AXE in the US created the Game Killers reality t.v. show which is screened on MTV. As a brand AXE gives the male the 'edge in the mating game' and this case it is all about keeping your Kool in the face of competition very on brand. After experimenting with few online takes on the content area e.g. Ravenstoke the full t.v. show was inevitable. If people are not watching the ads how can you put your brand infront of them? 1. Slow Motion offers a la KFC see below 2. Sponsor what they are watching 3. Digitally superimpose your brand in what they are watching see below 4. Create original programming that they would watch in its entirety and even follow as in GK above All quite simple really.
Nike has always been about Authentic Sport. No games, just sport was the end line from the film What women want where Mel Gibson played an ad exec trying to woo hiis colleague. So it is not about playing games and it is about playing sport Nike's take on the world cup is interesting. It takes Eric Cantona and gets him to hijack a boring television studio in order to interrupt the transmission of boring football programmes to tell us that we need to play well, play beautiful. I love how the same ingredients exist but are given a modern day twist: a bunch of top athletes, added to a 'pledge' a 'cause' and added to a something 'authentic' the beautiful game and the nice twist in this campaign is the 'interruption in transmission' idea and challenging of the status quo of 'sponsored' 'manufactured' and 'mechanical' approach to the world of sport media. The irony is, it is cool but nevertheless very much Nike.
The above is a shot from a t.v. series in the US. The Bass beer bottle has been digitally inserted on the table in the shot by a new breed of agency called PVI. It is a digital virtual bottle added after the entire episode has been shot. Case for digital product placement: It is a way of getting your brand inserted into the right fit t.v., game and programing to gain awareness & association. It is also a way for a brand to be seen inside the entertainment instead of in the ads outside that people skip using TiVOs - in other words reach the full rating. Research or evidence that such techniques work is thin on the ground. Case Against: the content makers e.g. t.v. producers say that this affects the integrity of their product. The audience feels they've been 'had' if they discover that it was a 'superimposed' or over the top placement of brand in the content of what they want to watch. Admittedly it is an interesting technique for gaining some awareness for a brand and potentially some associations if the fit is right and the 'superimposed' effect is not noticed. But the actual consumer impact is likely to be no more than basic awarness and maybe some affinity borrowed from the entertainment value of the show. However, there is always the option of Brands actually making original programming instead of shoving their logos digitally into somebody else's entertainment content. Now, are there skills, capability or aptitude within client organisations or agencies to actually make original content that people would actively want to watch despite being made by a brand? Also who gets the credit in the end; the pope or Michelangelo for the Sistine Ceiling?
So, loads of people have iPods and pretty much everyone has a mobile and some have two. Carrying a digital device with you opens up and can potentially change the structure of distribution in some markets. Take the dog-ear tourist guide. Although not mainstream, the following are some interesting examples of what the alternative can be: Sound Walk allows you to pick a theme of interest in the city you are visiting for example picking Hip Hop I found a podcast from a Hip Hop legend taking you through the Hip Hop hood. Talking Street uses famous local celebrities to guide you through 'their' town. Virgin naturally was the first to use city podcasts in UK with its carefully selected sights and experiences. Other travel companies have cought on to the idea such as Thompson however, in some case it turns into an advert in your ear without the authority or the credibility of someone who knows what they are talking about. History Unwired goes a step further, you get to choose one of the ancient characters that used to live in the place you are visiting and give you different guidance dependent on exactly where you are standing by using location aware technologies. Your mobile will give you the low down depending on where you are at that point in time and in history too ...
Wordcount is an award winning site (and sister to 10x10) that ranks the most frequently used words in the English Language. The idea is beautiful executed in this 'information speaks for itself' design. Playing around with the words it threw some interesting but predictable results, The word 'money' is ranked 227 while the word 'love' is ranked '384'. Similarly, the word 'man' was ranked 142 while the word 'woman' ranked 393. It doesn't say very much apart from in English usage today money appears to be written about a lot more than love and man a lot more than woman. No surprises there then, but the idea of aggregating our contemporary common language is indeed interesting if it is applied to the entire internet for example.
BMW has just launched it's latest content idea. It is a series of audio books that you can download here. Really simple thought but makes perfect sense for the brand. You are driving, you may not want to listen to music but would love something a little more interesting, the answer listen to an audio book. Naturally the story does involve a car a BMW. I quite like the fact BMW has stopped pretending. It's new campaign line is 'It's only a car' and similarly it is giving people a useful entertaining short audio story but you get it from their site (and of-course you can check out the featured model while you are at it). I wonder how many people do check out the featured car on the site ...