Good evening and welcome to a special bulletin from the corporate communications team working with business development. We have done some careful analysis on the Harlem Shake Roulette project to ascertain the ROIs and KPIs and FBIs.
Our latest piece of work aims to get people talking about the upcoming launch of the new Ford B-MAX, so we’ve combined some traditional DM principles with innovative holographic technology and new school digital thinking. It’s an appreciation that there’s still no better way to experience something than by putting it in people’s hands, but in an age where the DNA of digital knows no boundaries, the way in which we invite audience participation has to evolve from the days of bought email lists and databases.
The problem with participation and the emergence of social influence
Online participation and the notion of social influence has been a hot topic of late. Since 2006 the 1:9:90 rule has dominated theories of online participation with claims of 90% of the population being lurkers, leaving just 1% to create, and the remaining 9% to edit and modify content online. However, since 2006 the web has changed a huge amount, and as such the relevance of such simplistic classifications of online participation and social influence have been called into question.
Indeed, recent research by the BBC claims that the 1:9:90 rule has become outdated and that participation online is now the rule rather than the exception with 77% of the UK online population being active in some way, driven by the rise of “easy participation” such as likes, shares and other one click actions that once required great effort but are now relatively easy and expected.
In essence, the definition of participation has become too broad.
So when marketers and agencies are increasingly being judged on the talkability of their work and campaigns, it’s not surprising that this opportunity has been grabbed with both hands by companies such as Peer Index and Klout looking to put a more scientific value or score on one’s propensity to participate and ability to influence. And consumers themselves are more than happy to offer their social graph data to these companies in return for status recognition and rewards.
Capturing the magic middle
There have been a number of objections to social influence scoring systems such as Peer Index and Klout. Some have commented on the inaccuracies of the scoring system itself, others the fickleness of only approaching those deemed highly influential and the possible ramifications of a future web shrouded in digital classism. Yet there is no denying that if used correctly, companies such as Peer Index can use their wealth of users’ social graph data to allow us to talk to the right people; not only in terms of influence, but in terms of relevance.
So that’s what we’ve done to launch the new Ford B-MAX. Working closely with Peer Index on their biggest Peer Perk to date, we’ve spent time identifying the right kind of consumers that will be interested in our campaign, before segmenting them into classes of influence. That way, we know that the majority of users are likely to find our content relevant and interesting and will hopefully go on to share that content to their networks and peers. We’ve developed a system that’s less like a popularity contest, and more like a dress code. If you’re the right kind of person with influence in related topics and categories, you’re on the list and you’re invited to the party.
Choosing the right perk for your peers
Putting your brands advocacy in the hands of influential consumers is risky business, so you’ve got to make sure that what you give them is going to be worth the effort and generate positive sentiment rather than a negative backlash. As our Head of Digital Innovation often says, “it’s all about the value exchange”.
So what could we provide as our “Perk” that would do the technology packed and stylishly designed Ford B-MAX justice? The answer: Holographic technology.
We’ve teamed up with Zebra Imaging, a company based in Austin; Texas, that specializes in genuine and remarkably cool holographic prints. These prints are as thin as a piece of card, don’t require any sort of silly 3D glasses and can be viewed simply by shining a light source on the hologram itself. Simples.
The result is pretty extraordinary and you can see a video of the hologram in action below. Depth, perspective, the ability to peer through the windows and easy access doors to marvel at the B-MAX’s classy interior design, the ability to rotate it in front of you – it’s all there. And it provides, without doubt, the best way to experience the vehicle before it launches and you can climb in one for yourself.
Over the next couple of weeks the first influencers that have claimed their B-MAX holographic print via Peer Perks will receive them in the post. Obviously the hope is that they will find it awesome, before going on to share copious amounts of content about the hologram, the campaign and the vehicle itself.
So, if you want to get your hands on one of these limited edited prints all you have to do is apply to win via the Peer Perk. You can log in via twitter or Facebook oAuth. And if you don’t win one through Peer Perks, don’t fret, anyone can still win one simply by tweeting #BMAXhologram.
It’s not quite Princess Leia projecting from R2D2’s midriff, but it’s pretty bloody cool. Well, we think so and so do these people. Let us know what you think in the comments or @mention us on twitter.