Archives for category: storytelling

Rio-Purple-Flip-Hero

The opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics is tonight, but advertisements for the 16-day worldwide competition started many months ago. Every brand, especially the sponsors, is striving to make an impact to one of TV’s largest audiences.

The Olympics is very similar to the Super Bowl because advertisers have a huge TV audience, which drives competition for brand exposure with expensive TV spots. The games dominate primetime for 16 consecutive nights, and brands have to be in the Olympics if they want to reach their consumers in the third quarter. However, advertising to a worldwide audience comes at a very high price. For example, NBC has surpassed $1 billion in national advertising including broadcast, cable and digital sales.

The 2012 London Olympics had a reach of 3.6 billion, and the Rio Olympics are expected to draw an even larger audience with cable, live streaming and even virtual reality programming. Now, you can feel like you are at the games with 360° storytelling without buying an expensive plane ticket (or contracting the Zika virus).

Of all the advertisements that are constantly flooding our screens, the Olympics have some of the most passionate, inspiring and powerful ads that I have ever seen. Each athlete has a personal story of failure and triumph that can easily be tied to a brand to make an emotional impact. These messages, whether funny or serious, resonate with us beyond the worldwide competition.

Below are my three favorite advertisements from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

P&G “Thank You Mom”

procter-and-gamble-thank-you-mom-strong-rio-2016-olympic-games-large-10

This ad is one of the most emotionally relatable commercials that I have ever seen simply because moms are the best. I can’t watch this ad without tearing up because it’s obvious most moms do ANYTHING to help their child achieve their dream. The tagline “It takes someone strong to make someone strong” is powerful and resonates with viewers in a relatable way because moms have been our rock all along.

United “One Journey. Two Teams”

This commercial is more amusing than anything as we all can relate to running through the airport to catch a plane. At least these Olympians make it look graceful while performing their own stunts. I loved how creative the ad was at showing the athletes’ talents to catch a flight in time. The 60-second spot promotes United as the official airline of Team USA for the 2016 Olympics.

Samsung “The Chant”

This commercial hits close to home for me, as I have friends from South Sudan because of my involvement with The Lost Boys of Sudan. They are the kindest people on the planet and they’re finally getting a well-deserved first appearance in the Olympic games. Samsung created a compelling commercial about how much joy the 19-year old runner, Margret Rumat Rumar Hassan, is bringing to the newly independent country. How inspiring is that?

the-chant-hero Margret Rumat Rumar Hassan

All in all, it’s an exciting time of the year for sports fans and advertising enthusiasts, like me. I am most looking forward to for the 2016 Olympics are the commercials (and Kyrie Irving, of course, representing The Land all the way in Rio). While everyone else will be fast-forwarding through commercials, I’ll be paying special attention to those that inspire and impact me like the ones above.

Advertisements

By 2018, 69 percent of total Internet traffic will be video. Every minute, 48 hours of video are being uploaded to YouTube. From 2012 to 2014, mobile video views increased by 400 percent.

aaaaaaa

These facts are hard to ignore when video is taking over the world as it holds the highest CTR of all digital advertising formats. But how can brands turn these statistics into forms of engagement with current and potential customers? How can brands constantly create content to combat the Internet’s flood of video content? How do brands master the infamous viral video?

So many questions yet so little time to create interactive, high quality videos! Videos have exploded on social media because they are so engaging, especially User Generated Content. Think about GoPro (Case Study), as the brand mission is to capture the user’s most exciting and extreme moments. Hours upon hours of GoPro footage have been uploaded to YouTube to share experiences with current and potential customers of the brand. These customers directly market the brand through UGC, which builds a huge momentum of exposure for GoPro to go beyond a restricted snowboarding or surfing brand. The views of the UGC turned branded content have directly increased with the company’s sales. Brands need to learn from companies that are using their trusted and personalized UGC and earned media for advertising purposes. If brands can accomplish that feat, they will thrive in the flood of videos taking over our social channels.

badbfj

Secondly, how do brands create enough content to stay current with the trends and compete with the billions of videos on the web? It’s not enough to simply be creating meaningless content, instead, brands need to be consistently creating and sharing great content. Unfortunately, there’s no quick formula to make amazing, engaging content. Brands must completely understand their own personality and how it can provide value to their potential or current customers. An audience analysis, content audit, competitive analysis and content planning are essential steps in the process to determine how the brand’s videos will positively reach the audience. All of these strategy and planning steps eventually lead to content creation that’s interactive and easily sharable. Check out these great examples of content marketing to get started!

aaaaaa

Lastly, brands can conquer the viral video by simply changing their approach. Again, UGC or ‘found footage’ must be utilized to humanize branded content. For example, Android’s viral “Friends Furever” was composed entirely of UGC of unusual animals interacting with each other and was the most shared ad of 2015. Brands can now find previously existing UGC that can be molded to fit a brand’s ethos. Instead of paying an agency millions to create a commercial with expensive celebrity endorsers, brands can now choose relatable, realistic videos.

