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Archive for May, 2012

In the right hands, connecting an otherwise ordinary network of screens to an extraordinary screen or two, amplifies the engagement and value of the ordinary network. And I’m being polite – that ordinary network might actually be extraordinarily boring. But it can still be saved by connecting it to unique screens and places…

Take a retail experience where a mall shopper is rewarded by having their photo sent to the mall screens. The shopper gets a shot of fame, they tell their friends, and in the right hands that can enhance customer experience, foster loyalty and increase sales.

Times Sq can be used as an extreme version of this strategy. (NOTE: This should be a strategy, not a stunt. Too many times, brands and agencies get caught up in doing stunts that feature a big screen(s), but don’t connect them in any meaningful way, so they fall flat.)

Warning – shameless plug: LocaModa has done more Times Sq connected campaigns (e.g. connecting other DOOH networks, TV, Facebook, Twitter, websites etc) than any other company in the world.

We’ve worked with AT&T, Vans, South Park, Gap, Nickelodeon, Samsonite, Stride, Mexico Taxi project, Obama, Kayak, Loez Tonight/TBS, VH1, AdWeek, Ciroc and others

Of course those brands were interested in the hundreds of thousands of people seeing their campaigns in Times Sq every day, but they were also interested in the millions of people able to see AND engage via mobile, facebook, twitter and other websites – i.e. people who are not in Times Sq but pay attention because they could be promised a moment of fame in Times Sq.

In an age when we can all broadcast ourselves on YouTube, handing over the keys to public screens is actually a more unique and therefore more valuable experience for consumers and it can be leveraged to make otherwise boring screens suddenly much more engaging and relevant.

So don’t think Times Sq is for stunts – use it to amplify your campaign.

Here’s a link to our very own Mr Greg Stellato and his bride on their recent wedding day – now made famous by Gap in Times Sq, Twitter and Facebook.

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I admit it. I wanted to shake up the audience at last month’s OAAA event at Miami Beach’s swanky Fontentbleu Hotel. My brief was a rerun of my earlier participation at DSE for a “no holds barred” discussion about the truth or BS of social media and DOOH. (See this post).

As a member of the OAAA Innovation Committee, I recommended Marta Kagan as a keynote speaker. Marta is a provocative speaker, well known for her self processed “potty mouth” aka plain speaking. But more to the point, in a world where anyone with a Twitter account can claim to be a social media expert, Marta actually is. Her presentation series “What the F*** is Social Media” has itself been a viral hit with over 1,000,000 views – not bad for a business prezzie.

Considering that the prior week in Miami was overcast, humid and rainy, the afternoon of our panel occurred when the sun finally came out and I expected to be facing empty seats. But thankfully the room filled out and it was certainly good to see many C level people interested in the impact of social media on the out-of-home industry.

Back to the plot…. Marta was presenting the keynote ahead of our panel – so she launched into her latest thesis – that brands approach social media like a 14 year boy approaches sex.

Now, while I’ve been evangelizing the 3Fs of engagement – Fun, Fame and Fortune, Marta of course introduced the 4th F. She warned us, but there it was in full glory in front of an otherwise quite stiff audience (maybe that’s the wrong choice of words). A slide with a young male proclaiming “Lets F***”.

Marta went on to describe brands’ use of social media as naive, crude, blunt and certainly not bed-worthy. In no way is it seductive. Just like a 14 year old boy tactics around sex.

Helpfully, Marta told us what it takes to sleep with a woman. Now that’s value for money, even if we were not interested in social media!

She claims a woman will sleep with you because:

1) You’re beautiful
2) You’re remarkable (you have something meaningful to say AND you listen)
3) You boost her status (she admits that’s shallow – but it’s true) and
4) Because she’s lonely and drunk (she admits it happens sometimes, but that we shouldn’t rely on that for a long term strategy).

So while I make no claims (publicly at least) about my powers of seduction, I do like to think that my understanding of and approach to social media is somewhat more mature than a 14 year old boy’s approach to sex.

Marta promises she’ll put her deck on slideshare soon.

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LocaModa today launched an innovative campaign with Gap that connects the brand’s fans to the MTV 44.5 screen in Times Square.

LocaModa pioneered and patented the connection between the social web and social places and this is just one of many applications we’re proud to be involved with. As is sometimes the case, (when brands want a one-stop shop for multi-screen engagement) we’re managing every aspect of the user experience including management of the brand’s Twitter and facebook accounts, as well as the Times Sq billboard.

One of the aspects we’ve focused on in this campaign is to make the brand’s engagement with the user even more connected.

The onramp to the engagement is when the user tweets #BeYourOwnT with a photo of themselves. Other than excluding the expected dubious submissions (inc. promos or inappropriate content) it’s as easy as it it gets.

Submitted photo’s get moderated then queued up to be posted for 10 minutes every hour. When a user’s photo’s goes live, a camera captures the real time event and posts it to a photo albumn on Gap’s official facebook page. The user’s photo also dynamically becomes part of the brand’s mosaic “T” at the end of every loop.

The brand tweets back to the user that their photo has been posted and is now available on facebook to be tagged and shared.

This is a nice way to directly thank your fans (and by the way, the brand doesn’t send the same message to every fan – we’ve been sensitive to maintain the brand’s voice and authenticity throughout the experience).

The entire end-to-end platform and experience is provided without any additional hardware requirements on the DOOH screens/networks or brand. Got an Internet connection, great, lets go. So again, being agnostic about the DOOH OS, players etc, makes these applications cost effective, efficient, scalable and repeatable solutions.

Expect similar executions to be rolling out in retail – this is marketing (DOOH is not just about Ad networks folks).

We’ll follow up post campaign with some stats – but suffice to say, in just the first few hours of the campaign, there’s been an immediate rise in brand likes, and a veritable love fest for the fame and fun in what we call the 3Fs of brand engagement (Fortune, being the the 3rd “F”).

Having just returned from the OAAA in Miami, I note that DOOH + Social/Mobile is really gaining traction and is talked up at every event and presentation. The many war wounds we’ve got from being first (those arrows can hurt) are starting to pay off. So I’d be remiss then if I didn’t tip my hat to some of the companies that I think we’ve inspired to do similar programs.

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