Virgin Atlantic do it again

Once again, Virgin Atlantic have managed to pull out the stops and create a fabulous new ad campaign. Based on a Bond-esque theme it marries up the big visuals with a great sound track (Muse’s cover of Nina Simone – Feeling good). It’s a great follow up to their last TV campaign which was a massive success.

“Is that Linda?” Excellent.

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Social Media meets TV

In recent months there has been a big increase in social TV viewing – where viewers will engage in a running commentary on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. For those of you with a laptop or iPhone/similar handset, you may have been part of this movement already. Sitting watching X Factor on a Saturday night making comments about those cheeky chappies from Ireland. Love them or loath them they were a Twitter phenomenon with the #Jedward hashtag trending within moments of the show starting each week.

Jedward

Love them or hate them - Jedward

For her part, my other half cannot stand it when I am tweeting and watching TV at the same time. For me though it is no different to sitting in the lounge and shouting to someone in the kitchen “Come in here, you’ve got to see Jedward this week, they’re doing Ghostbusters!”. It’s just a new form of engagement with people who aren’t sat beside you on the sofa.

More recently there have been other TV events that have gained a Social TV audience – Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time, the E4 Series Glee (Nice hashtag – #Glee4), ITVs Primeval, the Eurovision Song Contest and just about any major sporting event. Keep an eye on the trending topics on Twitter or your friend’s Status Updates on Facebook and you can start to see how important this interaction is becoming.  It is a great way to get an additional perspective on the content that is being broadcast. For years DVDs have been available with a Directors Commentary, TV now has the equivalent, a form of live commentary that will both challenge and enhance the viewing experience.

So what is the future of this social media interaction with TV? Below are a few of my thoughts on how it may develop.

  • Real-time multimedia/multi-platform interaction – Use of a live hashtag Twitter feed on-screen via the red button during a programme. Advertisers would also be able sponsor or include a number of messages in to the feed as it is live on-screen. Given that individual shows have  fairly specific demographics, an advertiser would be happy to be offered a niche marketing opportunity.
  • Audience defined content – If you are old enough to remember the “Chose Your Own Adventure” books then perhaps you will get a chance to re-visit this concept through the medium of Social TV. Picture a scenario where you are watching a show and as a the main character reaches a key decision point, the options flash up on the screen with 2 or more hashtags for viewers to use to shape the direction of the plot. After a short advertising break, the show resumes based on how the audience wishes to direct the character. Clearly there would be multiple elements of a storyline to be filmed and this would bring its own challenges. TV though has struggled to keep people watching TV in real-time due to the emergence of Sky+ and other PVRs in recent years and by (re)engaging with the audience in real-time, the TV advertising market could be re-invigorated.
  • Online test audiences – Films could be premiered in a raw form to test audiences who then comment throughout the screening, all comments can be viewed in real-time by marketing teams who are able to improve the film before it’s release. This would mean an international audience, no travel and very little expense for a studio to get what would be extremely valuable feedback before a film is finalised.
  • Getting the formula right – My view is that it will take great content, a great distribution channel (or channels) and a selection of platforms to consume the content.

Whatever the future of TV, it is clear that online and social media are going to play an increasing part in how and where we consume broadcast media. Being part of a shared media experience, even if you are on your own, will be the shape of things to come. There are opportunities for advertisers too, certainly for those who are brave enough to try something new. I suspect the World Cup this summer will be a major test bed.

What is your view? Do you agree? How has online shaped your TV experience in the last 12 months? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Nostalgia Marketing

Was prompted to write a post on Nostalgia Marketing after seeing RetroToGo‘s recent article on Fairy’s return to the old white bottle  to celebrate 50 years of squeaky clean plates and soft hands.

It really got me thinking about how many brands have revisited old packaging, adverts and slogans in the last couple of years. I have picked out a few, including my favourite of the bunch – Virgin Atlantic – below but feel free to add in any I have not included.

One I have left out is the Cadburys work (Gorilla/Airport/Wispa) in the last 2 years, which I happen to think was superb first time out but as soon as they re-edited the footage with a new soundtrack it just smacked of pure laziness and lost it’s edge.

What does it all mean for advertising creatives though? Have they dried up? Are they lazy? Are they merely following a trend? More importantly, does it work? Let me know your thoughts.

Fairy

Fairy Retro Poster

Fairy 50th Anniversary advertising

Virgin Atlantic

I simply adore this advert and this was a truly groundbreaking advert for me. Still makes me smile every time I see it.

Persil

M & S

And finally, the TV advert promoting guess what, TV advertising!

Thinkbox

Gaining some direction

The world is becoming a very lazy place to navigate, with Sat Nav becoming a commonplace feature on a lot of mobile handsets now – I do worry that the skill of being able to read a map is going to disappear. Whilst this may threaten the traditional names in navigation such as TomTom and Garmin it is opening up the possibilities of doing more with navigation and mapping both online and in a handheld format. And that has to be a good thing.

Geolocation services are springing up on more and more Apps and allowing people to interact more not only with their environment but also the people within it. A quick can of the “Nearby” function on Tweetie at any major event is a great way to gauge reaction and also see who is there!

I am very impressed with how Nokia have adopted the navigation and mapping services. They have made it part of the core functionality since the Nokia N80 and really got to grips with things with the Nokia N95, offering turn by turn voice navigation bundled with a lot of their contracts. It should be no surprise then that they were responsible for one of the world’s largest interactive installations recently in London. Check out the video below of their textable sign and integrated online campaign. It is beautifully executed and fabulously innovative.

Hyperlocal and the Social Universe

Had a very long and enjoyable meeting on hyperlocal news and social media today. We were joined by Josh Halliday from the rather impressive SR2Blog in Sunderland.

There is a huge amount written and spoken about hyperlocal news and how it should or shouldn’t be done but if you get a moment, you really should check out the SR2Blog site. Josh has built it from the ground up as a “labour of love” whilst studying for his journalism degree.

Young, talented, articulate and not afraid of a room full of suits, Josh is clearly going to end up having a major influence on the future of news consumption.

You can view his presentation from this afternoon below:

Bizcamp Belfast

I registered for BizCamp Belfast today. The date is a bit of a tricky one as I have 2 other commitments on the 27th but am very keen to get along. Should be able to get there though.

Am also considering upgrading from attending to speaking. Have a couple of topics I would be keen to share and will decide this week if I am going to have time (and inclination) to put something together.

At any rate, if you can get along on the 27th February you definitely should – feedback on the recent Bizcamp Newry event was incredible.