Advertisers involved with the 2014 Emmy Awards saw it as an opportunity to expand the engagement envelope with consumers, as well they should. It’s the kind of marquee event that will organically draw interest, naturally, and everyone from Audi to L’Oreal went to considerable lengths to leverage their sponsorship through social media and viral tactics.
(Wonder if could get a few bucks for an old Reggie at Barely Legal Pawn?)
People are more than willing to go in with marketers on forwarding and reposting content, if the content is interesting enough. They can spot it a mile away if it’s somehow inauthentic, or unrelated to the brand; in the case of Audi, we’re not sure what the premise of the Dreyfus-Paul-Cranston video has to do with product intrinsics, other than hyping the fact Audi is an Emmy sponsor.
But the sheer star power of the bit may make viewers bypass that, and burnishes the image of Audi as being a brand that’s got juice…and they seem to be enamored of celebrity, based on their recent A3 campaign with Ricky Gervais.
The lesson for any brand here is that a strategy of activating a sponsorship or event nowadays by including extensions that reach into other platforms and media has irrevocably shifted from the “optional” to the “mandatory”. That even includes B2B marketers, or professional services, or the flower shop or chocolatier down the block: it’s about connecting with your clientele in ways that are instantaneous, tech-based, and more and more in the realm of the expected.
Not doing so will, as Sergio Zyman pointed out, communicate as much about you as whatever you execute.
It’ll be curious to see how the Emmys, the Oscars or other mass-awareness events look, through the prism of e-media, five or ten years from now. How the experience will be heightened across second screens or even more evolved formats we haven’t begun to wrap our heads around yet.
Viewers/consumers are happy to embrace new ways of getting closer to an event they care about, to draw it into their lives and community. To transform it into their own kind of content, in their own experiences.
Smart marketers will figure out how to ride that tide, up the red carpet and beyond.