As mentioned in the Retail Briefing, brands are turning to social messaging services to meet their customers where they are spending more and more time. Disney has created a Miss Piggy Facebook page which now has over 1.1 million “friends”. It also boasts the impressive stat that she “typically replies within minutes” to messages. Obviously, this would not be possible without the help of automated chat bots, used effectively in this case to create an engaging and personal brand interaction.
Other examples of brands entering chat space are Tiffany’s rollout of the “Love is” campaign on WeChat in China (an important avenue to engage customers in given Chinese making impulse purchases from the platform is on the rise), and British Vogue creating a WhatsApp group for fashion notifications. American beauty brand Glossier also takes things one step further with Facetime appointments available to speak to a consultant, which in a way is bringing the old Avon experience into the 21st century.
Whether bots or customer service representatives are used, it’s clearly valuable for brands to know where their consumers are spending time, and meeting them there.
It’s not easy, but when brands that successfully manage to use new technologies to tell a story the results can be impressive. Those doing it well manage to engage the customer without overly complicating things.
McDonalds released a video on Facebook and then asked followers to contribute additional scenes. If selected, the production team would create the user-requested scenes. The film was a French fry parody on a mystery, so it lent itself well to user contribution.
Probably our favourite two examples of the session were also in this category. We loved the Footlocker #Playmytweet campaign, where their basketball spokesperson James Harden had to try and make shots, or else do the tweet on the ball (e.g., Take a selfie with a camel). It had a great response for the brand, and is an example of using the brand spokesperson effectively.
We also couldn’t get enough of (sorry) this Santigold video, best experienced rather than explained.
Another example also touched upon in the retail briefing; brands are getting better at using their data to tell stories. Spotify noticed many of it’s users were creating moving playlists, so it turned this into a cheeky video (Moving to Canada to tie in with some upcoming election sentiment) with an accompanying playlist.
Kit Kat also executed a brilliant campaign from paying attention to data. They noticed that many people were sending Kit Kats as pre-exam gifts since Kit Kat is close to the phrase “kittu kitsu” in Japanese which means “we will surely win”. The resulting campaign, involving customisable mailable-boxes and hologram screens, created a 150% uplift in sales.
Brands as content creators
With ad-blocking becoming more and more common, companies are starting to become content creators themselves in an effort to be seen. Mobile video consumption is increasing 100% every year, with long-form video content following suit.
Brands such as Kate Spade and Derek Lam are creating multi-part video stories (with varying degrees of brand plugs), and Nike went so far as to create a Netflix-style show with their Margot Vs Lily series. The Nike videos have no brand mention at all (except what the characters are wearing), although there is a dedicated landing page for the series with a “shop their look” section.
Content creation is nothing new for cosmetic juggernaut L’Oreal, but they have recently gone the extra step to create a content only platform which, “is meant to support public relations through beauty content available in both English and French, with multimedia stories that highlight trends around the world and those who create (professionals) and interpret them (bloggers).“