So, you might not agree with me, but I am sick and tired of hearing about the word ‘Viral’. In a hectic world of advertising, brands continually want quick, simple, cheap solutions, that magically come out of no-where and become massive hits online, yet is this an unrealistic expectation?
In my eyes, yes! Viral campaigns can make consumers truly feel something, whether this is sadness, happiness, love or hate. This emotion leads to them actively viewing YouTube videos, liking Facebook pages and tweeting about brands. Hence the only way to achieve this is through meticulous planning, by providing real consumer insight, perfect timing and realistic budgets.
Before I rant anymore, maybe I should define what viral actually means. Well according to MarketingTerms.com it is a ‘Marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message’.
The ultimate aim of a brand is to circulate its message within influential social groups; hence the right people become instant ambassadors. As a result, brands can send out particular messages to individuals, different networking groups and even their competitors, fast and effectively.
When it comes to content, this is purely defined by the brand’s short & long term aim. It could be something as simple as a photo or article, a revolutionary website, video or above the line campaign. What they all must contain is content that really inspires people to share; online & through face-to-face conversation. This is hard, really hard, especially if you are doing it properly. Some people and brands occasionally get lucky, but for the majority, you have to work at it. If a brand tries too hard, then it simply won’t work! A classic example is Sony’s ‘All I want for Christmas is a PSP’.
‘Old Spice’ advertising on the other hand is one of the most inspirational campaigns to date. By simply understanding their consumers (70% women), P&G were able to take ‘Old Spice’ viral. The final execution might look low budget, but it actually took a large amount of effort and resources to produce it correctly. The same can be said for Evian’s Roller Babies ‘Live Young’ and Volkswagen’s Dark Vadar Super Bowl advert.
So what is my conclusion? Well, brands need to stop asking agencies to produce ‘viral’ campaigns and concentrate on the bigger pitch. Viral campaigns naturally develop, they cannot be moulded. It truly takes time, so in the meantime, concentrate on your customers, their needs, desires and opinions.
The internet, in all its myriad forms, has been touted as the ultimate measurable medium. However, the digital landscape and indeed the entire consumer-to-advertiser relationship has changed so dramatically over the last couple of years that it has made it difficult for marketers and their agencies to accurately measure return on investment (ROI).
As with all emerging technologies, the return on investment (ROI) is a key guideline when considering an investment in digital advertising, as it enables companies the chance to balance the benefits of an investment against the overall costs associated with it, reducing room for error. In the case of digital advertising, this will largely depend of the brand’s main goal; increasing public awareness, profit or brand value.
This academic paper will break down the cause & effect procedure, using up-to-date motion capture techniques to visually explore the success of existing mediums against new innovations; reviewing campaign reach, profit & accreditation. From a brand’s prospective; should they be spending their budgets on traditional, yet safe above the line campaigns or opt for riskier, potential more expensive digital executions? We are always asked this question by our brands!
Alongside three of Clusta’s most prestigious brands; BCU & ClustaLabs will create a reliable testing procedure to review exactly what success is (per medium) and state potential areas of investment in the future.
Make sure you check into our blog and twitter site (@ClustaLabs) on a regular basis to review our findings.
Where do you look when you are on a plane, a bus, in a car or even walking down a street? Do you even notice what is going on around you? New adverts, buildings and shops are constantly popping up everywhere, but do you care or even pay attention?
In a brief discussion with BCU University, it soon dawned on us that there is no clear way of accessing whether social media, online & offline advertising, actually affects the decision-making process. Hence, can pre-digital campaigns really affect future purchasing decisions? How can we prove this?
Over the next six months, ClustaLabs will be testing this notion, with the help of Birmingham City University. We will be presenting our findings online, to our brands and through academic sessions, which you are all welcome to attend. So keep checking in and feel free to email us, if there is anything else that you would like us to review.
