12. February, 2008
Indeed, inertia and habit possess an incredible force which is difficult to resist.
Already for many years and still today, marketing communications channels are mainly chosen by combining in various ways TV, press, radio, outdoor advertising and Internet, since in the past this has generated good results. If up to now approximately 70% of the total campaign budget was allocated to placing materials in the media, then why not simply use such an understandable formula for the next 10 years as well?
However, “the mission that we (brand developers) have is not to keep the media business alive but rather the communication and the relationships created with buyers”. This is a statement by Russell Davies given while visiting Riga last week. He has been working for many years as a strategic planner in one of the world’s leading advertising agencies, Wieden+Kennedy in London. He has also been the Global Planning Director for Nike and is now running his own consulting agency, Open Intelligence Agency.
The conventional media channels for creating mutual relationships between brands and consumers are too flat and one-way, not offering opportunities to participate actively and to get exciting experiences. This potential can be utilised more successfully by organising events and offering a real or virtual environment where interested people can actively and creatively take part and share their experiences.
Thus, for example, in order to increase the popularity of Nike among the active population of London, five years ago Nike started staging the now already traditional and popular RunLondon 10 kilometre running event. With this tradition, Nike has significantly popularised running as part of active lifestyle, by offering on the RunLondon web site different routes based on the part of London you choose, in cooperation with the Google Earth satellite program. I recommend viewing the exciting story about last year’s RunLondon here.
Furthermore, to make running a more exciting part of everyday life, a few years ago Nike started a cooperation with Apple iPod and created the Nike+ series. The footwear has a special built-in sensor that records the data of the run and transmits it to the iPod. On the Web site it is possible to assess your progress and compare your results with those of other Nike+ runners all over the world. Here’s a short story about the successful innovation of Nike+.
To involve the audience in even more creative activities, Nike offered each football fan in the world the chance to participate in a joint virtual game of “passing the ball” by uploading your up to 7-second-long video clip showing a pass from the left side to the right side of the screen. Here is the result: a 2 hour and 44 minute long video clip which is the collaborative effort of people from 60 countries. Here you can see the environment, where you can upload your perfect kick to the “Shooting Gallery”. Also in this case, a great number of fans from all over the world contributed to creating this gallery by participating, viewing and assessing it.
It is hard not to agree with Russell Davies’s claim that in order to establish good and close relationships with consumers, brands need to be interesting, useful, multi-dimensional and active. The old wisdom of “everything of genius is simple” is not the one and only correct one anymore. Especially, if it is about the long-term relationship between the brand and the buyer, where continuous activity and development is essential. Besides, by using various communications formats and channels side-by- side, it is possible to attach more closely to potential buyers by using a kind of “clip-on” effect rather than loudly bombarding them from a single channel.
I also recommend taking a look once in a while at this inspiring strategist’s blog which he has written for some four years already.