Here’s a new campaign for Blu Dot, a furniture maker from Minneapolis, that uses a familiar hook to capture the viewer’s interest. To people of a certain age this could be called the “Candid Camera” technique. But that’s a meaningless pop culture reference to practically everybody under 30. It’s time for a new nomenclature, one the Millennial Generation will grok.
I’ll use the “Experiment” hook in homage to the Whopper Experiment. This hook employs the combination of a public setting and hidden cameras to document consumer reaction to a form of stimulus that relies on the brand or product. By seeing un-premeditated human behavior in its raw element, we as viewers empathize on behalf of the protagonists and, therefore, the brand or product.
Now, the viewer doesn’t need to jump all the way down the rabbit hole to make Depth On Demand work for the brand. DOD works on three levels in this campaign – Awareness, Activation and Advocacy. Consumers are in control of how deep they want to go. However, the important brand attributes and brand promise are conveyed at all three levels of engagement.
Awareness – If you stumble upon the Real Good Experiment video or through word of mouth hear/see something about it, you begin to associate the Blu Dot brand with innovation, design and quality. This is all we’ve ever asked of advertising: Plant the idea in people’s heads so they “think” about the brand this or that way.
Activation – If you watch the video, you’re actively consuming the brand positioning, message and meaning. At this level, because you’ve “opted in” to be exposed to what is obviously commercial content, you’re beginning to align the brand story with your own interests. Research has shown that you’re also more likely to recall the brand, its attributes and meaning.
Advocacy – If you enjoyed the video and elected to review it, comment on it, share it by posting a link or embed it into a feed or page you publish yourself, then you’ve gone all the way deep. Now you’re doing the brand a favor by lending its story a modicum of your own credibility. If you like it, your friends and colleagues may be swayed to like it as well.