Thursday, July 23, 2009

Knife Crime - a Cutting-Edge Solution

The core demand of any advertising campaign is its inherent need to connect with its target audience – everything else (innovation, creativity) follows this central requirement. Occasionally an advert comes along that not only connects with its audience perfectly, but is also so innovative, creative and unique, it really is too good to ignore.

Those of you au fait with current events will no doubt be aware of the growing knife crime epidemic amongst the UK’s urban teen population. In an attempt to tackle this pressing issue, the Metropolitan Police Force has turned to UK ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO; a move that’s been rewarded with a stunning interactive campaign.

Starting with a short YouTube video, the viewer sees through the eyes of a teenager and is presented with a choice at the end of the clip; this decision then leads the viewer to the next video clip, with subsequent decisions to choose. Eventually you’ll arrive at a foregone conclusion based upon your actions, which should be pretty obvious from the off, given your altruistic or sadistic tendencies…

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has clearly targeted its desired audience through one of the most popular channels amongst this digitally-savvy segment – this alone should be commended. However, their engaging use of digital interaction, along with the casting of authentic kids rather than patronising actors, lends real credibility to the impact this campaign has already had.

Reaching your demographic has always been key. Impressive creative ideas and innovative use of technology is marketing gold. Combining all of these elements is undoubtedly the holy grail of advertising – something that Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has clearly done with this cutting-edge campaign.

Start your decisions here:

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Social Media = Financial Return - or does it?

‘Earn money from your Twitter followers’. Whilst this statement reads like yet another piece of rogue marketing spam, cynics that suggest there is no money to be made from Twitter (a doctrine media mogul Murdoch himself subscribes to) may now be in for a surprise.

A study released this week by enterprise wiki provider Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group shows that brands most engaged with social media are experiencing higher financial success rates than less digitally-savvy peers.

The study focused on 100 top global brands and the social media platforms on which they engage their consumers. Unsurprisingly, no surprises are thrown up in the top ten, with Starbucks, Dell, eBay, Google and Microsoft all flying, predictably, high.

But what does this study actually tell us? The brands listed above are hardly likely to be troubled by cuts to marketing budgets (especially those under the employ of Bill Gates). These corporate marketing departments are also likely to employ dedicated teams of social media specialists, pretty much guaranteeing that their strategy pays off.

As well as all this, these corporate behemoths are hardly likely to suffer financially in a recession. They are all established international brands that turn over millions in global profits every single year; so can any of this actually be attributed to social media usage? After all, the study itself admits that it's “difficult to prove for certain that … involvement in social media has led to … increased revenue…”

In the case of computer giant Dell, this is one example where this claim is justified; the company stating that it has generated over $3 million in revenue from exclusive offers and publicity on its Twitter platform, @DellOutlet – financial success indeed.

This however, is an example of social media engagement that’s been marketed purely as a sales tool. Although this clearly serves its purpose, for many companies, social media engagement is a branding exercise, which by its inherent nature, cannot be linked directly to financial success.

Sure, companies that brand themselves effectively and reach consumers through a variety of different channels will inevitably achieve success. This financial success however is part of an infinitely wider marketing strategy – social media alone is not enough to generate revenue for your business.

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