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The Multichannel Brand Experience

I have nostalgic memories of sitting around the family TV in my youth. It was Saturday night and the whole family was there watching the latest episode of Love Boat or CHiPs. We had popcorn ready. We had our friends over. We were all glued to the screen. We talked about the show, laughed out loud, and shared a regular kumbaya moment. Those days are gone. Now, everyone watches their own shows, pausing, rewinding, and even skipping ahead as they please. Brands, not to mention major broadcasting networks, have found it difficult to change their approach to match the modern consumption of video content. Without a captive audience, there’s no guarantee commercials, (and the incredible marketing dollars spent on them), are even getting through to the consumer. However, the shift of brand engagement actually allows a great opportunity for brands to interact with potential customers.

Are People Ignoring Advertising?

To an extent, it’s true that consumers are ignoring traditional channels of advertising. However, they are actually interacting with brands ever more than in the past, just differently. The Super Bowl is a perfect example of this. Even though it’s one of the last remaining televised events that people gather for, there is as much attention off the screen as on it. As people “watched” the Super Bowl this past Sunday, they interacted with brands on a wide variety of platforms.

To prove the point, let’s see if this 90-second scenario sounds familiar:

  • An unknown player makes a big interception, so someone next to you starts googling who he is, finding out what college he played for and what his stats are.
  • The game cuts to a commercial break and there’s a hilarious Doritos ad, this causes Facebook to blow up and their hashtag #CrashTheSuperBowl to take over Twitter within a matter of seconds. Next, your friend across the country texts you that this commercial was funnier than the one you liked last year.
  • Now you are on Google, trying to find it, to prove him wrong.
  • Of course, it’s on YouTube and a few friends look over your shoulder as you enjoy the funny spot.
  • You decide to post it to your Facebook page for everyone to enjoy.
  • Someone else whips out their phone and gets a great picture of you and two or three friends cracking up as you watch the ad.
  • In a matter of seconds, the photo is on Instagram or Snapchat.

This is a scenario that happened millions of times in living rooms, sports bars, and other gathering spots around the world on February 5th. Brands that are consistently telling their story in all those places will have incredible opportunity to interact with customers. They are creating a multichannel brand experience. Consistency is the key – see below. 

It’s A 10 or It’s A Missed Opportunity?

image of it's a 10 lady with impressive hair in multichannel brand experience blogAs I watched the game Sunday night, I did what I always do and provide commentary on my Facebook page – mostly about the ads of course. My friends and colleagues have come to expect this from me. In general, the ads were a disappointment, but there were a couple that shined through. “It’s A 10 Haircare” was one of those brands. I had never heard of them before, but they stopped me with an arresting black and white film of amazingly authentic people with really cool hair. In my opinion, it was one of the best commercials this year.

A Good Start

The narrative kicked off with “America, we are in for at least four years of awful hair” which is pretty funny no matter what side you lean toward. It wasn’t so much a political statement as it was about embracing your hair. Next, the ad challenges each of us to make our own great hair. Several shots of authentic people (and a dog) with authentic looking hair follow. It’s a fresh look and inviting feel for a brand, that is until you go to their website, which they encourage you to do by displaying the address prominently on the last frame of the commercial.

Where is the Multichannel Brand Experience?

While “It’s A 10” has a sufficiently adequate website (which even talks about their brand story), there was no continuance of the message. No more depth. No more fun. The super authentic people on the black and white TV spot, who were gorgeous and real, are nowhere to be found. Instead, the site is filled with highly-saturated photography featuring super-model-types who have been coiffed within an inch of their lives. It was a completely different experience than the one I just had (as my beloved Patriots started to turn the tides…just had to throw that in there).

So, this is what we call a major brand disconnect.

While the site has a nice feel, it’s nothing like the exciting and authentic look they just put out for America to see. #missedopportunity!

Multi-channel marketing designed with the consumer in mind

I had the opportunity to speak last year to marketers about “sequential marketing” which is all about engaging with your consumer where they are, and how they live their life. See the clip here:

It’s important that brands start thinking about being in several places at once. Sure, you can use traditional channels, but just like a good football team will block the first few defenders, your message might not get through. So use social media, your website, web advertising, and other mediums to make sure your "blitz" gets through. The idea is that, if people are blocking one type of advertising, they might be open to other, less-tired forms of messaging.

Whether you are looking to create a swell around an important event, product, or timeline for your business, need to revisit your brand, or need to beef up your marketing in general, Idea Agency can help. Learn more about sequential media from our own President, Christine, Tieri, the only Certified Brand Strategist in New England. Make sure to contact us to start the conversation and learn how we can help.

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