Bloomberg Powers Up Immersive Content to a New Level

In marketing, ‘content’ should not be a noun, and certainly never an adjective. Great content is an action verb; it doesn’t just sit there, it drives you to take action: to like, to comment, to share. Great content makes you engage.

This wonderfully imaginative content from Bloomberg does just that incredibly well. To promote a number of articles they published on the serious challenges brick and mortar retail faces today, Bloomberg developed an old school, 8 bit looking web-based video game called American Mall. The challenge? Keep a shopping mall running and profitable in an environment where every challenge seems stacked against you.

It is an absorbing task and only becomes more engrossing the more you play and explore. Most amazingly, it creates a real sense of empathy for the challenges people in this sector face today.

Play the game here

Enjoy your exploration and struggle but know that you will not win. That seems to be Bloomberg’s point, though it’s not one I entirely share. Still, when you do fail, take note of the final nemesis laughing at your demise; it’s just another wonderful detail in this clever and exceptional piece of content.


PS: A special thank you to my relentlessly curious and marvelously informed friend and colleague, Dr. Kate Sieck, for sending this link my way.

And The Best Picture Oscar Goes to Samsung

It’s certainly not without controversy, but Samsung’s integration into the Oscar broadcast, while flatfooted at times, did result in one brilliant piece of brand engagement:

Dennis Ryan, Olson, Advertising

Yep, that’s over two and a half million retweets, a selfie record which is what Ellen Degeneres actively lobbied for during the broadcast. Which perfectly demonstrates the shareworthy power of celebrity. Particularly that unique brand of star power that US magazine has plied for years with their “Stars–They’re Just Like Us!” photo galleries (great expression on Kevin Spacey, by the way).

Of all the thousands of product placements surrounding this live global event, the simple act of snapping photos during a once-in-a-lifetime moment has never been leveraged like this. Obvious, perhaps, but brilliantly done.

Of course happening live and in the moment, it wasn’t perfect. As captured in this photo taken by YouTube celebrity Harry Clayton-Wright, not everyone made it into the frame. Sorry, Ms. Minnelli.

Dennis Ryan, Olson, Advertising

But neither the photo’s limited frame size nor the potential of bot accounts inflating the retweet numbers constitute the real controversy for Samsung. That resides in this tweet Ellen posted before the broadcast started. It’s pretty much just a fan tweet from her personal account, a quick backstage snap with Channing Tatum.

Dennis Ryan, Olson, Advertising

But check the bottom right note on that tweet. That’s not a Samsung Galaxy photo. D’oh!

Expect their PR team to be addressing this later today, pointing out how that photo is dismally under lit and demonstrates the iPhone’s tendency toward soft focus.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson