POSTED BY Stacy DeBroff AT 9:14 AM
Last week, my colleague Maryellen and I attended the WOMMA Wine Wednesday event, which featured panelists from Bright Horizons, Weber Shandwick and Life is Good. The panel discussed how to use video in order to spread a brand’s mission and message and how brands need to stay authentic. Today, many brands create their own content and even adopt user-generated content to connect with customers and potential consumers.
Bright Horizons, a national childcare provider, kicked the panel off by introducing the campaign they did during teacher appreciation month. During the month of May, they asked students and parents to write a few kind words about those educators that have impacted their children so much. Everyone knows, no matter how many endearing sentiments you have to share about a subject; you can’t always find the words when asked right away. Bright Horizons created a video, using comments from the previous year’s campaign and also clips of the students saying how much they loved their teachers. Once parents received the video they were encouraged to thank their child’s/children’s teacher and Bright Horizons also shared it on their websites. This video shows how user generated content can be repurposed into authentic advertising for a brand.
Both Bright Horizon representatives commented about how they have had several people walk into a center because the video they saw resonated with them. Bright Horizons strives to create videos that emotionally resonate with consumers instead of traditional advertising videos that talk at them.
The brand Life is Good communicates “good vibes” and a stay positive attitude in all of their advertising. Whenever they create content they make sure to stay true to this brand message. Steven David who is the Director of Brand Marketing and PR at Life is Good could not stress enough the importance about brand authenticity and storytelling (something that here at Mom Central we care very much about). He also pointed out, that brands need to know their target. I wanted to literally jump out of my chair when he said that. As someone who wanted to go into social media because I believe that brands need to know their consumers based on characteristics not demographics, I LOVED that Life is Good feels the same way. Steven talked about how the content a brand creates or shares needs to be relevant to the target and also consistent with the brand’s messaging and mission. He used the words “consumers aren’t stupid”, referring to what happens when brands push out content that deteriorates from the original mission. He also touched upon the fact that brands need to sell a mission and a message and with that sales will follow. In addition, David believes that paying for targeted posts prove beneficial. All members of the panel agreed, the focus needs to shift from how many people see a post to directing the post to the right people. According to David, Life is Good is also working on changing the layout of their website so it is less ecommerce facing and highlights the “Good Vibes” portion, which is what the company is all about.
Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm, has done some pretty cool things in the viral video department. From Jimmy Fallon cranberry sauce food fights and a bringing back Barbie campaign, they definitely have figured out how to capture attention. I suggest you watch the Jimmy Fallon video because it’s hilarious. Ian Cohen the Executive Producer at Weber Shandwick focused on how engagement holds a higher power than likes. More often than not, brands become caught up in the numbers game. How many likes did we get, how many shares, what was the total reach? Looping back to what Steven David said from Life is Good; basically, who cares what the numbers show if the right people haven’t been engaged? Yes everyone in the panel agrees that sales matter, because obviously or no body in the entire world would have money. Creating interesting content that gets people talking can ultimately lead to sales, instead of blatant advertising, which more often then not, nowadays bores the consumer. Weber did a fantastic job of capitalizing on a topic that received a lot of media attention and then created a campaign out if it. Jimmy Fallon had said on his show that he thought it would be a “million dollar idea” to have cranberry ”sauce singles” since everybody loves cranberry sauce on turkey sandwiches (a very Thanksgiving trend). Seeing an opportunity that Ocean Spray (their client) could receive media attention, they jumped at this opportunity. Their team created a video about the process of making these sauce singles. It is absolutely HILARIOUS! The video got millions of people talking and Fallon actually mentioned it on his show. Millions of people saw the show which generated great awareness for Ocean Spray. Just to give a quick overview of the Barbie campaign they took all of the characteristics that the public criticizes the iconic doll for and owned them and then also pointed out all of the reasons why Barbie is a great role model for girls. The name of this campaign was #Unapologetic and not only did the video have millions of social shares, it also increased sales! Places like Target and Walmart sold out of the product for the first time in several months.
I am so happy attended this event and I learned a tremendous amount! The panelists got me thinking, and I thought about what they had talked about my entire way home. Brands need to take on identities and stay true to their mission and message. I also believe that in today’s world we get slammed with traditional advertisements all the time, and for me in my day to day I don’t notice them as much, but when I see a T wrapped blue for the Blue Man Group or a park bench with a unique ad; I remember those…I talk about those. Word of mouth marketing, “wins” over traditional billboards and commercials. My roommate studied advertising, and we constantly talk about what we like about an ad, our favorite ad; those videos that make us laugh and those that just get us talking. In my mind the goal of anybody’s content should get people talking. Give us a reason to tell our friends. Whether the campaign makes us laugh or has us saying “Oh My!” please engage me and give me a reason to talk.
Alexis Dredden is a Project Coordinator for Mom Central Consulting.