Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

60 posts categorized "Experiential"

16 March 2015

Top 5 Augmented Reality Outdoor Campaigns

Top 5 Augmented Reality blog image

Augmented reality isn’t necessarily a new concept in outdoor advertising. Back in 2011, Lynx used the technology for their Fallen Angels campaign in London, Victoria Station, where virtual angels fell to earth via the station’s big screen.

Here are 5 recent examples of innovative outdoor campaigns that are using augmented reality technology to add a new dimension to their experiential and guerrilla marketing.

Skoda Fabia

In February 2015 at London’s Waterloo Station, passers-by were able to interact with a touch screen display and customise their own version of the Skoda Fabia. With 14 colours, 5 interiors and 3 concepts to choose from, once they’d chosen from one of 90 possible designs, the customised vehicle appeared on the screen in real time. A great example of how AR can give consumers more control during a campaign.

 

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10 March 2015

Customer experience is not just for customers

Retail brands don’t know how good they have it. Debate has recently centred on how online and offline retailers could provide consistent “customer experience”, and thus encourage loyalty. It’s a conundrum, sure, but more than that I’d suggest it’s an opportunity.

Any brand with a complex customer infrastructure has unique brand-building capabilities. This is not about providing great service, consistency, or usefulness (important as these things are), it’s about having a canvas on which to paint “strategic idiosyncrasies”, which build on your brand’s advertising proposition.

If you think about it, in this age of “word of mouth”, “social media”, and “the worldwide web”, the way a company actually operates gets a huge amount of exposure. However, people being people, the type of thing that hogs this exposure will not be timely delivery, or courteous service – it will be the quirky differences that are unique to that company. Talkable stuff. The geniuses in Apple stores, the navigation trails through IKEA, your name on the coffee cup in Starbucks – if you design these differences with your marketing goals in mind, then hey presto, you’ve created effective WOM advertising within your actual company, whilst simultaneously improving your customer experience and building clearer links between your brand and product.

Taking this customer-experience-as-strategic-brand-building approach makes complex brand/buyer relationships not daunting, but exciting. 

Think about a car manufacturer. The touchpoints are endless. There are the phone calls, the test drive booking, the dealership experience, the test drive itself, the purchase process, the customisation, the servicing, the courtesy car, the process of selling the car back to them… all of these are brimming with potential for a unique brand twist.

And that’s only thinking about the “standard” customer moments. The manufacturer can build on these any way they want – events, anniversary presents, concierge services, valeting, foot rubs, you name it. Every tiny interaction has the potential to be something that will play as advertising to the world at large, and build the brand in the eyes of future customers.

So, retailers? They get no sympathy from me. The guys that I shed a tear for are those with such one dimensional customer relationships they never have the chance to exploit these processes – the poor FMCG brands.

When we look at Forbe’s list of the world’s top 20 brands, only one is FMCG (Coca-Cola, who are hardly a fair comparison), whereas 12 are brands with physical retail spaces. Now I wouldn’t suggest that this customer experience potential is the sole reason for this imbalance, but still it’s an interesting observation. Is a “strategically idiosyncratic” customer experience useful in building a powerful brand? Surely yes.

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02 December 2014

Brands aren’t entertainers – they’re better than that

Advertising has always tried to copy entertainment. It appears in the same places, plays by the same general rules, and since we’re living in a golden age for the arts, the creative premium for advertising has never been higher. The subtlety of the best now often escapes easy description, playing with tone, feel, pacing and irony in ways out of reach for the majority of work. Ideas that sounded great on paper, when filtered through the inevitable compromise and committee, can easily be rendered gauche and bland.

It wasn’t always this way. Back in the day when the bulk of our entertainment came from four grainy channels and dog-eared Dick Francis novels, we were pretty easy to impress. This made marketing quite a bit easier, since we were all capable of producing something that could command forgiving attention spans. 

But now we’re spoiled. Our exposure to intricate and plentiful expanses of content has chiselled our palates to a level of discernment that feels distaste at even the tiniest misstep or incongruence. 

