Messages That Resonate

This is part of an irregular series of blog posts looking at marketing and digital communications which have caught my attention. This will complement Thought Starters which will look more at trends, strategies and ideas.

BMW has joined the wide array of brands looking to use Vine as a branding medium with a series of short videos to promote its  new i3:

Monster Energy isn’t one known for using subtlety in its brand communications and their latest video is no exception:

The launch of the new iPhone has prompted a lot of talk on what is the appropriate size for a smartphone. KPN in the Netherlands has looked to take advantage of this buzz with an experiential campaign offering to enlarge the size of customers pockets:

Whilst we’re on the subject of Apple’s iPhone 6 launch, KitKat showed a smart piece of real-time marketing to suggestions that the new handset was prone to bending:

Etienne de Crécy has looked to promote his Hashtag My Ass album with a music video which integrates users Instagram and provides users with the ability to share their personalised video:

There’s been a lot of talk about multiscreening over the last couple of years and we’re beginning to see interesting possibilities emerge although I would argue, we’ve still got a long way to go. Kenzo have released a microsite which asks users to synchronise their computers and smartphones as a means of navigating around their fall collection:


Orange have attempted to give consumers a window into their future with a campaign which imagines what you will look like in 20 years time. Interesting to see how you might look although the microsite is let down by poor voice recognition:

User generated campaigns are seemingly everywhere, but it’s not often you see a site as well executed as McDonalds‘ which looks to celebrate 40 years in the UK. Great use of typography, user input by voice or text and a webGL based site that provides users with the ability to readily filter content by time period or theme.

Celebrating 40 years together The Topography of Terror Foundation and the Warsaw Rising Museum have commissioned a wonderful website commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising:

Warsaw Rising

Creative Review profiles the work of TrenchOne, Elph and Purshone as they use giant projection covers a house, a barn and group of log cabins in the lead up to the Scottish Referendum. Dazzling stuff…

Leyden Farm

Whilst vinyl has made something of a resurgence in sales lately, music is now increasingly a digital medium, so why isn’t cover art animated GIFs? The Inspiration pulls together a collection of covers from jbetcom’s Music:

Random Access Memories

Stef Lewandowski has pulled together an interesting illustration of the Internet of Things by visualising the digital signals around you. You can see a demonstration of the process below although go to his website to see this demonstrated in your own environment.

The featured image is a piece by Nelio in Besançon


Multiscreen Experiences: getting devices to work together

K N A R F & m a f i a in Vienna

We’re spending more time with a growing array of increasingly capable digital devices as the figures from Ofcom demonstrate below:

Household take-up of digital communications/ AV devices, 2003-2013

We have seen web services (eg Office 365, Google Docs, Slingbox) become increasingly device agnostic, allowing users to readily switch from phone to tablet to PC with experiences optimising for each device.

With the emergence of the Internet of Things, we are also beginning to see smartphones and tablets  increasingly become the hub for a broad range of devices (eg smart homes, digital televisions, self tracking tools).

The marketing sector has increasingly moved to deliver marketing experiences that adapt to the different screen real estate as well as enabling a range of digital response channels (Twitter, Facebook, microsite etc) for more traditional media.

Millward Brown in the report Digital & Media Predictions 2014 talks about the emergence of multiscreen experiences, point to ‘Shifting’ and ‘Meshing’ with experiences that combine  different screens sequentially or simultaneously.

It’s in campaigns where we have the meshing of devices with simultaneous content that we’ve seen interesting innovations emerging, with the ability to deliver more immersive experiences rather than simply providing a response channel. Where we’re beginning to see this commonly used is in the integration of PCs with smartphones or tablets.

Google has been a pioneer with this approach with its Chrome Experiments programme with examples including Arcade Fire’s Just a Reflektor video  and Roll It.

These experiences can change smartphones and tablets into touch screen controllers with their in built accelerometers enabling richer range of interactions than those provided by PCs keyboard and mouse.

This sought of approach is not going to work in all situations.  The process of synchronising PCs with smartphones poses technical challenges and essentially adds an additional obstacle for users before they can experience the content.

Producers need to create experiences that minimise the friction in getting two devices working together, not always easy given the wide range of PCs, smartphones and tablets. Consumers on the other hand are being asked to actively interact with the experience, a sometimes difficult ask, particularly for low interest brands.

Orange tried it over the New Year period but provided an experience that in my opinion fell flat. Little Dragon tried a less ambitious approach with their music video for Klapp Klapp with phone calls received by the viewer that synchronises with the on screen video.

Little Dragon Klapp Klapp

We will no doubt see more of this going forward with predictions that half of all campaigns will be multiscreen in the USA by 2016 according to a survey reported on in MediaPost. The emergence of a growing array of other digital devices (smartwatches, exercise trackers, augmented reality headsets etc) similarly presents further opportunities to deliver more immersive experiences. 

If you know of any interesting multiscreen campaigns, drop a note in the comments field.

The featured image is K N A R F & m a f i a piece from Vienna.