Digitally ever after
I’ve got social and digital on the brain this week even more so than usual. So many of my colleagues at Ipsos ASI are writing about, talking about and thinking about all things digital and social that it’s hard not to get caught up in the conversation. We’ve whipped ourselves up into a right frenzy that, I hope, will culminate with our Digitally Ever After event next week in London.
Of course, we’re talking about what makes the best (and worst) digital and social campaigns – we’re researchers, which means we’re curious about the way things work. Call it a character flaw if you will, but I’d like to return to some of my favourite themes and add some thoughts.
Great digital and social campaigns don’t just happen. What I like to call twexponential viral growth is rarely, if ever, accidental. It’s possible to reach millions of people without spending the money on TV, but, although it may surprise you to hear it, people have reasons for going on the Internet other than reading about brands, following brands and watching brands’ video content. So, you need to give them a reason to engage.
Tim Berners-Lee said, ‘This is for everyone,’ when he first came up with the World Wide Web. People have taken it and made it work for them. They expect everything operating in this space to abide by this principle. Brands have to be relevant by adding value (for want of a better term), whether that be by injecting a little fun (a la Tipp Ex) or to put them on TV, as the now-famous Cadbury Wispa campaign did.
Be true to your best self. Digital shouldn’t be a departure from the brand’s spirit. Everything about the digital campaign should reinforce what your brand stands for. By all means, be disruptive to the environment, but don’t be disruptive to your brand identity. Why? Because consumers will notice. Even more than before, most brands are a patchwork of experiences and touchpoints to their consumers. Digital shouldn’t be the one garish colour ruining the overall pattern.
Consider how Innocent – number one in the Social Brands 100 Study this year – leverages digital and social to live its identity. Its presence there remains Funny, Heart-warming, Useful and Interesting, part of the brand’s core values, just as much as its packaging, its banana phone and its TV activity does.
To really stand out, the golden ‘rule’ is to keep it simple. Simple isn’t boring. In fact, simple can be exciting. Consider the classic ‘Best Job Ever’ campaign from Tourism Queensland. It’s a very simple principle – not only is the place great, the job is great too.
Simple can also be heart-warming and heart-rending. This year P&G took the idea of the best job in a different direction, directed at mothers everywhere. Simple and also very much on the company’s strategy (ticking multiple boxes for sure).
Like all good things, digital and social campaigns included, simple isn’t boring but it can be hard. So give it the time it deserves and you’ll reap the benefits of telling great brand stories online.
And if you’re interested in coming to our event to talk with others about telling brand stories using social and digital channels, pop this little baby into your browser: http://bit.ly/MqbvYh.