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Advertising tactics of the conversation age: Spotlight tactic

By 15/04/2011 No Comments

While communication becomes more conversational, new marketing and advertising tactics arise to build upon consumer conversations and social media infrastructures. Instead of being designed to be ‘cool’, ‘funny’, ‘controversial’ or just ‘have reach’, campaigns tend to be designed and crafted to start conversations and keep conversations going. Agencies BBH, CP+B and Boondoggle even adapt their internal processes to stimulate thinking in campaigns that are worth sharing.

One of the tactics emerging is the “spotlight tactic”, with a really simple structure:

  1. Do something authentic and true to company values with high conversation value.
  2. Gather visual proof (mostly via video on YouTube).
  3. Use more traditional and/or reach media and PR to put a spotlight on it.

So: let a brand act remarkable (DO something) and use communication to highlight that fact.

It might be best to illustrate this with some campaigns who use spotlight tactics:

Coca Cola Happiness Machine

Simple: how can we bring some happiness to the Coca Cola target demographic? Bring some random acts of kindness where they spend a lot of time, their schools.

More on how Coca-Cola created the happiness machine on Mashable.

High conversation value: a machine that produces small pieces of happiness.
Visual proof: case video.
Reach media: Coca Cola Twitter account, Coca Cola Facebook page.

KLM Surprise

Again: a simple concept. KLM surprised random passengers with small and personal gifts. More on KLM Surprise on the case page.

High conversation value: small, personalized surprises.
Visual proof: case movie, pictures of surprised passengers.
Reach media: KLM twitter account, KLM Facebook account.

Heineken Champions League Match versus Classical Concert

The mother of all spotlight tactic campaigns.

High conversation value: pull a prank with a small group of people (1136) while the whole world can watch.
Visual proof: case movie.
Reach media: Sky Sports (1,5 million peope live).

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