Applying this discernment to advertising (and why wouldn’t we, it invites the comparison), has produced the highest absolute quality of work we’ve ever seen, but simultaneously the lowest ever relative quality in comparison to the public’s standards and tastes.

How can brands survive this situation?

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04 November 2014

How technology is changing the face of customer service

However much Experiential, Travel Retail, Customer Service and Logistics have changed over the years, they all still require the same thing to succeed: the human element. This has always been the way and will long continue to be so. What has developed at a particularly rapid rate in our sector is the technology and processes behind these face-to-face services, enabling shorter delivery times, lower costs and live measurement; all of which are key to ROI.

We can now turn those fantastic creative ideas and mechanics into reality with real world budgets. For example, digitally create a walk through in a virtual world of a given campaign to ensure all is as expected and make those last few changes before going live as required. The creative structures can be printed on 3D printers and once signed off, sent straight to production on CNC machines, all in days rather than the weeks required in the past. The costs for complicated bespoke modelling as result has now become accessible to all, rather than being reserved for the multi-million pound TV ad.

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24 September 2014

Experiential’s true reach

Ah, “Reach”.  Experiential, meet thy nemesis.

The same dance has been performed for over a decade now. Experiential agencies brag about the influence their campaigns have on consumers, while their clients reply “well, it had better do for £4.26 cost per contact”. The agencies then mutter something about “marketing mix”, and we start all over again.

Everyone has a point here, and ultimately they compromise, accepting it as inevitable that “reach” and “experiential impact” are two ends of a see-saw, and we must choose between them.

The truth is, this isn’t completely accurate; and here’s why:

Once again, we are seeing experiential suffer from being viewed through the same paradigm as other forms of marketing. Unlike TV, print, social, and so on, experiential has no “format”. A TV ad’s “format” is 30 seconds of video in an ad break; a print ad’s “format” might be one full page of a magazine; meanwhile, experiential sits outside of this – whatever your idea is, that is your format. This paradigm has had a similarly misleading effect on reach.

With other media channels, we “get” reach. We’re dealing with an isolated media unit, and we just look at how many people it gets put in front of. How many people were viewing that TV show? How many people read that magazine? How many impressions did that Facebook post get? And so on.

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14 July 2014

The power to wow: Why it’s time to bring experiential into the mix

Included from the outset as a core element of the creative marketing mix, experiential has the power to wow. Ian Priestman, head of experiential at Blackjack Promotions explains how.

In the same way that you create standout for the consumer, to engage with the brand, experiential agencies need to create standout for the marketers and planners to understand why they should be using experiential marketing.

In the same way we need to communicate the brand message, product USP or sales drive – we should be able do the same for our own offering.

It’s all too easy for experiential to be missed out of the marketing mix, using the excuse that it has limited reach, high cost of contact and basically is seen as hard work. Let’s make sure that we have an answer to all these negative responses with strong case studies and proven measurements of the standout successes of the campaign.

As we know, experiential works very well either as an amplification of a mixed marketing campaign or to create the content for digital and PR amplification.

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27 May 2014

Experiential at its finest: First Great Western’s awesome Scalextric train set

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“ALL ABOARD!”

We’ve got some fun experiential activity to share with you today - First Great Western is taking a model train set on tour to showcase the great destinations and attractions on offer across the South West of England.

Want to check out the dramatic scenery of the Clifton Suspension Bridge or whizz past the National Assembly for Wales’ Senedd building? You can do it with this interactive train model, brought to you by experiential agency Blackjack Promotions. People are invited to drive the train through undulating landscape and have their time recorded on a score board.

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28 April 2014

Sampling a new trend...

Sampling is an effective marketing channel to really give consumers the chance to “try before you buy”. It’s proven not only to lead to improved sales but, perhaps more crucially, drive loyal customers.

Generic, mass-market sampling remains the bedrock channel for many brands, particularly those looking to raise brand awareness, more so for those early in their brand life cycle. But sitting alongside generic sampling is the equally effective targeted sampling, which is increasingly becoming a big pull for more established brands, in light of the higher quality customer data they can now get their hands on.

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  • Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.

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