It’s week seven of lockdown and we’re all wondering when this is going to end. When can we see our families? When will we be able to go for post-work drinks? Will we ever have a decent haircut? Living in completely unprecedented times, it’s understandable that the uncertainty is getting to us, with 9 in 10 finding the unknown a challenge.
However, despite said difficulties, we are refusing to wallow. In true British fashion, wartime spirit of ‘keep calm and carry on’ has come to the fore with more than 60% of us coping better than expected. 2 in 3 Brits believe this mentality is appropriate at this time, meaning lockdown has not resulted in total shut down. Can’t see family? Send them flowers or a postcard. Can’t celebrate your birthday? Have a virtual house party. Can’t get married? Get dressed up and say your vows anyway.
It’s down to consumer perseverance that Google searches for TouchNote have increased tenfold since the outbreak and Channel 4 announced a new show, ‘Wedding in Lockdown’, giving disappointed couples a chance to get ‘married’ virtually with the help of a celebrity cupid. If we are not adopting a ‘do it anyway’ attitude, we’re using the gift of time to be resourceful in other ways – 1 in 5 of us have tried something new and most intend on continuing these habits beyond lockdown.
Many brands have been quick to innovate and adapt to our positive ‘carry on’ spirit and are offering their customers opportunities to make sour situations that bit sweeter. Classic British events such as Grand National and London Fashion Week either have gone, or will go ahead, albeit digitally, for the first time in their histories. Further, restaurants such as Wagamama and Pizza Express are releasing their recipes so we can enjoy our firm favourites at home, generating an overwhelmingly positive reaction on social media.
Despite difficult times, we are looking to dance in the rain, and brands who are able to help us do this are likely to reap the benefits in the long run.
Sources: Lightbox Love, Bauer Media, Google Trends, Brandwatch
In recent years, we have seen the growing prominence of product placements within narrative media with nostalgia hits like ‘Stranger Things’ and their team up with Coco-cola. Have we understated the presence, and cultural impact, of product placement within video games? NBA 2K and the FIFA series (to mention only two) have successfully connected with brands to create some of the best harmonised advertising without having to waiver authenticity or fight for attention with other advertisers.
The ‘real-life’ experience offered by sports franchise games is heightened by the real-life advertisement that takes place, from trainers to endorsement deals. NBA 2k in-game product placement includes: Gatorade energy drink and trainer brands Jordan, Nike and Adidas – with which you are given the ability to dress your avatar. As the player progresses in the game, they are given the choice to pick brands with which to associate, altering what you and your avatar sees during your gameplay. This works by subconsciously creating brand infinity with the gameplayer, in a relevant context, further inclining the person to, for instance pick Gatorade the next time they finish a workout or a basketball game in their real-life activities.
In addition, gaming allows brand an unprecedented exposure time. As infographic report released by EA Sports shows that in FIFA14 during a single quarter, users played an accumulated 18 billion minutes, compared to a total 11,430 minutes played in total in the Premier league over that same period. With the 260 million+ units FIFA games have sold during its inception in 1993, you are able to connect with a massive and committed audience. Sports brands have noticed this, The Drum reported that the Vanarama National League – fifth tier in English football – filed a petition to be included in the game as a reflection of the commercial value they would stand to gain, including: in-game dynamic advertising as well as digital and social exposure.
However, for Non-endemic brands, the challenge posed is much different and so to the solutions. Nintendo have found that with the experience between virtual gaming and the real world blending with tech advancements; an opportunity to position their brand in the virtual world and become more culturally connected to a younger audience. Birthing the release of their latest project the Ring Fit (a game where you become the physical character in your living room and use motion sensors to move your character around) – a lesson for non-endemic brands to take heed.
So the next time you hear someone say ‘gaming is the future’ don’t let it pass you by, rather ask yourself what is your brand’s future in gaming.
Mid-December saw the launch of On the Beach’s new “Everything’s better on the beach” campaign. The campaign which will be running across OOH, digital, radio and TV across Q1, has already taken the prize for yougov’s ‘ad of the month’ in December. Across the first two weeks, the campaign generated a consideration uplift of 50% and an 11 pp increase in brand awareness.
Pataks’ objective for this campaign was to educate around usage of paste pots, as insight showed consumers were not clear on how to use them. The partnership between Pataks and Jamie Oliver was a natural fit, as Jamie had been using their paste posts in his 15 minute meals for years. He created 6 recipes for digital platforms, which we utilised across Facebook and YouTube to maximise on completed views to aid education. This resulted in ad recall coming out 3.4x higher than the FMCG benchmark, brand awareness lifted 4.5x higher and purchase intent was 7.3x higher than benchmark!