Admit it: when commercials come on during the Super Bowl, you perk up. The room goes silent. Chicken wings pause half way to mouths, as everyone tunes in to watch the very best, or at least the most talked about, advertisements of the year. And when it comes to viral marketing or a long-term advertising campaign, these are often the same thing. A successful marketing campaign shares a lot in common with successful storytelling across a variety of media. Much as a great episode of Mad Men entices new audiences and propels its viewer ship to tune in next week, a great marketing campaign hooks its intended audience and gets people talking. A stellar advertisement evokes a reaction, makes the viewer look forward to more, and tells a clear story. As long as the story is clear and the methodology behind its delivery consistent, it will undoubtedly cause people to stop and take notice.
Nowadays, the Super Bowl commercial spot has become such a powerful position that companies ran commercials for their commercial. Big name products like Doritos and Volkswagen aired what were essentially teaser trailers for the commercials that would air during the game. The ads hinted at a larger story or viewpoint, leaving open a trail that viewer could only connect by seeing all of the subsequent material. The viewer could then go online and see the same message taken a step further. The campaign hinted at a larger world that unfurled itself the further one cared to go. Much like a T.V. series, the campaign treats the viewer as ‘audience’ and asks them to invest time in uncovering the full story of the product. There is a narrative at work, albeit a simple one, that is self-referential. See a piece of the marketing campaign, get a hint of the product, and be enticed to ‘stay tuned’ for more. The viewer is tantalized to go online, to search out more of the story. Companies like Volkswagen are therein able to create synergy between online marketing videos, their social media efforts, and the ads they air on television. Coca Cola took this one step further, creating a truly epic series of ads centered on a central quest. They didn’t air one advertisement, over and over – they aired a series of advertisements that all tied together to make a campaign.
Not every organization or company has the capitol to run a campaign like Coke. However, nearly every business can learn from these Super Bowl campaigns. There is increasing effort placed on synergizing story, character, and viewpoint across multiple media. In this way, the marketing effort looks less like advertising and more like television, movies, books, or comics. It becomes an experience to be sought, rather than a distraction to be skipped over. Video marketing, social media, SEO and blogging can go way beyond traditional 1-dimensional marketing campaigns and truly create an interactive, compelling experience for your perspective clients. Skillman Video Group is a Boston Video Production Company. Call us anytime at 800-784-0140.