Being young is about searching – for who you are, what you want to do with your life, even simply what to do tomorrow. Hooking into this, Coca-Cola in Israel created “The Search of a Lifetime”. Using the top searches among young Israelis, they created targeted content to answer the life-defining questions they were asking around work, school, travel, etc. What’s more, they predicted and created content addressing what would likely be peoples’ next questions after answering the initial query. Ultimately, helping them find the answers, to make the decisions that would make them happy.
First, not enough brands use search to create meaningful connections with people. It’s a direct way to help them by answering the questions you know they’re asking. Second, more brands should be thinking beyond the initial interaction. Coke could have just answered the first question and moved on. Instead, they endeavored to understand how a young person would fully explore these topics, and made sure they completed the conversation.
Boston Dynamics’ next generation robot, Atlas, feels almost too human, even with his clunky walk and lack of facial features. This anthropomorphic adaptation to tech has many functional implications in the workforce, as well as being an impressive feat of engineering. However, an unexpected “side effect” becomes apparent towards the end of this demo when Atlas is being knocked off balance to showcase his superior build…it actually elicits empathetic emotions from the human viewer. It feels as if he is being bullied.
This caught us off-guard – although robots are increasingly common in our daily lives, and we are even used to technologies having their own personalities (ala Siri sassy retorts), sympathy for a robot was a visceral response that was totally unexpected. The feeling was driven by instinct rather than logic.
As strategists, we know how powerful these emotions can be, and in fact, it is our job to tap into them, making us believe robots like Atlas can never replace us. Yet, a recent AdAge article makes us question the safety of our jobs in this robot-filled-future.
The author has no doubts that robotics of some kind will play a role in all jobs, one way or another, sooner than later. In this article, he suggests that the last jobs to go will be those with a “unique combination of human intuition, reasoning, empathy, and emotion”, but in spite of this, advertisers are not on the list. Coke’s recent efforts further validate his conclusion.
As of today, we don’t know what the future of our industry will look like, but we do know this: It is our job to stay ahead of all innovations and technologies and to learn everything we can about how our jobs will evolve to include our new robotic co-workers.
WHY IT’S HOT
The anthropomorphic applications to robotics serve a much higher purpose that just functionality – these techniques are being applied to help us embrace them (figuratively and literally)
Technology is evolving to a place where it is not only poised to replace humans in the workplace but is also driving us to discover a new connection to robotic objects on a mass scale
The future of man and machine will likely depend on being able to co-exist, which begs the question – How we can we as advertisers get ahead of the game and prepare for this type of collaboration?
Ahead of last week’s Mobile World Congress, Coca Cola released this video on YouTube which shows users how to repurpose specially designed cardboard Coke boxes as VR headsets. The video allows Coke to tap into the hype around VR in a way that is both fun and thought provoking. Though Google Cardboard has existed for a few years, this type of packaging engages casual users who might not be aware that such a thing even exists.
The video brings up questions about what the average user will be willing to spend on technology that is not a ‘must have’. If VR can be experienced using a smartphone, some free apps and a free viewer, then why pay a lot of money for a bulky headset that will undoubtedly be outdated in a few months?
Part gimmick, part Coke marketing effort, this idea forces the VR headset market to think about the implications of the pricing of VR hardware. HTC announced their Vive headset recently at a $799 price point. Enthusiasts and early adopters will fork over a lot of money for the superior tech experience, but what about the average Joe? “Free” seems like a better price point for non-gamers and the casual user who is reluctant to buy more hardware.
They also launched custom Star Wars emojis previously.
Users would need to use the ascribed hashtags in their tweets to generate the custom emojis.
Why It’s Hot: Twitter seems to have developed a paid product that provides a very clear value exchange for the consumers and brands. By customizing a product (something of a collectible) that’s attuned and relevant to present mobile behaviors, it’s likely that ad purchases and usage will increase on Twitter.
JetBlue and Coca-coca conjured a stunt in Penn Station, where they asked New Yorkers to “share a Coke with humanity.” It involved rigging up a vending machine to spit out two Cokes, prompting buyers to share one with another person.
They wanted to test if the general rule of NYC transit, don’t accept gifts from strangers, holds. What did they find out?
Why is it hot?
How do people connect with brands and advertisements? Through other people. Coke and JetBlue were able to do this in the video footage by showing a very human element in everyone: benevolence. The goodness in people is what was really inspirational. Coke and JetBlue did a phenomenal job of creating a connection between people and their brands.
At the NCAA men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, Coke Zero built a 4,500-foot straw that dispensed Coke Zero from a billboard. The straw spelled out the words “Taste It,” and had six fountains that dispensed the soda (watch video here).
In East London, Carlsberg beer created a similar experience with a beer-dispensing billboard.
And Mr. Kipling, a large-scale British company that supplies baked goods to stores, built a billboard made entirely of cake and icing. Sugar artist Michelle Wibowo created the billboard using more than 13,000 pieces of cake. The cake, with the tagline “Life is better with cake,” was distributed to passersby (watch video here).
The problem with food ads is that you can only see the product, but you can’t smell or taste it. Here is a great example of how an old medium can be used in new ways – creating disruption and driving conversation.
Missed opportunity: social amplification. In 2011, a German billboard dispenses dog food when you checked in on Foursquare– Read more here (video case study available).
Coca Cola’s Share A Coke campaign showed that the soda brand seemed to really understand its drinkers – especially people with popular first names or those with the creativity to make something out of Coke cans. Now Coca-Cola Israel has expanded on this by creating a campaign with 2 million one-of-a-kind bottle designs.
Why It’s Hot: We’ve previously discussed the power of product packaging for a variety of brands. Coca-Cola, like many others, uses its packaging to engage consumers; the “Share A Coke” campaign felt personal, even though as AdWeek points out, it wasn’t personal at all. (If you’re able to find your name printed on a label, chances are that it probably isn’t too unique. Sorry to burst your carbon dioxide bubble.) The Diet Coke campaign, on the other hand, doesn’t leave anyone out and its designs alone are works of art.
I’m a fan of anything that doesn’t require finding “Lili” on a keychain – or in this case, a bottle label. Even as someone who can never find anything with my name on it, I think that a nice-looking keepsake bottle is a lot cooler than seeing my name on a label.
Coca Cola has always been about the connection and happiness behind the simple act of enjoying a can of Coke. This new ad campaign (kicking off first in Latin America) furthers the idea of sharing that has become almost iconic for the brand. The idea is simple – devise a method to get freshmen at colleges to become friends through the new “Friendly Twist” design, a bottle with a new type of cap that can only be opened with another bottle of Coke. Check out more in the spot:
One step beyond enabling connection, Coca Cola is now almost forcing conversations around a brand. The experience creates a memory that lasts beyond the bottle. Plus, why sell only one Coke when you can sell 2?