In today’s advertising world, some of the more effective and forward-thinking agencies have already erased the line between digital and traditional ad campaigns. A traditional campaign is a digitally integrated one. So what room does that leave for all the industry players who have “Digital” in their job title? All campaigns should have website accessibility, optimized for mobile at best, and enabled with social plug-ins. So what can agencies do to differentiate themselves in this fast-paced digital era?
Technology plays a role in everything that we do, and its presence in day to day life is only set to strengthen. The growth of technology can be compared to a spiral, with each phase of its evolution entering a new cycle roughly every decade, exponentially increasing its sphere of influence in our daily lives. So what does this mean for advertisers who want to grow and sustain relationships between brands and their customers?
Internet and mobile computing are the two biggest tech milestones of the last 20 years. However, as we enter the next cycle, digital marketers should already be thinking about what other technology they could utilize to connect with people in a creative and meaningful way.
The voracious appetite with which society consumes technology is an indicator that what we perceive as disruptive technology today, will be commonplace tomorrow. This is a key opportunity on which fast-thinking agencies can capitalise, as it entails a vast spectrum of possibilities to be explored, including innovations in the field of mobile internet and service design, the explosion of crowd-sourcing and gamification, the emergence of the “Internet of Things”, 3D printing, Big Data, and even advanced robotics.
The agency model as we know is transforming from one of pure communication to a more integrated part of clients’ product think tanks. Ogilvy Brazil’s TweetPee campaign for Huggies is a great example of how creative teams can add long term value to their client’s product, and transcend the conventional communication value of a product campaign.
There are eight technologies and process innovations which are already disrupting advertising, generating buzz, and most importantly, adding value to the relationships that consumers have with brands. Here are the first four:
The Internet of Things
According to Cisco, by 2020 our world will have over 50 billion products connected to the Internet; everything from fridges to clothes hangers, coffee machines, and even cattle. This creates enormous potential for clients to improve or re-invent their products and promote them in refreshing ways. MIT has worked on proverbial wallets, which notify owners of their bank account status by vibrating or changing shapes, while Twisted Metal and Ariel have devised Internet-connected guns which let the audience remotely control guns on a shooting range and a fashion stain shoot. The Internet of Things has opened up a seemingly infinite space for digital exploration.
Since Groupon’s groundbreaking IPO, the growing influence of crowd-sourcing platforms such as Change.org, Kickstarter, and its Chinese equivalent Demohour.com has been disrupting the way people spend money, raise funds and support their causes. For agencies and brands, this highlights the importance of giving power back to the people, making them feel that they matter and are being. FMCG companies like Mountain Dew, VitaminWater, Ben & Jerry’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Kit Kat are already crowd-sourcing user-generated product names, visuals and flavors. Citroën has even gone so far as to ask drivers how it should design the new C1 model for production.
The recipe for success is to make your target audience the keystone of the journey behind a disruptive idea, keeping in mind how they will discover, interact, share and talk about your product.
Gamification is the process of using the mindset and mechanics of gaming to engage audiences, solve problems, and enhance non-game contexts. According to Gartner, by 2015 more than 50% of organizations managing innovation processes will be gamifying those processes.
In advertising, gamification is increasingly prevalent in the digital ideas presented to clients. Whether it is through disrupting traditional ATL campaigns with second screen gamified experiences, online campaigns, or offline events, brands have a greater power of entertainment using gamification. Coca-Cola and Heineken, for example, have brilliantly augmented TV ads and football games into interactive mobile games.
Social Local Mobile (SoLoMo) is nothing new, but entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to use it. Inspired by Foursquare and China’s Jiepang, other mobile platforms are enhancing their relevance to users by adding additional layers of engagement. The Scvgnr app, for example, uses extensive gamification, while Shopkick creates local business communities by connecting stores to attract more potential customers.
Applied in digital ad campaigns, SoLoMo and smartphone technology can bring an array of disruptive campaign opportunities. Ogilvy Shanghai’s Hide & Seek campaign for Buick demonstrates how a brand can connect with their local target audience both online and offline, to directly drive brand awareness and sales.
The next issue of the ogilvydo Guide to Techruptive Trends is all about the rise of the machines, from advanced robotics to the 3D printing revolution.