June 12, 2013
Marketers Letting Go - Report From The Cable Show
By Seth Arenstein
While corporations remain highly protective of their brands, marketers increasingly are ceding power to the people, embracing fans who express their enthusiasm through online videos, social media and other creative means, marketers said during “Storytelling 2.0: Reimaging the Marketing Playbook,” a session co-produced by NCTA and CTAM Tuesday.
Although AMC evp, marketing Linda Schupack and Showtime evp, program marketing Donald Buckley acknowledged corporations initially are nervous about putting brands in the hands of fans, eventually they embrace it. At AMC, some campaigns are designed specifically to allow fans to interact with them. To tout “The Walking Dead,” AMC unveiled The Dead Yourself app, allowing fans to overlay zombie features on their head shots and send them to friends. In addition, Schupack noted AMC’s collaboration with Banana Republic on a line of “Mad Men” fashions. “If [fans] are wearing Mad Men clothes, it is one more way they can be ambassadors…and evangelists” for the brand, she added.
Several panelists emphasized allowing fans to feel like they’re part of a series. Buckley’s example was an Alternate Reality Journey (AJR) effort that let viewers interact online with storylines from “Homeland,” keeping fans interested during the series’ hiatus. Lionsgate’s vp, worldwide digital Amanda Kozlowski emphasized segmentation, noting with transactional VOD “one size does not fit all.” Accordingly, Lionsgate has created multiple efforts around the film, “Warm Bodies,” aiming one piece of creative at teen girls and another at 40-something males. Lionsgate also avoids “shoehorning” theatrical marketing campaigns into VOD efforts, she said.
Time Warner Cable’s svp brand strategy & marketing communications Gregg Fujimoto emphasized that the “Enjoy Better” campaign began with a systemic approach that calculated goals and possibilities. He showed highly effective clips from the campaign that illustrated the MSO’s collaborations with Showtime’s “Shameless” and AMC’s The Walking Dead. Schupack couldn’t resist chiding Fujimoto, “We liked collaborating with you, but wanted the tagline to be ‘Enjoy Dead-er.’”