How engagement can fall short

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone; the world is changing. People are receiving up-to-the-minute information as news is happening, rather than wait for the 6 o’clock news. News stations (CNN, MSNBC, Fox News) report updates on their websites, and Facebook and Twitter posts have become the definition of “current” events. As technology continues to develop, advertising, too, must learn to reach audiences in new, compelling, and engaging ways.

The digital age is upon us, and with it comes more ways to reach audiences than ever before.  Today, audiences are targeted through social media sites, online banners, search engine optimization, and limited online TV commercials. Even though advertisers have many more venues to reach new customers than ever before, it’s a stretch for some of these media to have a discernable impact. But I came across one such campaign that was so compelling, I had to share it with everyone I could.

This campaign was intriguing, interactive, and engaging enough that I wanted to continue “playing” with it long after my first video finished. But after five minutes, could you tell me what the brand was? You may recognize the product and what it can do, but do you know the brand? (The answer is Tipp-Ex, a brand of correction fluid, owned by BIC, better known in Europe). While the concept of this campaign is incredibly strong, the execution fell just a bit short of turning an engaged audience into a new supply of consumers. And, after all, isn’t the end goal of advertising to sell products?

Here are three steps that Tipp-Ex missed that could have turned the compelling, engaging campaign into one with positive, measurable results:

  1. Continue using the product. Clearly, there are many videos that Tipp-Ex produced for this campaign. Allowing me to “use” the product in order to create a new blank would have had me interacting with the product directly. Repetition would have made me recall the brand next time I’m ordering supplies.
  2. A link to the website. There are more than 6.8 million views (at the time of this posting) to this video, but not a single clickable link to their site. Can you imagine what 6.8 million views would have looked like had they been allowed to visit a microsite or landing page? Then, Tipp-Ex would have had a targeted, active audience on THEIR site, and not just some YouTube link.
  3. A call to action. While I enjoyed interacting with the videos of this campaign, once I was done, I was done. The campaign did not provide an opportunity for me to further my involvement with the brand by offering a call to action. A simple coupon (on this yet-to-be-executed website) that could be printed and taken into any office supply retailer to be redeemed will have me asking for this brand by name next time I’m in need of correction tape.

With these three additional executions to the concept, uninterested Web surfers could have become interactive and engaged audiences and converted into measurable consumers, and perhaps loyal brand stewards.

— Jonathan Ginburg, Senior Account Executive


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Filed under advertising, Customer Experience

5 responses to “How engagement can fall short

  1. This spot is a great and 8.7 million (views as of today) is a terrific number. The untapped potential in this campaign is what sticks out for me. Interactive and engaging is wonderful but with no purpose it is simply a fancy way of watching a dog chase it’s tail. Spots like this one are the very beginning of this type of engagement.

    (Take a look at the dove for men iPhone spots-

    You made a point about not having a call to action and making potential customers have to recall the brand, these points are invaluable. Once firms get more experience working with these parameters, I believe we’ll see the things you’re talking about.

  2. Hi Jonathan,

    Looks like we covered the same Tipp-Ex video on our blog. But I do not agree with your point of view.

    1. The repeat action is typing a word in the headline where Tipp-Ex has removed the word ‘shoots’. You can say this is an action related to the product (that stays clearly visible on the right side of the screen).
    2. Tipp-Ex is not a sexy product. In a case like this a link to a website is not very useful. As far as I know, Tipp-Ex is owned by Bic. There is no Tipp-Ex website and it is also difficult to find info (if any) about Tipp-Ex on the Bic website.
    3. A call to action is of course always a good thing. But I am afraid there is not much action as far as Tipp-Ex is concerned.

    I think the video has been clearly developed to promote the Tipp-Ex brand. Nothing more and nothing less. Millions of people have probably spend more time with this video than average and the product and brand-name were visible all the time. I think we can call that a success.

    • Hans,

      You’re points are valid and this video was a creatively developed method to promote the brand. But I was pointing out some small elements that the brand could have taken to get the interactive component to that next level.

      Regardless of whether or not your product is sexy, your ultimate goal is to have a consumer consider your product when faced with the decision. Whether it is Bic or Tipp-Ex, a landing page is all that is needed to help this campaign achieve the next step of engagement. This untapped potential makes this campaign fall just short of genius.

  3. Hi Jonathan & thanks for dropping by over on Wallpapering Fog.

    You’re spot on with those three points – the first one especially is a fantastic idea. By the second vid, you’ve forgotten all about Tippex and are just trying to make the bear do something amusing.

    Hans, I’d agree with you that it’s a pure brand campaign and probably is a success in that limited scope, but it’s also a huge missed opportunity. They could have reinforced the brand harder and taken the opportunity to actually sell the product without doing any harm to the campaign. Call to action isn’t only for sexy products!

    The point I made on my blog, which led me to this one, is that they’re also missing an opportunity to make it easier to spread. Try using the share button. Why can’t I click to post it to Facebook?

    • kilgannonsays

      Neil, I like that point a lot. Why not have the ease of passing it on to your friends via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Digg. A like button or a share button would have been great.

      An article on the blog earlier this week tackled this very issue. Would love to know your opinion after reading this article.

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