Interactive Online Advertising

May 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Just saw the new interactive digital campaign for Desperados that has gone live on Youtube and Facebook. Check it out here.

It’s a brilliant piece: interactive, engaging, bit of a wow factor and works across integrated online media. But despite ticking most of the boxes for the perfect online campaign it just seems to fall a bit short. Whilst it is fun to watch and could possibly inspire people to share it (which is any decent campaign’s aim these days) it seems to ignore one of the fundamental rules of advertising.

The advertising should always be applicable to the product, and that product alone.

Let’s face it, if it isn’t, then the advertising is too generic to ever make a lasting impact on the brand’s image.

In this case, the same campaign could run tomorrow with people holding different bottles of a different brand and I doubt many people would even notice the difference. Sure, the campaign is interesting enough and different enough for me to share on Twitter, but will it make me think more highly of the brand or drink more Desperados? The answer is, of course, no. It’s fun to watch, or rather do, but it doesn’t place the product centre-stage or reflect the brand’s values and image. It seems to me that in this new digital age more and more brands are going for the short, spectacular online campaign rather than investing in the brand’s image in a more engaging, reflective and real way.

Mercedes recently launched their ‘Drive and Seek’ online film (watch it here), in which the consumer (or just the casual passer-by in my case) is encouraged to engage with a fictional film to decide and play with the film’s outcome, in which the new Mercedes C-Clas Coupe has the starring role. In many ways, this is a larger scale production of what Desperados are trying to do: create an engaing, interactive online campaign which enables the consumer to engage with the product.

But Mercedes do it better.

Not only is the film more polished, reflecting the polished and classy new car being advertised, it also places its product central stage. Within the film, we are asked to literally drive the car, and in doing so virtually test out its capabilities. An interactive campaign in which everyone is drinking Desperados can hardly compare.

Obviously I realise we are looking at companies and brands with very different advertising budgets, but the underlying point remains the same. Sure, in this digital age, we need to be creating conversation around brands and products and encouraging sharing in social media but we must never forget that ultimately this conversation must be about brands for it to have any real, long-lasting success.

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