Nowadays, everybody is looking for something new and special; the same came be said for technology. Recently, ClustaLabs carried out some research into printing applications. 3D printers are basically used for the rapid development of industrial models, including razors, buildings and now clothing. The N12 Bikini is an interesting example of how 3D printing is entering into the consumer world. It was designed by Continuum Fashion and has become the first ever affordable, ready-to-wear item of clothing; surely there is more to come. This was produced using Rhino 3D CAD software and a specially written algorithm that creates a complex ‘circle packing ‘equation on an arbitrarily doubly curved surface, providing the flexibility required within the garment. Another printing application that is definitely worth a mention is the Nike Chalkbot, a recent Cannes winner. Naturally this application lends itself more closely to 2D advertising, yet with the ability to print texts, symbols and to be honest, pretty much anything, we are excited about seeing how this concept might evolve in the future.
Several other applications have arose from this relatively simple technology, including one of my favourites; the 3D Chocolate printer. Just like something that you would expect to see in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, users will soon be able to create their own pieces of confectionary; designing their own flavours, shapes, colours, anything that there stomach truly desires. Arguably, this was taken one step further with the CandyFab, an open source product that you can generally use within your own home. Although the software and hardware instructions are yet to be released, one is looking forward to tucking into my very own version of the next gob-stopper!
However, my personal favourite is Barcelona's BlablabLab, who piloted an attraction called "Be Your Own Souvenir" in Las Ramblas. The installation produced 3D-printed figurines of tourists that were scanned using 3 Kinect sensors in the dark. As a result, the user became part of the installation, whilst receiving a free gift. Custom software had to be created with open Frameworks in order to produce a full 360 degree point cloud that could then be processed by Meshlab and Skeinforge into a CNC file, creating a low resolution figure within the space of ten minutes. As this technology continues to evolve, it may become an ideal way of producing your own accessories or tailor-fitted clothes, yet with chocolate on the mind, I am going to leave it here for now and get some lunch.
Recently we have been working on two smaller projects, just for fun, that I am able to talk about; a smart toaster and a forecasting umbrella, so let’s start with the umbrella. The idea for the forecasting umbrella was that LEDs within the handle would be used to visually communicate if it is about to rain or snow to their owners. As a result, users would remember to pick up and take their umbrella out with them, yet had this been done before? After much research and deliberation, we felt that the concept was too close to Ambient’s umbrella, priced at £140. Naturally, ClustaLabs was thinking of producing such a product for the likes of Topshop, with a RRP of around £25-30, a more cost-effective and realistic pricing range for consumers. We decided that an Arduino BT (Bluetooth) board was one of two ways in tackling the challenging issue of getting the umbrella to download and display local weather information from the internet, quickly and efficiently.
Another long-term, yet more flexible option was to independently design a board, which included either an ATMega microcontroller or PIC microcontroller that would be programmed using C Language, along with the addition of a Bluetooth module & power supply. Ambient’s current solution is to use pulsating LEDs that indicate the likelihood of rain within the next 12 hours, but it does not go as far as predicting exactly when the event will occur or provide a sufficient enough warning, quickly changing from one setting to the next. Its limited setting solely provide one piece of information; to rain or not to rain, yet what if it snow or hails? Don’t all of these weather conditions warrant a setting? Hence, forewarning the user about the weather conditions that day, along with helping them to decide on what to wear would be a much more desirable solution for the consumer.
A similar conclusion was considered when analysing Robin Southgate’s smart toaster. There have been numerous renditions of this innovative concept over the last ten years, but no one has been able to produce a mainstream product that taps into the online weather system since. Surprisingly, we also came up with endless other possibilities, including developing a registered site where brands could pay to be entered into a lottery to feature on UK’s toast the following day. Just imagine waking up, making toast and seeing the Marmite or Clover logo burnt onto it; what topping would you choose then, Bovril? I doubt it. Hence how could we achieve this?
Our first task was to analyse how the connection between the toaster and advertising website would work. Secondly, how could the toaster randomly print any symbol onto the bread, without the use of stencils? As we discussed previously within the forecasting umbrella project, wireless connection could only be provided from the internet by either creating our own board or by using an Ardunio BT (Bluetooth) board. To print any symbol or writing, laser etching seemed the most plausible solution, as aluminium stencils would not suffice in providing the flexibility that was desired. Both of these concepts have been fully developed into in-house prototypes at ClustaLabs, so if you are interested in finding out more, then please contact me at: Mandana.Ardeshir@clustalabs.com