The Platform May Be Interesting, But The Idea Still Determines If You Care

So we just had the wonderful opportunity to announce that our client Cricket is now nationwide.  After starting as a regional cellular company ten years ago, they are  now in all fifty states.  Better still, they relentlessly focus on value, driving costs down to provide unlimited coverage for low flat rates.  To us, that’s treating people with respect.

Given the cutthroat competition and huge spend in the wireless category, the client asked us to try to create disruption with our outdoor announcing this news.  So we teamed up with the clever people at Monster Media and created interactive walls and mobile units that encouraged people to play a simple “Simon” like memory game to drive home the point that we are now in all fifty states.  Gaming seemed a natural fit given that 83% of the US population already plays games online.

The result is “Man vs. Map.”  It’s ‘Interactive Media,’ it’s ‘Experiential Marketing,’ it’s ‘Buzz Generating.’  And if you watch this clip from the local Denver news, it’s clear someone clued in their news readers with those buzzwords because they say them with an air of practiced archness.  When the local ten o’clock anchor all but puts air quotes around phrases like “non-traditional advertising,” perhaps it’s time we admit that our industry lingo has jumped the shark.

Because more than being emblematic of some emerging media platform, these screens are just fun.  “Man vs Map” is a simple game with a purpose that spurs engagement and gets people talking.  And texting.  And tweeting.

Which probably explains why we’re now looking to take it Online and Social.

Oh man, I just jumped the shark two more times…

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

Advertising Breakthrough at the Street Level

IMG00167A lot of marketers make a big deal about the need for street teams and live, experiential marketing.  And they budget for it.

But people actually on the street operate with far more limited budgets.  To them, breakthrough isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a must have.  The alternative is a long, cold, unprofitable day.

Element 79 planner Amie Dowker saw this guy yesterday downtown on the corner of State and Randolph, standing with a marker-scrawled message that cut through the clutter like a hot knife through butter.

He may be an amateur advertiser, but his instincts are dead nuts on, even if his spelling is dodgy.

Amie snapped the pic, gave him her lunch money, and walked away with a smile to start her morning.

That’s great advertising.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79