The marketing communications world today really aspires to make their initiatives as liquid as possible, ensuring that all stories of the larger narrative are brought the to the fore. The challenge is to ensure that the different stories are interesting. The recent SuperBowl work from Coke where they plan to “gamify the game” is a nice example of how to build a broader narrative around the multitude of channels that are being consumed around an initiative or property (see here). However, too often additional content is created that is nice, but doesn’t have enough power to really gain interest and be shared. The perfect example of a piece of content that frequently falls short is a “behind-the-scenes” cut of a commercial or stunt. Rarely is the technology that cool or the action that suspenseful or interesting to be pass-worthy. That being said, if the approach to these pieces of content would be re-thought, perhaps their interest would go beyond those that participated.
In order to squeeze great liquidity from initiatives, it is important to seek out the real human stories wrapped around the program. A wonderful example comes from Audi Canada. They created a remote control racetrack to be inserted into their core dealership in Toronto. The track was a true wonder, something that would make the Christmas window at Macy’s proud. However, to give the story deeper engagement, the agency (ZulaAlphaKilo) did a mini documentary about the creator of the track, where he came from, what drove him to do this as a living, and what emotions go through the creation process. Through this take on the film, the story became very human and the information that was revealed was beyond touching. Have a look at the piece. I found myself getting more into it as it played.