Nice article in USA Today, covering some highlights from Cannes. In short: the Web has become a mass medium that matches how consumers want to engage with brands.
A few take aways:
"•The big idea.
Creativity is the cornerstone of advertising in traditional media advertising, and the same is true for the Web world, says David Lubars, chairman and chief creative officer of BBDO, North America. "In the old days, you could run crap, and it was inescapable. Today, whether its traditional or new media, consumers have unprecedented choice about what they will or won't watch. Time is the most precious thing, so you have to convince them why it's worth their precious time to engage with your brand for 10 minutes."
BBDO's Atmosphere recently created a serial Web comic story for Snickers that stars band Black Eyed Peas. The characters, who develop into superheroes after an accident in a Snickers plant, try to restore the early days of hip-hop.
•Pass it along.
Whether consumers spend minutes or hours with a brand is less important than whether they feel strongly enough about it to tell someone else about the website or e-mail a piece of video they created, says Colleen DeCourcy, chief creative officer at digital agency Organic in Detroit. "Engagement time alone doesn't matter. It's people's propensity to pass it along. Taking it in is the way we used to measure; people wanting to put it back in takes it one step further."
•Sell, sell, sell.
Talking posters at urinals in New York City bars and 13-inch rulers with the shaveeverywhere.com address helped build buzz for Bodygroom, Norelco's hair-removal device for men. At the site, a man instructs in a humorous (and racy) way about shaving male body parts. After Sirius' Howard Stern mentioned the site on the radio, more than 600 blogs were buzzing about the $39.99 Bodygroom and the website.
Tribal DDB created it, and CEO Matt Freeman says that engagement is about selling.
The site links to retailers and, "They have exceeded their sales goal," he says, with a campaign that cost Norelco just $500,000.
•Mix old and new.
TV can drive consumers to a site where engagement time leverages the cost of commercials. In this year's Super Bowl, for instance, many advertisers directed viewers to the Web to see the ads again or see behind-the-scenes footage and director's cut versions.
Within minutes after its $2 million ads ran during the game, Burger King had lured millions for user-controlled outtakes from its musical ad starring the Whopperettes.
CareerBuilder.com got more than 2 million users at its site to watch the ads and send Monk-e-Mail, customized messages starring a CareerBuilder chimp. Since its launch in late January, Monk-e-Mail has been sent 35 million times.
•Make them stay.
R/GA helped Nike promote its Fitness Dance Collection on the Web with interactive video, including one that featured singer/dancer Rihanna wearing the clothes.
The site taught step-by-step dance moves and told visitors where to buy the items she was wearing. She also wore the clothes in a music video for her new single.
"It's all about the target and the measurement," says Bob Greenberg, chairman and CEO of R/GA. "Advertisers want something that moves a person along a continuum of engagement that can make them more interested in the brand, make them an advocate of the brand and lead to a purchase."
•All of the above.
Marketers need to look beyond time to measure engagement, says R/GA's Benvenuto. That's what R/GA did to launch Subaru's B9 Tribeca. "You go to the site and sign up to get an e-mail. That's one level," she says.
"The next level is completing a profile to get customized messages. The next level is coming back when more information about the car is released and configuring a sample car. When the car was available for sale, the ultimate measure of success was consumers requesting dealer information."