fellow planners at Iris Worldwide in the USA and UK. Titled ‘The Outsellers’ it looks at the key principles and trends that marketers are deploying to enhance the shopping experience and build customer value throughout the customer journey.These are the 5 trends we identified and below are a few quick links to brands & ideas that are delivering on the trend. Hit us up if you’re keen to find out more.

Friction Free Shopping

New Balance ‘The Line up’

Sportsgirl mobile shopping

Lancome Taxi Shops

Perx

Aisle 411

Real Time Value

ThinkNear

Fopping.com

Service Based Selling

Taxi Treats vending machine

C&A Fashion ‘Like’

Brayola.com

The Power of Inspiration

Pano – Plaza

Perch Displays

Ted Bakers Drawing Room

Pave Bicycle Store

Branding the Value Proposition

Starbucks Rembrandt Square

365 Ecobar Indonesia