Immersive engagement is typically associated with intense experiences when a consumer is transported from their everyday world into the world of a brand. Whether those experiences are digital, virtual, or In Real Life, a two-fold caveat often ties them together: they come at a high production cost, often due to ultra-high definition graphics, surround sound, alternate worlds – you name it (just Google the term and see which services pop up); and they are temporary consumer experiences.
While immersive engagement is big and loud, let’s face it: consumers can’t—and won’t—live in a brand’s world. What about flipping the experience by immersing a brand into the consumer’s world?
We call our more holistic approach immersive consumer engagement.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for creating intense ways to allow your consumer to experience your brand, but we’re also thinking and planning beyond the temporary experience. By reversing the roles, we make your brand at home in the consumers’ world.
An immersive consumer experience should be planned with all of your media assets and creative messaging in mind. Sure, some parts of the immersive experience will be less intense than others; but they should all reinforce each other if you want to convert experiences into brand power.
Building an immersive consumer engagement doesn’t start with testing out the latest virtual reality goggles; it starts with organizing your communication planning and marketing budget into four basic buckets: Push, Pull, Play and Real Time.
To build an immersive consumer engagement plan using this matrix, it’s best to have all of the relevant players under one roof, in an integrated agency, where your copywriters and creative directors can sit side-by-side with TV producers, media planners, social strategists and interactive programmers. It’s the best way to get a media-agnostic, coherent consumer engagement built around your consumer’s life.
When brainstorming, don’t get hung up if a tactic seems to fit into more than one bucket – that actually means it’s a strong idea. Look at Tim Hortons’ very successful Roll Up the Rim to Win cups; they’re an excellent example of Push, Real Time and Play.
Texting and driving. It may not have the taboo factor that drinking and driving does in our society, but texting while at the wheel can be more dangerous than driving under the influence. A recent Car and Driver trial made the following comparison with regards to braking response times while either unimpaired, drunk, reading e-mail or sending a text message:
- Unimpaired: .54 seconds to brake
- Legally drunk: add 4 feet
- Reading e-mail: add 36 feet
- Sending a text: add 70 feet
Our client, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), understands too well the dire consequences associated with texting and driving. Their own findings showed similar concerning response times while texting. They approached TDC to develop a campaign that would hit home with a particularly vulnerable audience – youth aged 20-24, who often feel pressure to respond to text messages in the moment, more so than other forms of communication such as e-mail or social media sharing. At the same time, they didn’t want their message to alienate parents and more mature audiences.
TDC developed an online PSA, television and radio spots, print and digital ads, broadcast – all featuring a “drive now, text later” messaging, which hammers home the risks of nonchalant attitudes about texting and driving in bleak contrast to dangerous, and even lethal, outcomes.
The campaign was developed for CAA National, but is being disseminated across regional channels by provincial clubs throughout key periods in 2015. With no promotion, the online PSA, posted by the National Club, already has over 175,000 views.
* CAA built a simulator, and hired a third party to test the most common distractions to find out the average time a driver is discovered distracted while performing an action behind the wheel.
Here is what they found:
- Answering a Phone Call: 10.6 seconds
- Replying to Text Message: 33.6 seconds
- Grooming: 14.4 seconds
- Reading Directions: 7.0 seconds
- Drinking Coffee: 6.3 seconds
- Adjusting Radio: 1.3 seconds
- Adjusting Climate Control: 2.7 seconds
- Adjusting GPS: 26.7 seconds
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