The old adage ‘Content is king’ has, today, never been so true. In our ultra socially connected world, everyone is working harder to become front-of-mind, top-of-search or in-with-the-chatter – all with the express aim of getting noticed. But what’s the secret to being popular?
Advertising is dead
It’s been well documented, in this blog as everywhere, that traditional advertising stopped working a long time ago (although it’s always interesting to see the budgets still there!), so brands (and bloggers) have long been on the hunt to uncover what actually does work. What’ll make you the most popular kid on the block.
Perhaps unsurprisingly they’ve found their answer, and it’s and answer that should never have been forgotten. A simple truth that’s always been the mantra of the good – the king of things that work is content.
But what makes content good? What will make it popular? And how do you get people to talk about it? Well, that’s the challenge facing brands today and it’s throwing up some really interesting ideas.
I love a good story told well
Throughout history, people have used great stories to attract and engage. Ever since the first people came together around a protective fire, they have used the power of narrative to both educate and entertain. Storytelling has always been the lifeblood social infrastructure.
I guess the pure beauty of this type of communication is that the fundamentals haven’t changed in the millennia that we’ve been plying it. Yes, concepts such as the story arc may have introduced structure and process to the craft, but a good story has always been a good story and it’ll always get people talking.
The thing that has changed over time is the way we tell our stories and the channels we use to impart them to their audience.
Daybreak is just one of those stories.
Layering content for engaging experiences
Daybreak essentially expands on the history of storytelling in advertising with a new campaign for AT&T. Created by a partnership between BBDO, North Kingdom and Monterosa, Daybreak is an ARG that uses a mix of media to communicate its narrative through a variety of channels.
The layered digital campaign opens a new phase in AT&T’s ‘Rethink Possible’ platform and aims to highlight its 4G network and product innovations. Taking content from season one of Tim Kring’s Fox series Touch, the five-part mini-drama spreads engagement across two dedicated sites as well as smart iOS and Android mobile apps.
Although Daybreak isn’t the first ARG that’s been created (it certainly follows a similar path to the much documented Lost marketing campaigns), it is interesting to see this type of campaign being employed in what is essentially a brand advert.
It’s going to be interesting to track the success of this highly intricate campaign, both in terms of engagement (visits + returns and app downloads) as well as ongoing brand loyalty. Ultimately success will be marked by product sales directly derived from the campaign’s influence.
The truth is out there – content is king
What I think Daybreak does prove, even in its early stages, is that now, more than ever, has to be the time of exceptional content. Context and creativity must take centre stage both within the development of ideas and the delivery media selected.
So, what’s the secret of creating popular content? Develop interesting, relevant ideas through understanding and real customer insight, produce quality creative that will engage and inspire it audience to act, then deliver your message employing a long form, multi-channeled method that will foster a tangible sense of audience ownership.
Overall by making you message entertaining, educational or both, by challenging your audience and by situating palpable participation, you’ll be going a long way towards creating exceptional content. And telling a great story.