Article

Lucy Coles
Lucy Coles 2 April 2015

Exclusive: Big Campaigns Win Prizes; But Do They Keep Consumers?

Review of Digital Doughnut's event 'POPCORN', a review of global marketing case studies with Mike Berry. "Not many digital events align themselves with a snack, but Digital Doughnut had me at the first glimpse of its name."

BIG CAMPAIGNS WIN PRIZES; BUT DO THEY KEEP CONSUMERS?

 

 

Popcorn

 

Not many digital events align themselves with a stodgy sugary snack. Digital Doughnut had me at the first glimpse of its name. Their event last Thursday took place in a cinema (Leicester Square Vue) – equally seductive. Crunching across popcorny carpet and sinking into a ‘velvet’ seat in the dark on a rainy Thursday felt like bunking off work.

 

Find out more about upcoming Digital Doughnut Events

 

Our speaker was digital godfather Mike Berry – witty, wise, avuncular – the sort of person you wish had been your boss at least once in your life. He wowed us with a whirlwind global tour of show-stopping digital marketing case studies. 

 

 

The agencies behind each one had helpfully made slick animated films of their work in order to win competitions (it worked – they had really cleaned up). The useful byproduct of this was that they summarized their insight, strategy, creative execution and results for Digital Doughnut’s audience to discuss at their leisure, slumped in their seats in the dark. Though I was sitting bolt upright – I am currently working on Forward Worldwide’s entry to Cannes Lions 2015 and am hungry for tips. 

 

Favourite campaigns with the audience included one for Advocard, a German legal insurer (bear with). The agency, Thjnk Hamburg, carried out extensive research to determine which were the areas in Germany with the most legal disputes, and drew up a ‘litigation atlas’ – a kind of heat map of argumentativeness across the country. This had 3.1 billion online visits. Why? Insurance companies can be dull but the story of human conflict is not. Nuggets of data such as the fact that Berlin is Germany’s litigation epicenter, and southern Germany is more peaceful than the north, tapped into the kind of local patriotism that got people talking.

 

Meanwhile in China, MediaCom were asked by Gillette to sex up wet shaving for men, and boost a declining market. They somehow enlisted super-famous, super-squeaky clean actress Gao Yuan Yuan to make a ‘private’ saucy film of foamy flirtations, which was ‘leaked’ on to the internet, scandalizing a nation. The campaign reached 237 million people and the net result was that online sales volume increased by 6.8 times during the campaign versus the same period the year before.

 

But the out and out winner (by a show of hands) was Leo Burnett’s ‘Book Burning Party’. This was an unsolicited campaign to help save a library in Troy, Michigan – about to close due to the town’s unwillingness to agree to a 0.7 per cent tax increase to keep it. The Tea Party (of Sarah Palin fame) was inciting a ‘no’ to the tax; Leo Burnett Detroit secretly played a reverse psychology role by anonymously advertising ‘Book Burning Parties’ – fictional gatherings whose aim would be to joyfully incinerate the homeless literature once the library had closed. Social media was ablaze with fury and soon the library was safe.

 

It’s amazing how even mediocre results can sound great when voiced over by a pro in an award-entry film but most of these campaigns did genuinely make a huge splash at the time of launch. There is no denying that they achieved what they set out to do in the prescribed time period. But Digital Doughnut’s London audience had one big question: did they miss a trick? Build it and they will come, it’s true, but how do you keep them there and keep them interested? Has anyone really cracked that yet on social media? 

 


About Author:

LUCY COLES, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, FORWARD WORLDWIDE

 

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