I spent last week traveling, so as a result didn’t have the time to devote to staying current with my favorite “Ad Speak” blogs. So when I saw that IMedia Connection had a post on “The Matrix” Guide to Brand-Building: Neomarketing & Transmedia Engagement” I felt compelled to click. After all, we had passed the time on the trip watching The Matrix trilogy and so the reference to the movie franchise was actually quite timely from my point of view.
Adam Cahill writes:
A switch to transmedia branding would mean that not only would we use multiple media to tell a brand story, but each of the channels would communicate a unique, complementary piece of that story.
If The Matrix took the lead in the world of entertainment, then Geico’s disgruntled Caveman has emerged as a transmedia brand leader. After gaining some traction with the TV spots, Geico launched CavemansCrib, where visitors can explore the Caveman’s bachelor pad.
Whereas a traditional cross-channel approach might have led Geico to edit down the popular TV spots to a more consumable length and run pre-roll video placements (i.e., new channel, same content), CavemansCrib introduces a new channel, as well as a fundamentally different experience, that amplifies and extends consumer engagement with the television spots.
Now I remember why I ran screaming from a career in a traditional advertising agency. I had forgotten all the “contortions” one had to go through to convince layers upon layers of “management” in the client’s company that, in the end, if people connect with the Caveman…. then creating other ways for them to interact with the Caveman is good for the brand.
Obviously, common sense has not seen a renaissance since my depature from the offline “ad game”.
Do we really need to call it “transmedia engagement” to simply state that since audiences are connecting with the much maligned “Cave Man” created by the Geico commercials, then it makes sense to give audiences other ways to experience the “Cave Man” than just via 30 second commericals?
I guess a week of “abstinence” from ad speak has only made me recognize why my clients hire me. What happened to the role common sense plays in marketing and advertising?
Or is the Geico Cave Man another example of the Nissan GI Joe and Barbie advertising debaucle from the 1990’s? Is the caveman generating a lot of hype without a corresponding increase in sales?
I guess THAT is where injecting common sense can get ugly. What is your advertising goal? Is the goal to create a character with whom people can “relate”? Or is the goal to create increased sales, in this case of Geico insurance?
I don’t have access to Geico’s sales figures…. but it’s been my experience that it’s a rare breed that axes a popular campaign merely because it’s doing nothing to boost the bottom line.