Successful Ways To Create User Involvement

Communication today is all about creating engagement and involvement and to create experiences for the individual user or receiver. This is also the case for the many organizations, brands or companies who want to get their messages across on the web.

People get more and more used to being bombarded with messages more or less everywhere possible: in urban space, in buses, in public toilets, when checking your Facebook etc. So the challenge for communicators and marketers is to create new and engaging ways to reach the audience – in other words: to involve the users.

Get in your audience’s shoes
In order to create user involvement, as a communicator you need to get into the habit of prioritizing your audience. You shouldn’t only be involved in your own products or services even though your ultimate goal may to be get this across. But in order for you to create successful communication, you need to place yourself in the shoes of your audience, listen to them and be able to create experiences for the users that are meaningful to them. So, communication needs to take point of departure in the audience.

There are several ways in which you can focus on your audience in your communication efforts. Think about the fact that you should: create experiences, tell stories, make entertainment, be fun, appeal to the senses etc. and how you can achieve this. Maybe you are able to communicate in ways that the individual can identity with or that you are able to provide tools the individual can use in his or her own life.

Lately, there has been several examples of campaigns that have been good at involving the users. They are all centred on video and it is no surprise that images are more engaging for the user than text. Here are some of the campaigns that have created successful user involvement:

Hunter Shoots a bear: Tipp Ex has created a fun and creative campaign on YouTube, where the user can influence what kind of video that will show depending on the words you type in. It uses YouTube in a new way, which really activates the audience. Some may also claim that the product can get lost in the experience, however, the video has reached first place on Viral Video Chart with more than 280,000 shares and more than 8 mill views on Youtube. » Go to video

Expendables Trailer: The trailer for the film Expendables also shows ways to do marketing on YouTube and some of the similar effects has been seen by for instance Samsung. Even though it is probably not that easy to establish a YouTube collaboration from one day to another, the way to use the platform can be used for inspiration. » Go to video

Tackfilm: The campaign from the Swedish broadcasting license has been so successful that there has been two versions. The first  film was groundbreaking when it came out last year in the way it is able to activate the user and make the user part of the film. It is still being discovered and shared all over the world even though is it only aimed for Sweden. » Go to video

The Wilderness Downtown: The band Arcade Fire has made this video in collaboration with Google and really set a new standard for how to work with the web. The video is a Google Chrome experiment and is exemplary for how to create user-oriented content: it uses 3D animation, pictures of your own environment, special adapted browser windows and the ability to interact with the screen. This is really an indicator of some of the stuff we can expect from future web experiences. » Go to video

the wilderness downtown

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.