I remember having a telephone interview with a journalist from The Times a few years back, where I naively and rather over excitedly ranted on about mobile marketing, and a day when all Outdoor, Mobile and In-Store channels would be intrinsically linked, both creatively and promotionally. The idea was that the data held on individuals would be so vast that advertising would literally be tailored to their specific needs.
For example: Man likes coffee, walks past poster, it changes to reflect an ad for Starbucks, and an e-coupon is sent to his mobile as he walks past the coffee house. Bluetooth nailed it.
In my head, this was integration at its peak. The pure amalgamation of above the line creative with below the line tactical right through to a reflective in-store experience. Suffice to say that not one word was printed.
Today, this is less a reality, and more of a normality, and in truth a rather mundane solution. In fact the onset of Four Square and social media in general is far more sophisticated than anything I could have ever imagined.
This year we’ve seen some stand out campaigns. Magnum introduced a heavyweight ad campaign with Benicio Del Toro, then rolled it out beautifully with a viral that allowed you to paste your face into the dummy movie, as the hero. Jimmy Choo gave away shoes using Four Square and got people running all over London hoping to spot them. Marmite launched the Marmaritum, an elite group of Marmite die harders that hold a unique and extra powerful Marmite recipe.
What these campaigns and their integrated use of media has enabled brands to do is to successfully make them less about the brand and more about their customer. The term “living the brand” used to refer to companies and their staff. Perhaps today we should re-coin that phrase. It’s actually about “playing with the brand”, and all we’re doing is providing the ball. It’s the consumer that owns the game.