I see beautiful dead people

How far should the digital realm and advertising go to create a meaningful experience for your brand’s customers?

What is your brand experience doing for you?

What is a meaningful brand experience these days? Whenever I tell people that I work in the advertising they sometimes come up with an anecdote of how advertising touches their lives. One such story was how television advertisements are so interesting that you are so engrossed with the story that you don’t remember what the product is. Is that a startling statement? Not really when you think about the fact that everyone is trying to be different to cut through the clutter. In being different the viewer is so hooked on the ad that when they do go the shop, they forget what was the actual brand being sold, but is likely to remember to purchase something in the same category. The result they probably pick up a rival brand. Content therefore is important. Ensuring that the content is associated with your brand firmly in the audience’s mind, even more so.

Creating & Co-creating content

We have long heard the trumpet that content is king. But what is the content that the consumer is looking for and what is he willing to be part of co-creating?  We have long crossed the boundary of brands just pushing messages. After all that’s what makes digital special right? The fact that the communication can be layered with interactivity and feedback mechanism that is absent from the traditional media? However, even digital is susceptible to trends and traps. One such trap is the lure of user generated content. Marketers who are quick to demand UGC that they can parade think that competitions are a quick shot way to get it. After spending considerable media monies they are often appalled to find there are few takers compared to the entire brand’s audience online. The reality is that getting the customer to be social and involved with the brand is often asking way too much from a passive customer.

What next?

So if UGC isn’t the way to go, creating never before seen experiences could be. We are not talking about just creating another me too property. Often this is doing something in the real world that is amplified digitally.  While YouTube innovations are now passé, sometimes you see something on YouTube that really makes you sit up and take notice. One example is this commercial from Galaxy Chocolate. What’s so special? It’s starring Audrey Hepburn. Or rather a digital avatar of her.

Now I remember when the second set of Star Wars movies came out there was talk of perhaps having Obi Wan Kenobi as a complete digital avatar that looked like Alec Guinness. This is something similar. How ethical is this? Should an actor or actress be used like this past their shelf date? This takes silver screen immortality to a whole new level. In fact if I am not mistaken there is a movie about a film producer who creates a ‘digital’ lead actress avatar for his movie and then tries to cover it up. While these questions are unanswered for now, this is truly a very nicely done effort by the Galaxy team.