Branding in the ‘New Internet’ era
Branding in the ‘New Internet’ era
What does it mean for people to live, play and work in a world that is both real and virtual? A world where everyone and everything is connected? And how does that world affect the representation of people, products, ideas and brands?
Products, brands and users will be more connected than ever before. For the first time ever, they will get really close. They will be part of each others life, exchanging data all the time. Brands, services and products will be literally and visually part of your personal profile and preferences. You wear it like a uniform with badges and stripes. And my badges and stripes exchange data with your badges and stripes, and with others all over the world. So that’s the change that is already there. It’s not the future, it’s the present.
Our concepts represent brands, ideas and products in that world. Involving the public with the (brand) values through an interactive path that weaves from real life to virtual life an back. Sometimes for a couple of minutes, sometimes for several months.
How we work
If there’s an existing advertising campaign, we’ll intensify it. Gamify it. Take it into the new era. For example, we take a television commercial, web campaign or print campaign as a starting point and develop a highly interactive communication concept around it. If there’s no communication campaign we build a package from scratch.
We will strive to make landing pages, sites and apps as human as we possibly can. Because people would like to interact with a team or a person instead of a digital brochure. “Humanizing sites” is often a project in itself.
We sometimes create “virtureal” characters that represent the brand. Characters that are both “real” and “virtual”. Why? Because people are more happy to relate to other people than to brands. The main character in the Blackberry Hide Out – Benoit Joubert – was virtually shaped by us using a real person as basis. By jumping from real life to virtual life when creating his character, people perceived him as being real. Girls even sent him love mails and wished to meet! And the villain in TAH, our project for NBC Universal, was literally chased by the public through the city. The fact that she was actually a virtual character did not make any difference. The characters that we create are perceived 100% real (even by the press!) triggering actions, reactions, and behaviors of consumers, employees and participants.
We often work from game models (gamificiation) and scenario because games are experienced with behavior and films are experienced with emotions.
The result is an emotional, smart and intensive relationship between man and brand. Digitally, and –more importantly- in their physical reality. The character that you’ve built a relationship with for days or weeks, will show up in the flesh. Finally your can have a chat with him or her in real life! But he or she can also choose to remain mysterious and send you free drinks or text messages only.
The level of interactivity, excitement, impressiveness and entertainment is different for each project. A simple retail website can become an international event in both real and digital life. A brand introduction can become a game immersing thousands of enthusiastic people in a world of intrigue, music, travel or technique. And an internal culture change can become an unexpected and confronting situation, getting you off the beaten track.
We do not plan in traditional GRP’s. We measure in media value, entertainment value and brand perception.
Good public relations are essential to achieve media value. We either team up with your own PR team or we include our own PR people and web-representatives.
Our concepts are always looked upon as “PR-able” which makes it easier to address the right media. Roughly stated: we double the investment (the budget for the project) in media value.
These video’s explain the “landscape” of the new internet era
- IBM Social Media explaining the Smarter Planet
- VPRO (Dutch broadcaster) explains The Internet Of Things. The TV program is called “Digitale Sporen” (Digital Traces). It shows the meta-connection of people, products and brands in the near future. In Dutch only. http://www.wetenschap24.nl/labyrint/
- A half hour speech by Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jesse Schell about the force of reality within the (virtual) world. How virtual money generates more money than direct payments. How real life is a ‘must’ for virtual games. Plus a humorous -and very real- future scenario where reality becomes one big (adver)game. DICE 2010: “Design Outside the Box” Presentation