Working in media these past few years, I’ve been exposed to many campaigns and many creative agencies. More often than not, these creative agencies are obsessed with the idea of getting consumers to clickthrough to a flashy campaign microsite that they’ve spent thousands of the client’s pounds (or dollars!) creating.
This has got me thinking quite a lot recently about the idea of creative that goes beyond the clickthrough to allow consumers to do more and to experience more. So many of us in advertising spend too much time with our heads in our screens that we forget to stop and look at the bigger picture and find out how consumers are really using the Internet. Everyone’s guilty of it and this is one thing that I always think about when I’m using the Internet on my own time. No matter what mindset I’m in, it takes quite alot for a piece of online creative to make me stop and click away from what I’m doing.
A study came out a few years ago that revealed that it takes consumers 3 seconds to take in each frame within a online ad and just 1.5 seconds to decide whether or not to click. This means that if a brand is going to rely on online display advertising to speak to consumers, then they’d better make sure that they’ve got a great creative agency who not only understands their business and campaign objectives, but truly understands the online behaviour of the audience they’re trying to reach online.
I stumbled upon a great piece of online creative from Toshiba America that really intrigued me and made me actually want to find out more about what was being advertised.
I was on John Battelle’s Searchblog and I noticed the Toshiba leaderboard along the top of the page asking me to take my picture and star in a Toshiba advert. And my vanity made me say, “Yes, of course, I’ll take a picture!”
Then I had the option of taking photos until I was happy with the result – increasing my exposure to the brand and cementing the idea that I could look good with a Toshiba.
Once I was happy, I could see the final result and choose whether or I not wanted to email it to my friends. Even if I chose to end my interaction with the leaderboard there, I still racked up five solid minutes of very vain brand interaction under the guise of posing with the laptop and ‘starring’ in the ad.
But of course I didn’t leave it there. No dear reader, I went further and emailed the result to my friends. And I was duly rewarded with the excitement of seeing the leaderboard I was starring in at the header of a mocked up PC Mag homepage.
It’s not deep, cerebral stuff, but it’s clever in that it plays into human vanity and the Warholian idea of 15 minutes of fame. But you know what? I’ll probably remember this and think about Toshiba the next time I’m in the market for a laptop or making a recommendation to a friend.
So, not all creative needs to clickthrough to something and not all campaigns need to have a campaign microsite. There’s something quite special in seeing brands that are willing to take risks and do things a little differently, in what could be just a standard display media campaign.