A brand that does not use video marketing is like eating a PB&J sandwich without the jelly—it just doesn’t make sense and it gets you nowhere. Our digital world is expanding and there’s not much room for growth without video content marketing. Brands can easily reach and engage with their target audience if they take advantage of UGC, create a content strategy, and just possibly, conquer the viral video

This week, history was made in the Land. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, ending Cleveland’s 52-year drought and bringing happiness, glory, and 1.3 million people to our city on the lake. I was lucky enough to see the excitement of game seven firsthand. When the buzzer went off in the fourth quarter, the city exploded. It was louder and more intense than anything I’ve ever witnessed: screams, tears, drinks flying, hugging, dancing, shirts waving, and high fives all around. As I walked from my viewing spot to Quicken Loans Arena, chants of “Let’s Go Cavs!” echoed across the streets. This was only the beginning.

On Wednesday, Cleveland hosted the championship parade. The scene downtown during game seven was nothing compared to the parade and rally—bringing an estimated 1.3 million people to a city with a population around 300,000. With fans swarming the streets and blocking the parade routes it took more than five hours for the team to make it through a one-mile parade route to the rally zone near the Convention Center. Confetti sprinkled the famous Cleveland skyline and people scaled buildings and sat outside windows stories high just to get a glimpse of our championship team. It was an extreme outpouring of love for them and the city of Cleveland.

You might be wondering what this has to do with advertising. Cleveland fans spend days allowing this team in their living rooms, bars and restaurants. They watched the team evolve with LeBron, without LeBron, and were there with tears and celebrations for “the return.” As a city, they got so close to the championship they could finally taste it. Their faith was tested. And this week, they rejoiced in celebration after emotionally counting down the minutes waiting for them to succeed or fail during sixteen long games. It’s a great story. It’s a Cleveland story.

And storytelling is essential to advertising. There are many forms of storytelling, but the Cleveland Cavaliers perfectly followed the narrative of The Hero’s Journey. Quickly, the Hero’s Journey begins in the ordinary world with a “call to adventure” (enter the NBA, win your hometown that championship.) What follows is the hero’s “refusal of the call” (I’m taking my talents to South Beach) and eventually a “meeting with a mentor” (The Heat) who provides the hero with training and advice to help them on their journey. Then, they “cross the threshold” (welcome home LeBron) and “find allies and enemies” (love and hate in Cleveland fans). They “prepare for the ordeal” (…twice) and finally take possession of the treasure! (2016 Champions!) The “road back” (flight home from California with Cleveland’s most prized-possession) and the “resurrection” (a moment of rebirth, once again the King of CLE.) Finally, “the return” (not that one), where the hero returns home and has the power to transform the world as we know it (1.3 million people waiting to see LeBron, his team and our trophy.)

1.3 million people arrived to celebrate with this team because they’ve been a part of their story; they’ve watched the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers brand be built—52 years in the making. They care.

We’ve entered the era of consumer empowerment. Brands need to do more than communicate outwardly to their audience. They need to tell stories, entertain, educate, inspire and touch lives.

The Cavaliers team does an exemplary job at delivering what the audience wants. They give us a great product to watch on the court but extend the story off the court as well. By utilizing social media we have an opportunity to be a part of their lives both on the court and at home. They’ve shown us the celebrations, created inside jokes with us (Lil’ Kev), and let us see the world from their perspective. We get to experience this story through the players’ eyes.

Our involvement allows this Hero’s Journey to resonate with us deeper than most. We’ve invested ourselves in this team, and it’s become a part of us. We felt the anguish watching the buzzer slowly count down, we crowded the streets in celebration as the team flooded the court, and we cried with JR as he gave a heartfelt speech about playing for his family. The emotional rollercoaster is what connects us with this team, and motivates us for the future.

The Cavaliers team has told its story. Through them, we’re encouraged empower ourselves and write our own story. It’s our call to action – show that no matter our struggles, Cleveland is a success story. How will you respond?

 

-0889b6b2adb5db7b

Big thanks to my editor, Kelly Gentile.