Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In-Depth: Avatar - A Brand Culture worth Associating with

I won't mention much about the movie production, rather the brand message behind it.

Avatar's global launch promised stunning visuals, knock-out animation, satisfying acting and breathtaking 3-D, involving the 3-Screen Marketing tools: TV (traditional, 1st screen ads - referred also to offline promos, outdoor billboards, press ads, etc), Online Markketing (according to Daily Mail the movie promo trailer hit over 1 million views online by the end of December 2009), and mobile marketing (mobile content).

Clearly, the movie appeals to a wider audience than sci-fi fans only, using an accessible language that both youngsters and grownups understand easily. So what's the main message?

About 14 years ago when the movie idea was first conceived most of us were hardly thinking of our own carbon footprint, whereas today a global social conduct becomes a hot issue and even though there're plenty of global initiatives as UN's Global Compact appealing to private businesses for CSR attitude, there's yet a clear lack - synchronized merger of efforts towards clear common objectives.

Based on its ecological backbone Avatar seems to be challenging Global Consumption Patterns which come into public limelight especially under the pressure of world credit crunch. Corporations around the world are spotting new image add-ups by trying to prove their interest for an issue of global concern. What might be a quick solution? Sponsorship, publicity through brand association by supporting an idea appealing to massive consumption. Quick result? Brand awareness – guaranteed. BBC has mentioned today that Avatar has become the fastest movie ever to achieve $1bn (£625.6m) in ticket sales around the world.

BrandRepublic mentioned long before the movie launch the intention of big brands as: Coke Zero, Casio, McDonalds, Panasonic and LG will to run co-promotions around one of Fox studios’ biggest film of the year. See McDonalds' and LG examples below:

Thus, Coke Zero set to run a TV campaign around the film and has been giving away branded merchandise on its Coke Zone rewards site.
Casio has rebranded its London flagship store and has launched a competition offering the chance to win a trip to the New Zealand studios where the film was shot. Panasonic has been touring UK shopping centers with a 3D cinema showing trailers of the film. It has also launched a TV campaign on Japan, as shown below. McDonald's is running a campaign as well targeted at an adult market.
LG is running a TV campaign to promote its latest Chocolate BL40 handset, featuring a screen with HD resolution.

Btw, the movie idea is not new, being inspired from an 18-year old cartoon called FernGully: The Last Rainforest, repeating the salvation-carrying young man, the head of tribe’s daughter falling in love with him, the tribe’s sacred tree and even the frightening bulldozer:))

Although the cartoon was also carrying an inspiring ecological theme there’s a main difference: FernGully was appealing to kids mainly, whereas Avatar speaks the language of many. The audience coverage is key -that's when wider opportunities arise for brands, don't they?
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is the future of Search within Social Media?

Although you could answer the headline question by saying that search will live with or without social media, you may agree that it's becoming more obvious that the search giants are currently doggedly pursuing the trend of "getting social".

If yesterday Yahoo! announced that its sites will be accessible through Facebook Connect from next year, then today Google revealed a similar move by allowing all sites using Google Friend Connect to be be accessed through users' Twitter logins:

Why such a rush for "social" integration? Digital analysts have observed recently the huge impact that social media has on natural search results, ultimately driving the users to the "source" web-site, after having offered a compelling online experience: be it online campaigns, games, applications, group events and discussions etc.

Below is an example of a viral campaign from a British cereal maker Weetabix, suggesting that Google is actually powered by a librarian who has had her Weetabix and thus is ready to field your questions, on: http://www.insideyoursearch.com/:

Yahoo! for instance has "smelled" the growing importance of social media from its early stage by acquiring red hot web 2.0 start-ups such as Flickr, del.icio.us, and MyBlogLog, bidding also for Facebook with $1 billion several years ago.

In its attempt to become more "social" Google announced last year in May its new Google Friend Connect - an online service that allows web users to connect with their friends on different websites. Eventually, today the service registers around 8 million monthly users, which is yet far behind its "social web counterparts".

The main issue here is that search engines are not being used for social networking, so the alternative solution showed up: integration of real-time live-stream, which although an interesting step - generates an implicit concern: unrelevant data and spam.

In view of the above, would be great to find out your opinion on the poll posted above:

"Social Media is an essential element of any SEO activity".

Thank you,
All yours,


Some of the sources:

1. All Things Digital

2. TechCrunch

3. The Guardian
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